India Punishes Kashmiri Students for Cheering Pak Cricket.
The Sunday match of the Asia Cup, has unleashed a new precedence in cricket politics, as the whole of the previous Subcontinent, when cricket-love and Pakistan-love seemed to merge into one at the grand win of Pakistan over India.
The Vale of Kashmir burst into celebration:
Seventy-year old Abdul Satar, a pavement vendor in north Kashmir’s Sopore town, spent his entire day’s earnings bursting firecrackers to celebrate explosive Pakistani batsman Shahid Afridi’s “booming” performance in the Asia Cup in Dhaka on Sunday. Source
But the Kashmiri’s natural love for their brother Muslim neighbor that has stood behind it in odd times cost them another blow in India. Perhaps their cheering of the Pakistan cricket team was cutting down the Indian collective conscience; a few hundred youth inside a University campus might have become a national threat too, which led the dean to expel the students from the varsity:
A university (Meerut’s Swami Vivekanand Subharti University) in Uttar Pradesh state has asked at least 130 Kashmir students to leave the campus for ‘celebrating’ Pakistan’s victory over India in the cricket match on Sunday…
“When we clapped at the victory of Pakistan, it infuriated the local students. They went on a rampage, damaged the hall, hurled abuses at us, and threatened to beat us,” a B Tech student at SVSU, Irfan Ahmad Rather told Kashmir Reader over phone…
The varsity chairman has also (said) that the Kashmir students should be sent to Pakistan for studies,” the GNS quoted Rabia Baaji, who is coordinator of Kashmir consultancy that facilitates admission of Kashmiri students in SVSU, as having said. Source
The Foreign Office in Islamabad made a timely response, reminding the Indian not to sway thither extremist nationalism while letting go the basic human ethics:
Our hearts and educational institutions are open for all Kashmiri students who were suspended and charged with sedition for celebrating Pakistan’s victory, said spokesperson of Foreign Office Pakistan. Foreign office reacted today after the news spread out that Uttar Pradesh government has charged 67 Kashmiri students for sedition. Source
The Hindustan Times explains the seriousness of the charges:
The case of sedition was registered under section 124 (a) of the Indian Penal Code against unknown students of SVSU on Wednesday – Experts believe that those who are supporting the errant students by concealing their names can also be charged with conspiracy under section 120 (b) – The registration of case under 124(a) would block the possibility of revoking the suspension of students who have been pursuing courses in technology, law and business administration in the university. Source
It further reiterated the concerns of Omer Abdullah:
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reacted on Twitter saying that the charge was an “unacceptably harsh punishment” and said that he would talk to Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister ‘ASAP’.
‘ASAP’ here means as soon as he is free from twitter chatting. Though he did think what the students were wrong in their behavior:
‘I believe what the students did was wrong & misguided but they certainly didn’t deserve to have charges of sedition slapped against them’, he tweeted, ‘I will talk to UP CM ASAP & intervene on behalf of these misguided students to have this charge of sedition removed’, he said. Source
How the students were misguided and wrong? Perhaps Omar means loving Pakistan or cheering one’s favorite team is equivalent to being misguided; maybe it clashes with the socialist democratic principles he has been trained with in the camps of the Congress.
Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat Conference (G) Chairman, expressed true concerns and has appealed to his people to mark this Indian atrocity with due remonstration:
“India is a big country with small heart,” Geelani said adding “registering case of sedition against Kashmiri students is an act of state terrorism. I appeal to the Students of J&K to protest peacefully against it on Friday.”
Meanwhile, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front has also decided to protest against the expulsion of 67 Kashmiri students from Meerut. “JKLF chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik will lead a protest march in Lal Chowk, after Friday prayers,” a JKLF spokesperson told Kashmir Life. Source
But Kashmir is not Ukraine, and India is a US-ally, so protest and revolt as they may, for decades and decade, but the world media will fail to beam Kashmir under the spotlight of concern; nor would it aim to create in Kashmir what her people idealize, like what John Kerry said yesterday in Kiev that ‘idea was weapon that changed Ukraine’.
One can never be sure if Kashmiris are seditious or Indian conscience is on sedatives. The decision to oust the kashmiri students and charge them for sedition has once again brought the issue of Kashmir on the spot light with protests and reactions pouring in from around the world. A nation that considers itself democratic and secular is so fragile in its foundation and its narrative over Kashmir, who would have ever thought. As a matter of fact, Kashmiris have never accepted Indian rule during the past 67 years, they may be forced to survive and carry on in the matters of life, but no moment is lost when it comes to showing their affection, loyalty towards Pakistan. Indian obsession with cricket is misquoted here in this context; fear of Kashmiris expressing freedom through different means is the underlying cause.
It is imperative that the international community should respond to this utter hatred towards a community that India considers its integral part. Sport activists, human right organizations and International community must condemn this state persecution of Kashmiris. On India’s part, if it really thinks that these senseless acts of oppression can stop the kashmiris from being ‘Pakistanis’ and “Team Green’, then it should invite Pakistani team for another match and put a live cam in the prison to see who these imprisoned students support – No doubt, world will be LaLa’fied !
According to latest updates, India has retreated from its position and withdrawn the sedition case from the Kashmiri students after worldwide condemnation.