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Whenever and wherever there is a discussion on Kashmir, it is almost impossible that the discussants will fail to utter the two golden terms (sometimes confused as synonyms) holding the distinction of being conjoined to the Kashmir issue – ‘Self-determination’ and ‘Secession’. As ordinary as these two terms may seem, the reality remains that these are one of the most contentious concepts under international law, both in theory and practice. So what exactly does right to self-determination and secession under international law mean? And how are these relevant to the problem of Kashmir? In order to understand these concepts and

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The walls of a Jawaharlal Nehru University building filled with graffiti of student political groups. Photograph by Tanushree Bhasin.   It all began with a bunch of slogans. A ‘shout in the street’ ceases to be apolitical when faced with forceful condemnation. In the case of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi, this forceful condemnation was executed by the state authorities and whetted through a vicious social media campaign. The University, was left to defend itself against the antagonized masses. A struggle to defend its physical space, its culture of discussion, its belief in the importance of a

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Legions of cultural programmmes are organized every year in which people perform and participate with much enthusiasm. Other than their aesthetic value, such programmes also have elements of entertainment, which make them acceptable to audiences in most of the cases. “The country without a post Office,” a cultural programme organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru University students, may be counted as representing that anomaly which goes contrary to the mentioned public response. This programme organised in JNU did not go down well with the pseudo-Hindu nationalists. In turn, the hyper Indian media got a ready made issue. The problem with people

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Note by the author: End number of articles was written in recent days ranging from journalists to activists, professors to research scholars in India and abroad on the issue of sedition case against a few students of Jawaharlal Nehru University. This little piece intends to contextualize the politics of JNU vis-à-vis Kashmir University In solidarity with the arrested students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, students protest in the Kashmir University. Photograph by Umar Mehraj. In the backdrop of the recent happenings in the intellectual hothouse of India— Jawaharlal Nehru University, it is quite important to understand that the JNU and Kashmir

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Speaking at the Kashmir Peace Conference 2015, held in New York on 7 December, human rights activist, Khurram Parvez, convenor of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society,  focused on the context in which human rights abuses in the state of Jammu and Kashmir were perceived. ‘You cannot understand human rights if you don’t understand the context. Human rights abuses are taking place all around the world, in many places, including in India,’ he stated. ‘But the difference is these are happening because of aberrations, deficiencies in governance, and because people transgress the law. What is happening in Kashmir is

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An old reality is Nitish Kumar’s snapping of over one and half decade old ties with BJP. He knows and the world knows, this happened because of Narendra Modi’s enduring interest in core rightist ideology unlike his octogenarian predecessor in looking back mode, L K Advani. Nitish was comfortable with Advani, before and after the later’s heartily endorsement as Jinnah as ‘secular’. Although in collective reckoning, Jinnah was not a secular leader – and Advani too didn’t loose his faith in aggressive Hindutva, but the politics is not to track on a linear path. Thus in nostalgia of better handled

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After the division of the sub-continent and emergence of two new states –  India and Pakistan, the subsequent circumstances not only imprinted tales of woes in the hearts of people on either sides but gave birth to some new geopolitical issues in South Asia. The most prominent among all is Kashmir issue, which is yet to be resolved after so many dialogues, deliberations and no doubt a hell of sacrifices of indigenous Kashmiri men, women, and children. Extravagance of both Pakistan and India without demilitarization in Jammu Kashmir will never bring an ultimate solution of the said issue. Both the

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Abul Ala Maududi, founder of Jama’at-e-Islami Long time ago, when I was almost unaware of the Jama’at-e-Islami, I was unconsciously associated with the Barelvi school of thought. I would often visit the shrines of revered saints and wake up all night in worship, deemed as an important part of Barelvism. It was not the devotion that drove me towards these khankahs but rather some worldly gains that I thought were achievable through such practices. Unfortunately, I did not meet any success and felt very bad. My failures did not dampen my love for those holy saints, nor did they make

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The months and the year’s end and my mind churns when I go through the reminiscences of that terror night on 16 December, 2012. There have always been both subtle and loud resistances towards the structured stupidity in the form of patriarchy and its consequences: related to the issues of safety, unemployment and moral policing in India. The year 2013-2014 has indeed been revolutionary and evolutionary in terms of public awareness and responsibility. Although wants and un-wants are still to be carved, the fellow Indians complain of mislead than lead, the dilemma remains of who are my country’s leaders. The

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  Before landing in Kashmir this year, I thought I had more or less of an understanding of what loaded words as conflict or occupation implied. I always tried to keep myself informed. However, when I went to the valley two months ago, I realised how little I knew about the place. Most of my certainties vanished. One in particular did, which has drastically changed my way of looking at the occupation now. I used to believe that the way of resistance through non-violent artistic, cultural and intellectual activities could exist in such places, and that the youth was not

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