A Powerful Appeal From A Kashmiri Youth: ‘Care For Kashmiris, Not Just For Kashmir’

Posted on April 19, 2016 in Society

By Darakhshan:

An Indian police officer walks past an injured youth after police chased away Kashmiri Shi'ite mourners who tried to defy a curfew and take out a Muharram procession, in Srinagar December 15, 2010. Authorities on Wednesday imposed a curfew in parts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir to thwart planned Muharram processions, local media reported. Muslims all over the world mourn the slaying of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Mohammad, during the first ten days of the Islamic month of Muharram. Imam Hussein was killed by his political rivals along with 72 companions in the 7th century battle of Kerbala. The injured boy said that he was beaten by Indian police after he took refuge inside a shop. REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli (INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS RELIGION CRIME LAW) - RTXVQLW
Image credit: Reuters/Fayaz Kabli.

The Army went on killing Kashmiris unabated and merciless, with many deaths being unaccounted for. I do not have words to describe my feelings. Almost 94,000 people have been killed and counting. I don’t understand why they are doing this to us if they are here to protect us. Our protectors have turned into butchers. They are killing us without any reason and what is more disturbing is that there is no inquiry which yields any result. Things are still the same as they were only the atrocities and brutalities have increased and so have the ways to shield their men.

You know what? It’s not easy to live in Kashmir as it’s totally unpredictable. One never knows what’s going to come his/her way. When, early in the morning, you leave your home, you are not sure whether you will be back alive or on some men’s shoulders. We live with a deep sense of fear. I bet no other people of others states can carry on with their lives like we do. Only God gives us the strength to continue. Our undying spirit makes us go on and on.

We are in our land but the surroundings seem alien. The civilians and the security forces are deeply alienated with each other. You have to carry your identity proof when you are leaving your home because on your way you will be frisked, harassed, humiliated, and sometimes marked as suspicious and then you have to bear their wrath. If you are found without your ID card you are beaten black and blue. Your house is checked and ransacked in case you live on the outskirts on the suspicion that you provide shelter to militants. You are dragged to different interrogation centres for they have information against you which, of course, they sometimes don’t bother to verify. You are beaten, electric shocks are given to you. Every kind of torture is performed on your body and, then, finally, either you or your dead body is thrown in the fields or forests.

What is our fault? What have we done? Being a Kashmiri and that too a Kashmiri Muslim qualifies you for such harsh treatment. Playgrounds were turned into graveyards and the count is still on. Army men should make their stand very clear. They must tell us whether they are here for our protection or for the opposite purpose. Such incidents like the recent gruesome Handwara carnage are not new to Kashmir. But, that is not the question.

In other states, the forces don’t use even their lathis to disperse mobs. Their ‘water’ is enough. But here, stones are answered with bullets that too on your head. They target us here directly. They want to kill our youth because we are mere numbers for them. They shower us with bullets and within no time our roads turn into pools of blood. Is our blood cheaper than the people of other states or is there a motive is to kill us and deprive us of our land which is probably what they mean when they say Kashmir is ‘ours’?

How many mothers lose their sons, sisters their brothers, wives their husbands and how many become orphans? Is this what we can expect in the form of protection by the security forces? I want to make this point very clear that all Kashmiris don’t want to settle with Pakistan. No, at least, I don’t want to. If India cannot give us autonomy, fine. But, at least, don’t kill us for fake reasons. Protect us. Make us feel that you really care for Kashmiris and not just for Kashmir.

It is a fact that the armed forces provide many facilities to villagers including medical, educational, recreational, agricultural help and much more. But, then, all these efforts are overlooked because what they do is not acceptable. Stop killing innocents. Restrain the use of force. Be tolerant and let us live happily.

Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.