From Our Bureau
The Congress on Thursday said it with a 3-minute video clip on its website to debunk the government's claim that the situation in Kashmir is normal.
"Here is the reality" as told by the Kashmiris, with their pictures blurred to prevent the authorities crack down on them.
One youth says: "There is structural violence in Kashmir. The voice of the people have been suppressed. They are not allowing our voices to be heard. This cannot be called normalcy."
"There is a mental torture on the people of Kashmir," he added.
Another youth says: "I don't think everything is normal. If everything were normal, Kashmir would be open."
"We try till midnight every night in the hope that our (phone) calls get connected. But the calls do not get connected. It is completely shutdown."
Another voice of a youth says: "Here they're not informing anything. Who's informing. Is any media going there? Is anyone allowed to enter there? Does anyone have any news about the reality in Kashmir?
"We don't know anything! There is curfew in our district. We have no idea if our family members are dead or alive. Landline calling is available in police stations. There is one police station in the vicinity of 40 km. Can our family members go so far to call?"
Yet another voice: "I think this is the biggest joke of the 21st century, I want to tell you. I'm from district Poonch. District Poonch is an area where such a situation, such shutdowns have never been created. Today, it has been one month. I haven't been able to talk to my family on the phone. The fact that phones are down means things are not normal." Another youth laments: "Our voices have been suppressed. Personally, I am telling you that I haven't been able to talk to my family since we spoke on 3rd August. I don't know how they are today."
The video clip goes on to state "Here's how it affected." The students in Delhi interviewed.
One says: "Our fees have not been paid yet. Our college administration has extended the date for us."
Another youth: "We don't have any pocket money. We haven't been able to pay rent for two months. Now they are asking us to leave. We have no money to go to college daily.
"The new semester has started. We need to buy books. Need materials to study. We have nothing to eat. We are borrowing from people to eat. How long will this go on? What will our family members be thinking? That we are dead or alive." Yet another youth: "Only we can understand what is happening with us. It feels like we have been kept in jail. Just think, if the internet or phone are down in Delhi for just two days.
What will the scene be here?
"The state of mind is not good here because my parents used to call several times in a day. Now we are not able to talk even once a day. It's strange experience. Feels like we've been left in a different world. Doesn't feel like we belong to this society." Another student: "I was selected for admission in a foreign university, with full scholarship. I was to go there for admission. I couldn't talk to my parents. I wouldn't take some money from them. Or, I would've at least taken some advice. This is why I couldn't go. I missed that opportunity."
Yet another youth says he had booked an Oyo room in Delhi. "They realised I was a Kashmiri when they saw the details. They did not give me the room because I was a Kashmiri. If they want Kashmir, why don't they want Kashmiri people?
The video ends with a question: "Still believe it was done for the good?" It just asks: "Think again."