Peace and Prosperity – A Distant Dream for Kashmir

The call of the muezzin and the valley is on its toes. The chirping of the birds and the sound of the gleaming waters, the pigeons swaying in the azure awakens the people of the beautiful valley called Kashmir .Children going to their schools, people going out for work and the streets full of life. As the radio jockey claims that it is the most beautiful morning insouciant about the turmoil that they have been living in since 62 years. But the last two months present a different anecdote. The Amarnath land row has ignited the fire in the young souls .

No schools, offices are shut, trade halted, empty banks and shops, isolated colleges and universities, desolate streets is the tale of this valley since two months. The Amarnath land row has made people go out on the streets and protest for what is right. Initial opposition to the land transfer was based on environmental concerns. Some environmentalists argued that the land transfer would impede the region’s delicate ecological balance. But who cares about the environment these days? The Amarnath land row was turned into a communal battle in the Jammu region whereas in Kashmir the Amarnath land row taking a back seat, the basic issue i.e. the Disputed territory of Kashmir has come on the forefront and people now want nothing less than a solution for their beloved homeland.

Human rights violation has been taking place in Kashmir since India got independence and when people have finally awoken from their slumber what is wrong with it? The media calls it violence and the people are labelled as a frenzied mob! Is this what we call freedom of expression and speech? Till now 120000 Kashmiris have died .and thousands are missing. There is not a single Kashmiri family who has not borne the brunt of the turmoil. As if the curfew imposed by the government and the lathi charges were not enough the Jammu region economically blocked the region of Kashmi. People of Kashmir are real rock solid pillars: we have survived in the toughest situations and we will continue to do that till our very last breaths!

For the past two months, we Kashmiri kids have not gone to school , our exams are round the corner. The population of Kashmir is out of essential supplies. We have no milk,no vegetables, no medicines , our internet servers have been slowed down. Is it being done to suffocate us?The curfew has been imposed by the government of Jammu and Kashmir for an indefinite period and the masses are under house arrest. The army has shoot at sight orders, this is what is called modern democracy. Bal Gangadhar Tilak who led the Extremists of The Congress quoted the Bhagvad Gita “inaction against injustice is the biggest crime” so are we supposed to just sit back and do nothing about the injustice? The death toll has now reached around 46. Hundreds of people are injured mostly youngsters, thousands have been arrested for no rhyme or reason, atrocities committed against scores of people who neither were carrying trishuls nor swords in their hands but were expressing peacefully their voice for their rights.. The army and the police used rubber bullets in the Jammu region where as the innocent Kashmiris were just killed with bullets wrenching their hearts. Our local channels have been blocked because they were the only ones covering the protests and the demonstrations. National media has just not lived up to its mark. The peaceful protests were never aired and the sea of humanity which had gathered at different places of Kashmir were never shown to the people of India. Why is the ground situation being veiled from the general masses? Why?

Alas! Nobody has an answer to my queries! The kids of Kashmir are really baffled about their identity: whether they are Indians first or just Kashmiris! What we want is just a solution for our problem as I flip through my history book the demonstrations, the peaceful protests , Gandhiji’s idea of Satyagrah just reminds me of the saying that history repeats itself and that is what is happening in Kashmir right now.

We have suffered since a long time , our demands are just simple . Please just solve the problem. We, the present generation of Kashmir has never seen a peaceful Kashmir. We just hear about the grandeur of our valley through our parents and grandparents. Please give us a chance to witness the splendour of our valley and let us live peacefully!

Fatimah Kanth