Farooq Ahmad, 53, Farmer from Pulwama
This domicile law will ensure that the jobs that were meant for our children and reserved only for Kashmiris will be given to outsiders. Our children cannot compete with outsiders fairly for these jobs. Outside Kashmir, these [Indian] people get a good education for free, whereas our children here in Kashmir only see violence and hartals. In Kashmir, our education is incessantly interrupted by occupation. This domicile law will create unemployment among our children.
Kashmir is a mountainous region; the land belongs to us and it’s our right. The reservations that we had under (Article 370) are in every valley and mountainous region. Here, in the mountains, we have a work culture shaped by climate. During the harsh six months of winter, when it snows, we do not work and for the other six months we work to earn . It’s like eating at home for six months what we earn in the summer. That’s our culture and they will end it now. The other thing is that when these outsiders will come here to buy property and land, they will make houses and construction on agricultural land. So, another fear for us is that our women, who also do farming and go to the orchards etc., will face risks and difficulties in going out to work once these outsiders occupy our land. We have a culture in which both men and women engage in farming the land. When the outsiders will come, the ongoing harassment of our mothers and sisters will increase and they cannot go out. Even now they are facing harassment from the Indian army and police, and with the domicile laws harassment will just grow. These women can’t go out and our culture will be erased. These outsiders will invade our culture in many ways. I think another way is that our children will be made to forget our traditions and dress (kurta and pyjamas or pheran).
Our culture will be completely changed. They will make the new generation forget Kashmiri culture. So, this domicile law is very dangerous for Kashmir.
Months after India revoked the longstanding autonomy of the disputed Kashmir region, the Hindu nationalist government…www.newframe.com
Zubair Ahmad, 35, Shopkeeper from Srinagar
The first thing is the attack on our income and jobs. They (India) want to suppress us. Like this time the law is being implemented and all the high-rank officials are Hindus. It means that there is no accountability or questions that they will be asked. The whole system is run by them and they can do anything they want. The low-rung person working with them cannot question them. For example, in jobs [there will be no transparency]; we will not be able to question whether exams took place, what was the [selection] process, and when did the interviews happen? For example last year, the government here held exams for Jammu and Kashmir Bank jobs, but till now the result has not been declared. Moreover, now these jobs have been declared null and void. Even in abrogating Article 370, no Kashmiri was given a chance to give his opinion. They just jailed us together. They removed the law while keeping us [silenced] inside.
In short, they made us so powerless that we are unable to do anything now.
Kashmiris lashed out at a new piece of legislation rolled out by India on Wednesday, saying it’s a page straight out of…www.middleeasteye.net
Fozia, Research Scholar, Budgam
I want to throw light on the fears arising from the new domicile law. The domicile law amounts to the erasure of Article 370. Article 370 was a safeguard for Kashmiri people over their jobs, culture, and identity. After Article 370 was revoked, a new law was brought in called the domicile law and this law has become a cause of worry for us, triggering multiple fears. This new law is physically and mentally torturing for all of us. And the government introduced this law, when not only Kashmir, but the whole world is battling with the pandemic. Implementing the domicile law in such a situation is not only senseless but is a form of torture. The people of Kashmir fear that this law aims to divide the Muslim-majority region. By dividing and altering this region they want to turn it into a fully Hindu-majority region. And with this, the demography of Kashmir is being changed and altered. I fear that in future they might just erase the name Kashmir from us as well.
They want to occupy our land by these tactics. Till now we had a little bit of security so far as no one from outside could purchase our land nor could we sell it to them. But now slowly by disguising it as improvement or development, they want to snatch everything from us. They have set-up this colonial project here. You can see the administrative set-up here is totally being changed; they are allotting the top bureaucratic jobs to outsiders while the low class IV jobs like transport are being reserved for Kashmiris. The high-jobs are being given to outsiders to give them the power-line. They want to implement all these things here. They did not reserve power-based posts for us.
We are Kashmiris and what we can think of as home no one else can. Those who come from outside will not think like that. We know what is right for our Kashmir and what is bad for it. Those who come from different places cannot take care of this place. It is like giving the keys of my home to a stranger, he might care a little but he would not take care of it the way I would as an owner. This is what they are doing here- first they occupied our land, now our jobs, and slowly they want to completely change our culture and traditions. They want to change and alter Kashmir into a Hindu-majority place. After this, there will be an attack on the environment and our identity. Our identity is the biggest issue. Our identity is under threat. Till now we had to only prove our identity through I-cards but now they want to snatch it from us. Our grandparents lived here for a hundred years and I know they had to show their identity cards thousands of times for identification. But now anyone who has stayed in Kashmir for 7–10-years can get citizenship here. This is a gross injustice to the people of Kashmir. These are our fears.
We never ever felt safe under the power of the Government of India. We are against it. Every Kashmir is against the domicile law.