Published: 11th August 2019
Rubbing salt in our wounds: Kashmiri students reject Eid lunch invite from liason officer, say govt can't 'buy consent'
The student claim the lunch is just an attempt to project a false image that the Kashmiri students are happy with the abrogation of Sec 370
Jammu & Kashmiri students from the Aligarh Muslim University have turned down a lunch invitation extended to them by a representative of the government to celebrate Eid. The students called the invitation an attempt to 'buy their consent and present a humane face of the brutal state before the world'.
The Registrar of AMU had informed the students of Jammu and Kashmir that Sanjay Pandit, liason officer, Government of India had invited them for lunch on the day of eid at the University Guest House. According to the student's statement, they believe that the Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik had santioned Rs 1 lakh to each of the designated liason officers to organise eid festivities for students from the state who are studying in other states.
However, the students find this move an attempt to rub salt on their wounds, "We the students, express our dismay on the invitation that has political connotation and is aimed to rub salt on our wounds. We take this inivitation as an opportunity to reject Delhi's authoritarianism and drama played in the Indian parliament." The students in their letter also pointed out that though Delhi 'has a history of broken promises' , the revocation of article 310 was a 'daylight robbery of people's rights'. The students also pointed out that the clampdown of the state, barring of communication services and 'blanket ban' on dissent was affecting the students greatly, "The Governor has arrested over 800 political workers, they've imprisoned lawyers, professors, traders and students in the guise of public order." The students said there was currently an 'emergency situation and a war cry at the borders'.
"The Universities and colleges have been turned into camps for para-military troops and schools have been closed for indefinite time. No means to communicate with our parents back home have been left. We have been rendered to dark ages in the 21st century," the students said in their response to the invitation. They said that the scrapping of the article was to 'rob the Kshmirirs of their culture, history and religion. "
"We strongly believe that an invitation for the lunch on Eid is to rub salt on our wounds and to present a humane face of the brutal state before the world. This is an attempt to mislead the international community and people in India about the ground situation in Kashmir. The Governor of the state has no sympathies for us and the sanction of Rs 1 lakh and an Eid invitation is to buy our consent for the undemocratic means adopted by the Indian Government.," the students wrote. They added that their acceptance of the invitation would be an insult to their families back in Kashmir, " The acceptance of the invitation would be an insult to our courage of our parents who are surviving the massive militarization and absolute clampdown in J & K.."
The students also said that this sort of invitation was never extended to them in the past, "I've studied here for six years and this has never happened before. Which is why we know that this is just an attempt to project that peace and normalcy has returned to the Valley which is completely untrue." They think that the lunch is just an opportunity to shoot pictures and videos showing Kashmiri students as happy, "They want to make it seem like we are happy with the decision but what we are is heartbroken. We haven't spoke to our families in seven days. Our families are caged in their houses and we have nothing to celebrate, " a student whose hometown is Baramulla.
"We have also been speaking to students from other universities like Jamia and UoH who have recieved similar invitations and they have also decided not to attend them," he added. Since they've released their statement, the administration has allegedly tried to persuade some students to accept, "But none of us agreed. We have unanimously decided to reject this invitation," he said.