While Kashmir is facing yet another season of turmoil, a similar turbulence seems to be going on in my mind. My mind is constantly being boggled by one thought after another. The violence in Kashmir has always had a devastating consequence for every Kashmiri, from an infant to a grown up person, including my 21 year old self. The thoughts that play in my mind are like any other Kashmiri – what has happened, what is happening and what will happen.
Our minds have been caged. The aura of fear and terror created by the Indian armed forces who are best trained to hurt every Kashmiri be it physically, mentally or emotionally, has enslaved us all. There is no escaping it and there is no end to the killing spree. Our wounds from the past haven’t healed yet and we are being inflicted with fresh ones. Our bodies are wounded beyond repair yet our tragedies are not over. Our souls are wounded by atrocities, yet our courage remains undeterred. Our mothers continue to sacrifice their sons for the freedom of our land and they will till we achieve what is rightfully ours.
Kashmiris have become the worst nightmare of jingoists in India. It’s their daily routine to rub salt into our wounded psyche. But rather than trying to belittle us at every step, they should understand that the slogan of freedom is chanted by only those who have been the worst sufferers of barbarism. Our memories so far are nothing but of pools of spilled blood, of bodies pierced with bullets, of wailing mothers and teary eyed widows, of orphans. How can they accept us to bury our bloody past even if the current situation is better? How are we supposed to forget July 13 massacre, Sopore massacre, Handwara and Kupwara massacre, Gowkadal massacre, Shopian massacre, 2010 killings, Gool killings and Machil fake encounter? What about those who acted as masterminds of these massacres? Were they even asked why? Where they even asked to explain why they slaughtered our people so callously?
Adding to our miseries is the biased national media and the so called “Modi Bakhts” who rather than sympathizing with us, defend the atrocities on Kashmiris. A true democracy means justice and freedom to each and every citizen of the country despite their faith, community and state. It doesn’t mean giving the forces free rein to unleash terror on the native citizens.
Governments are not elected for power or to impose restrictions and enforce harsh rules on people. A government is made not to play blame game with the opposition parties or debate who on a scale was the cruelest dictator but for the welfare of the people, stability of the economy during a crisis and to understand and work to eradicate the problems faced by its youth.
Security is deployed to secure the people from attacks not vice-versa. Cops are called guardians because they are supposed to be our protectors but sadly in Kashmir these very guardians turn killers. In Kashmir security forces are responsible for massacres, rapes, molestation and harassment. Laws like AFSPA give them the freedom to kill and torture and get away with it.
India has itself sown the seeds of hate in the hearts of Kashmiris by its illogical occupation. India doesn’t care about our aspirations. All it cares about is our land and our resources. The brutal use of force has turned our paradise into a fortress, a valley of graves. Government justifies their excessive use of force by saying that the use of violence becomes necessary when mass protests take place. The irony is that when mass protests were held in Haryana by the Jats demanding reservation, the government acted very responsibly and ensured that no loss of life or injuries occurred due to use of force. Why then does our government need to use pellets and tear gas canisters? If anyone in Kashmir is picking up stones or guns, it is to end this bigotry.
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