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Human Rights and Media Portrayals: Narratives of the Kashmiri Experience

Art by Klara Auerbach

OVERVIEW:

Featuring interviews from three women who testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on Human Rights in South Asia in October 2019, this episode of BPRadio seeks to understand the complex media portrayals of the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Join hosts Rachel Lim ’21 and Annika Sigfstead ’22 in parsing the complicated set of facts and perspectives that surround this story.

SPECIAL THANKS:

Angana Chatterji is an anthropologist and historian. She is the Co-chair of the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative at the University of California, Berkeley and co-founded the People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir in 2008. She testified about human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir before the United States Committee of Foreign Affairs in October 2019.

Nitasha Kaul is a Kashmiri academic, author, and poet. She is currently an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster. She testified before the United States Committee of Foreign Affairs about human rights in Jammu and Kashmir on October 22, 2019.

Prerna Singh is the Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. She is the author of How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India, for which she received the American Political Science Association’s Woodrow Wilson prize and the American Sociological Association’s Barrington Moore prize.

Aarti Tikoo Singh is a journalist for the Times of India. She testified before the United States Committee of Foreign Affairs about the state of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir in October 2019.

And special thanks to our podcast associates who worked tirelessly on this episode: Leela Berman, Jack-Thomas Doughty, Catherine Nelli, and Michael Seoane.

TRANSCRIPT:

Section: Introduction

HOST A: Our view of global politics often comes from headlines, and fades quickly. 

HOST B: For those of us who are from the United States, events in other countries often seem distant…

A: But we know, of course, that global politics often follow similar patterns…

B: Of nationalism…

A: Settler colonialism…          

B: Power…

A: Today, we focus on the case of India, the world’s largest democracy—with 1.3 billion people—and a story that’s really, at its core, about journalism.

B: We want to explore the journalism and media surrounding the Indian occupation of Kashmir. What narratives are there? What stories are true? We’d like to start this episode with a disclaimer: some of the perspectives you are about to hear may be jarring, and we at BPRadio do not support or promote any of them—but they exist as some of the many, often false, often prejudiced, ways that people discuss Kashmir. We hope by naming them we are able to better explore their credibility—

A: And lack thereof. But before getting into who said these things, and why, we need to start with some background information on Kashmir. And who better to hear it from then some of our interviewees themselves?

PRERNA SINGH: I think what Modi has done is that he has successfully molded the idea of Indian nationalism to become Hindu nationalism, such that the popular press is saying things like, Oh, this is, as you said, to use your language, the kind of resurgence or rising of this kind of Indian nationalism. But what he’s done is it’s basically it’s a, it’s a rise of Hindu nationalism, that has begun to standing for Indian nationalism, much as white nationalism has begun to stand in for American nationalism—

STUDENT: Um, I would say like my, the one thing I really want to highlight for people, don’t read and view the Kashmir issue through a lens of this person against that person. Because it’s far more complicated than that—

PRERNA SINGH: And I think the one thing that can be said consistently about Kashmir is that the voices of the Kashmiri people have consistently been thwarted—

ARTI TIKOO SINGH: I think [the] initial shutdown was, as I said, was, you know, imposed by the government. I think part of the shutdown was also because people were angry. People were disillusioned and dejected with the Government of India. There was widespread anger and there was, you know, they showed it by shutting down their their shops. 

PRERNA SINGH: And so, you know, for a place that is often described as the most beautiful place  on Earth, it has seen some of the kind of war.

A: On August 5, 2019, the Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, revoked the semi-autonomous status of the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, which it had held since the 1940s. 

B: Kashmir was granted this status under Article 370 of India’s constitution. In August, the government locked down the state, sent in troops, and detained thousands of people. Schools were shut down, offices closed, and phone and internet service were shut off. 

A: Anti-government militants have also killed and threatened civilians, and some people cast dissenters as Pakistani-backed terrorists. 

B: Jammu and Kashmir has been a disputed territory since India and Pakistan split in 1947, and the region has seen unrest, rebellion, and warfare for decades. 

A: There are many sides to the conflict in Kashmir, and Kashmiri voices often get lost in the tug-of-war between India and Pakistan. 

B: Many media representations on Kashmir don’t always tell the full story. So we wanted to explore competing narratives and understand how these representations shape our understanding of Kashmir.  

