As I woke up, early in the morning this independence day, I saw children outside my window pane, waving flags on roads, celebrating the day wearing new clothes, laughing loudly, as they have no idea about what ‘independence’ is for they are too immature to understand that. But they love the ambience and witnessing this scene, I got to thinking about the children of my land, Kashmir.
Kashmir marked its 50th consecutive day of curfew a few days ago and is still breathing under the thick blanket of curfew, and communication is disrupted with a complete ban on the internet, minimising the outflow of news.
Recently when I connected with my family members back at home, Mom told me that Aisha wanted to talk to me. In broken words, she uttered,“yume chi ne mei aana kurkure” (they don’t buy me Kurkure). It broke my heart into pieces. This was one of her few daily demands that used get fulfilled earlier!
Children in Kashmir have only witnessed violence in the recent past. What sort of an effect should this have on them? In future, will they too become stone pelters as they have no fear left in them?
The conflict in Kashmir has ruined the childhood of a whole generation. And what else do you expect when you keep them locked indoors for 50 days? It is almost like caging wild birds. And the worst part is that they are still bearing the brunt of it.