Kashmir, Under Siege and Lockdown Faces a Mental Health Crisis and much more. Article 370 allowed the state a certain amount of autonomy – its own constitution, a separate flag and freedom to make laws. Foreign affairs, defense and communications remained the preserve of the central government. As a result, Jammu and Kashmir could make its own rules relating to permanent residency, ownership of property and fundamental rights. It could also bar Indians from outside the state from purchasing property or settling there. On August 5th, in its most brazen and egregious move, Modi’s government altered the status of Indian-occupied Kashmir through the revocation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution. The move is illegal under the constitution of India, but more important, it is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan. One year of lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir has not only resulted in an “across-the-board violation of human rights”, it also led to the “denial of the right to bail and fair and speedy trial, coupled with misuse of draconian legislation, such as the Public Safety Act (PSA) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), to stifle dissent”. Moreover, this period saw “frequent closures, harassment at barricades and checkpoints, and restrictions on mobile telephony and internet connectivity,” which enormously impacted public health, and caused panic and stress amongst the people. Local medical professionals say they are seeing a rise in suicides and an increase in, already disturbing, high rates of domestic abuse. Nearly 1.8 million Kashmiris, or nearly half of all adults, have some form of mental disorder. Dr. Majid Shafi, a government psychiatrist, said that last year he saw a hundred patients a week. Now he sees more than 500. Overall, Kashmir has less than 60 psychiatrists. Teenagers traumatized by violence; mothers too worried about their incarcerated children to sleep; businesspeople owing a mountain of debt that is climbing higher and higher under a lockdown that has shuttered nearly everything. Every season of turmoil in Kashmir brings a new kind of pain. One season is marked by the corpses of teenage boys felled by Indian forces. Another brings an epidemic of dead eyes as Kashmiris refer to protesters left blind after being struck in the eyes by pellets fired by police officers. This past year will be remembered for the crackdown. In August, the Indian government suddenly stripped away statehood from Jammu and Kashmir, which had been India’s one Muslim-majority state. . Security forces flooded the area, cut off roads, shut down landlines, cellphone lines and the internet, and arrested thousands of Kashmiris, from students to top elected officials. Many Kashmiris, who used social media to socialize because it was dangerous to hang out in the streets, now feel completely isolated. Children have remained out of school for months. Because of the military crackdown and then the coronavirus lockdown, students have been in school only a few weeks. All major fundamental rights are effectively suspended. The Public Safety Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are invoked indiscriminately. Cordon and Search Operations (CASO) are conducted widely and daily to curb movement. All statutory commissions to uphold rights have been wound up. The new media policy is a candid admission that a free media has no place in J&K and it sanctifies censorship. It will be a year, yet our vaunted Constitutional institutions – Parliament, courts and plural political system – have found no answers to the new Kashmir issue created in August 2019. That is a sad failure, and the sadness is compounded by the fact that so far there is no hope, nor can we hear the soul-stirring words “this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth”. Before the August clampdown, the entire Muslim community should stand together to take action against The Indian government. Otherwise Indian assault on Kashmiris will continue and innocent people will be tortured and killed every day.