Published: 05th August 2019
#RedForKashmir: Here's why netizens across the world are changing their profile picture to a red dot
Ahead of the scrapping of the Article 370, that allowed special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the region has been facing an internet blackout. Also, more troops are deployed there
Red, the blood of angry men!
Black, the dark of ages past!
Red, a world about to dawn!
Black, the night that ends at last!
Red I feel my soul on fire!
Red, the color of desire!
— Les Miserables
Two months ago, many social media users all over the world changed their profile pictures to a blue dot, in solidarity with the people of Sudan, who were oppressed by their new military government headed by Lt General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. But today, the colour of several profile pictures across the bottomless realm of social media is red. This is neither for communism nor for bloodshed, but to express solidarity to the people of Kashmir, especially in the current sociopolitical scenario.
What exactly is happening in Kashmir?
On Monday, the government scrapped Article 370, which allowed special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Now, Jammu and Kashmir will be a Union Territory with legislature and Ladakh will be another Union Territory. Prior to this, 35,000 extra troops were deployed in parts of the state, in addition to the 500,000 troops, those were already there.
There is also an internet and communication blockade. The elected representatives from the region were also kept under house arrest. Schools and colleges were closed and the pilgrims and tourists were forced to leave the region.
What does the red dot and #RedForKashmir signify?
The trend began when a Facebook page called Stand With Kashmir changed their display picture to a red dot and asked the fellow netizens to do so. "We are going #RedForKashmir to bring global attention to the region. As Kashmir goes under communication blackout, it becomes your duty to amplify their voices," its post said. "Red is the colour of our blood. Red is the colour of our history. Red is all of us," it reads.
This soon went viral. "We have resisted the brutal Indian military occupation, all our lives, with blood. All military & psychological operations have experimented on us, yet our resolve to fight for our freedom stands tall & unflinching. #RedForKashmir," wrote a Twitter user.