Srinagar, January 05 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, senior Indian journalist and editor of TheWire.in, Siddharth Varadarajan, was left red-faced when he was reprimanded by Kashmiri intellectual, Professor Hameeda Nayeem, for speaking Indian state’s language on the Kashmir dispute.

“I am disappointed how a liberal humanist can discuss Kashmir within the statist discourse,” Hameeda Nayeem said in response to Varadarajan’s speech at a seminar in Srinagar in which he remained soft on the Indian Army and asked the Kashmiris to give up the ongoing freedom movement.

“It has become the habit of liberal humanists and other pseudo intellectuals to discuss Kashmir within the statist discourse. How can they be impartial? Wherefrom they would get their moral courage and independent thought which will advocate truth and justice in Kashmir?” Hameeda Nayeem said at the seminar, ‘The Kashmir Conundrum: Stakes and Stakeholders’, organised by a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

A number of journalists and other people participated in the seminar, at which the dialogue was initiated by Varadarajan, who described the Indian Army as one of the stakeholders responsible for addressing the Kashmir dispute.

Hameeda Nayeem said that the Indian Army was not a stakeholder but an institution that had developed deep interests in Kashmir. “We have been told it is natural that the army will be stationed here and will be sometimes involved in human rights violations. The truth is that the army is ruling Kashmir through unified headquarters even if the chief minister is supposed to be the head of that huddle,” she said, attracting applause from the audience.

“The army is an organ of the state in a democracy. However, it has undermined Indian democracy in Kashmir. We have to understand the basic genesis of the Kashmir problem. Kashmir is not a conundrum. It is a dispute with a historical context. There are also no ‘stakeholders’, as if we are dealing with a business. Such terminologies are being used to dilute the Kashmir narrative,” Professor Hameeda Nayeem said. She maintained said that militancy was an extreme reaction to India’s state violence in the territory.

“We have been never averse to talks, but there are conditions which need to be fulfilled, like release of prisoners,” she added.


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