When the long night
melted into nothingness,
the dim twinkling of
Alien dust wiped out
all the foot prints
and drowned all lamps in fog....
All ears were blocked
lips sealed and hearts pierced.
the man was butchered
outside on the street....
Just yesterday, the apple of eye
was killed in a crowded market...
Everlasting tears, he gifted
to his mother, to his family.
Just yesterday, another coffin
reached to the graveyard,
numerous cries went in the air
like pebbles sinking
noiselessly in the sand,
It was Friday afternoon. The Azaan was reverberating from everywhere on loudspeakers. Thin traffic on roads and most of the shutters down, people were rushing towards nearby mosques to offer their congregational Friday prayers. The ambience seemed spiritual and virtuous, as it appears on Fridays.
Trin...Trin! My cellphone rang. “Who it must be at this time?” I murmured. It was my friend with whom I had talked just a few minutes before. With curiosity and apprehension, I picked up the call. “Have you heard about the news?” she said. “No, what news?” I replied. Taking a deep sigh, she said, “Maulana Showkat, the President of Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadees has been assassinated”. Taking a long pause, it took me some secs to believe what I heard. Another innocent killing; another gruesome murder—I wondered despondently.
It was just last month when I saw him in the economy class of air flight while traveling back from Delhi. The man was wearing a spick-and-span white Khan Dress with a chic black waist coat. Free flowing grey beard and a black Karakuli (cap) gave a splendid look.
It wasn’t for the first time I saw him. I had actually heard him giving sermon at the Nikah ceremony of one of our relatives. He sounded like an instrument to usher a positive change in a society where essence of relations is lost in trivialities. Eloquent, confident, well- versed, and expressive, he had a style of his own while addressing the gathering. Unlike other religious scholars, he carried no ambiguity in narrating the rights of women in Islamic perspective.
Of course, it takes decades for a nation to collar and cultivate such souls. And it takes no time for gory conflict to snatch the precious human asset away. The treasured human capital becomes the soft casualty.
The war industry has to go on. The pot has to be kept boiling. Killings by unidentified persons come quite operative for all this. Since last two decades, so many such killings have gone uncounted and unaccounted.
Apart from the strange apathy of State towards such killings, the civil society too has to shun the criminal silence and express its resentment for this muted genocide. Every time or every summer, we cannot afford offering scapegoats to perpetuate what different brutal stakeholders to this conflict want overtly or covertly.
The ambiance here is still volatile. The slyness in this conflict has crossed the limits. We are unspeakably becoming a collaborator to the worst kind of violence mushroomed in our space by nameless elements. This is the nastiest brand of mental slavery.
We need to rise up and take some bitter lessons from the past. Yes, we’ve learned to live with death but what lies behind escapes us all. It’s our dream! Dreams of voices that are silenced, of doors that wait to be opened. Dreams for whom we gave our life, we gave our everything. Dreams which carry with them the beauty of our tears, the treasure of our blood. Dreams which taste no roses, no snow but blood, only blood. Dreams which hide all tragedies beneath their wings and soar above all sufferings.
We are seeing our bloody dreams sliced into moments, flinging into symbol of time. We are seeing our bloody dreams drifting aimlessly like autumn leaves, lost in the dust of time. We are seeing our bloody dreams gasping as we continue to die, and die very cheap.
We are seeing our bloody dreams dripping blood from festering visions of dead yesterdays and unborn tomorrows. We are watching it just silently, just helplessly. But for how long will we continue to die cheap? For how long, the mystery of killings will shroud us? It has to be stopped somewhere.
(The author teaches at Media Education Research Centre, MERC, Kashmir University.)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Apr 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Apr 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Apr 2011 00:00:00 IST