A: One might wonder—what does this actually have to do with Brown University? 

Section: Aarti Tikoo Singh and beginning of Kashmiri Self-determination

A: Of course, we aren’t here to understand all the political and historical dynamics involving Kashmir—

B: That could be a whole podcast series itself—

A: But we are attempting to really reckon with the idea of how we can understand Kashmir. The different views, frameworks, paradigms, and narratives surrounding the area. We have the people who view this as a battle between Pakistan and India, those who focus on the religious components, those who advocate for Kashmiri liberation…

B: And, of course, journalism plays a huge role in that.

A: It is critical to consider this question: what does it mean to be a journalist presenting the story of Kashmir and in what ways is that politicized?

B: We want you to keep this question in mind as we listen to this next interview…

AARTI TIKOO SINGH: “Because we are becoming partisan in how we present reality, we are ideologically driven to an extent where we feel that we have no responsibility towards truth. And I feel, I who was trained in old school journalism who I was trained in this Walter Cronkite philosophy, have a responsibility towards not just my profession, but towards my reader as well. And I feel that you all are my readers.”

A: That’s Aarti Tikoo Singh, a journalist. In October she testified in front of Congress for the Congressional Hearing on Human Rights in South Asia. She spoke of her experiences visiting Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.

AARTI TIKOO SINGH: My name is Aarti Singh. I’m a journalist based in New Delhi. I’ve been in the field for almost two decades, I have worked on Kashmir for almost two decades. I was born and brought up in Kashmir. But then my family along with their community was displaced in 1990 when Islamist insurgency broke out in Kashmir Valley, which is part of Jammu and Kashmir state, which exceeded with India in 1947. But in 1990, there was a Pakistan backed insurgency Islamist insurgency, which broke out and that targeted minorities of Kashmir. Kashmiri Hindus were a minority community in Kashmir. And we were driven out in 1990. And I and my family and the rest of the community grew up, I mean, not my family, I grew up in destitution as a refugee in my own country, in a region called Jammu, which is part of the state but away from Kashmir. It is separate by almost 300 kilometers. I studied in Jammu, I worked in JNK. As a journalist, I moved to US. I went to Columbia University and did a master’s in international affairs from Columbia and went back to India and had been working as an editor with India’s largest English newspaper called Times of India.

A: In that clip we heard at the beginning, she positions herself as ideologically and politically neutral. A Cronkite journalist. As we were doing our research, though, it became harder and harder for us to see her that way.

B:  Tikoo Singh said one thing we think we can all agree on:

TIKOO SINGH: The truth is that Kashmir is far more complex and far more, I would say, complicated than it is being presented at the moment. On August 5, the Government of India revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Now, to even understand what it means, you need to understand what Jammu and Kashmir was to begin with. Why do we say revocation of special status? What is its history? But most of the reporters that you have read, whatever you have seen on television, it sort of overlooks the 72 year old history of Kashmir. It overlooks the fact that Kashmir is not a normal place.

B: It is essential to understand the history of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

A: Well, yeah, that’s one of the points of this podcast! But I feel like there was more that you wanted to say…

B: Well, this is what she says after that:

AARTI TIKOO SINGH: “It is a place that has been afflicted with insurgency, with Islamist insurgency for the last 30 years.”

B: It’s true that violent insurgency has existed for about the last 30 years. But, this insurgency is for Kashmiri self-determination. To call it Islamist is to paint the intricacies of the political motives at play with an Islamophobic-tinged paintbrush, playing into stereotypes about Islamic terrorism.

A: So I guess one thing to think about as we continue to listen to this audio is what actually makes Kashmir so controversial. Is it the fight for self-determination? Or is it years of military control and violence?

B: These questions represent just a few of the reasons it is so difficult to parse through any writing on Kashmir. But, this isn’t the first time the word “Islamist” has been thrown around when talking about Kashmir. To understand this phenomenon, we must focus on one interaction at the same Congressional hearing Tikoo Singh was at, where Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar accused Aarti Tikoo Singh of poor journalism—not telling the whole story.

(AUDIO FROM CONGRESSIONAL HEARING OF ILHAN OMAR)

B: On Twitter, defenders of Tikoo Singh lashed out, spreading egregious lies alleging that Representative Omar had married her brother and alleging that she was a Pakistani agent. Over and over again, and in our interview, Omar was referred to as an Islamist for…well, for being Muslim and advocating for Kashmir. Of course, Twitter battles are messy things and Tikoo Singh did not endorse all of these comments—though she did re-blog some—but this can serve as a reminder that Islamophobia quickly creeps into conversations about Kashmir, both in the US and India. 

