A dissertation paper titled, “Engendering Conflict: Understanding the impact of Militarization, Conflict and Pandemic-Induced Lockdown on Domestic Violence in India occupied Kashmir” written by a student named Ananya Kundu has come under the scanner for calling Kashmir “India occupied Kashmir”. It has come out in a limelight on multiple social media platforms and facing a barrage of criticism.
The supervisor of the paper was Dr Nilanjana Ray. The paper includes several other problematic comments such as “Indigenous Kashmiri researchers have shied away from working on domestic violence since recognition of domestic violence as a serious gender-based concern in the valley will contribute to the larger Indian state rhetoric of vilifying Kashmiri men which will then validate the Indian state’s imperialist intentions on the pretext of “protecting” and “rescuing” Kashmiri women.”
A screenshot shared by Abhinav Prakash revealed that the paper argues that the invasion of Jammu & Kashmir right after independence was a ‘freedom movement’. “These freedom fighters took help from Pakistan to overthrow the rule of the Dogras. Hari Singh’s army was being defeated and the King who had now been overthrown sought assistance from India. What history terms as the invasion was the freedom struggle of Kashmiris from foreign rule, just like India’s movement against the British,” the paper said.
In the end, the paper accused India for domestic violence in Kashmir as the author wrote that India’s occupation of Kashmir caused the violence. The paper further says, “All issues of gender-based violence in Kashmir are impacted by the ongoing conflict and militarization. So in order to resolve the issue of gender-based violence, the conflict and militarization need to be brought to an end. This will require the government to address the political aspirations of Kashmiris for self-determination and autonomy.” Again, the objective appears to be to absolve the actual culprits of their guilt and the blame is on the feet of the Indian Army and the Government.