Witnessing The Untoward Cycle of Violence in Kashmir: A Narrative
Peerzada Mahboob Ul Haq
Even out of my choice, once suggested by my mother to celebrate “Eid” at my maternal uncle’s home. I, as an unspeaking bystander got into the cab and drove to the destination. Initially, I felt a bit uncomfortable from the presence of my rigid & tough maternal uncle who would annoy me, but somehow, I managed to endure his company and went along with him to his home.
I had planned to return home next morning but, as they say; Man proposes, God disposes. Early in the morning when I was yet to open my eyes, somebody whispered into my ear that “CRPF walyo chu saer-sey cardon kourmut” (CRPF has cordoned off the whole area). I was yet to understand the reason of the cordon; somebody shouted from another room that AFZAL GURU has been hanged. The moment I heard it, I woke up with a sudden jerk, and without inquiring about anything I rushed to the window to check whether it was a fact or a rumor. Unfortunately, the worst came out to be true and the CRPF and JK Police had really cordoned off the area to stop the predictable outburst from the nationals of the effaced nation. The deployment was so heavy that for a while members in the house thought that the forces were not going to spare any one. The thoughts of oppression, as experienced by our predecessors and the stories that has emerged from world’s most militarized zone started haunting everyone.
Abandoning the delicacies of morning, I along with everyone from my maternal uncle’s side ran straight towards the TV and started searching the news channel to confirm about Afzal. Initially, I was struck with an undying belief that Aazadi from India is now just a step away, since his blood will not go in vain. But my undying belief is yet to prove me true.
As expected the whole Kashmir was to be gripped into violent frenzy as usual for a period of time and return back to the functional mode, if not normal, with the same speed. In no times 40 innocent lives were lost.
In its aftermath, people began to draw a huge spectrum of philosophies. Some people came up with very rich breed of concepts, some presented vastly deprived set of designs, some presented shrewd addresses and others kept mum. Finally, agony belongs to those who lose their dear ones.
I am the only son and the only nephew among my siblings which entitles me to a special treatment. My family has tried hard to keep me out from this vicious circle of unending violence but have eventually failed. Nevertheless, endurance has become our fate. The police and CRPF as usual went on a rampage breaking the entrance, window panes, harassing the women and girls inside the houses, dragging the innocent boys out of rooms while beating them ruthlessly, battering and abusing and what not. And the height of brutality augmented as they put teargas shell into the mouth of my uncle while I remained a mute spectator watching everything from one of the corners. I wanted to act as a sniper but I fell short of a gun. Clinching my fist and biting my teeth in anger, I felt ashamed and kept cursing myself as I was unable do anything. But my emotions felt short and when everything got settled, everyone started to stare me and the whole thing was limpid in their senses, signifying me to go back. Keeping in mind the safety of myself and of course of my siblings I favored not to dishearten anyone and returned home half- heartedly promising myself not to come over again.
It was after 3 years after this incident when I was forced to break pledge that I had taken before God when my mom suggested me again to go with my uncle to observe last days of Ramadan and celebrate Eid at their place. I was welcomed with huge festivities. Days passed and the Ramadan was over and we celebrated the first day of Eid with great pomp. Next day as I started scrolling down news items in my phone, what trembled me were those hundreds of messages that people started sharing on WhatsApp. “Burhan Wani-the new face of Kashmir’s insurgency was shot dead in south Kashmir. Everyone went into a subterranean shock followed by uneasy silence, I tried to alleviate but I barely could find solace. Wave of Azadi got reverberated. And yet again, I got caught into the fear of vacating the place, flashbacking me the 2013, but this time I had developed sufficient prime of life, I supposed to remain privileged, rather than getting pampered in such mess that can miff my family members. I saw people protesting and combatting cops outside, while I acted as a mere spectator. That was really filthy for me. Finally; I bid a tearful adieu to the place on the brink of screaming in the midst of the night. Now I don’t wish to visit the place for I fear of another ill omen.
Kashmir in 2016 was Burning, Curfew, and protests, civilian Killings, Pellets Injuries, Internet and media clampdown, and all this followed by arrests spree. In the midst of all this, I had to leave valley in the night against my wish to join AMU where I had got admitted for my degree. But then it was like my body without my mind travelling to the place. My mind struck in the valley, keeping an eye at every news item coming from home, this is the story of every Kashmiri in India. This year too, when there seems no end to that unending violence perpetrated by Indian forces on civilians in valley, I and my friends are often struck to our phones waiting for the news of any civilian killing from any part of Kashmir. Zooming in the pictures of dead corpses, injured bodies, wailing mothers, crying sisters, angry brothers and large funerals is now an hourly affair. ‘When will all this bloodshed end?’ is a question everyone among us asks to one another, to which none among us has the answers.
Author is a student of BA (Hons.) at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and can be reached at Smhaq38@gmail.com.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of Oracle Opinions.