A: So, how can we navigate this? How do we talk about and report on these highly politically charged issues? We don’t have all the answers, but we did not make the decision to include this interview with Tikoo Singh lightly. In our interview, Tikoo Singh touched on many topics—Islam, the importance of history, India’s role in Kashmir—and she generally holds a positive view of the abrogation of Article 370.

B: She also discussed the notion of the Leftist-Islamist Nexus and repeatedly alleged that terrorism in Kashmir was Pakistani-backed, a trope playing into unsubstantiated fears of “Islamic terrorism”.

A: We want to dive into her views precisely so we can understand the precarious and powerful role of a journalist in understanding Kashmir—how one can shape public discourse and inspire Twitter battles.  

A: Tikoo Singh touched on India’s presence in Kashmir, both before and after the abrogation of Article 370 in early August.

B: She kept coming back to this notion of terrorism in Kashmir, and the stronghold she believed so-called terrorist groups had on Kashmir.

A: I think what’s interesting is to see how this view of a so-called terrorist stronghold influenced her understandings of the lockdown in Kashmir:

AARTI TIKOO SINGH: The only thing that you’ve been reading in the mainstream is that, you know, India has imposed a lockdown and crushed me. It is true that there was a loud lockdown in Kashmir in the first two weeks imposed by the Government of India, but that lockdown instantly transformed into lockdown imposed by militants. The lockdown that you are seeing today has been imposed by terror groups, because they issued posters asking people not to resume their normal activity, not to go to their day to day, you know, chores. A 65 year old Kashmiri Muslim shopkeeper was shot dead because he defied the militant dictats and he went to open his shop. A family of four were shot at, again, Kashmiri Muslims, because they wanted to sell apples in the apple market. So this side of the story you will not read. The ethical way of, you know, reporters are presenting today is to present all sides to present. All reality, all complexities, all nuances, and all gray areas of a landscape.

B: Let’s take a step back and fact-check this.

A: In our research, it was hard to find verification of what was causing the lockdown in Kashmir. Certainly, there has been some militancy, but there is also increased militarization and fear because of it. It’s hard to find information about Kashmir during the time after the abrogation of article 370 because of the media and communication blackout, in which people could not use phones or access the internet, making it hard to reach out and tell people what was going on.

B: Tikoo Singh’s view of the media and communication blackout is also steeped in an understanding of Kashmir as a violent place.

AARTI TIKOO SINGH: But I found that as a journalist, I made that trade off by saying that there is no violence in the streets, nobody has died. And this sort of does not even register in any of the reports that you have to see that this is a violent place. You cannot apply normative standards to a place which has seen massive violence. This is not to justify communication blockade, but one must, you know, look at any of these problems from the perspective of what is at stake: is right to life less important than right to communication? So that’s how you should frame this question.

A: This is to say, her view is that the blackout was problematic, but might have been worth it if it decreased violence.

B: But did it?

A: We can’t be sure.

A: It’s true that violence exists in Kashmir, and it’s true that the violence in people’s daily lives has often been overlooked in media portrayals.

B: But where is this violence coming from? Tikoo Singh ascribes to the view espoused by the Indian government:

AARTI TIKOO SINGH: It’s because Pakistan has refused to shut down terror camps. Refused to used terror as a policy, as a strategy in Kashmir. So, with that violent background in mind, any government would assume or would anticipate that there will be violence because they have taken a position or taken a decision with which many people in the valley, for example, were unhappy with, you know. The mainstream politicians who are not happy with it. The the locals are not happy with it. That’s why they’re gone to the Supreme Court. So the government clearly did something, which I would say, we don’t know we got I can’t really say whether the majority is against it, whether a minority is against it. I don’t have a scientific way to make that assessment. But clearly, a large number of people were unhappy with that decision and the government of India felt that given Pakistan’s role in Kashmir and given Pakistan’s intrusion and their infiltration of militants in Kashmir, this, this situation will, you know, go out of hand and it will snowball into a major violent crisis for India. If they do, do they do not shut it down or if they do not shut down the communication, because in the past, the communication has been used to mobilize violence.

