It's rather odd for an Indian to watch the protests in Kashmir. One can't help but wonder what they want to achieve through these protests. Do they want azaadi(freedom) from India to join Pakistan? Do they want azaadi from Pakistan? Or do they simply want azaadi to exist as an independent nation?
And even if they do get the type of azaadi they crave... where will it leave them? On one side, they have Pakistan, who has supported their claim and raised the Kashmir issue many times in international forums, but is an economic disaster. On the other side, they have India, a country they abhor but whose economic prowess means that they have a better chance of development and progress.
Kashmir in turmoil isn't a good idea for anyone -- not for India and not for the Kashmiris. The clashes almost inevitably lead to deaths but yet they continue, week after week, in a ritualistic fashion. They have almost become a tradition of sorts -- every Friday without fail, the streets of Srinagar witness a pitched battle between protesters and the police.
It follows a set pattern. The protesters gather, the police watch from a distance. The protesters move a little closer, the police hold their ground. Then, all hell breaks loose. The protesters hurl stones in the direction of the police; the police answer in kind. Then, after a few hours -- they disperse.
The protesters go home and so do the policemen. Only until next Friday.
But yet, we wonder... why? We think we know the answers to the questions but we can never be sure. We can only guess.
However, in the latest ScoopWhoop documentary 'Kashmir - Inside A Friday protest' we go undercover and embed ourselves with the protesters to find out what their true motivation is and where their allegiance truly lies -- is it with India? Is it with Pakistan? Is it with Kashmir?
The answer might shock us, as can the logic. But perhaps the fact that these educated youth are doing it, by going against the very grain of logic, is what shocks the most. They sound so convinced of the path they are on that they leave no room for doubt.
Not only do we talk to them but the documentary also paints a grim picture of the lives they lead and of the events that made them what they are.
'Kashmir - Inside A Friday Protest' is not for the faint-hearted.