April 29, 2020
“I was shocked. I couldn’t reach out to my family, phones weren’t working. I had no idea what was happening in Kashmir, no one did,” says Ahmer , a Kashmiri rapper. Like the rest of India, Ahmer woke up to the news on August 5th, 2019 that his home state of Kashmir had been placed under a communications blackout imposed by the ruling right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP]. Along with no TV, internet, or phone service, the Indian government had also revoked Article 370, which guaranteed certain conditions for the state of Jammu and Kashmir: the ability to govern autonomously in all areas except defense, communication, and foreign policy.