Banality of evil
THE death of Umar Qayoom, a boy of seventeen, hailing from the Soura locality of Srinagar, is hard to forget. It was 25th August when the boy had us all cry. Though every single death that was suffered by Kashmir during last almost four months is equally painful, but some of them would go down as more gruesome than the rest. For example the nine year old chap beaten to death reminds us all that how barbaric it has been during these months. Same is the case with Umar. This boy was so brutally tortured in the lock up that he succumbed to the internal injuries days after he was released. This time what brings us back to this chilling memory is the news report that his name is missing from the official list of deaths during these months. There is another such omission; Farakh Bukhari, who too was tortured to death allegedly by Police, is also not included in the list. What do these omissions signify?
It would not have been so pointed an omission if it was only about statistics. Though it always has been the habit of states to tamper with figures so as to diminish the emphasis or present the things as not so worrying, but in this case it goes beyond that. It actually paves the way for darkening the areas where the problem can attain unmanageable proportions. Every concerned quarter, be it dispassionate political voices, independent opinion makers, professional news reporters, civil society and human rights groups – all have been crying about the atrocities committed by Police and different security agencies, asking for probes and subsequent punishments. Even the meetings held by the government and the ruling parties at the Central level have acknowledged it as a fact that atrocities have been committed. In such kind of an ambience it needs a consistent follow up so that the guilty are punished. But in Kashmir it is not as simple as it appears to be. There are umpteenth instances where the culprits were absolutely easy to identify, even if we talk in pure legal terms, but the cases were dealt with in a manner that none got punished. Every time justice eluded Kashmir and culprits went making merry. Those who follow the news in Kashmir can easily recount many such instances just in a jiffy. In all those cases the beginnings were very difficult for the authorities but slowly it would turn easy for them to cover it up all. By the time next incident would hit Kashmir the earlier would relapse into oblivion. Same seems to be the fate of all the bereavements suffered by Kashmir this year. By dropping the names of Umar and Farakh the same old methods are being employed. It is an alarm sound for all those civil society groups, within Kashmir and outside, and the human rights organizations who have been aggressively pushing for a commission of inquiry to be conducted into the killings. They must remind the government and the ruling parties that sooner or later the culprits have to be brought to book. Any attempts to shield them would only worsen the situation.
It might sound so casual and unimpressive because when evil occupies the routine and gets easily explained, rather justified, it becomes banal. It’s here that displacing it requires unimaginable amount of influence and energy. The mind that gave us this concept followed a routine of her times and tried to explain it to an ordinary mind. In the type of atmosphere that mankind lives in Kashmir the evil has become so routine that talking about it sounds gratingly repetitive. So many times, and in so many different ways, we have highlighted the cases of human rights violations and the consistent denial of the authorities to take any action on such reported cases. This time also we are doing the same. We believe that even if it becomes banal, it stays evil. Condemnable to core.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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