Surveillance, Detentions And Politics of Fear: Managing Kashmir The Palestinian Way 


As Israel incarcerates Palestinians and India continues to systematically Otherize and disempower Kashmiris—a mirrored image on the predicament of ethnic, spiritual and racial bio-minorities.

Events since September 11, 2001 have dramatically altered the political setting within the Muslim world, an enormous and numerous area comprising the band of nations with vital Muslim populations that stretches from West Africa to the southern Philippines, in addition to Muslim communities and Diasporas scattered all through the world. The crafted paranoia of Muslims because the ‘perennial suspects’ with something linked to terrorism is a stereotype that continues to pervade counter-intelligence pushed efforts throughout territorial boundaries. This sustained marketing campaign of Otherization by means of systemic epistemic racism manifested itself lengthy earlier than 9/11 particularly in Palestine and Kashmir. And the continuum of such narrative violence not solely undermine(s) and overshadow the political actuality of Palestine and Kashmir but additionally produces a justification for Palestinian and Kashmiri our bodies as killable others. 

When India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) determined to revoke Articles 370 and 35-A from the Indian Constitution, scrapping the particular rights given to the disputed state of Jammu & Kashmir, parallels had been instantly drawn around the globe however significantly in Palestine with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Contextually, each Palestine and Kashmir are legacies of British colonial treaties and preparations in addition to its cartographic and demographic manoeuvres. There are variations within the inception of their respective colonial occupations within the post-World War II period of a wave of anti-colonial actions within the context of decolonisation. 

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And drawing from on a regular basis elements of Palestinian victimization, survival, life and loss of life, and transferring between the native and the worldwide, studying Nadera Shalhoub’s Security Theology, Surveillance and the Politics of Fear introduces and analyses phrases just like the “politics of fear” and the “security theology” throughout the Israeli settler colonial logic of elimination and erasure. This e book deeply resonates with the modus operandi utilized by Indian state impressed from Israeli mannequin to regulate Kashmir. The violent acts dedicated in opposition to Palestinians and Kashmiris within the title of “security necessities” and the way such “necessities” like of surveillance and detention, in an effort to preserve and typically reproduce the Israeli and Indian political financial system of management. 

Palestine and Kashmir:  Tragedy of Populist alt-right Muscular Nationalism 

In the case of Palestine, the Balfour declaration of 1917 declared British assist for the Zionist mission of a Jewish homeland. While historians have debated the politics of British assist for Zionism versus its personal pursuits within the Middle East throughout World War I, Zionism as a deliberate settler-colonial mission was evident from that preliminary declaration of assist by Lord Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Baron Rothschild in 1917. Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian has mentioned these methods of settler-colonialism as reliant on ‘security theology’, a racial and spiritual logic of superiority relating to a ‘secular’ Zionist nationalism, embedded in biblical claims and depending on the erasure of Palestinian lives and dispossession of Palestinian land and assets.

 In the case of Kashmir, This achingly lovely land, beforehand recognized within the West largely because the title of a Led Zeppelin jam, was dominated by the British East India Company after which offered the territory of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846 by means of the Treaty of Amritsar to a Dogra Hindu Ruler.  By 1947, given an extended historical past of a repressive Hindu Dogra rule over a largely Kashmiri Muslim inhabitants, argues Historian Mridu Rai in Hindu Rule and Muslim topics “there was already a Quit Kashmir movement against the Dogras”. Mapping Kashmir requires using particular language and symbols-nomenclature corresponding to “ceded;’ “administered;’ and “claimed” and the dotted boundary marking a cease-fire line-as markers of its contested and in-between standing. To additionally perceive, the Indian occupation of Kashmir operates as a lot by means of electoral democracy because it does by means of intensive militarization and institutionalized impunity that constructions the situations, prospects, priorities, and life trajectories of Kashmiris inside and outdoors of the valley to what Adam Roberts refers because the “process” of occupation that’s context particular and can’t be lowered to a singular “character and purpose” Kashmir can also be a theatre of democracy wherein elections are routinely held to foster the phantasm of a consultant and bonafide governance. These new expressions of normalcy, each discursive and institutional, form the everyday-colonizing areas of sociality and neighborhood, remapping time and house, and serving to construct an phantasm of the on a regular basis that’s by some means sheltered from the scars of loss of life and violence. 

