Before I started studying my family’s genealogy, I had very little ability to retain the dates of important events in United States history. Then, once it became personal, I began to connect particular relatives with particular larger events. A depression explained one family’s relocation. The Chicago fire dislocated a great-grandfather. History came alive for me.
Right now the same thing is happening to me because of this blog and the readers and writers I have connected with. One wrote about the impact of the sudden travel ban by our new President. Another is being affected by the government in The Philippines. I correspond with a graduate student in Turkey and avoid any political discussion lest I cause her trouble.
But the turmoil I was completely ignorant about is in the Indian province of Kashmir. I have been following a thoughtful Muslim young man from there who posts beliefs of Islam. That in itself has been very helpful. Even though I thought I was fair minded, I had been negatively affected by all the anti-Muslim rhetoric pervading our country. I had fallen for the negative generalizations more than I realized.
The fighting in Kashmir has been going on for a very long time, but it is at a peak right now. The Indian government has been responding with measures that are chilling. You don’t have to have a position on Kashmir independence to be distressed by cutting off internet access, shutting down Facebook and closing universities. So I am now praying for the safety of the people of Kashmir, for the freedom of their press, universities and air waves. If you know as little as I did about Kashmir, take ten minutes and check it out.