In Kashmir, the scale of human rights violations from collective punishment and assassinations to custodial deaths and disappearances is staggering. Yet little of what goes on in that Himalayan region reaches the outside. Why? India controls the cameras, microphones and print media and it has been skillful in framing Kashmir in the 9/11 terrorism discourse. Those who resist Indian rule, Delhi tells the world, are fundamentalist jihadis backed by Pakistan. Kashmir is an unresolved issue dating back to the disastrous 1947 British partition plan to divide the sub-continent in two: a Hindu majority India and a Muslim majority Pakistan. Today, Kashmir is one of the most dangerous places on earth. Both India and Pakistan have huge militaries and nuclear weapons. And the Kashmiris are stuck in the middle. It is time past for the silence on Kashmir to be broken.
Pankaj Mishra writes for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and The Guardian. He is the author of Butter Chicken in Ludhiana, An End to Suffering, Temptations of the West and From the Ruins of Empire. He has spent much time in Kashmir and has written about it.
Recorded in Jan 25, 2013 on Boulder, CO.