India’s restrictions to stop Muharram processions in Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOK) are condemnable. This is nothing but a callous display of subverting rights on one of the holiest occasions, which yet again shows the moral and spiritual decay and bankruptcy of India. Indian actions reflect the metamorphosis of the once “secular India” to an intolerant one in the hands of the practitioners of Hindutva. Moreover, the new curbs on Kashmir are an acknowledgement on India’s part that it cannot eliminate Kashmiris’ struggle for freedom. Like every coloniser, India fears that the Muharram processions can become the most spectacular sights of subversion of its illegal rule.

Furthermore, human rights supporters must also protest the Indian ban on Muharram processions. These actions constitute a violation of international covenants that guarantee people the freedom to practice their religious and cultural beliefs. Therefore, standing with the Shia community of IIOK is essential. It is a battle against fascism, to put it straight. Because of such actions, the Kashmiris have had enough of India. They can and must not live under brutal Indian occupation. The restrictions that are in place, after India abrogated Article 370 and 35 A, only further prove that this is another illegal occupation, without an iota of claim on the region.

While Indian authorities may use laws to scuttle the Muharram processions with strict curbs, they understand too well the fact that Kashmiris want nothing short of Azadi. And it is this determination of Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination that India fears. The restrictions on every activity and action of Kashmiris prove India’s psychological defeat at the hands of the unarmed Kashmiri people. To tell the bitter truth, India, in its efforts to gag the Kashmiris’ aspiration for freedom, has colonised its mind and soul. India needs to decolonise its mind and soul by putting an end to curbs in IIOK if it wants to prevent the rot in the mainland.