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Social media turned red in solidarity with Kashmiris

Millions of people around the world put up a bright red colour image on social media to protest against the ongoing atrocities of the Indian government in Kashmir. Millions of social media users from around the world came forth to express solidarity with the Kashmiri, in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A by the BJP-led government.

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Social media displayed strong reactions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move of the annexation of Kashmir. Social media users globally united under hashtags: #RedForKashmir, #BleedForKashmir, #StandWithKashmir and #KashmirUnderThreat, to protest against the dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir. Hundreds and thousands of Twitter users assembled on the call to change their profile pictures to a bright red color, symbolizing the bloodshed of the Kashmiris in their struggle of self-determination continuing for the past seven-decades.

The ‘red image’ represents the unlawful measures imposed by the Indian government and military to suppress the voices of Kashmiris in the past few days. Indian government perpetrated relentless measures to tie down Kashmiris in a curfew-like situation in the valley. From disconnecting mobile services and taking down internet services in the region, the Indian government placed restrictions on the movement of Kashmiris on a pretext of a possible terror attack in the valley.

Panic and chaos mounted as India undertook abnormal security measures in the valley. The Kashmiri residents called the world’s attention towards the increased lockdown in Kashmir, since the past three days.

However, it was disclosed on Monday, when the Indian parliament proceeded with the resolution to revoke the Jammu and Kashmir’s special autonomous status, the Indian forces intended to dissolve its partial freedom.

The social media users called it a move to wipe out the Muslim population in the valley; the only region in which Muslims dominate in India. The local Kashmiri leaders described it as a violent move by the Indian government, asserting that it will escalate instability and bloodshed in the region in the future.

The entire Kashmiri leadership has pledged to fight back the annexation of Jammu and Kashmir, until the last breath. Kashmir continues to be in a communication blackout, despite a day after the resolution has been passed by the Indian parliament. The Kashmiris seated outside the region asserts that thousands of Kashmiris under siege aren’t aware of India’s attack on their freedom. They complain they are unable to contact their families residing in the valley.

Read more: Lockdown in Heaven: Kashmir’s cry for help

‘Red for Kashmir’

Aggressively promoting the #RedForKashmir, the Kashmiri rights activists explained the idea of their social media campaign on Twitter.

“On August 5, the entire valley of Kashmir was forced under a complete lockdown. During this time, India revoked Article 370. Article 370 gave Kashmir autonomy in all areas except defense, foreign policy, and communication. Article 35- A stems from Article 370 and gives the permanent residents the right to buy and own property in Kashmir. The Indian government’s unconstitutional effort to bring Kashmir under the direct control of the New Delhi attempts to erase the Kashmiri political identity and will set the fuel to the resistance that has already been inflamed since decades,” statement on one of the red images.

The Kashmiri activists mentioned that they are planning to expand their media outreach by contacting the international journalists, media outlets, newspapers, and NGOs to raise awareness on the Kashmir issue. They are urging people to participate in radio shows, and podcasts as much as possible to disseminate the ground realities of Kashmir to the world.

Read more: Bloody history of Kashmir – A Time Line

The second step they pin is to circulate articles, and posts on Kashmir issue on social media and tag influencers and Human rights organizations on it.

Moreover, the participants of this move can write about their outlook on the repeal of Article 370 and 35-A to their elected representatives and nearest India Consulate. Lastly, they urged the people to catalyse a public discourse on the issue through seminars, webinars, community gatherings, fundraisers, book clubs, and supper clubs. Also, print and paste infographics on the walls of the cities with a hashtag ‘StandwithKashmir’ to raise awareness.

Kashmir Under Siege

Panic and chaos mounted as India undertook abnormal security measures in the valley. The Kashmiri residents called the world’s attention towards the increased lockdown in Kashmir, since the past three days. The Hurriyat leaders and local politicians released worrisome messages from their social media accounts, raising their voices against the increased oppression from the forces in the valley.

According to several journalists, the Kashmiris under siege are unaware of the government’s decision. The Indian government has admitted sending 10,000 extra troops were to occupy Kashmir a week ago. Media reports on Friday revealed that further 25,000 soldiers have been called. Thousands of tourists were streamed out as tension gripped the valley.

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