Former actor Zaira Wasim, who hails from Kashmir, has condemned the internet blackout and curfews in the region. She shared a lengthy note on Instagram and said that there is a “false and uneasy semblance of calmness” in Kashmir.
The Indian government put Kashmir on lockdown and stepped up the military presence in the Valley after the abrogation of Article 370, as a preventive measure. While roadblocks and phone services have been restored, 2G mobile services have been restored in the Valley, with access limited to white-listed websites.
Sharing a picture of a single white flower, Zaira wrote on Instagram, “Kashmir continues to suffer and see-saw between hope and frustration. There’s a false and uneasy semblance of calmness in place of escalating despair and sorrow. Kashmiris continue to exist and suffer in a world where it is so easy to place restrictions on our liberty. Why do we have to live in world where our lives and wills are controlled, dictated and bent? Why is it so easy to have our voices silenced? Why is it so easy to curtail our freedom of expression? Why aren’t we ever allowed to voice our opinions, let alone our disprovals to decisions that are made contrary to our wishes? Why is it that instead of trying to see the cause of our view, our view is just condemned ruthfully?”
“What is so easy to curb our voices so severely? Why can we not live simple lives without always having to wrestle and remind the world of our existence. Why is that life of a Kashmiri is just about experiencing a lifetime of crisis, blockade and disturbance so abundantly that it has taken away the recognition of normalcy and harmony from the hearts and minds?” she added.
Zaira continued, “Hundreds of questions like these-unanswered; leaving us bewildered and frustrated, but our frustrations find no outlet. The authority doesn’t make the slightest effort to put a stop to our doubts and speculations but Stubbornly tend to go their own way to confine our existence mired in a confused, conflicted and a paralysed world.”
She urged people not to believe the “unfair representation” of facts or media reportage which shows that all is well in Kashmir, but “ask questions”. She wrote, “But I ask the world, what has altered your acceptance of the misery and oppression we’re being subjected to? Do not believe the unfair representation of the facts and details or the rosy hue that the media has cast on the reality of the situation. Ask questions, re-examine the biased assumptions. Ask questions. For our voices have been silenced- and for how long….none of us really know!”
In June last year, Zaira shocked everyone by announcing her decision to quit the film industry saying she was not happy with the line of work as it interfered with her religion. She was last seen in Shonali Bose’s The Sky is Pink, starring Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar.