Naseer A Ganai
We are living in sad times. I don’t know if I can call it ‘living’. Everyday mothers and sisters in Kashmir wash the blood of children of stone from the rough roads of the valley. Every day we see someone killed, and every day we see someone succumbing to injuries. Here a child has bullet in his neck, there a teenage girl has bullet in her back. They say she was engaged only 20 days ago. Here in Kashmir even an eight year-old-kid was flogged to death. We were told a 22-year-old girl died after a bullet fired in air hit her chest, and she died in Batamaloo. Someone has rightly said that Kashmiris have become so tall that when forces fire in air, the bullets hit either their heart or head.
An eight-year-old kid was beaten to death. His body had bruises all over. His father was washing his little body with water. But even this failed to wake the conscience of parliament and intellectuals in New Delhi. Not a single statement on the daily loss of lives in Kashmir. Nothing. Instead the Home Minister had this message for the people of Kashmir: “Keep your children at home.” He should have added that a predator is out in Kashmir, and that he has a special liking for children. This way his warning would have been understandable.
In a democratic country, in 2010, the Home Minister is asking people not to allow their children to step outside their homes. This is the State of the democratic State – that on the roads your children have no safety. That protest is no longer legitimate. That if you step on the roads we are not sure whether you will be hit by a bullet in the head or chest, even though we always tell our forces to fire in the air, and that too in self-defense.
At times I want to laugh at the intellectual class sitting in the flashy studios of news channels in New Delhi, and passing judgments through the chatter boxes on every issue on earth. Their arrogance and confident-ignorance is worth watching. For them human Rights is a great concept but only when victims fall under the constitution of India. Sawpan Das Gupta repeatedly argues whether those people who doesn’t accept the constitution of India should be allowed to enjoy the same rights which the constitution of India guarantees. In British or in USA, the very talk would have shocked the people. But in India nothing happens. Not a leaf moves. It is an argument, and it is perceived as an argument.
I want to laugh out loud at these intellectual-journalists when they condemn Taliban and talk about the Talibinisation of Kashmir and Islamisation of Sopore. For heavens sake, give us one example in past two months where Jihadi protesters in Kashmir beat someone to death, just one example? And respond to the allegations of the family which accuses the forces of beating their child to death in Batmaloo. Is that not Talibinsation?
Imagine a child being beaten in classroom by his teacher in Delhi or in Mumbai. Beaten, I say. Recently there was debate on corporal punishment for days together in Delhi based media. But when it comes to beating of children to death, they are silent, and the State says don’t allow your children to step out.
Every time I see the picture of the father who is being kicked by the CRPF man when he tries to protect the body of his son from sacrilege in Tengpora Bypass, I want to cry my heart out. This should not happen to any father anywhere in the world. That very photograph tells me everything about what I am, about my life, and what the life of my child and the children has been reduced to in Kashmir. The photo speaks more than 100,000 words about Kashmir and the conflict in Kashmir. Here we are not even allowed to protect the sanctity of the bodies of our children.
And then they talk about Islamisation of Sopore and Talibinisation of Kashmir. Whatever you name the current protests, whatever you want to name the current rage sweeping the streets, whatever you call them, the pictures of the dead, of our children, of our fathers, our wailing mothers and sisters would haunt our young generation for a long time to come. They will never forget it.
The wounds inflicted on the people of Kashmir won’t heal by what a columnist has written “butt numbing speech of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.” These are wounds which can’t be healed by speeches anymore. Act now and resolve Kashmir for good. Respect the aspirations of people of Kashmir. Now it is the question of justice and test of your democracy and liberalism. Act now lest these wounds become so intolerable that the young here will seek answer in something else to heal them, something other than peaceful protests. The day that happens it would be another sad chapter in our history, and saddest in your history.