My Kashmiri friend’s text message reads: “Hi brother, I remember you on WhatsApp from Barca group, I’m from Kashmir, we have been cut off from the world since August, I don’t know if u still using this no. Back then u were bruce wayne isn’t it? I want some updates from Barcelona”
Zahoor Ahmad Khan from Anantnag, Kashmir is also hardcore football fan just like me, but he is denied the possibility of watching League and other major trophy games since August last year. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a crippling communication and complete lockdown in Kashmir before stripping its autonomy on August 5 2019. The region has been without internet since then – the longest such spell imposed in a democracy.
Nowadays, during my college days also I barely miss my game at evenings just like other Keralites and I can always see a group of Kashmiri friends also regular in the ground, this is not the only place I have seen their passion. Talking to a Kashmiri about football has always been worth as they have a clear idea about the game. All this passion and intimacy for the game just struck me while reading his text.
Beauty of this game is not the only factor that has made me interested in this game. But the political and revolution they have been keeping up for years.
With Kashmiris, I even make debate and discourses about teams and counter each other. But this friend of mine can’t get the updates of Barcelona, his favourite team. It is so disturbing to read his SMS again as a football fan, as a human, as a friend.
Today when received this text via from my friend, We contacted him on call and updated some current details of the Barcelona club and he couldn’t resist himself claiming “I am huge fan of Barcelona, you can check my twitter @barcaapostle , felt a bit hilarious, but later it haunted me putting keeping myself on his position.
Even at the time of this resistance, when I received this message from a Kashmiri, I could only pen down my memories. When football connects as in a universal point, resistance shall become universal. Pinto has fallen down, Catalan shall liberate, Kashmir shall be free. Nation-states shall fall down to form the idea of being universal.
My dear friend, hope we could watch Barcelona (mine and his favorite club) winning Champions League Trophy together.
Fadil Abdulla studies BA Psychology at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.