Young Kashmiri women know the public space is theirs to keep and rightly so. When they raise their middle finger at the occupation, their heads are held high in knowing that standing up to oppression in all forms of expression does not diminish their dignity. It is clear that these women do not need to be called from the Masjid pulpits, but that they have arrived of their own accord. And they have come to stay.
Author: Ather Zia
Ather Zia is the editor oF Kashmir Lit (http://www.kashmirlit.org/) magazine.
On January 21, 2017, early morning an everyday Kashmiri feminist died quietly in her sleep [this “her” is a typo, but I prefer to leave it here; for if anything he always felt it was an honor to be a woman] after few bedridden years, which he absolutely hated. This was also the first ever, I had seen my maternal grandfather Gulam Ahmed Lone, who I call Daddy like everyone else in the family, cower before life a little. Even asking the universe to let him go rather than for wellness. He thought he had lived it all, and ended if not the best but still a little better.
we will be in the Muslim registry
our faces will be pixelized
each finger, and
the opposable thumb
that all homo-sapiens
possibly evolved together,
will be memorized
While walking the streets of Kashmir even on a usual day but especially in the month of Ramazan, you can’t help but juxtapose two stark Indian presences. One is that of the Indian soldiers patrolling or bunker bound – brandishing their guns, poised and ready. Second is the iconic face of the Indian panhandler – dusty, beseeching, and tired. The military a symbol of India’s physical and ruthless prowess while the panhandler, a manifestation of a deep-set, endemic poverty of its viscera. India’s poorest of the poor, the panhandlers manifest a specific kind, almost laudable type of professionalism, which the Indian military has failed at instituting and which should be the wont of any occupying force.
Important recipe for beating Facebook censorship algorithm on Kashmir
i take mothers to all the morgues
in the city, and beyond
wherever they can sift for bones
if any remain
there are no maps