Death is the ultimate “reality’’ which no one in this world denies. A person, irrespective of their social, economic, ethnic or religious fabric, has to face this hard-hitting reality one day. However, Kashmiris seem to be a little too close to this reality.
Death seems to be an intimate love affair that we face. Very often, the angel of death hovers around us, looking for its next victim. From an eight-year-old girl belonging to a nomadic community of Kathua to a 15-year-old, class 9 student, no one is spared. It seems like Kashmiris are being strategically subjugated and victimized.
We see this when a 19-year-old goes out to buy groceries from the market, and returns on a stretcher along with a sea of people, with a bullet in his head and dried blood on his motionless body. We see this when a 26-year-old boy, who was supposed to get married in five days, falls prey to the worlds so-called ‘largest democracy’ that promises to give a citizen, the right to oppose, disagree and protest. But alas! Kashmiris have got special status in “death’’ as well.
We live in a tense atmosphere, where death dances on the heads of people day and night. You leave home and are not sure whether you will return dead or alive. Even the safety of our four walls does not exist. Death can arrive under the cover of any excuse be it a stray bullet, mistaken identity, or even something sillier.
It takes a lot of courage to live in a situation like this. It’s scary when your main occupation seems to be just to ensure that you stay alive in a town where tameless beasts seem to be out for your blood. It takes courage to live in a situation where you can very easily fall victim to the narratives of “peace” and “security”.
April has been the fourth consecutive month of bloodshed this year. There have been 29 innocent civilians who have met the angel of death. Sadly, most of them were teenagers. Even in such a situation, our esteemed “Twitter CM” as I like to call her, feels anguished everytime she hears of her men in uniform who have come out and showered bullets on unarmed kids. Surprisingly, when four civilians in Kulgam were killed, she was in a meeting with the Home Minister, trying to gift some ‘healing touches’ to the people – something her late father always dreamt of. What about your own state, ma’am? We don’t want any more tweets expressing your troubles over the sorry state of affairs. We want you to do something about it!
While on one hand, the central and state establishments are bragging and asserting about their rhetoric claims of keeping the youth away from violence and are appealing to the youth to shun the path of the gun and come to mainstream politics. But on the other side, the same youth is being dispatched deep into the soil, booked under the worst kind of anti-human acts and exposed to the extreme level of physical and mental torture. Do you still wonder why future Kashmiri doctors, engineers and politicians are now becoming rebels?
There is a lot to tell and to write, but words fall less while I try to describe the pain, the agony and the cry of a mother, who lost her son. Words fail to describe the sorrow of a father who lost his 26-year-old son. I can’t write enough words to explain the sadness that a sister felt when she lost her only brother, who promised to return home after buying groceries and describe the tears of a family who lost their sole bread earner.
May death start to hate us, and life fall in love with us again. May our tulips grow and sustain their perennial life without wilting. May peace, life and happiness prevail.