KASHMIR AND ITS FESTERING WOUND
Kashmir is the name that echoes the sounds of guns, guns and guns! What ails Kashmir most is not its proximity with a mischievous neighbour but its proximity with the hearts and souls of the Kashmiris who like the people in Afghanistan and other disturbed countries want to see their lands unspoilt and undisgraced in terms of their cultural, religious and historical sacredness.
The only way possible to visit Heaven before one’s death is by being in or travelling to Kashmir. Yes! Someone, save the division of opinion in this context, had rightly described Kashmir as Paradise or Heaven on earth. Its enchanting and spellbinding geographical landscape has enough magnetic appeal to leave anyone wonderstruck. Its flowing clear and humming streams, swaying trees, soothing and balmy breeze, glistening mustard fields, and standing erect and elderly mountains which always appear like praying monks add substance and meaning to what it is worldly famous for.
As this wonderful landscape must have seemed incomplete to God, so He complimented it by infusing the spirit of mysticism into it- like a human body with a soul. So, on the one hand Kashmir spellbinds people with its natural splendour and on the other hand, it acts as a spiritual refuge for raging human emotions
Before 90’s, Kashmir was having its day of life and disturbance was a strange word which one had never used for it but only and only peace and bliss, peace and bliss and peace and bliss. People in Kashmir were enjoying their best days of lives; they were not just enjoying but rollicking in the lap of balmy mirthfulness and merriment, without even an iota of apprehension about that was soon going to envelope the whole of Kashmir under the coarse blanket of militancy and military. And that spiky blanket of militancy and military has since been bleeding it enormously and piteously. And mostly they are its youth who are at the receiving end of its ever prevalent violence in the name of political gainfulness and nothing else.
Military rule and militancy in Kashmir are the fall outs of political game that took place before and after the sad and impactful partition of India in 1947. And it was that historical partition that has still been dividing India into different factions and opinions, that has still been dividing the loyalty of India towards its people and that has still also been dividing the loyalty of its people and especially Kashmiris towards India.
It is our wicked and crooked political leaders who commit grave blunders but regretfully it is also our masses that have to face the brunt of their murderous sins. Has anyone ever seen any political leader or their kits and kins being affected by any social, communal and religious clashes that often take place in India? No! Never! Excluding some rare cases. And the tension and turmoil in Kashmir can be solely attributed to our political leaders who raised the crop of their grave blunders and it is the masses of Kashmir who were and are still harvesting that crop.
The ghost of the mistakes that led to the partition of 1947 is still haunting the failed political leadership of the state and the country. After partition India got Kashmir and so Pakistan made a brazen invasion to occupy it with force. India gave a fit reply but failed to save some part of Kashmir and so had to remain contented with the major portion of Kashmir that remained under it. Pakistan took hold of the lesser portion and named it Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
It is from that time on that Pakistan has been making childish claim on Kashmir by crying foul on international platforms that India has betrayed it. But the entire world knows in its hearts of heart the lamentable reality behind Kashmir. One side, it is Pakistan that is creating tension in Kashmir and on the other side, it is India that wants to save its child like Kashmir from falling into the malicious and bloody lap of its illegitimate father- Pakistan. And in their mutual fight, it is the sacred feelings and aspirations of Kashmiris that are being shown indifference and paid no heed to like the children of divorcee who have to face a lot of hardships. And so, when such a kind of atmosphere of neglect and indifference must have developed during or just before 90’s, Pakistan started stoking coals of injustice and oppression into the fire of indifference flaring intensely in the hearts of Kashmiris- especially innocent youth. And here comes the separatists like wicked elements who fished in troubled waters and helped and are still helping Pakistan in its evil intentions regarding Kashmir- just to gain some cheap bucks and fame. If they are not helping Pakistan then they must have been fancifully dreaming about themselves as being the prime ministers and ministers of Kashmir as a separate country.
Youth as one know, are easily pliable and are readily impressionable and especially when one talks about gun and religion- gun physically and religion emotionally. The same thing happened in Kashmir during 90’s when government both at the state and the centre failed miserably to win the hearts of youth- educated or uneducated and employed or unemployed. It will be wrong to label the people of Kashmiris excluding the separatists and other wicked elements, anti-national as they are also human beings like us who too have feelings and sentiments like us. They too want to lead a happy and normal life in one or the other respectful way. Their demand for a separate Kashmir is born not out of compulsion but out of frustration and resentment. I have never said and will never say that their demand for a separate homeland is justified but I would rather say they need to be properly heard and respectfully treated as people with fragile self-esteem- like normal social beings. They only want to live in peace and prosperity like other states.
The both sides (Kashmiris and Indian government) don’t need guns and stones and pellets- as they haven’t solved and can’t solve such fragile issues like that of Kashmir. What they need in practical grounds is the will to understand each other patiently and calmly that after all they are the branches of the same tree and to hurt one or the other way- by any means- means to hurt one’s own self, to hurt one’s own India and to bleed one’s own people. And it is what is happening now in today’s Kashmir- the only spotlight area of the international media. Military men are killing Kashmiri youth who have turned militants and those Kashmiri militants are retaliating by killing militarymen. But the stark reality is that they are not killing some outsiders but only their own countrymen and brothers in one or the other way.
Much bloodshed has been made and many lives have been taken; many sons have been cold-bloodedly murdered and many daughters have been cold-bloddedly raped; many fathers have been robbed of their only dream to see their sons well settled and many mothers have been let wailing over the framed photos of their killed sons and also many historical and religious buildings have been desecrated and ruined. Such things are disturbing and utterly reprehensible and we don’t want it any more! Let us take some serious lessons from the past and walk a path of mutual and harmonious settlement of our petty issues.
Narinder Pal Singh
Editor in Chief
Ph. No 7024189918