Kashmir: Coronavirus is a new tool for India to oppress us

In the course of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, when the Indian administration in Kashmir started appealing to people to report the travel histories of their neighbours and acquaintances, a joke sprang up in our circle of friends.

“This is mukhbiri, just that it is being asked and done the legitimate way now,” was the general remark. Mukhbiri is the term Kashmiris use for the loathed practice of locals informing Indian forces about the presence of militants, often for a cash reward.

The joke did not last long. We soon had to come to terms with what it entailed: essentially, a fully fledged surveillance state, openly admitting to such practices. 

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