18 Sept. 2016. I woke up, as usual. Freshened up. Then took to social media. It was flooded. It was everywhere. One word, Uri, was flashing around.
An attack, perpetrated allegedly by a terror outfit, Jaish–e–Mohammed, had left 19 of our soldiers dead and many others injured. How misleading of a name, “Jaish–e–Mohammed” meaning “Army of Muhammad”. I was upset. I sat grinding my teeth, thinking of why it happened. I wanted our army to respond back with equal vigour. I took some deep breaths. Spit out my anger, literally too. Then thought of the root of the cause. What made 4 men blow themselves up? How did this hate take form? And why?
Prior to this incident, the valley was experiencing extreme unrest. Around 50 people were killed and thousands injured.
Kashmir is a matter of utmost sensitivity. No single answer can be a solution. As for now, the bullets continue to respond to the rocks.
I began a logical tug for a solution. Why doesn’t Pakistan open its borders so that the Indian army comes, wipes out the terrorists and leave? Pakistan is unwilling to do so. They are unwilling to eradicate terrorism. For them, Kashmir dominance is much more important than the lives of a few thousand. If these terrorists were to be demolished, there only hope of winning Kashmir would be gone, forever.
People suggested all out war. That’s unreasonable. People are still ignorant of the fact that this Kashmir issue is a play by two governments who don’t care about their people. The army, the public, we are all puppets for them. The only one who suffers from war is us. When the bombs rain down, they are not selective. They destroy everything. Nothing but blood will spill from either side of the border while both the governments sit deciding which patch to hit next.
There seemed no solution.
11 days later, 29 Sept. 2016, the Indian army, reportedly, held a surgical strike. 11 terrorists and 2 soldiers were killed. I smirked with joy. I was proud.
Browsing through my feed that evening, I came across an article. It had pictures of 2 soldiers, ‘So and so Pakistani soldiers that died today’.
My heart froze. Well, it would, if I had one. I thought of the 18 killed on our side. Then, I shuddered at the hundreds that have passed before, all over the possession of Kashmir. All because of the greed of 2 nations, 2 governments. Kashmir isn’t a toy that should be hauled about. It is 12.5 million dreams. Their aspirations, their longing to lead a normal life. Their idea of smelling not the gunpowder but the valley air upon waking up. Their notion of having the streets full of kids playing cricket and not strange men with dreadful guns. Is it too bad a thought?
To obtain the peace we all cry about, we don’t need war. We need apt, mature solutions. Kashmir should not be the false pride of a nation. It should be given thought. A referendum. That is what’s needed. Let the people choose. And we shall see in awe, as the people choose neither India nor Pakistan, they’d choose Kashmir. They’d choose their azaadi.