To the suicidal kid and pellet gun victim from Kashmir

Trigger Warning: Torture, Terrorism, Police Violence, Suicide I honestly don't know how to name this blog post. For the past few days, I've been reading bits and pieces of a report by the Association of the Parents of Disappeared Persons, a loose organization based in Indian-occupied Kashmir. This particular report is about pellet guns used … Continue reading To the suicidal kid and pellet gun victim from Kashmir

When farmers are terrorists and Greta gets charged with conspiracy for tweeting: Law as storytelling

The ongoing farm protests pose an incredible study for sociology of law and the anthropology of the state. While reading the following chronology, note the role of how physical presence is regulated, how events in different spaces affect each other (Twitter) of interpretations of the *purpose* of legislation, and of how government institutions have reacted, … Continue reading When farmers are terrorists and Greta gets charged with conspiracy for tweeting: Law as storytelling

343 Days of Internet Shutdown in Kashmir – How Proportionate is it?

Today, I was browsing through Wikipedia. I do that a lot these days – given all the negative news around, I want to find stories about positive developments, recent discoveries, or the de-escalation of conflicts, and Wikipedia’s snowballing through the hyperlinks gets a reader to interesting corners of the internet. What I’m sharing now is … Continue reading 343 Days of Internet Shutdown in Kashmir – How Proportionate is it?

Testing the COVID-19 vaccine in Africa is a terrible idea – but could it still happen?

My professor at Leiden University College recently asked us as a class about the recent suggestion of French doctors to test a possible COVID-19 vaccine on vulnerable populations in the African continent (read more here). Apart from the fact that this case is absolutely appalling, especially to us as a class studying public health ethics, we were asked to write about whether pharmaceutical companies are bound to respect the ethical guidelines - that is: Even though we agree that it's an absolutely stupid idea, could it still be done? Is there anything stopping pharma companies from doing it? And if there isn't anything stopping them, would they do it?

This was my answer. 

Forms of Solidarity and the Politics of Crisis

While making it through this crisis alive and in one piece is probably the most imminent goal in everyone's mind, the corona crisis, with all its horrors, has provided us with a unique opportunity to chose a new trajectory for the world. It is at this time that we must remember lessons from the past to make sure that the society that emerges from the corona crisis can embark on a new path. It is now that we are free from path dependence, and can reshape our institutions by righting the wrongs of neoliberalism, capitalism and egoism. However, just as liberals and left-leaning activists and politicians are using the corona crisis to advocate for their interests, right-wing governments and autocrats are doing so, too. In this 8-paragraph article, I touch upon the politics of crisis, social psychology, different forms of solidarity, and on the need to be aware of the complexities of the world.

Brief thoughts on the use of petitions and the Indian legal system

Do petitions work? That totally depends on what they are for and in what legal system they seek to operate. Today, I sent around a petition to my Indian friends, which asks to sign in order to bring charges for a politician who apparently incited violence at the recent Delhi protests. Many of my friends … Continue reading Brief thoughts on the use of petitions and the Indian legal system

Kashmir: A Facade and Lost Legitimacy

The current treatment of Kashmiris, mainly Kashmiri Muslims, is a sign that should alert all of us, that should shake all of us awake. Maybe we are willing to buy the propaganda that people in the valley are happy. But if the people in the valley are indeed happy, then why the restrictions? Why are the telephone lines restricted? What are the reasons for the internet still being banned? I argue that the means employed by the Indian government signal to the residents of Kashmir that it is either too impatient to find a better strategy, or that it is too unwilling to resort to less violent strategies. While there may be two sides to the story, we cannot afford to miss the warning signs. Oppression, typically, does not manifest through an evil-doer admitting to want to oppress someone. Oppression does not become manifest by just listening to the words said, but by interpreting the deeds and the body language. They will indicate the speaker’s true intentions.