Amir is a grown up kid now. He is young and energetic. Not only he is good in his studies, he’s also a promising cricketer. He looks like any other teenager of his age, except the seriousness on his face. He seems to be taking life too seriously on the face of it.
But, that is just one facet of his life, divulge a bit into his life, and one would come to know what he has been through and what has made a smile elude his face. Life has not been so simple for him. Amir belongs to a well-to-do family, and his parents had sketched many plans for his future. Amir has never seen his father. His father was dead before he was even born. His Father was a Srinar-based Police officer and was brutally killed by the militants, shot from point blank, while on his way to attend a marriage function in a village on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Since childhood, Amir’s life was centred around his mother. As he grew up, he realised how he had lost his father. For him, life had always been a question mark. He always asked, “Why it happened to him only?” His mother had no answer. How was she supposed to make him understand that it was the people who called themselves the liberators, those who stood for the oppressed, killed his father? Amir has tried to make peace with life by accepting it as destiny and God’s will, and sometimes as his fault.
Kashmir has many stories like these. Police officers killed while on duty or even otherwise. Why were they killed? Was earning a livelihood through a government department such a gross mistake that it called for death? If such earning is a crime, then every Kashmiri has been committing it since the day he started working and needs to be killed as a punishment. Did the killers even realise that under that uniform was a fellow Kashmiri, a person from the same social structure, same community to which they belonged, and for whom they were fighting? Never in his trigger adventure did these so-called “mujahids” even think about the family, the kids or the old parents, who would be left in tears for the rest of their lives. The most unfortunate part of the life of so many of these officers is that they have been oppressed and killed by their people.
What kind of Azadi are we on our way to achieve? Azadi, where the colour of one’s clothes determines if that person is worthy of living or not. Azadi, where a few individuals trample their fellow people in the disguise of liberation and nationhood. Azadi, where life is so cheap that anyone could be killed on the streets or even inside his house. What answer do we as a society have to Amir’s questions? Why was his father killed? Who gave so much authority and power to a few misguided young men to snatch from Amir, the love of his father?
Ask Amir if he wants Azadi brought about by these men who have wrecked not only his life but that of the entire family. For him achieving such an Azadi would indeed be a misery as he would be supposed to live under the tyranny of his oppressor.
There are many Amirs on the streets of Kashmir, slowly building their lives which have been smeared with the blood. Fellow Kashmiris have been their perpetrators, not Indian army or Pakistan.
These police officials stand firm even in adverse times to maintain law and order. They were very much a part of our society for whom these brainwashed militants were fighting. Had these self-proclaimed mujahids felt so much for the people or the society, they would have adopted better means of fighting the oppressor. Kidnapping young girls, extortion, loot etc. are nowhere prescribed as means of fighting for liberation. Disgracing a girl on streets isn’t justified, even if she was the daughter of some high profile person in the government which they were fighting against. Such acts are a blot on the fight of liberation (if we ever had one). For our society, these militants are not heroes but a disgrace. Nowhere in the history of the world have the people fighting for freedom and liberation committed so many atrocities on their very own people. A claim to martyrdom by killing innocent people is merely a means of befooling the people; glorification of any level cannot wipe-off the stains of blood of innocent people. Their acts raise serious doubts on their being Muslims as Islam never supports such activities, even when a person is fighting for the sake of Islam.
Kashmir has been unfortunate to consider a revenge war as a war of liberation and war for the rights of the poor people who needed someone to stand for them.
From the first to the last man who took part in this destruction of life in the name of Azadi, would be answerable to so many Amirs of Kashmir on the Day of Judgment. There it would not be just one father, one brother or a son for whose killing they would be answerable, but so many of them killed over the years for no mistake of theirs.
(The name has been changed, and the reference is based on real facts as narrated to the writer)