This cartoon strip by Suhail Naqshbandi is published by Cartoonists Rights Network International a year after the repeal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and also the shutdown of the internet in the region.
This statement was originally published on cartoonistsrights.org on 5 August 2020.
Earlier this year we published an essay from cartoonist Suhail Naqshbandi describing his experiences prior to India’s suspension of the Jammu & Kashmir region’s autonomous status and the subsequent degradation of civil liberty, including one of the world’s longest internet shutdowns. Now, to mark the first anniversary of the repeal of Article 370 we present an exclusive cartoon strip by Suhail entitled LOCKED.
In an evocative and semi-autobiographical story, Suhail portrays a family caught out by the sudden changes in Kashmir as the Indian government suspended the special status of the state and began reorganisation into the two new union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
We remain in touch with Suhail – slightly easier now as internet connectivity, albeit at markedly slow speeds, has been reintroduced to the region – and as ever commend his bravery in speaking out and using his art to beautifully express the difficulties Kashmiri citizens have encountered in the past year, from the end of autonomy and on through the coronavirus pandemic.