B: Wow, that’s a heavy allegation.

A: Yeah, in a way it removes the power and agency of Kashmiris to do anything, claiming that all movement is Pakistani-backed—which has never been proven.

B: And alleging that violence is caused by Pakistan rather than India, which has been documented by the Human Rights Watch as causing high levels of human rights abuse, from mass killings to disappearances to torture to rape to suppression of political action and speech.

A: There are just so many things going on in journalism about Kashmir: You have to choose which violence you choose to focus on, which era you decide to begin the Kashmiri story at, Pakistan and India and their role, if at all. 

B: And get this—there’s not only those general distinctions in how to approach the issue. There’s also the very particular legalistic lenses you use. Tikoo Singh refers to Article 35A:

AARTI TIKOO SINGH:  Article 35A pertain to the permanent residency laws of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the permanent residency laws of Jammu and Kashmir, a woman who is married to a person who does not belong to Jammu and Kashmir state till 2002 actually got disqualified as a state subject, because she was not seen as an equal to a man in German, which made state because if a man married a non, you know, non JNK citizen or an outsider simply, he his wife could become a citizen engine k automatically just by the, you know, because of marriage, but a woman, on the other hand would get disqualified. And that practice was rendered irrelevant in 2002 when the judiciary intervened and said that no, this is unfair to women. It can be you know, it is not, there is no gender equality here is gender discriminatory. So 2002 The court said no women will not get disqualified as state subjects or you know, citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. However, the code didn’t didn’t do anything about the fact that women stay married, you know, met women who are married, for example, I’m married to a non state subject. But my children, I could not pass on my inheritance my property to my children. That was the law, as of you know, August 5 2019, that anyone who any woman who was married to an outsider could not pass on any inheritance rights to her children. So this is an liberal practice. This is gender discrimination, this is highly regressive.

A: Huh. That’s not something you hear about that often in the news.

B: I think it shows another lens with which to think about this: a legal lens. Of course, these legal lens sort of indicates that. Tikoo Singh also serves as somebody who has experience talking to people on the ground, and we don’t want to discount that. One thing she said particularly stuck in our mind: she talked about the evolution of self-determination. When India was being decolonized, Jammu and Kashmir was a princely state, majority Muslim but run by a Hindu, and was supposed to be given a Plebescite to choose which nation it was going to belong to.

AARTI TIKOO SINGH: Look so, if you you know, first of all a referendum – the plebiscite, which was promised to Jammu and Kashmir, now talking about facts, that was promised it had only two options India and Pakistan. There was no option of Azadi. So, Azadi literally addition its political slogan, which has been highlighted especially after September 11. Pre-September 11 people who were, you know, fighting for separatism in Kashmir they fought for not separatism not just separatism from India, but accession with Pakistan. But, if you if you are going to add, say independence, and it’s a hypothetical, nobody will, would would add that because the moment you say independence, there will be other political groups. And as I said, Jammu and Kashmir is a diverse you know, It’s almost a microcosm of, you know, India, it’s as diverse as the rest of the country’s Jammu and Jasmir state was like the [inaudible] region is Buddhist dominated Jammu is Hindu, Dogra, you know dominated. Then Kashmir was Muslim majority. The moment you say independence, the[inaudible] are going to say, How did you decide for us Kashmiri Hindus who were driven out of Kashmir in 1990, there when I say how do you how can you give independent Can you put independence on the table as an option? Because we want to say that we want our own piece of land our own, you know, slice of Kashmir, because we are the indigenous minority. So the problem with the option of independence is that if any state will have the end, allowed allow other options to be on the table and I any government can, you know, feel responsible enough to do that. Having said that, if independence was put on the table, I would say, India and Pakistan, I would say Kashmiri Muslims, only Kashmiri Muslims. The majority would go with independence

A: So, for Aarti Tikoo Singh, independence seems messy and unthinkable.

B: But what about those people for whom independence and self-determination is the “lens” with which they see Kashmir?

Section 3: Kashmiri self-determination 

A: We were able to interview two of the other people who spoke to the Congressional Subcommittee on Human Rights in South Asia. Nitasha Kaul and Angana Chatterji. 

B: Kaul is a Kashmiri scholar,  author, and academic from London.

A: Angana Chatterji is a feminist historian who co-founded the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir. 

