Speak Up

It seems decay has set in Kashmir society. The land which was once upon a time known as abode of learned and scholars have now become a nation of living dead. Humanity which had been cardinal philosophy of this great nation of sages, savants, saints and Reshies has etherized from this society. The teachings of great Kashmir saints like Lal Ded and Sheykh-ul-Alam ,who like other Sufi saints born and bred in this land taught love and compassion have been forgotten.

It has in fact become a society of callous, cruel, blood thirsty homeo sapines who have been hounding their own brethren for petty gains. Horrendous tales of exploitation by custodians of democracy and law and order resonate in every nook and corner of the State. Decadence at highest level has eaten into vitals of society. The temples of learning and citadels of authority have been taken over by debauchery and fraud. The menace which was fought out by great social reformer Subhan Naed from Shahr-e-Khas is fast returning to the society and new ‘Tashwans’ are mushrooming everywhere. Men and women of easy virtues call shots even in services. It has become a society of inanimate, inert, self-centered and selfish people. Life has become cheaper than reddish and turnips. A few years back humans were slaughtered and chopped like wild goats by pagans here. Now children of Kashmir are consumed by drugs and immorality. What has been most intriguing that even the most sensitive in the society are not moved by the pitiable sights of human misery? Poets and writers supposed to hold mirror for the society have preferred to retain reticence.

Kashmir poets and writers were not always the same. The poets of early twentieth century who played leading role in awakening people from centuries old slumber remain alive in the minds of many here. True, it was Dr. Sir Muhammad Iqbal who through his powerful poetry first spread awareness about the plight of one of the intelligent nations in the region. It was he who revolutionized the thinking of Kashmiri and made him conscious of his plight. But, it was the poets like Ghulam Ahmed Mehjoor, Abdul Ahad Azad and many more who carried the torch lit by Iqbal in Lahore to every village of Kashmir. Their poetry charged people to rise against the autocratic rule. The poetry of these poets gave courage to the ‘cowardice’ to face bayonets with courage and determination and it also enthused the weak in the society to fight against the tyrants. The trend set by these poets did not end with the collapse of the autocratic rule.They were joined by a host of young poets like Mirza Ghulam Hassan Aarif, Rehman Rahi, Amin Kamil and Dina Nath Nadim. One may agree or disagree with the ideology that these poets professed at that point of time but fact of the matter is that they raised voice against oppression and social inequalities. Many of the poets who had raised their voices against injustices during early fifties are fortunately living to this day but what forces them to maintain “inexcusable silence” today is intriguing. Why politicians, poets and other intellectuals of today consider “criminal silence’ is the best part of valor. Silence over injustice is as good as supporting it.

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