Just like every year, October 27 will be observed as ‘Black Day’ in recognition of the sufferings of the Kashmiri population and to renew our commitment to their cause of self-determination. The long-standing grievances of the people living in an increasingly violent disputed territory, along with the degree and amount of their sacrifices, are highlighted nationally and internationally in the hopes that we awaken from our slumber and support them in any capacity possible.

Ever since the partition in 1947, Kashmir has been the middle ground between India and Pakistan—subject to intense aggression and barbarism. For 73 years, human rights violations have been propagated in the region and little to nothing has been done to facilitate the Kashmiri population. They continue to fight heroically with resolve and refuse to settle for less than they deserve, especially in times when circumstances have only gotten worse. Through the revocation of Article 370 and 35-A, they have been stripped of their identity and subjected to a heavily militarised siege which supports the largest deployment of troops within the area than ever seen before. As such, it is imperative, now more than ever, for the entire nation to show solidarity and honour the support pledged to the people.

The government has initiated a legal forum for Kashmir to address inaction and highlight the brutality normalised in the region. Similarly, speeches, public rallies, demonstrations and photo exhibitions are being organised to bring the necessary attention to the issue, and that too cautiously considering the increasing number of COVID cases in the country. Such responsible efforts to create awareness contribute to the cause further and fall in line with the sincere desire to aid Kashmiris who are suffering the repercussions of decisions made by a select few. Thus, not only is it important to stand up for them nationally, but on an individual level as well.