War on Terror—A Killable Other

Surveillance, detentions and the politics of concern—a tripartite triangle shapes the safety theology of Israel and Palestine to comprise political dissent within the Modern world. Tracing the family tree we see how nation state politics relies on the trendy conception of the Westphalian mannequin, which organizes and monopolizes violence underneath the unique authority of a sovereign state. This conception, Khaled Al-Kassimi asserts “only began to characterize global politics in the 19th century and more so at the beginning of the 20th century, contrary to the political myth that perceives the year 1648 as the moment where world state leaders monopolized, organized and structured violence.” The killings of 14-year-old unarmed Palestinians youngster Ali Abu Alia killed few days again in Al Mughair village close to Ramallah by Israeli sniper mark a brand new chapter within the degradation of human life in Palestine and the Occupied Territories. Transpiring occasions corresponding to these additionally makes one take into consideration the persevering with scandal of violent political Otherization in Kashmir, with full indifference to the lives of the boys, girls and youngsters who dwell there. In each instances, the focused communities are Muslim although they’re merchandise of very totally different contextual histories with a standard colonizer. The international dynamics of genocide are usually not, regardless of appearances, primarily about Muslimness. The obsession with projecting Muslims as a coordinated international class is a collaborative mission of extremely particular Western and Muslim political theologies. It shouldn’t be seen as a self-evident, common truth.

Indian state found a possibility to border its counter insurgency efforts in Kashmir throughout the wider context of the nasty brutish and lengthy Americas warfare on terrorism. In doing so, successive Indian governments have tried to advertise the concept that their counter terrorism efforts in Kashmir are to subdue a menace just like that confronted by Israel from Hamas. This is an try on the a part of the federal government to distract from its personal failings in addressing the real political aspirations of the bulk Muslims in Kashmir. “Seen through the fog of the “war on terror” and the Indian authorities’s personal cynical propaganda, the issue in Kashmir appeared totally to do with jihadist terrorists” wrote Indian writer, Pankaj Mishra in 2008. 

Israel too, like India, noticed a gap, and since 9/11 has tried to exonerate its occupation by leaping on the international War on Terror bandwagon. Israel’s continued colonisation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza has relied closely upon brandishing the Palestinian resistance as a menace to the survival of the Israeli state; whereas Israel stays the most important recipient of navy support from the United States (and is quickly to obtain the largest US navy bundle in American-Israeli historical past) and holds an unofficial nuclear arsenal. Though plain that the political instability within the area is the key purpose of disturbance within the valley, the presence of 300,000 – 500,000 of India’s navy and safety forces, coupled with the hard-nosed perspective of each Indian authorities up to now 25 years, has robbed Kashmiris of any significant prospect of a peaceable future.

Surveillance and Control

Amid applied sciences of controlling our bodies, there was a strategic paradigmatic shift to ‘monitor’ all types of political dissent. Behind the lack of lives, of constant sieges and crackdowns within the current decade in Palestine and Kashmir unravels the shut counter insurgency alliance between India and Israel. This cooperation has deepened underneath the present populist ultra-nationalist regimes in each the international locations and the alarming information of the adware, Pegasus, getting used to spy upon human rights defenders in India is one other revelation of the closeness of the Israeli State in addition to defence and surveillance corporations to India’s State equipment. A collaboration unravelling between BDS India, People’s Dispatch and, gives an summary of the arms commerce in addition to safety cooperation between India and Israel. It additionally exhibits how Israeli defence trade earnings from the occupation, apartheid and colonialism in opposition to Palestinian folks, and India’s buy of those arms—round 50% of the whole weapons export of Israel—funds this unlawful occupation. In flip, this collaboration fuels the militarisation of Kashmir in addition to different components of India, creating the logic of ‘perpetual insecurity’.

