C Kiran -
INDIANS a few days back, celebrated Republic Day with a claim that they honour the date on which the Constitution of India came into effect on 26 January 1950 replacing the 1935 Government of India Act which was the governing document of India. History narrates that the Constitution was adopted by the Indian Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, and came into effect on 26 January 1950 with a democratic government system, completing the country’s transition towards becoming an independent republic. Thus, 26 January was chosen as the Republic Day because it was on this day in 1929 when Declaration of Indian Independence was announced by the Indian National Congress as opposed to the Dominion status ruled by the then British regime.
Interestingly, India celebrates this day proclaiming itself a big vigil of democracy. India every year showcases its military parade on Republic Day, just to show off its military strength to the world. But unfortunately, its military is using its power brutally on innocent Kashmiris in Indian Held Kashmir and pushes Pakistan to indulge in arms race thus creating strategic instability in the region. On the 70th Republic Day, celebrated in stadium in New Delhi it showcased its military might with newly acquired artillery systems from the US. On the other hand, many Indians who are now rising up against the ‘saffronization’ of India and imposition of harsh policies by Modi government, one of the Governors in Mizoram had to face shame publically when no one turned up to listen to his views on the ceremony arranged for Republic Day in the stadium. Many people boycotted because of the harsh implications of citizenship rules for the concerned province and adjoining areas. A video on social media has been viral since the mark of Republic Day by Indians. In one of the ceremonies, little Indian girls and students are performing on Pakistani song which was made by Pakistan after the one year of APS attack. In 2014, this school attack caused loss of around 150 souls and in Pakistan’s successful fight against terrorism, this song lyrics highlight that Pakistan wants peace through education. The use of this Pakistani song on Indian Republic Day suggests that Indian is ashamed and very much aware of its brutal acts and societal decline but to portray in front of world, they are projecting message of peace through Pakistani song.
While the Indians were busy in their celebrations and completely shun their claims when it comes to Kashmir issue, innocent Kashmiris living across the Line of Control and around the world observe Indian Republic Day as Black Day. The purpose of this Day as Black Day is to remind India and the world about the gross human rights violations India has been doing in IoK and constantly deny the poor Kashmiris of the right to self-determination which was supposed to be given to them decades ago according to the resolutions passed by United Nations. The day is being marked with a complete strike in Indian occupied Kashmir and it was observed likewise on 26th of January 2019. In a statement, the Kashmiri leadership said that India had no justification to observe its Republic Day in Kashmir as it had illegally occupied the territory against the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
The authorities deployed Indian troops and police personnel to prevent people from staging anti-India demonstrations. Moreover, whenever Kashmiris want to protest for their right of self-determination, mobile and internet services are suspended across occupied Kashmir, so that no media can reach to the voice of the oppressed people. However, India always forgets that Indian atrocities and state terrorism will not curb Kashmiris determination for freedom. Indian forces have tried heinous tactics against innocent people of Kashmir but they remain steadfast on their stance of achieving complete liberation from India. On this Day, Kashmiris every year try to make it clear to the world that India is a big impediment in their way of the right to self-determination. This year, like India is practising in past that in case of any important event, they order arrest of Kashmiri leaders. The authorities also placed Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Hilal Ahmed War, Javaid Ahmed Mir, Zafar Akbar Butt, Abdul Ahad Parra, Molvi Bashir Irfani and Parray Hassan Firdosi under house arrest or in custody to prevent them from leading the demonstrations. All roads leading to a cricket stadium in Sonawar area of Srinagar, the main venue of official function in Srinagar, were sealed. Meanwhile, Chairman of Hurriyat Forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, launched a social media campaign, highlighting the miserable plight of the Kashmiri detainees lodged in different jails.
India has introduced draconian laws in IoK to suppress freedom movement and struggle of Kashmiris. Indian army backed by infamous Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act is meant to suppress the political aspirations of the people of Occupied Kashmir and their just struggle, but India will never be able to succeed in its nefarious designs and ill motives. No doubt, it is the blood of Kashmiris which is keeping this freedom movement alive. Kashmiris will continue struggle until they are granted their inherent right to self-determination in line with UN Security Council resolutions and their own objectives. Human rights watchdogs and UN must take notice of atrocities in IHK and try to stop India through international pressure that they should at least stop brutal acts in Kashmir.