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'I am not Malala, I am safe in India': Kashmiri journo's speech at UK Parliament goes viral

The event, titled 'India's Sankalp Divas,' was hosted by the Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre, UK, at the House of Commons in the Parliament in London.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 12:05 IST

Yana Mir, a social activist and journalist hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, recently received the Diversity Ambassador award in the UK Parliament. During the event, Mir addressed the prevailing narrative surrounding her homeland and criticized Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai for allegedly misrepresenting the situation in Kashmir.

The event, titled 'India's Sankalp Divas,' was hosted by the Jammu and Kashmir Study Centre, UK, at the House of Commons in the Parliament in London.

In her speech, Mir distanced herself from comparisons to Malala Yousafzai, emphasizing that she feels 'safe' and 'free' in her homeland, which is an integral part of India. She accused social media and foreign media "toolkit members" of fabricating stories of oppression in Kashmir without visiting the region. Mir urged against polarising Indians based on religion and called for an end to attempts to divide the Kashmiri community.

The video of her speech garnered over a million views on social media platform X.

While some people congratulated her for being the 'true voice of Kashmir,' others objected to her speech for advancing the 'normalcy narrative,' championed by the Indian government.

UK MP Theresa Villiers presented Mir with the Diversity Ambassador Award, with the ceremony attended by MPs Bob Blackman and Virendra Sharma.

Mir expressed her hope that individuals in the UK and Pakistan would cease maligning her country in international media and human rights forums, emphasizing the impact of terrorism on Kashmiri families.

Mir had made headlines in 2022 for a humorous analogy she made, comparing Pakistan to an interfering boyfriend trying to come between a happily married India and Kashmir. This analogy had received much traction, with even retired Indian Army generals and officials in the civil service retweeting her.

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(Published 24 February 2024, 12:05 IST)

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