Tuesday, April 9, 2013


By Naseer A Ganai  

Along with a fellow journalist, I went to interview some families, who had returned from Azad Kashmir. Image of Azad Kashmir here is that it is a backward place, where people live in dark ages, electricity has not touched it and they don't have any culture and history.

We Kashmiris think that  people, who don't live in Valley, have no culture. We have an opinion about people of Doda, Rajouri and Muzafferbad and we have not changed it. We think they have no taste as they don’t know how to cook wazwan and eat it.  

Our culture starts from Kabab and ends at Gustaba.  

So I wanted to meet these uncultured people, who have not tasted culturally rich wazwan.

The family, we met, had returned from Azad Kashmir six months ago. They were: husband, wife and their five children.

I thought they will be happy in idyllic Kashmir enjoying beauty of mountains and nonsense of people, who ask their children whether there is TV in Azad Kashmir.

On the contrary, they all looked gloomy and their first query was whether they are chances that the government would push them back to Azad Kashmir. I was surprised. Why you people wanted to flee from this heaven on earth governored by Omar Abdullah, the last Mughal?

“Sakoon hi nahi hai idhar, Agar Azad Kashmir Jahnam hai bas mujay usi aag mein dalo,” said the mother of five children. Her children too wanted to go back to live in sakoon. Their Kashmiri father was regretting his decision to come back. Wahan sakoon tha, he said after a long pause.

Those, who have seen sakoon, value sakoon. They have sense of loss. We don't have any as we have only tasted wazwan.
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