10 years ago when I moved from the state to pursue higher studies, I used to get bogged by so many questions about my ethnicity, my roots and where do I belong to. There were constant questions if bombs exploded every now and then, it snows 24×7, and if people get shot as they move out of their houses. I would patiently answer all of these giving the benefit of doubt that people were really ignorant about what is the state of affairs in J&K.
But there were two questions that used to pester me then and even now. First, when people asked me if I need to have a passport to travel to other parts of India. And secondly, when they asked if Kashmir was a part of Pakistan. My stern silence made it obvious for them to understand that there was something wrong in the question.
Well, today people are asking the same questions. And I don’t want to stay silent sending any wrong signals. We are always so stuck in the regional conflict and setting things right inside the state that we have forgotten to see if what is being communicated to the outside world. Heaven on Fire, it is believed to be. Politically motivated, is the agenda the world believes. Coffers full of money are offloaded with the politicians is believed to be the true reason for all the unrest in the valley. Foreign interests is being catered to. No one sees and believes what the people of J&K really feel and face. Unfortunately media has played no good role and facts have been manipulated to the best of the abilities.
And then Burhan Wani happens! Where people gather in thousands to sympathise with the “hero”. Wait! Hero what? Hero for whom! Let us clear the air around this. He is NO hero! I cannot sympathize with Burhan Wani or any single soul like him. Yes, I can feel bad though. Class topper, had interest in cricket; he could have shaped his and his family’s lifedifferently. Yes, he could have been a hero with so much fan following if he would have served the State and the Nation. I am sure there are fingers pointing at me right now saying that is what he was doing. Sorry Sir, he had raised arms against the nation. He doesn’t even deserve to be called as the citizen of the country.
Social activists, Religious bigots will gather in congregation and start shouting about the circumstances prevailing that turned the course of events. It was unfair, which I will immediately counter argue with where was the right and wrong when the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits took place. All the attempts of adopting reformative justice where militants were made to surrender and given ways of livelihood seems to have back fired. And then this debate will never see the dawn of any agreement and a common platform. There is no way we can undo the past. But we can definitely shape the future which is yet to come.
After all Shah Faesal (the first IAS topper from Kashmir) and Parvez Rasool (the cricketer) are born and made out of the same milieu but they decided to live their life responsibly. Somebody’s wrong decision has no reasons to be glorified. Burhan Wani and any other person like him who take up arms for whatsoever the reason will be deemed as a terrorist and would face a terrible fate. And this message needs to be set right!
Kashmir is very much a part of India and if the people living there have issues or concerns with the state or the centre, they need to address those to the right bodies and people. Siding with another nation is not going to help at all. You cannot furl somebody else’s national flag and say this land belongs to them. It is good for a dream per se yet no less than a nightmare. The message needs to be sent strong that anybody involving in anti-national or terrorist activities (in name of religion/ethnicity, etc.) will be severely punished and will have to face the end like that of Burhan Wani.There is no religious or civic war J&K is facing. It is an ideological difference and let us ensure it gets projected likewise. It needs diplomats, leaders and interlocution. It needs no terrorists and No Burhan Wani, lest we want the strife to be maintained forever.
People especially the ones who find our neighbour to be their true ally need to be told that if that is where they find their comfort zone should transit there and stop considering to take the piece of land with them. The procrastination is not the solution. Let’s this hypocrisy of events get over. Let the peace prevail. And let the heaven flourish every nook and corner. Kashmiriyat ko insaniyat ki sakht zaroorat hai! (Kashmir is in dire need of humanity)and let us all work towards that.
Kashmir needs you, Kashmir needs me; Kashmir needs the strength of WE. Let us together put Kashmir on the path of growth and development. We would only be slowing the recovery process by siding with the anti-national forces and terrorist organisations. It can do nothing except for keeping Kashmir burning till eternity. Let us put an end to all that. And the Government along with the public need to take a firm stance on that – soon!