The Apparatus

Laying bare the State’s terrifying impunity in Kashmir

01 March 2013

| 1 | FLESH

A YOUNG KASHMIRI MAN is working in his father’s paddy field, bare-chested in the humid late summer, his strong body glistening with exertion. His mother and sisters work alongside, knee-deep in water. Let’s just imagine that they’re humming a tune off a nearby transistor radio.

That’s how the story, which I first heard almost exactly ten years back, begins—Soon an army jeep, closely followed by a truck, pulls up on the road next to their fields. The men inside appear to watch for some time. Then half a dozen armed soldiers step out briskly, and walk towards the family. There may have been an exchange of words, though later no one can confirm what was said.

Sanjay Kak  is a film-maker and occasional writer, whose recent work includes the documentary Jashn-e-AzadiHow we celebrate freedom (2007) about the conflict in Kashmir. He is the editor of the anthology Until My Freedom Has ComeThe New Intifada in Kashmir (Penguin India 2011).

Keywords: Kashmir Indian Army AFSPA human rights abuses Rashtriya Rifles Alleged Perpetrators IPTK APDP state impunity