Prayers, inception, and birth are a systematic chronology that are usually associated with each and every child birth. Therefore, right from the time of birth until adulthood children are heart and soul of parents. This journey is often the most beautiful walk in life but could turn stressful, miserable, and unbearable at times.
The ride of growth and development of children in Jammu and Kashmir, which is one of the most intense conflict zones of the Asia, has to go through an extremely windy path, which is full of complications, difficulties, uncertainties and confusion. The political conflict of Kashmir, which dates back to pre- and post-Independence of British India into Hindu dominated India, and Muslim dominated Pakistan, has structured every walk of life in Jammu and Kashmir. And one of the challenging aspects of any conflict ridden society in the world of today is the impact on children, which have witnessed volatile conditions and therefore such generations are highly vulnerable to develop a tendency where death becomes a darling destination.
The news that comes from Kashmir these days is about the boys joining ranks of militants. The parents of these boys often use social and other media portals to convince their children to return but most of such requests are ignored. These parents remember all the hardships they have faced in bringing up their children and would have never imagined that one day they have to shoulder the coffin of their son, who embraces death with them watching haplessly.
Why my son has taken this path, and why it was hard for him to return, and stay with us. These are some of the hunting questions that are coming from Kashmir. Those completely shattered dreams, tearful eyes, numbness of heart and extreme helplessness is what these parents feel deep within. What can change such extreme pain that has become a new norm in Kashmir, which is nothing like what some would call as paradise on earth!
No. Our young boys do not deserve end of their lives by taking up arms to attain their rights. Remember: there are always peaceful options available to end conflicts. And human history is full of examples where all routes of peace have to walk through the garden of negotiations and often such discussions are settled on table and not in the battle fields. There is nothing beautiful than life. The fact is life is full of ingredients and potential to bring those changes on the planet that you have tried by embracing death. We are with you and will help you to bring justice and peace in Kashmir, and elsewhere. The arms struggle may be an option but it is always better to explore peaceful means. You are young, and anything can excite your feelings, which may or may not be the right choice. But elders can guide you, and hold your hand to a direction which will be most useful for the welfare of humanity. Look the planet that we called home is quite big and your horizon must be to explore the entire planet and beyond. Every creature needs you to be part of this ecosystem where we help each other to bring peace and prosperity on the planet. The divisions that humans have created are not what we have to follow. We must work hard to create conditions where everyone is treated with love, compassion, and justice. Religion, cast, color, regionalism etc. should not hinder such motives. The field is wide and open to explore but only if you understand the real meaning of what it means to be an explorer of love and peace.
The fight against injustice is not new. It has been on the planet for a long time. But the most feasible way to win such fights is to equip yourself with love and strength. And please understand that these noble words are not easy to master. Peace will never allow anyone on the planet to kill but will force one to negotiate. The death of anyone is loss of life. And who likes death. Dont you remember when kids-like you-are born sweets are distributed and tears of joy roll on the faces but when a child dies the entire clan goes into mourning. And tell me who celebrates death? It is not a norm and how come our children embrace death. You have to work on a bigger goal to be part of the global project on how to achieve peace, prosperity, security, and love on the planet but you have preferred a shortcut to life, which is not the best option. Elders are experienced and one must respect what they have to suggest. Call is yours.
Dr. Afroz Ahmad Shah
Assistant Professor in Structural Geology
Physical & Geological Sciences
Faculty of Science
Universiti Brunei Darussalam
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