Kashmir at Crossroads
Kashmiris are considered one of the hospitable and pacifists in the world. History is witness to the fact that they never endorsed violence. That is why right from Kalhana’s Kashmir, they are being ruled by the outsiders. Be it Afghans, Chakhs or Mughals, their innocence has always been grafted. They have scarcely witnessed any era of peace for which they always tantalized for.
In the present era, when the world is celebrating democracy, the people of the valley are still longing for peace. They witness the unrests and turbulences on daily basis. They have to live in the ambiance where they are uncertain of returning back home safely after leaving in the morning. They are not sure about the safety of their children that when they would indulge in stone pelting and get killed, maimed or blinded. Because even the schools which are the flag bearers of peace have turned into the battle fields. They are afraid of sending their girls outside; lest their braid be chopped off. In this ambiance where even the dignity of the women is not safe, how come you join the world in celebrating democracy, no matter be you in the world’s largest democracy?
The need of the hour is peace. The peace that would bring back the lost glory of the valley. The peace that would be based on justice, not that justice where a son is being snatched from the mother’s bosom and then his arrest is never claimed. The peace where a mother is no longer left to live as a half-mother. The peace where their children would not be compelled to choose the path of violence. They want to witness the era where they no longer have to shoulder the coffin of their toddlers. They want an era of tranquillity where they let their young ones to dream with a free and open mind.
But alas! the people of the valley are fudged deplorably by all the political parties. Be it N.C, P.D.P or I.N.C, all are sailing in the same boat. The N.C which rescinded the autonomy in return brought the draconian laws as a gift to its people. They are responsible for the bloody years of 2009, 10 and 13 by painting the streets of the valley red. They also bear the blot of engulfing the Shopian double rape-murder case which was then cash in on by the P.D.P for their political benefit. When P.D.P found that the people lost the faith in N.C, they highlighted the innocent killings of 2010 and also the Shopian double rape-murder case. Then they protested against the N.C government and shed some tears in the assembly. That was enough for them to gain the sympathy of the people and come to power. They also fetch the vote of the people particularly to keep B.J.P out of the state. But later on they joined the hands with the same party to make the government. In 2016, they introduced the valley with the longest curfew of around two months and martyred around 130 people in the same year. The irony is that despite conniving New Delhi, the mainstream parties always vaguely keep lambasting each other.
The masters for whom this all is being done are loathing for the solution. Instead of putting end to the long lasting conflict of South Asia, they are building castles in the air by waiting for a hug with their eyes closed. They want to hug everyone in the valley. Maybe they would be thinking that a single hug would heal all their pain. Maybe by a hug, a mother would forget her disappeared son, a father would forget the coffin of his toddler, a brother would shun the shattered dignity of his sister and a son would no longer wish to see his father of whose love and sympathy he had tantalized for years. They keep on waving their inscrutable political hand callously and blindly which doesn’t let anything alter on the ground.
Post Script:- Kashmir would be ready for a hug gleefully only when their aspirations are heard, respected and then assured to be implemented. They would be happy when they would see a hope of returning peace to their homeland. But unless the veracity is accepted and the ground reality is addressed, nothing is going to change. The situation in the valley would remain incorrigible.
Author is the student of English Literature at Department of English, Aligarh Muslim University. He hails from Frisal Kulgam Kashmir and can be reached at email@example.com/ facebook.com/palaabid