By - Inamul Haq
I am not really sure where to start this letter, because I have so much to say. I think it’s always difficult as a child to express a lot of things to their mother, especially if it’s just telling the trauma through which I am going. The trauma is not one-sided and I know you feel more than me. Dear mom, there is no communication between us as you know that Indian dictatorshiphas scrapped the Article 370 and had done bifurcation of our state. But before that, they made stories and issued a notice to their people to leave the valley. The story was interesting that we are listening from 1947 that there is a terrorist threat from Pakistan. However, they were successful in taking out their citizens. Do not be confused that why I am using their people. Obviously, when care and concern are given to one section and left another section on the mercy of God, then this difference is visible (Hum aur Aap). The Britishers also used such terms in their colonial era, when they were framing laws and regulations or making decisions in India. India only changed its cover and applied the same strategies and methods in Kashmir. There would be plenty of questions in your mind that why are we being deprivedof basic rights. If India celebrates and why Kashmiri people are being sieged in their homes, Indefinite curfew, communication gag, internet snapped, roads blocked, even patients dying at home and why such detention is being imposed here.
Dear mom, I cannot explain to you all, but I just inform you about certain things through which you can understand, why our rights do not matter. Detaining people or curfews and other deprivations are basically one of the tactics that are applied by a state with the help of their law enforcement agencies especially against those who are against their policy. India is using allthese practices not for the interest of the public, but rather to states interest. The heavy militarization in Kashmir with unlimited powers is a form of state violence. The state violence can be destructive because it manifests itself in the bodies of individuals and causes physical pain and mental distress. The law is one of the tools that help the state to regulate violence for the maintenance of social order and seeks to change human behaviour. However, instead of that, it asserts authority on the lives of individuals and even asserts authority over authority itself. In this process, somebody loses liberty, property, family and even life (Parray, 2006). The principle of modern states violence which operate through the principle of law and state powers are known as ‘exceptions’ in which inhabitants are stripped of their basic rights like the right to liberty, expression, and freedom and submitted to the sovereign power of the state.
According to Agamben, the twentieth century had produced a paradoxical phenomenon known as legal civil war which is enacted between state and non-state actors. In this matter, the “state of exception” remains undeclared allowing for its subjugation (2002). In this suppression, not only political adversaries become the victims, but the entire categories of the population that resists against the state being integrated into the political system. In modern democracies, the intentional creation of a permanent “state of exception” has become one of the dominant measures.A “state of exception” is a lawless void, in which state authorities act in extreme situations with the force of law. The force of law makes law and life indistinguishable. Giorgio Agamben is of the view that every action should be dealt with legal action, but unfortunately, that is not possible in the “state of exception “because the functions of law depend on violence. The state uses its extra-legal violence against its own people in order to combat an emerging threat and there is no role of the judiciary in the state of Emergency/Exception.
Dear mom, in the next letter, I will text you further about the exception and how rule of law works in it.Thank you for being there for me whenever I needed you. In such Panic situation, I need you again and every time, I am thinking about you and father. I cannot eat and sleep well like you. Not on phone, but everyday I am talking to you in Imagination. I hope the blockade would end soon and I shall contact you and want to share and listen from you.
Your obedient son