Intifada or not - Kashmir defies definitions (Part-I)August 25th, 2010 - 2:36 pm ICT by ANI
By Smita Prakash
New Delhi, Aug.25 (ANI): The recent spurt in violence in a few districts of the Kashmir Valley is being termed as an Intifada by many journalists. Perhaps because they perceive that the fight is popular and the street protestors are fighting a repressive regime.
Let us go back to see what exactly is an Intifada. In Arabic, the term means “shaking off”. Webster defines the Intifada as an armed uprising of Palestinians against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The first Intifada (1987-1993) and the second Intifada (2000-2004) led to the popularisation of the word and soon any revolt, armed or unarmed, by the Muslim people came to be termed as an Intifada.
The recent protests in the Kashmir Valley were first termed as an ‘Intifada ‘ by The Kashmir Action Committee of Pakistan (KACP). This is a Lahore-based organisation, run by Justice Sharifuddin Bokhari, a retired Chief Justice of the Punjab High Court. Consisting mainly of some retired bureaucrats and ex-army men, it gets support from expatriate Pakistanis, who remain convinced that the so-called liberation of Kashmir is an issue supreme in the minds of ordinary Pakistanis.
This organisation, which though located hundreds of miles away from Srinagar, is miraculously aware of the minutest details of the recent uprising. This organisation decided that it was time to give the stone throwers of the Kashmir Valley an aura of respectability; so Intifada, they labeled it. It is no coincidence that this is a term that foreign journalists and American think tanks and publications are familiar with.
The term was duly picked up by the local media in Indian administered Kashmir and then by foreign correspondents that visited the Valley. Of course, a similar revolt in Balochistan, in Pakistan, has been termed by international media (NYT) as ” a nationalist movement led by armed ethnic Baluch groups (that) has long sought greater provincial autonomy.”
That the Baloch want secession from Pakistan goes unreported. The reason for the near black out of the civilian uprising in Balochistan is because the foreign media cannot enter the province. Why foreign, even domestic media in Pakistan, faces repression in the economic and backward province where, simmering hatred towards the Pakistani regime is beyond control now.
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