Defunct state machinery, fascist national interests and an evil narrative of nationalism has swallowed up Kashmir. Unfortunately, education and attendance of students has been set as a barometer for normalcy. Also, a predictable dip in occurrence of stone pelting has been credited to the unprecedented demonetisation. When such juxtapositions are made by union ministers, one can either laugh at those conclusions or pray to God to gift them some sanity.
Their sagacity is questionable, so is their understanding of conflict. When you hold such a position, you are expected to enunciate logic rather than chunter insanity. Well, only a senseless person would be against education and to my knowledge no one in Kashmir is against it. Leaders from every caucus have condemned the vicious act of burning schools. One can’t be happier seeing students flocking outside examination centres and concentrating on last-minute revisions rather than talking about the conflict cloud which surrounds them.
Taking a political advantage of this situation, the HRD minister, claims it as a ‘surgical strike‘ by students on separatists, whereas in the last four months of chaos, no statement from any side came against education. The statement from the minister only makes sense if for four months Kashmir was in an uprising against school homework and school bus fees. When insensitivity knows no limits and when people are deprived from real education, these statements are inevitable. We are in a situation, where roll no. 33 has to sit behind an empty bench, because roll no. 32 has been blinded by pellets and where teachers have to send question papers back, as roll no. 8 is incarcerated.
In addition to all this melodrama of comparison between exams and surgical strike, the demonetisation fiasco has boggled the mind of the whole nation, unlike Kashmir. We Kashmiris have an innate quality of finding order in chaos. While the whole nation was in endless queues to get back their hard-earned money, Kashmir was calm as a cat. Still, churning out political gains from moments of despair has been something politicians are known for.
With reference to the dip in stone pelting incidents, a minister came up with crediting it to the over-hyped ‘surgical strike’ on black money. Actually, the reasons for reduction in stone pelting incidents are the freezing cold winter, exams and the exasperating blood-ridden four months. So, talking about demonetisation’s real impact, it is an actual ‘surgical strike’ on poor people, where almost 50 of them couldn’t bear the brunt of this highly questionable economical shift. We Kashmiris were already caged for 133 days and we had stockpiled our essentials for winters, it hardly mattered to us.
If only demonetisation was the solution of this conflict, we Kashmiris would have suggested it from our side. But this statement just reflects the denial in which Delhi lives and makes people believe absurdity under the banner of patriotism. As Albert Einstein rightly said, “Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism – how passionately I hate them!”
Demonetisation – the solution, exams – barometer of normalcy; in hopes of deceiving the masses, these ministers have used oxymorons in their speeches. As their followers blindly celebrate these illogical statements, Kashmiris still dream of freedom. The longing for freedom won’t come to halt by demonetisation and education will make Kashmiris stronger. Sane heads will grow with different currencies in the pocket but the dream does not change and the yearning for unclasping the chains will not fade away.