The Illusion of Paradise


The history of Kashmir is a history of totalitarianism, terrorism, violence, torture, brutality, murder, loot, rape and molestation. Every ruler so far has experimented, employed and enjoyed every kind of barbarism and oppression on poor and hapless Kashmiris. Irrespective of religion, region (origin) and race of the rulers, terrorism, violence, torture, brutality, murder, loot, rape and molestation have always been their weapons and strategy to tame and rule, rather suppress, the people of Kashmir. Whether it were the ancient and medieval Hindu Rajas or Muslim rulers or the present occupiers, savagery and barbarism have always been their religion. 

With the withdrawal of the British from Indian subcontinent, a new class of barbarians with modern, deceiving tools and apt ideology of democracy, security, liberation and protection has been formed. They carry forward subtle and obvious forms of barbarism, touching the new zeniths of terrorism, violence, torture, brutality, murder, loot, rape and molestation.
The fresh Handwara massacre in which, three innocent people have already lost their lives and dozens are battling death in different hospitals of the valley, is just a reflection of the obvious atrocities Kashmiris have been experiencing since late 1980’s. 
As usual government has ordered probe and inquiry into the massacre. The setting up of commissions for inquires and probes no more pacify the resentment brewing among the people of Kashmir. They are now fed up by these useless commissions as guilty are seldom punished in these cases. Instead of punishing the guilty, innocent people continue to be brutalized and at times even booked after their death. 
In 2014, a young student, Farhat was killed in police firing in a Northern village of Kashmir, Naidkhai Sonawari. Despite the fact that an honest, district magistrate, who was a role model for many youngsters of Kashmir, assured justice, Farhat, was booked under section 307, (attempt to murder) 425, (damaging public property) and other various criminal sections of Ranbir Penal Code, even after his death.
 It will be interesting to observe what direction the Handwara probe will take under the leadership of the newly elected Chief Minister, who has been very critical and vocal against civilian brutality. She had taken to streets and publicly demanded punishment for human rights violators, under the previous political regime. However, observations suggest that the history is not going to be changed and the outcome of the “probe” may not be any different than the previous ones. The police have already come out with the video of the girl, who was allegedly molested by an army personal. The video which has been circulated by the police on various social media sites, suggests that the police have already given clean chit to the army personals involved and they are prepared to again put onus on the shoulders of the youth. In the said video, the girl denies that she was molested by any army personal. However, close examination of the video gives birth to suspicion and raises many questions.  
The first question is, what do the police want to prove by circulating this video? Does the law permit circulation of police statements in public when a case is in the larval stage? Do they want to justify the brutal murder of men and woman? Even if the girl was not molested, can such brutality be justified? No, not at all! The video speaks volumes not only about the tragedy but also about the future orientation and outcome of this issue and the so called probe ordered into it. It is clear that the video has been recorded by the police and whatever the poor girl is saying has been fed to her by the police personals. When the girl says that he pulled my purse, someone in the room whispers “civil Ladkan” (a local boy) which clearly proves that she is being dictated. Why was it important for her to say a civilian snatched her purse? At the end of the video, the girl is being applauded, applauded for what? In video, it is quite audible that someone mutters “Chalo Shabash”.  Shabash, for what? What exactly is the girl being applauded for?  There are many other questions which surface after watching the video. 
Whatever the reality may be, police have not shown any greatness by circulating the video. Instead of pacifying the anger brewing among the people of the valley, the video will act as fuel to further ignite the spark. By circulating the video, the police have not only blown the hope of justice but further alienated the people of valley. The video will further degrade the image of police in public. It will undo all the good the police department has done in the valley as well as burn the bridge the police department has slowly been building to connect with the general masses.
Lastly, I take this opportunity to challenge the biggest myth about Kashmir- the myth that Kashmir is a paradise on the earth. When I peep into the history, I find no example that Kashmir has ever been peaceful and peace is the fundamental principle of paradise. It is just an illusion which soothes our pain and refrains us from thinking beyond the misleading title. Kashmir valley may be a paradise on earth given its natural beauty and landscape but certainly not for poor Kashmiris who have always been brutalized, oppressed and suppressed. 


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