Surveillance of Palestinian and Kashmiri ‘bodies’ have at all times been an integral a part of Indian and Israel’s colonial mission. Before the creation of the state of Israel, squads from the Zionist paramilitary group the Haganah roamed Palestinian villages and cities, gathering info on Palestinian residents. Such surveillance over Palestinian lives continued after Israel’s 1967 occupation of the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank, together with East Jerusalem. Tools deployed included inhabitants registries, identification playing cards, land surveys, watchtowers, imprisonment, and torture. Although surveillance has at all times been an important constituent of the ruling equipment in Jammu and Kashmir (J&Ok). 

Apart from the presence of greater than 600,000 Indian troops and different seen markers of a navy occupation, numerous surveillance models dot Kashmir’s panorama.Click To Tweet

Apart from the presence of greater than 600,000 Indian troops and different seen markers of a navy occupation, numerous surveillance models dot Kashmir’s panorama. There is a robust bodily surveillance in place with a plethora of recent applied sciences, corresponding to cellphone and web monitoring and interception, and CCTV, has enabled Indian state to surveil the inhabitants it occupies on a large, intrusive scale and never even in instructional centres are left resulting from sustained anti-India protests. Such panopticon that has been encircling Kashmir is a building of the Indian state, which has been intensifying its mass-surveillance structure within the area for over a decade. Indian state shifted its concentrate on social media to watch what particular person Kashmiris say and do, in addition to to collect and analyse info on attitudes among the many Kashmiri inhabitants extra broadly. The current upsurge in summoning folks to police stations and counter-insurgency torture centres disabling social media accounts got here as a by-product of the ‘politics of fear’ elevating voices in opposition to the Indian state and brutalization of Kashmiri our bodies, to go to police stations in a single such instance of the ‘controlling’ the movement of data. 

In November 2014, Vasundhara Sirnate, the chief coordinator of analysis at The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy wrote in an article in The Hindu: “An Intelligence Bureau official stationed in Kashmir told me that they were tapping 10 lakh phones in Kashmir alone by 2014.” Mobile telephony was launched in India in 1995 and, owing to safety issues, was permitted in Jammu and Kashmir solely in 2003. For the state, the arrival of mobile telephones proved to be useful in monitoring down militants. However, since 2008, a surge in mass civil uprisings and using expertise for info dissemination, protests and mobilisation within the state have led to main curbs on cell companies and the web. The authorities additionally depends closely on human intelligence or “agents” embedded throughout the inhabitants. “Surveillance aided by technology is only a supplement and not a replacement to the human interface,” Rajendera Kumar the director common of police in Jammu and Kashmir. In Kashmir, monitoring Social Media posts, columnists, or college students actively concerned in elevating their voices in opposition to Indian atrocities in Kashmir and overseas is a surveillance device used to determine after which curtail such voices of dissent. The current instances of UAPA in opposition to two Kashmiri journalists, Gowhar Geelani and Masrat Zahra sharing their skilled work on social media and college students like Sameer and Aqib for democratically registering their dissent in Kashmir University  is an instance of such instances. 

The Indian authorities additionally depends closely on human intelligence or “agents” embedded throughout the inhabitants.Click To Tweet

Torture, Detentions and Politics of Fear

In many respects, the plight of the Kashmiris has parallels with the battle of the Palestinian folks: The militarisation of Kashmiri territory, clamping down on demonstrations (typically violently) and routine detentions of protestors and activists is a actuality the Palestinians and now Kashmiris know too nicely. While the conflicts in Kashmir and Palestine stem from totally different geopolitical histories, and every with diverse stage of success in reaching lasting peace and stability, the day by day pressures of dwelling underneath heavy navy presence have made for related experiences for each Kashmiris and Palestinians. Illegal detention and disappearances is the norm and Dissent is labelled as political blasphemy. It is estimated that since 1990, round 8,000 males “disappeared” whereas in custody or throughout crackdowns. In 2006, HRW reported an identical sample of state violence and a disregard for primary civil liberties of the Kashmiri those who it had documented 13 years earlier. 

