“The more we run from conflict, / The more it masters us; / The more we try to avoid it, / The more it controls us; / The less we fear conflict, / The less it confuses us; / The less we deny our differences, / The less they divide us.” – David Augsburger
Once Kashmir was known for its natural beauty and called as heaven on earth. But regrettably now my Nation (J&K) is known for highly militarized, it creates fear psychosis in the minds of people and mostly remains in news for protests, innocent killings, unrest and encounters. Whenever there is protest in Kashmir, there happens killing especially killings of youth. Then their start orders for enquiry with no results at the end. And then starts the main part of drama i.e., politics, allegations and counter allegations between leaders whether belonging to main stream or separatists, that who is responsible for these killings. Vis-à-vis India and Pakistan also blame each other for the unrest in Kashmir and play politics over innocent killings in the name of so called well wishers of Kashmir and Kashmiri people. When we talk of conflict in Kashmir for some it started right from the Dogra rule in 1931, in which people protested against the atrocities of Dogra. For some struggle started from 1947 and partition between India and Pakistan added fuel to the fire. Whenever this struggle or confrontation begins, the fact is, Kashmir is losing its own people from very beginning of every age group ranging from kids to elders including males and females.
Since 2008, and more recently the Burhan episode on July 8, there has been mass agitation albeit different reasons and this is followed by the killings of people, mostly killings of youth and then whole Government machinery at state and national level blame people of Kashmir for innocent killings by calling them miscreants, violent mob; mob attacking security camps and police stations etc. Is this right way of defending innocent killings? Question needs to be answered! There is no way for bullet to stone in any civilized nation. After every unrest India blames Pakistan for instigating violence in Kashmir and India also claims Kashmir as their integral part. While Pakistan blames India has occupied Kashmir and being hopeful that one day Kashmir becomes Pakistan or part of Pakistan. Within Jammu and Kashmir, ruling parties blame separatists and neighboring country for unrest and opposing mainstream parties blame party in power for their inability to control or handle any untoward situation, while as separatists blame main stream parties and New Delhi for miserable condition in Kashmir. This is the routine after every unrest or innocent killings in Kashmir, it gives the impression as it is compulsory syllabus of politics to follow in J&K for every leader irrespective of what stream he belongs to. And sitting in news rooms or joining debates and then misleading general public by their own understanding and generalizations is not going to work. These so called experts are generalizing opinions on Kashmir while living somewhere else, reading few articles or reading couple of books about Kashmir does not make anyone expert to generalize about happenings in J&K. Sometimes, debates on Kashmir brings smile on the faces of Kashmiri people in this tense atmosphere, as these debates look like comedy shows where anchor plays important comedian role by their behavior and statements and others in the debate follow accordingly. At least, it works as laughter therapy for those who are in stress and strain in J&K. Those who want to know reality about Kashmir can go through the history of Kashmir with objective mind set. How can one defend the atrocities committed on kids? And Infixing more and more troops in Kashmir which is already high military zone otherwise will also not work to bring end of miseries of people in the long run nor using of pellets and bullets against unarmed natives and blocking internet, cell phones, media and other communications either.
“One of the most basic principles for making and keeping peace within and between nations…is that in political, military, moral, and spiritual confrontations, there should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat.” – Jimmy Carte
What pinches me is that, had ever a Kashmiri common man belonging to any race, caste, color and religion asked who is to blame for such painful conditions or what they want to get rid of such miserable atmosphere? It is the common people who lost their dear ones. If the leadership of every stream (political, separatists, religious, Indian and Pakistani) are sincere enough and want to prevail peace in J&K whole heartedly then they should work to create such a mechanism, like that of private type of election as trial basis where common people of J&K should be asked what they want to live peacefully and they should let decide their own future. In simple words there must be poll of public opinion. If they are interested to grab the land of Kashmir then it is better to kill all people by using nuclear bomb and grab the area that will ease the miseries of common man in Kashmir once for all. Mere for domination and supremacy sake neither claims that Kashmir is integral part of India nor Kashmir will become Pakistan will work, nor does it yield any result except blood bath of innocent Kashmiri. Those who are at the helm of affairs are busy tweeting about the killings of people in France and other foreign countries but not a single tweet about the killings of Kashmiris. While I was writing this piece there were around 54 civilians killed, more than 5000 people are injured including 493 hit by bullets, 410 with pellet injuries to eye/s unfortunately most of them are at the danger of losing vision in either eye, 27 having head and spine injuries by shells, pellets or bullets and about 1558 surgeries had already done in various hospitals. This is the present awful scene in Kashmir yet government in Supreme Court says ‘All is Well in Kashmir’.
In times of crises who is the rescuer of Kashmiri? My answer is, only Kashmiri people; not India or Pakistan. Local youths, community groups, local doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, other paramedical staff etc. and voluntary groups come to rescue of victims and people in distress in every possible way. Victims are being provided food, financial assistance, blood, support and help by these local people and not by anyone else who claims to be so called the well wishers of J&K people. All these brave people need to be appreciated and applauded. Now I request those people who are in teaching profession or educated people to come forward and organize teaching classes in their respective localities or in neighborhood at least, so that students will not suffer. It will be helpful for students to be in touch with their studies and will be more fruitful for those who are preparing for different competitive exams.
“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
To Conclude; Everyone needs to introspect why well educated youth take guns in their hands and why youth protest fearlessly, obviously they are not doing it for fun and need to find what is best possible solution for Kashmir dispute as a whole? At least we should apply subaltern approach to understand the reality from ground level and then act accordingly for the welfare of general society.
“A stiff apology is a second insult…The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.” – Gilbert Chesterton
Name: Mansoor Ahmad
Designation: Research Scholar at Kashmir University