B: Both told a vastly different story than Tikoo Singh.

A: The narrative they told was still one of violence, but not necessarily war, and not war between India and Pakistan. 

B: They instead focused on the violence by the Indian government in Kashmir, especially gender-based violence and the constant trauma caused by living under occupation in Kashmir. 

A: Kaul’s view on American journalism in Kashmir, especially in the last year, was very positive—journalism had the ability to hold the Indian government accountable. 

KAUL: Well, I think American media is, uh, is diverse, and certainly there are sections of the American media that has done a very good job of reporting the situation as it has been developing over the last few months and especially since the fifth of August 2019. From New York Times, to Washington Post, to New Yorker and others who have done really good reporters actually. So and this is also one reason why much of American media that reports politically on the situation in Kashmir is seen as problematic within the Indian right wing nationalist discourse and it’s seen as something that’s, the human rights critique, and the political problem of Kashmir is seen as something that’s part of a Western agenda within the Indian Hindu nationalist story, within the Hindu nationalist Indian sphere.

B: Here, we see another “us and them” narrative emerge. Not one of “Pakistan vs India”, but of the “West vs India”. 

A: Within these “versus” narratives, language often becomes a key point of argument. Kaul explains:

KAUL: For Kashmiris, they say that it is an occupation, but the UN terminology is that it is Indian administration. So, likewise there would be people who would say it is an annexation, but certainly you know, it is whichever perspective one adopts the fundamental fact is that the constitution was changed in a manner that does not, that does not sit at ease with any entity that calls itself a democracy—

B: Much of the conversation surrounding Kashmir, especially in India, is whether the abrogation of article 370 is constitutional

A: Angana Chatterji spoke to this idea—

CHATTERJI: Article 370 therefore could be understood as the product of the state of Jammu and Kashmir negotiating its terms of membership, with the Union of India, representing the solemn compact between the two. Neither the central government of India nor the government of Jammu and Kashmir could amend or terminate article 370 unilaterally, the two parties must come to a consensus following the terms provided in the article itself. However, not long after the adoption of the Constitution, the Government of India began qualifying the protections in Article 370, all of which extended forces juggling Kashmir through the central government’s authority to dismiss elected state governments and appropriate the latter’s legislative powers. Between 1954 and 1994, for example, a total of 47 presidential orders under Article 370 applied to 60 and 395 articles the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. The first presidential order of 1954 extended this Indian legislations ability to enact laws of all subjects included in the Union. On and on subsequent presidential orders extended the arm of most laws of the Indian Republic to Jammu and Kashmir leaving within codes virtually no central government central Indian institution that did not extend to Kashmir, especially significant witnesses, presidential orders of 1964 and 65, in which articles of the Indian constitution were extended to Jammu and Kashmir, that allowed the central government dismiss state governments replace governors with new ones collected by [] and take over state legislative powers. So as you can see its authority, the authority of Article 370 had already been eroded apart. So but however each represented a line in the sand it represented that the Kashmir issue has not been resolved and this article in the Indian constitution was the placeholder acknowledging that the resolution was yet to take place, in arbitrarily dismissing nullifying 370. Mr. Modi acted, Mr. Modi’s government acted unconstitutionally, because they did so without the consent, without the consent of those that govern which are the subjects of Jammu and Kashmir.

B: We begin to see, through Chatterji and Kaul’s interviews, a much more complicated history of Kashmir. One that directly focuses, rather than distracts from, the treatment of Kashmiris by the Indian government both before and after August 2019. 

A: Both Kaul and Chatterji addressed the claim that terrorism—or the threat thereof—was the backbone of the Indian government’s decisions. On the topic of the communications blackout, and whether it was a response to terrorism, Chatterji stated:

CHATTERJI: What it does is it actually contains the capacity of countries to talk to each other unless the stance of the Government of India is that every Kashmiri is a terrorist, which would be highly problematic and dangerous. 

A: Here, we see why it is extremely unjust for journalism to dabble in generalizations, focusing on the few people who have committed terrorist acts as opposed to the many who simply live their lives in Jammu and Kashmir. 

B: We wanted to conclude this episode by focusing on these lived experiences—the voices that are often missing from these conversations: what it’s actually like to be in Kashmir. 

A: Notably, it was much harder to find somebody to speak to whose family was Kashmiri Muslim and had grown up in Kashmir under Indian occupation.

