Are cinemas necessary in Srinagar? | By Ahmad Saeed


Are cinemas necessary in Srinagar?

SINCE the very inception, Kashmiris have been fighting for their right to self-determination, and now it has been more than three years since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led regime revoked the special status of Kashmiris in 2019.

In the name of freedom, India has given a lollypop to Kashmiris by opening cinemas in the occupied territory.

In order to get the right to self-determination, many Kashmiri freedom fighters have lost their lives while fighting for their rights in Indian-Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K).

Still, they are determined to do so and are not satisfied with this fraudulent move. Historically, it is evident that Indian-based extremist governments have always tried to violate the rights of Kashmiris.

As a matter of fact, the issue was also taken up by Indian Prime Minister Nehru before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Consequently, the UN has passed many resolutions such as Resolution 47 (1948), which states that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India and Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite, and Resolution 51 (1948), which states that through this resolution, the Security Council emphasizes the need to resolve the dispute for maintaining international peace and security.

Sadly, Indian governmental authorities never took these resolutions seriously. Despite the concerns raised by Pakistan, the international community never responded positively as well.

Instead of following resolutions, Indian brutalities got worse, and this led to the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution in August 2019, ending the special status of Kashmir.

This further aggravated the situation, and Kashmiris are still opposing the move at the cost of their lives.

In the same way as ‘Burhan Wani’- a renowned freedom fighter who was martyred by Indian military forces.

The current situation has been exacerbated by Indian authorities. It is due to taking control of religious sites for Muslims, such as Sirinagar’s Eidgah.

Fraudulently, Indian authorities have given a lollypop to Kashmiris by opening cinemas in the occupied territory in the name of freedom.

Also, they are posing a threat to the religious norms of Kashmiri Muslims in one way or another.

The forced singing of a Hindu hymn at a school in Kulgam and elsewhere has been observed.

While responding to this brutality, the former Chief Minister of J&K, Mehbooba Mufti, has drawn the attention of the international community to her concern.

In response to the move, refusal from Kashmiris was seen and they were determined to not agree at any cost less than the right to self-determination.

Given these points, the hatred of the BJP regime, a party of Hindu extremists, for the Muslims in Kashmir has been badly exposed.

Whether it is the revocation of special status or the opening of cinemas, the aim behind these moves remains the same, i.e., the swallowing of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

Additionally, being a spectator of the international community raises severe concerns. Religious containment of Kashmiris is another way of curtailing their freedom, and the opening of cinemas also plays this role, up to some extent.

Despite this horrific situation, it can be hoped that the courage and determination of the freedom fighters can bring a ray of hope.

Hence, the sacrifices of young Kashmiris like “Burhan Wani” for their mother soil will bring prosperity and freedom one day, sooner or later.

—The writer is IR analyst and columnist based in Islamabad, writing on South Asia politics and counter extremism.


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