Author : Aojhal Junaid
On 28th of November,2017, I ,with a perfect team of eleven, dressed up for the occasion forming, as they said, ‘an important delegation’ to meet a man termed as Interlocutor, to play our part in resolving The Kashmir issue.
Yes, Mr Dineshwar Sharma, Ex-IB Chief, felt a need to talk to College Students too, the section that has already established itself as ‘disoriented warm-blooded creatures who no more believe in pen and it’s miracles’. We didn’t agree at first, but there is something called ‘academic pressure’, quite sure you are adept with it!!
We were supposed to have an appointment at 1.30 pm, which, quite expectedly however, was delayed to 4.00 pm, thus giving us enough time to prepare for something that we were foreseeing as a ‘potential debate’. Our group leader, a lovely friend and a closer to heart guy, assembled us, and we talked, mumbled, sloganeered (not that loud, Sir, please!!),debated, cried, yelled as long as the vocal cords lost their symphony, and the need of more calories were felt. We had a comprehensive debate over every probable aspect that our history may have knocked at. We had a lot of statistical data at hand, our figures were many, we had a track of every massacre, we had every answer for the expected questions, and we had every question that, we believed, he won’t have an answer of.
Though we were expecting to meet him as a separate group, but time and resources, two grave limitations, didn’t favor us, so all the college students, from as many as five colleges, together entered his meeting hall with an empty stomach and an over-fed brain.
We knew how he looked, but to see him was just like to see another Indian, who didn’t smell or sound like us. I was the first to talk or maybe interrupt, and that was a response to his first remark- Let’s make it fast, there are others too. I told him that we were eager to meet you, and we can speak to you all night! (read it as typical Kashmiri ‘Thani Fashh”)
Then came the questions from my fellow mates. With every question, he turned more red (remember red cheeks?),the burgundy shades, and his lips started showing crevices, the quick sips of water couldn’t fill, and a moist tongue couldn’t conceal. He was as tight lipped as a guilty can ever be, and the occasional replies, he failed not to deliver, were imminently retreated. I guess he was meticulous at that. The students out there, which he unsuccessfully wanted to negotiate with, gave him a hard time. For his every allegation against anything pertaining Kashmir there was a roar of voices to reply him. With due respect to the emotions, we still need to learn to give others opportunities to speak even if it erodes a few feathers off our cap!
One of the many beauties of the day, apart from his well worn suit, was the active participation of girls in the meet. They knew about the subject as much as anyone would know. That political consciousness was beauty, I tell you.
You know why the tone of this script isn’t serious? Yes, you know that. A dispute that cost us thousands of lives, and that snatched from us our everything, in no way, can ever be brought on any lighter note scale. Obviously it is the’ Concept of Interlocutor’ that is a joke in making. It surprised us that he had no ‘personal opinion’ about Kashmir, he didn’t have any ‘agenda’ to share ,he was like an about-to-retire school master listening to those familiar essays, ‘The Cow, My Hobby’ and alike stuff. His non-seriousness was evident as he jotted nothing down, and neither was the meet recorded. I don’t know if there were spy cameras, we can’t believe them na, but that would be a ‘Breach Of Privacy’. Again, who cares!!
Let’s not blame the man for the misdeeds of a nation. He is too fragile to be burdened with this all. I remember him saying that in future we may see Pakistan joining the talks. Claps!
Towards conclusion there was a unanimous call that Kashmir isn’t a development or unemployment or scholarship or road issue. It is a political issue, and it needs to be dealt that way. It can reach it’s logical and rational fate through a plebiscite, or tripartite talks or UNO resolutions (so familiar terms now,,, Kyunki Bachcha Bachcha Jaanta Hai Is Ka Hall).
There are arguments that it was a futile thing, and it was better to stay aloof ,but we left the room with a feeling that we did our part, though we don’t see anything coming!
Oh I forgot to mention that as the man stood up towards the end of the session; I made a final comment, not sure if anyone heard that, ‘It was another attempt of rubbing salts on our wounds’. I don’t know if I really meant that, but let’s be sure, it in a way was.
Author is a BSc Student at GDC,Anantnag