Suffocated by politics of two bordered neighbors, lacking a sense of belonging and distorted vision of normalcy, such has been the existence of a Kashmiri ever since one could remember. Stuck in this tug of war, these residents are yet again facing a crisis of existentialism.
Social media, well-known to voice its opinion on mishaps around the globe, even picked up on the Kashmir issue. Fury rinsed over the state as Hizbul Mujahideen’s terrorist Burhan Wani was shot by the Indian army, Kashmir was filled with protestors against the Indian Army equipped with pellets. The friction created by this tiff further led to a curfew.
Never forget Pakistan
Among the several noises echoing on social media, one community raised its voice attempting to wake people up through hard-hitting creatives of celebrities. With the motive to get the Kashmir issue noticed, Pakistani welfare society who claims to work for human rights and create positivity narratives pushed out a campaign.
Extremely opinionated and motivated to funnel people’s attention towards Kashmir’s chaos, this page created an album of pellet affected Bollywood and political personalities from India and Mark Zuckerberg titled, ‘What if you knew the victims’ supported by sharp hashtags like #IndiaCantSee and #LetKashmirDecide.
Anguished with the tragedy, the organization made razor-sharp, direct remarks towards the Indian army re-surfacing the obvious tiff between the two ends and showering support towards the people of Kashmir.
The campaigns spoke volumes about how tragedies become important if known faces are involved. The stories along with the images were real, the names signed under the letter were real, just the victims were masked behind celebrities. The campaign posed a question, do you care about the profile of the victim for you to sympathize and empathize with them? For you to speak up for them? They questioned why we need to glamorize a tragedy to gain attention.
The campaign blatantly pointed fingers at the Indian Armed forces and mocked India’s claims to be a secular democracy. They also condemn the pick and choose policy of Facebook, thus including Mark Zuckerberg in their album, which censors posts highlighting the plight of Kashmiris.
They claimed the campaign to not be about jingoism, but to sensitize. But it’s a shame that the world needs to put across genuine tragedies creatively. As advocates for human rights they said that they believe Kashmir, independent of any force and influence from India and Pakistan should have a right to determine its own identity and future.
Social media brawl of the nations
Intended to grasp attention through a strong message, this community made direct remarks against the Indian army, touching upon a very sensitive subject thus triggering poisonous political and religious heated conversations around this campaign.
Though intended to empathize with the people at the receiving end, this Pakistani organization through their social handle pointed fingers only towards India. They somehow managed to show a blind eye towards the loopholes of Pakistani interference in the matters of Kashmir. Eventually, only stressing on the faults of Indian officials and not as much as the on-going mayhem.
— نادیہ (@iNadiaKhurr) July 27, 2016
Obviously, the war of the cursed land going on ever since the independence of both these nations faced massive backlash and yet again managed to put the core issue out of the frame. This campaign did nothing but instigated the blame game all over again through merciless, unfiltered filthy remarks thrown at each other in the social-verse.
— آسیہ بلوچ (@Aasia_Baloch) July 22, 2016
The campaign smartly dodges hateful words and content buckets that stand a chance to get blocked by Facebook and other social platforms. Lack of guidelines and human surveillance over content on social media often leads to harmful content going undetected across social media platforms.
In spite of the hatred and negativity incited by the campaign – neither Indian or Pakistani authorities nor Facebook have acknowledged the it.
The campaign whatsoever managed to garner social media attention for obvious reasons, as history has taught us controversy always sells. With both countries failing to finding a mid way, the crisis has only evolved over the years creating discomfort, rebel and more hatred.