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Poem: Kashmir, India Loves You

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August 5, 2020, it has been a year since the Government of India removed Article 370 from Kashmir. In many ways it was a historic move. There may be differences in whether this step was right or wrong, but its results are going to be very severe and crucial for the country in the coming time. 

Most of my Indian friends find this move of the Indian government right, but when I talk to my friends living in Kashmir, I see anger, disappointment and helplessness in them. India has captured the land of Kashmir by the use of army, force and bypassing the law. But the hearts of the Kashmiri people have been lost. We Indians love Kashmir but hate Kashmiris.

Kashmir, believe me, India loves you very much.

Love, as Bittu had for Muniya.

Such overbearing love that when Muniya did not accept it, Bittu had to throw acid on her.

Love, like the entire Chaudhary clan had for their daughter Minty.

When Minty married Arvind Paswan, a college student, poor Chaudhary sahib had to kill both Minty and Arvind for the sake of his love.

Love, as Sharma Ji has for his wife.

Expressed in bed, each night, without her will.

You do not understand Kashmir, India loves you very much.

From a pained heart of a friend.

Police in Kashmir clash with protestors
Representational Image.
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

As a result of our love (read lust) for Kashmir the people of India can see stones in the hands of Kashmiris, the marks of which are visible on the army. But what about the stones thrown at the hearts of Kashmiris by the governments and citizens of India and Pakistan for years?

Nobody sees those stoned eyes whose water has dried up in the hopeless yearning for peace. Today we see stones in the hands of Kashmiri youth, but not their stoned hearts being the cause. Isn’t it us who have betrayed them since independence. 

Kashmir and Kashmiriyat is another name of love which we have turned into hate and anger by our acts. We had drawn those lines years ago because of our policies, built those walls which created distance between Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims. 

I can say by quoting many of my Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslim friends that for many years they have been trying to blur these lines amongst them and break the walls. But political selfishness and pseudo nationalism thwart every effort of theirs.

The Soldier keeps them straight,

Poet tricks them,

Artists get relaxed in its round shape,

Scientist finds results in these,

Traveler finds a way there,

The beards of Kings become white in pulling them.  

But a bird in all her innocence,

Can’t even see these,

Nor can these lines stop the winds from crossing,

It is human who sees these and returns.  

These lines have seen the blood gushing from the human body,

Heard the screams of dying humanity,

Smelled the dried black blood.  

But they are very stubborn,

They do not move away from their place,

Millions of attempts have been made to eradicate them, to erase them,

But they do not listen to anyone,

They are very rude.  

These lines are… these lines!

A poet friend in search of peace.

Today there is an aggressive bitterness among every Kashmiri youth towards the present government of India and the time is not far when this bitterness will turn into hatred. On the day that happens, India will lose Kashmir completely. 

India is following the path of Israel today. Following this path, innocent and helpless people are not going to get anything except slaughtering, sunny red-blooded rivers, heaps of corpses on the streets. We all will be responsible for this. 

Friends, I want to ask you, do we want to see this around us in our city, in the streets of our neighbourhood? If your answer is “No” then why do we want to see this scene in Kashmir. If we do not change our path today then we will have to face the suffering of the sins of our ancestors. 

There is still time, if we want, we will not get centuries of punishment for the mistakes of these moments. Humanity is alive as long as love is alive. I request my friends not to let this love die inside your hearts. Understand the pain of your Kashmiri fellow human beings who have been facing violence for years. Whose lives have become like a sacrificial goat. They are just waiting to see if India will kill them or Pakistan. 

And believe that their bitterness towards India does not mean that they love Pakistan. They want peace, an ordinary and happy life. Just like you and I want for ourselves. To show the bitterness of the Kashmiri people by adding love to Pakistan is just a political ploy. Since independence, they have been seeking love, respect and dignified life for themselves. Can we move away from politics and give it to them? Can we pray for them as we do for ourselves?

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