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Us Versus the Virus: The Weaponizing of a Pandemic to Perpetuate Oppression by Sahil Nisha


The Kashmir region of South Asia has been a contested territory between Asian countries – primarily India and Pakistan – since the Partition of British India in 1947. Indian-administered Kashmir recently underwent significant political changes with the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A – which guaranteed Kashmir’s special semi-autonomous status – on 15 August, 2019.

What followed was a seemingly endless physical lockdown accompanied by what is now referred to as the longest communications blackout in a supposed democracy. The epitome of “out of the frying pan and into the fire,” the lockdown imposed in August 2019 became a health-focused lockdown on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

This paper considers the historical conflict surrounding Kashmir – a region targeted for its profound natural beauty, capitalist potential, & as the only Muslim-majority state in a Hindu nationalist India – and interrogates India’s treatment of Kashmir preceding and during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to problematize the nuclear power’s colonial desire of the region.

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