While various legal guidelines relevant in J&Ok permit for administrative detention, probably the most generally used is the PSA.  Administrative detention can also be offered for in different types corresponding to home arrest, in addition to Section 107 learn with Section 151 of the J&Ok Code of Criminal Procedure (1989).As the interval of permissible detention is proscribed in these provisions resulting from availability of bail, they’re typically utilized in J&Ok solely to detain people whereas the paperwork for PSA detention orders or felony fees are being ready. PSA gives for detention for a most of two years “in the case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State.” It additional permits for administrative detention of as much as one yr the place “any person is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order”. A report by J&Ok Coalition of Civil Society (J&KCCS) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons’ (APDP) stated 662 individuals, together with a former chief minister and sitting MP, had been booked underneath the PSA in 2019.

Laws like PSA permits the state to impose surveillance in Kashmir, with the goal of subduing the resistance. The pointless and extreme interference with, and monitoring of, detainees by police and navy personnel even after their launch from jail, makes detainees live on in digital confinement. The surveillance turns into so pervasive that detainees brazenly declare to expertise imprisonment with out truly being in jail. Also, their horrific remedy in jail –from compelled cohabitation with criminals, to degrading and demeaning remedy contained in the jails– is enforced with the intent of creating Indian authority and making Kashmiri residents concern. The expertise of the Kashmiris with the Indian safety equipment can be irrefutably acquainted to the Palestinian folks. During their close to 60-year lengthy battle in opposition to Israeli occupation, the Palestinians have undergone two uprisings (first and second intifada) that resulted in large crackdowns within the West Bank and Gaza. Over the primary Intifada, which began in 1988, an identical chain of occasions would happen; tens of hundreds had been injured protesting the occupation and over a thousand Palestinians had been killed because the Israel Defence Forces responded with brute pressure. In November 1989, Israeli Human rights group Btselem estimated that over 1,700 Palestinians had been detained, of whom many had been held for extended durations and tortured throughout their time in detention. 

Since Palestine and Kashmir are each carved up by borders folks of each the territories are swallowed entire. Stories are silenced and blood flows into rivers. Military checkpoints, armoured autos, and borders occupy not simply the land, however penetrate deeper, into the psyches of individuals. Occupation is refined. The numerous insurance policies so as of a homeland—Palestine and Kashmir—occupied by hostile forces evokes feelings of fury, and humiliation. Discourses linked to torture and surveillance ring true with the expertise of struggling in Kashmir and Palestine. Kashmir thus, is more and more going the Palestinian means. To finish on what Mahmoud Darwish mentions:

The killer appears to be like on the ghost of the murdered, not in his eyes, with out regret. He tells the mob, “Do not blame me: I am afraid, I killed because I was scared, and I will kill because I am scared.” A couple of interpreted the sentence as the precise to kill in self-defense. A couple of shared their opinions saying, “Justice is the overflow of the generosity of power.” As if the deceased ought to apologize to the killer for the trauma he brought about him. Others stated, “If this incident occurred in another country, would the murdered individual have a name and a reputation?” The mob paid their condolences to the killer however when a foreigner questioned, “But what is the reason for killing a baby?” The mob replied, “Because one day this baby will grow up and then we will fear him.” “But why kill the mother?” The mob stated, “Because she will raise a memory.” The mob shouted in unison, “Fear and not justice is the foundation for authority.” (Darwish, 2008, pp. 85–86) 


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