Abraham Lincoln once said,” All that I am or hope to be , I owe to my angel mother.” The mother under reference did not eat a grain of food for a week, she had turned a distraught woman making tireless efforts and appeals to anyone and everyone she could come in contract with and who paid visits to her home, with one and only one demand, “I want my son back”. An ace footballer from a village from South Kashmir and equally a promising student having secured good ranking in 10th and subsequent exams, was lured into joining terror by Pakistani agents in charge of conscription of gullible Kashmiri Muslims but of vulnerable age group and was paraded with an assault rifle on social media . This act was probably done with two purposes. One – -to prove as a big draw for the young men in the valley and a catalyst for recruitment in the dwindling ranks and the strength of terrorists. Second–to have him no escape route back as he stood exposed and came well under the Police radar. The shocked mother stepped in , the daydream of Aazadi , plebiscite , Pakistan or some autonomy meant nothing absolutely to her and realizing the likely fate of her loving son, wanted him back. Her wailing, crying, rolling down of tears, going hungry for days which went viral on media, was reminiscent of nothing less than mourning over a loving one who was no more. Washington Irving has aptly said, “There is sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of inseparable love.” Not only the mother was upset completely but his father suffered a heart attack after hearing that his son was trapped in an encounter in Kulgam. The father never expected his son to whom he claimed to have been treating like a friend, having brought him up like that, was shell shocked and unable to understand “why he did this”.
The boy is Majid Irshad Khan, just 20 who had joined Lashkar-e- Toiba, otherwise a bundle of hopes for his parents besides an object and a purpose of a proud womanhood in the form of a mother. She exhorted him to return home and leave the (suicidal) path chosen by him or else visit home once “only to shoot her dead and then go “. Hardly anyone with a stone heart would have not felt sad and even wetted one’s eyes seeing how a desperate shocked but a hopeful mother was fighting a battle with her misled son with the “weapons” of her affection, mother’s love, caring and worries of his safety.
Aisha Begum, the mother of Majid won the battle and on 17th instant, he returned home, the emotional appeal of his mother worked . Thus a big slap was struck on the face of Pakistan. He has decided to leave the gun and again own his pet football as he has been the player at the district level. Unlike in Pakistan, the security forces congratulated Majid for his decision to shun the destructive path of violence. He had surrendered and the police took him into custody along with his rifle and ammunition. The mother has forgiven her son for having fallen unwittingly into the trap laid by Pakistani agents and anti India and anti mutual co-existence principle of living in civilized societies. As it is said, ” The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” The mother needs to be felicitated, assured and encouraged so that other mothers whose loved ones are lured into the destructive and horrendous path of terror, the aim of which is to kill, destroy, hate, burn, assault, bomb, attack and sooner or later get killed, are retrieved and saved. This could herald a positive shift in the minds of the sections of the people in their approach towards terror and its hyped link with religious connotations like some Jihad and the like. Many more mothers like the one under reference, shall follow suit looking to the twin attack on the terrorists, namely CI or counter insurgency and CT or counter terrorism, pursued by the Government unlike in the past three decades of its onset in the valley. Looking to over 150 terrorists having been neutralized over the last two years in different areas of the Valley on account of hot pursuit policy to fight terror , worries have started visiting the psyche of many parents as well as those falling prey to the nefarious designs of Pakistan to get lured to terrorism. That obviously is the driving force behind, the religious sentiments being grossly exploited. College or school dropouts of the age groups of 15 to 25 remaining the most targeted group , as per the findings of the Jammu and Kashmir Police fighting terrorism in tandem with the security forces and suffering casualties in the process like the security forces. The local youth thus mortified or motivated and indoctrinated to join militancy, having become a major concern for the security agencies are all out in offensive drive to neutralize them, now many are captured alive like in Kulgam recently.
Those so called intellectuals, writers and “more” liberal politicians along with the selective secularists, who do not mind projecting many terrorists as something like heroes must answer as to why well read and those belonging to well to do families have been joining militancy. In most of the cases, these youth are from families with better economic resources. Farooq Abdullah, as usual, a few weeks back openly eulogized stone pelting brigade and others by saying , ” They are not doing it for becoming ministers, MLAs or MPs but are fighting for their rights and Wattan”. Omar Abdullah, the ex- CM on the death in encounter of terrorist Burhan Wani said, ” His killing will not end militancy in the valley and his death will attract more youth to militancy than when he was alive….” He further had gone on to say, “Burhan isn’t the first to pick up the gun and won’t be the last .” The latest one from the senior Abdullah has not surprised many, “PoK is not a property of anyone’s (India’s) father, it is and belongs to Pakistan.” Again two days later in Uri Kashmir, addressing a small gathering he said, “Pakistan was not weak and wearing bangles to allow India take that part of the state under their control, they have an atomic bomb…..” Should this be the type of role, mainstream politicians, Kashmir centric, should play to discourage the targeted groups of the youth lured to terror by Pakistan ? Does it not appear strange that an Indian should use the threat of atom bomb of a foreign country, belligerent to us, to scare his own country? Changing political stances at will, only when out of power, and misleading the public and showering such statements which had the potential of abetment to violence and joining terror ranks are largely contributing to the accentuation of the intricacies of what is known as “Kashmir Problem”. Why cannot these leaders act the way mother Aisha did to call back her misled son from the path of destruction? Who among them bothers to save whatever is left of Kashmir even now ? These leaders should realize and remember the chickens will come home to roost someday. Till then, let them slip into a bit of contrition.