Kashmir, Ather Zia, Srinagar, Critical Kashmir Studies, voting, graffiti, protest, resistance, Anthropology of Policy, Instagram

This pictographic exchange displays the adversarial relation between India, and the Kashmiris. The original graffiti called for “Election Boycott” and the “NO” atop has been added by the government; thus, defacing the call from resistance camps to boycott voting. Election time is fraught with tensions. India’s election policy has been called subverted; permanently retarded and flawed. It is an established fact that Indian government chooses its nominees and legitimizes them by holding rigged elections; most of which have been riddled with malpractice and held under duress. Historically, the elections have been deployed by India to sideline the movement for plebiscite. But the elections have not proved to be an alternative to the right of self-determination. Kashmiris have systematically boycotted elections, partly because elections are seen as farcical, and a weak compensation for referendum. The voter turnout in Srinagar, the capital city is as low as 10 percent. The Indian troops often stand accused of forcing people to vote. Those who do vote categorically say that they do so for day to day governance and not as a sign of loyalty to India or as a substitute for self-determination. One 44 year old Kashmiri who has never voted, undermines the Indian elections in Kashmir thus: “not-voting is my right.” – Ather Zia

Image (c) Ather Zia 2016. Originally posted on ASAP Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BJA4gLzh5GN/?taken-by=anthofpolicy

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