Resist to Exist

Open wounds

19 January 2020

This fourth and final chapter of “Resist to Exist”—a Caravan Originals video series on Kashmir—examines the lack of trust that has seeped into public-health spaces in Kashmir. “Some doctors told me they told patients to give them fake names, so that they couldn’t be surveilled ... or they would discharge patients sooner,” Saiba Varma, a medical anthropologist, said. “So, the hospital became a kind of surveillance space as well. Rather than an antidote to war, it became a theatre of war.” 

Since 5 August, Jammu and Kashmir has been under an indefinite lockdown. The Indian state abrogated Kashmir’s special status by reading down Article 370 of the Constitution. It cut off all modes of telecommunication from the region, significantly increased the military presence and placed thousands, including Kashmir’s pro-India politicians, under arrest. According to a report by the human-rights organisation Amnesty International, the communication blackout in Kashmir derailed health services in the region. The internet suspension in Kashmir became the longest in a democracy on 16 December, according to the digital-rights group Access Now. Internet services largely remain suspended in Kashmir, and its residents continue to live in conditions of fear, oppression and uncertainty.

Keywords: Kashmir Valley kashmiri resistance human rights internet shutdown Article 370