NYT on the longest of India’s lockdowns in Kashmir

Image: NYT

The whole country was brought to a halt on 24th March. But in another part of the country lockdowns are a recurrent trend. Before the coronavirus lockdown, Kashmir was under siege with the scraping of its ‘special status’ in August.

It is not the only lockdown that the people of Kashmir have suffered. In a conflict spanning three decades, military curfews and general strikes have broken the backbone of the people. It has punctured any hope of normalcy in this part of the country.

In an opinion piece in NYT by Malik Sajad, a graphic novelist from Kashmir showed that Kashmir has been under a number of lockdowns. Since the revocation of Kashmir’s autonomy, thousands were arrested. Phone and internet services were cut off, a privilege that people in other parts of the country were allowed under the coronavirus lockdown.

Coping months of lockdown comes at a cost. The school-going children have never seen a complete month of their class since August. Some children took up odd activities like drying vegetables, playing indoor cricket, and whistling with friends outside the windows to keep their life going on as shown by Sajad.

Journalists who have voiced the concern of people under a medical emergency were charged with draconian anti-terrorism law. Many are struggling through a mental health crisis. A report highlighted that mental health crises have led to an increase in the suicide rates in the Kashmir valley.

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