Published:  12:27 AM, 20 September 2019

Searching 'Kashmiri Girls' on Google in the wake of a constitutional crisis

Searching 'Kashmiri Girls' on Google in the wake of a constitutional crisis

Both Kashmir and Kashmiris have been going through a tough time in the valley of both India and Pakistan since 1947. But, the issue regarding the article 370 abrogation from the constitution of India has recently made Kashmir geographically vulnerable and their people are repressed almost every day.

This situation has become so ferociously disputed in India, moreover, this crucial time period revealed a certain type of people last month who came in the front through a Google search naming  'Kashmiri girls'.

Before the abrogation of article 370, people of India had a restriction of marrying Kashmiri girls and buying land over there, as the state of Jammu and Kashmir did not allow it, although it was inside the Indian border. Some people find Kashmir as beautiful as a blooming flower; also, they predict that Kashmiri apples are sweet.

Possibility says, their expectation goes high and they dream, the Kashmiri girls might be beautiful as well. In this circumstance, when the restriction was withdrawn last month, a large number of people searched Kashmiri girls writing different keywords in Google.

Through a statistics by Google, 'India Times' published a report recently where it came out that men in Kerala have topped the list for searching "Kashmiri girls", followed by Himachal Pradesh.

Delhi was at the top for searching "marry Kashmiri girl", followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. People of Jharkhand searched mainly, "buy land in Kashmir", followed by Delhi and Haryana. The highest number of searches are from Haryana were looking for "how to buy land in Kashmir", followed by Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

This searching apexed just after the Home Minister Amit Shah's announcement of the decision to revoke special status granted to Kashmiris. This was the scenario of a day only. Think about the other days! This lust for Kashmiri girls counts the mentality of those people who are still roaming across Indian Google.

Kashmiris are unable to access the internet smoothly nowadays. Although, it has in some places, but the speed is so weak. They're not seeing what other people are thinking, writing and commenting about their girls. If they could see this, I don't know how they would react. Probably they would become hopeless, because in their distress, at the same time, some people from the same country are dreaming of using them physically. This is nothing but sickness and lust.

While many girls and women are being tortured and raped, at this crucial time, how people can think about that way! I still can't find the answer how can soldiers rape uninvolved women in the war or in a critical time like this? Besides their fighting against the enemy, it has become a rule to rape women in different wars. One example can be given if I pick out what happened by the Pakistani Army in the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971.

Now, it is happening in Kashmir by the Indian Army almost in the same way. Recently, after talking to the victims, Aliya Nazki from BBC Urdu reports that more than 30 women in the Kashmiri villages of Kunan and Poshpora were raped by Indian soldiers in the 1990s who are still fighting for justice.

One of the main purposes of this recent operation in Kashmir was to show the power of Indian rule in Kashmir. Like earlier ways, they started this so-called "cordon and search", which is locally called "crackdowns". This is still going on in the Valley of Kashmir as their security protocol. I become sick of thinking about how police can misbehave with an innocent woman when she goes to the police station for assistance! In this consideration, searching in Google for "Kashmiri girls" is nothing but stupidity.

The Indian government has been running another crackdown in the title, "Communication Black Out", where the life of Kashmiri people has been so difficult. Although, the authority is demanding that it has been lifted and communication has been normal now, however, the situation does not say so. As the mobile network, telephone and internet have been restricted, so it has been really difficult to communicate with other Kashmiris who are living outside the state.

BBC picked out an example recently from the area. A father wanted to talk to his daughter who lives in Delhi. She was supposed to get a birthday wish from her father. While she was waiting for that, suddenly the line was cut, although her father was talking to her from a police station.

Other victims reported that their calls were also cut before the fixed one minute and there were huge lines in different police stations. When the situation is like this, a Google search for "Kashmiri girls" makes the situation more irritating.

Girls are suffering more regarding their outside journey, even if it is for schools, colleges, and universities. Arundhati Roy is also worried about the safety of the minority in India. She expects the torture on Muslims might start soon in a new dimension. And, in this circumstance, searching Kashmiri girls on Google is a mental sickness.

Although, marrying Kashmiri girls is not an issue to be criticized, but when it comes to an inhumane situation like this, it becomes a matter of insulting the whole community, especially Kashmiri girls.

However, to monitor this situation, a group of politicians from different opposition parties led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi intended to visit Kashmir last month to meet the local leaders. They couldn't make it happen as they were not allowed to step out of Srinagar airport and was sent back an hour after landing in the city.

Furthermore, the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "Today is World Humanitarian Day. Human rights have been totally violated in Kashmir. Let us pray for human rights and peace in Kashmir."

On the other hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked on this issue at a program of Independence Celebration in New Delhi last month. Listening to his speech what I've found is, he still believes that this crisis is not about its territory.

His insincere comment has made me think that he going to announce that it as a Hindu victory over Islam. However, his statement somehow appears like, it is a demonstration of Hindu power on the Muslim-majority state, in my opinion. When the statement from the Prime Minister comes in this manner, it is really difficult to find a solution in Kashmir and especially about their girls.

 Either it is Rahul or Modi in power; they should assure the safety of both men and women in Kashmir, especially about the women as they're running after a safe place to live at the end of the day. By the way, let me conclude it quoting what Bacha Khan said, "If you want to know how civilized a culture is, look at how they treat its women."

The writer was a Fulbright TEA Fellow, Fall 2018, Montana State University, USA. He writes on contemporary issues, education, and literature.

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