Kashmir: The Struggle for Freedom
In 1947, the British partitioned India into India and Pakistan. One unsettled issue was then and remains now Kashmir. Once compared by a Moghul emperor to heaven on earth, today it is highly militarized zone with armed troops in the streets of the capital Srinagar. Kashmir’s towns and villages are dotted with garrisons, checkpoints, roadblocks, barbed wire and towers. A rebellion against Indian rule erupted in 1989. Hundred of thousands of soldiers and security forces were sent to crush the uprising. Kashmir is the most densely military occupied place in the world. It has been caught between the rival claims and agendas of India and Pakistan. The wishes and desires of the Kashmiri people, who have their own language, culture and traditions, have been subordinated to the power politics of larger states.
Sanjay Kak is a New Delhi-based, award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. His films include How We Celebrate Freedom, Words on Water and Red Ant Dream. He is editor of Until My Freedom Has Come: The New Intifada in Kashmir and Witness.