On August 5 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government made a dramatic decision to revoke the partial autonomy of Indian-administered Kashmir.
The world watches as J&K is brought into the fold of India amidst growing tension and protest from around the world and the neighbor state of Pakistan.
In order to quell anticipated protests, India has opted to militarize the region with additional troop reinforcements, arrested religious and political leaders while also imposing a full communications blackout. The presidential decree that was issued on August 5 revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution over the Indian-occupied state of Jammu & Kashmir. Article 370 guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters except defense, communications and foreign affairs.
The case of Shubnum Khan vs the Indian government
Indian South African writer and author Shubnum Khan has drawn the ire of the Indian government with a tweet.
Her post on Twitter stated,
Too much bad news lately. Kashmir has constantly been on my mind. Painted this image of Kashmir’s famous chinar leaf. We see your pain. We stand with you. We acknowledge you. (Anyone is welcome to the image) #StandWithKashmir #KashmirBleeds
Yesterday, Khan took to Twitter to share what transpired after she received an email from Twitter advising her that the Indian government does not approve of her Twitter post.
What did Twitter say in the email?
Twitter’s legal arm emailed Khan to advise her that they’ve received a request from ‘India’ regarding her account over a tweet of a drawing of Kashmir. According to the email it ‘violates the laws of India.’
The historic move has heightened the tensions with neighbouring Pakistan, which has threatened to downgrade its diplomatic relations with India. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full but rule it in part.
The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory. A rebellion in Indian-administered Kashmir has been ongoing for three decades.
Read the email from twitter here
Twitter users react
In a matter of hours, the tweet has received a thousand retweets as Twitterati show support for Khan and her post that has upset the Indian government.
The biggest irony is that this drawing was mostly unknown but by trying to shut it down, the Indian government has given it so much more attention. Thank you to everyone for sharing it. #StandWithKashmirShubnum Khan on Twitter
Twitter users have moved to share the alleged offensive post giving further exposure to the plight of the people of the Indian-occupied state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Screw them. We’re retweeting your drawing!!Twitter user
Shubnum Khan is a South African Indian author who published her debut novel, Onion Tears with Penguin at 25. It was long listed for the Sunday Times fiction prize and shortlisted for the University of Johannesburg Debut Fiction Prize. She has written for O, the Oprah magazine, Marie Claire and The Sunday Times Travel magazine. She is currently working on her second novel, Paper Flowers. Find out more about Shubnum on her website and follow her on Twitter.