On August 5, 2019, the Modi led BJP government read down article 370 of the Indian Constitution, fundamentally altering the relationship between the Indian union and the state of Jammu and Kashmir — stripping the region of its statehood and special status. The move of abrogation of article 370 was executed by imposing a curfew on movement and communications, detention of several politicians and civilians in the state, in effect, by brutally silencing any voice from the state.
This authoritarian move was merely a trailer for the various other imposing decisions that were to come in the next two years such as changing of the domicile laws in the state and altering of property rights in the state. It is also reflective of the years of violent suppression of voices from the region. Ever since the British left the Indian subcontinent in 1947, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan. Both claim rights over the complete territory of the state, ignoring the aspirations of people inhabiting the land.
This week for Bol, independent researcher, writer and women’s rights activist, Sahba Husain reads Agha Shahid Ali’s ‘Land’ — exploring the intricacies of home, belonging and land — along with some photographs by Sahba.
If home is found on both sides of the globe,
home is of course here—and always a missed land.