Every now and then, we are acquainted with latest updates over the Kashmir protests, which frankly have engulfed my thought process since long. We are habituated with protests of such kind and the regular rebukes shared between the army and the civilians of the state, and hence don’t really want to shed much light or rather our perspective on the issue.
The state is a conflicted one, and the less we are aware of it, apparently, the more patriotic we are. We don’t want to know of the stories of the youth of the state which are titled ‘militants’ or worse ‘terrorists’, with every slogan they raise or every stone they pelt. We know that anything which goes against our army or tries to resist its attempt for ‘peace’ is anti-national in nature. Though this isn’t saying much as the people of Kashmir want nothing do with nationalism, they are still struggling to pursue their freedom which was promised to them and was, as per convenience, withdrawn.
They are resisting the army and the government at large, and instead of blaming them and their actions, shouldn’t we for once try and reach out? Is it too late to stretch a healing hand towards them, instead of the shots that are regularly fired at them?
The entire state is mourning; for the rest of the ‘patriotic’ Indians, a terrorist has been shot; for the people in the state, they are mourning the loss of a hero, a hero built from the troubled times that the city promises to deliver unabashedly.
The recent violence in the Kashmir Valley — that has so far claimed more than 20 lives and injured over 200 — following the elimination of Burhan Wani by Indian security forces is deeply tragic, but in no way unexpected. Kashmir has been known to bear the violence, some have died in these and many have been brought up in times like these. And it’s the very same bringing-up-environment that have led many to forgo the olive branch for guns or stones.
Tired of being beaten, abused, assaulted and ridiculed, the ‘militant’ youth of the state have joined in to support and claim their right which is entitled to every individual- the right to freedom and the right to live with dignity. Kashmir being the controversial territory that it is, these rebel forces are seen in a kind that is discerning to the rest of the country.
While for one side, it is the fight for freedom while refuting the authorities, for others, it is a fight against terrorism and upholding government authorities. It’s a two way street; the vehicles are stuck on a highway trying to horn the others away, not realizing that street will get cleared with mutual and peaceful cooperation.
The highly imperative question that remains is- in the bid to pinpoint the tragic incidents that shake the state every now and then, are we forgoing the momentum with which the state is being destroyed? By pinpointing the calamity on either Pakistan proxy plan or the ruthlessness and ignorance of the Indian state government, moreover on the radicalized youth or the rise of rebels with guns, are we not further prolonging the issue?
We are forgetting to not treat the voice of the locals with importance; we are forgetting to treat both the army and the civilians as humans; we are forgetting to value the essence of a life and what it means to snatch it away relentlessly and with utmost brutality. The people in Kashmir, whether fighting for its freedom, or regulating the laws that behold the state, are suffering, and playing the blame game that we all are currently indulged in, has never fared well for the state, or any state for that matter.
It is time to decide upon a conclusion, a conclusion that has to be inclusive of what people of the state want, a conclusion that won’t abuse the human rights, a conclusion that would allow people to thrive and not just survive amongst the beauty of the land, a conclusion that isn’t just for the Kashmiri Pandits and protects one and all, and more importantly a conclusion that won’t enforce curfews either on the road or on the thoughts.