If We Don’t End War, War Will End Us: SOS from LOC

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Scenes captured by fleeing villagers on their mobile phones show the extent of devastation in Chowkibal, North Kashmir on April 11.

Chaos, confusion, competition and conflict are such known words which every body experiences during lifetime. But there are certain ways to deal with these processes. Institutions are built for the regulation of human urges, to create order in nasty human behavior. Social scientists consider institutions as prerequisite. But unfortunately procedures of life also stand on the blood of ordinary people. As per this norm you have to paint your walls with the blood of people in order to create this order.

In the present situation when the entire world is grappling with Corona virus, two Asian giants are fighting on the borders of Kashmir. No wonder both countries after 70 years of independence remain ill prepared for natural disasters, like the current pandemic. They lack basic health facilities. One PM is begging developed nations for monetary help, at the same time other is appealing local capitalists to credit their share in Care Relief fund. What an irony that both countries spend billions on armament purchases from the developed world to sustain the ir machoism while their hospitals lack basic tools to fight diseases. The other day Times of India published a news report on doctor’s plea to the Government of India for proper protection gear. Same is the case in Pakistan where they rely on Chinese masks and the Pakistan Government is unable to fulfill the needs of their underdeveloped health sector and poor people.

Both countries have ordered their citizens to remain inside their homes in order to break the chain of Covid-19 pandemic but left their soldiers out to take on each other on borders. Not only that the lives of poor soldiers are consumed in this never ending conflict but the people living in areas close to LOC are also suffering unimaginable miseries for no fault of theirs. On both sides of the LOC, we the people of Jammu & Kashmir suffer silently and nobody is paying heed to our pleas. We mean nothing to governments and politicians running the show. Our lives, lives of our children, our cattle everything is in the line of fire. Now the Covid outbreak has added to our miseries. We quiver in bunkers while its raining shells. How can we maintain social distancing under these circumstances. What does calls for physical distancing and slogans like Jan Hai tau  Jahan Hai mean for us?

Our children tremble with fear during dark and scary nights and they are shaken out of their beds by the roar of big guns. Is any one listening out there?

Abdul Qayoom Shah & Shahid Bashir
Ph. D Research Scholars
Department of Sociology, University of Kashmir
syedqayoomshah@gmail.com

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