B: Somebody we spoke to, who wanted to remain anonymous and not be recorded, described a number of components of lived experience in Kashmir—

A: Constant surveillance.

B: Not having the freedom to speak your mind.

A: Seeing people constantly describe Kashmir as an “Islam issue.”

B: Or a Pakistan vs. India issue

A: He describes a process in which each generation living in Kashmir develops a sense of memory, from witnessing violence and military abuse, that India has “gone mad.”

B: And how local newspapers often struggled to report on violence because of repression and economic difficulties.

A: He introduced us to a coalition which reports on violence in Kashmir, the Jammu Kashmir Coalition for Civil Society.

B: In a report, they recently said: “Among the 43 civilians killed in the first half of 2019, 14 were killed by Indian armed forces and police, 12 were killed by unidentified gunmen, 8 civilians died after falling victim of cross line of control shelling in the border areas of the region of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 5 civilians were killed by suspected militants, 3 died due to explosion while the agency responsible for the killing of 2 civilians remains unknown – as both police and militants blamed each other for these two killings.”

B: Kashmiris do live under violence, in the most militarized region of the world: 738,000 military troops are deployed there.

A: 1 soldier for every 11 citizens in Kashmir.

B: This is all to say that while international reporting on Kashmir spiked during the communication blackout after the abrogation of Article 370, violence, tension, and Indian militarization existed in Kashmir long before that.

A: The person who talked to us said that the international media response was not anticipated. In earlier years, increases in violence often made little fanfare in the international community. Still, with all this new reporting, he wondered:

B: What changes on the ground?

A: How can journalism help expand the ways we talk about this? To historicize it? To put it into a context of Kashmiri agency?

B: I guess one way is to go back to what Aarti Tikoo Singh said—to develop a rich history. WE can’t do all of that in this podcast, but we’ll begin: Kashmir’s history often begins in 1947—

A: But at a recent teach-in hosted by Brown’s Kashmir Solidarity Movement, a student and community member organization, they described how the history of Kashmir did not just begin with the creation of the Indian nation. The suggestion that Kashmir’s history began in 1947 defines Kashmir solely by its relationship to India.

A: In the 1930s there was a movement for Azaddi—which is a word for Kashmiri self-determination—spearheaded by popular movement and leader Sheik Abdullah.

B: During decolonization, Kashmir was offered the chance of a plebiscite to choose between India and Pakistan. Due to an uprising, the prince of Kashmir requested Indian support. 

B: By the time that the princely state was signed over to India in 1947 in the Articles of Accession, three rights were signed over: defense, external affairs, and communications. It was promised that Kashmir would get to create its own constitution.

B: But after battles with Pakistan and changing political tides in India, the Indira-Sheikh accords were signed in 1975, giving more operating control to India.

A: And leaving many Kashmiris frustrated with their diminishing political power.

B: Peaceful democracy was established in Kashmir.

A: But only pro-India parties were allowed to pariticipate, building up to the 1987 elections, where, despite popular sentiment for the anti-India Muslim United Front (MUF), a pro-India party won. The MUF chose to contest the 1987 election. This situation escalated violence, with more than 300,000 soldiers arriving in the 1990s. In the 2005 earthquake, unmarked mass graves were unearthed by humanitarian workers, suggesting that the scale of violence was far more than had previously been thought.

B: Wow. A lot gets hidden and a lot gets left out…

A: I don’t know how to make sense of all this history. How do we sort out a narrative of Kashmir?

B: Maybe there isn’t a single narrative, but what’s important is to recognize the power that different viewpoints have.

A: I guess, if anything, that we’ve shown how complicated it really is—

B: How it often gets generalized into prejudice, how Kashmiri agency often gets removed—

A: And perhaps recognizing this is the first step to fighting against it.

This has been an episode of BPRadio. 

We would like to thank our distinguished guests, Aarti Tikoo Singh, Angana Chatterji, and Nitasha Kaul and those who shared their first hand experiences with us. 

Special thanks to the podcast associates who made this episode possible: Leela Berman, Michael Seoane, Katherine Nelli, and Jack Thomas-Doughty.

About the Author

Emily Skahill '21 is a Senior Staff Writer for the US Section of the Brown Political Review. Emily can be reached at emily_skahill@brown.edu

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