After the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police, the Indian Army’s Srinagar-based Chinar Corps on Friday posted a video on its social media handles titled “Kashmir fights back”, which, a senior security establishment officer said, seeks to underline how “terrorism has affected all peace-loving citizens of Kashmir, irrespective of their faith”.
Army sources said the video seeks to counter misinformation by Pakistan on social media. “People here follow many Pakistani handles. These have been fanning anti-India sentiments here. That is why we have used the same tune (background score) that Inter Services Public Relations (Pakistan military’s PR wing) uses in its propaganda videos, to tell a different narrative and build confidence with the people,” said an officer.
“कुछ बात है कि हस्ती मिटती नहीं हमारी
सदियों रहा है दुश्मन दौरे जहां हमारा”
-Iqbal & have together fought for sustainable peace and prosperity in Kashmir.
— Chinar Corps? – Indian Army (@ChinarcorpsIA)
The 1.19 minute video starts with visuals of a funeral procession, and a child crying. “Decades of terrorism has left us with thousands of orphans, widows, wailing mothers and helpless fathers,” reads the text. The song “Kashmir ke liye Jhelum roya (Jhelum cried for Kashmir)” plays in the background.
Another set of visuals shows the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, youth pelting stones and the Pulwama attack in February 2019. “They tried to divide our society. They tried to misguide our youth. They tried to turn our peer vaer (land of saints) into a battleground,” reads the text.
It then goes on to pay tribute to Kashmiris — both Hindus and Muslims — who were killed by militants, including journalist, social activist Arjumand Majeed, Kashmir Pandit pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo, sarpanch Ajay Pandita, school principal Supinder Kaur, leader Wasim Bari, Lt Umer Fayaz, DySP Mohammad Ayub Pandita, and Police Inspector Pervez Ahmed Dar. “They tried to silence us. But Kashmir kept on fighting,” reads the text.
The video shows visuals of Army personnel helping or engaging with the civilian population. “Kashmir is not alone in this fight. With you in the past. For you in the future. Together we will win this fight. Awaam and jawan: hand in hand,” says the text.
It ends with poet Iqbal’s lines: “Kuch baat hai ki hasti mitati nahi hamaari, sadiyon raha hai dushman daur-e-jahaan hamara (There is something about us that we continue to exist despite the entire world being our enemy for centuries.)”
The video comes in the backdrop of the recent spurt in attacks by militants on Kashmiri Pandits and migrants in the Valley. In the last three weeks, there have been over half-a-dozen such attacks, leaving one migrant dead and seven others, including a Kashmiri Pandit, injured.
“This video depicts the sacrifices of civilians across faiths in J&K. In view of the recent targeted killings and the biased narrative being floated on social media, it is important to understand that terrorism has affected all peace-loving citizens of Kashmir, irrespective of their faith. Hence, it is important that as a society, we speak against terrorism and stand with our security forces in the fight against terrorism,” said a senior security establishment officer.
Sources said Pakistan-based terror groups were taking advantage of the polarisation triggered by the film,, which focusses on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, to instigate targeted attacks on migrants.
On March 31, the J&K Police released a 57-second video, titled The Untold Kashmir Files, which sought to underline how all Kashmiris — cutting across faith — were victims of militancy.
Meanwhile, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti on Friday said the situation in the Valley was fast regressing to the 1990s and accused the administration of not taking action. “KPSS strongly condemns the issuance of threat letters and the killing of Kashmiri Pandits. KPSS had already said that the situation in Kashmir Valley is returning to 1990. In 1990, killings’ lists were circulated in mosques and in 2022 these lists are circulated on the internet and social media,” it said in a statement.