Was it a dream?

No. It was all real, all happening on the ground

WORDS WITHIN

FIRDOUS SYED

Deep in my thoughts, I was joined by Mr. Vohra and his wife; the self-professed Gandhians. The couple instead of working for a conflict resolution, predictably is more interested in how youth of the valley could be kept away from violence?  Broadening the range of thought, three Kashmiri boys, Nasir, Zulfikar and Jihad also stormed in. The three highly educated boys, in their early twenties---Nasir is a passionate revolutionary writer, Zulfikar aiming to be a surgeon and Jihad the thinker, is a teacher--- frequently drops in unbidden. Today unusually they were restless, in an agitated frame of mind. “How can home minister of India speak in such an arrogant way. Is he not aware of the fact that we have not sacrificed one lac lives merely for an LPG cylinder--- a senior and supposedly responsible functionary of India haughtily showing ignorance about the fundamental demand---“what they really want”--- is disgusting” lambasted Nasir. Whether he was crying or trying to make a point, however one can clearly see tears rolling down his cheeks. “Peace is yet to prevail, popular uprising of 2010 is still fresh in the minds, what kind of amnesia is this that within two years of eerie calm, they are asking us what do we really want” this is the way how Zulfikar interjected.
 Yet I was extremely perturbed by the tone and tenor of Jihad’s intervention. He is a thinker he never loses his balance of mind. In chilling voice he threatened “do we need to pick up gun again and remind India about that what we want - Azadi”? The threat of an armed struggle was enough to cause a chill in the room. Moreover what was narrated before two Indian guests was embarrassing for me. To clear the air, I made a quick intervention, look Mrs.  Vohra; the boys do not really mean what you have just heard. The kind of pacifist I have turned now, I tried to assure the Indian friends, after such an immense loss of life and the deep turmoil we have all lived through, nobody in Kashmir in his senses will even dream of picking up a gun again. The boys are not threatening to wage a war--- they are just trying to agitate a point that since Kashmir is a dispute yet the rulers in New Delhi have developed such a thick skin that they only listen when there is a turmoil on the streets--- otherwise arrival of film crew is presented as onset of peace in Kashmir, I further elaborated. From the puzzled looks of boys, I could easily figure out that they were hardly impressed by my peace talk. They may have thought as an apologist by obscuring the emerging reality, I may be trying to appease the two Indians in the room. But I was more shocked to see the Indian friends were not convinced either. As a former gunman I was to be believed never ever; in their perception my pleasant talk was to garner more rewards?
Till this moment the guests had maintained their poise, now it was their turn to explode.  “Don’t threaten us with a gun, why should India concede an inch after winning a war at a great cost of both treasure and human lives--- Kashmir waged a war against India at the behest of Pakistan, our army has given a befitting reply to you and as well as to your masters --- what you could not achieve through a gun why should you expect to garner through a so called dialogue--- is it not enough for you that India instead of treating you like a vanquished society still guarantees you constitutional rights---  sooner you accept the ground realities better for Kashmir, otherwise you will be only adding to your miseries with the hangover of a gun--- your borrowed tin Kalashnikov’s can never dent the steely resolve of Indian mighty army to never let Kashmir have its way” thundered Mr. Vohra thereby exposing the real face behind the mask of a Gandhian.   “After failing to get Azadi through a gun, you even tried with a stone, in three months only you started exasperating, instead of a resistance scarcity of rice at the ration depots and education of your children became your real concern. The people who cannot miss a meal and endure hunger for a day are asking for Azadi” Mrs. Vohra added scornfully. 
 Suddenly the boys got up to leave. Jihad in a unwavering voice announced, “it helps to understand what you have just said, thank you for the recognition accorded to us as a nation even in defeat--- if doors for a dignified resolution of the dispute have been closed on us, what option you have left other than a war--- we will not repeat our mistakes next time--- we have lost the battle but not the war yet, struggle will go on”.
I visualised that the boys left the room to pick the gun. It will be devastating the boys should never go near the gun. I wanted to stop them, rather desperately. But suddenly I realized did I stop when my late father asked, I had my experience the boys’ may have their own. Can we stop this reckless war. Is it possible to resolve the dispute? Was it a bad dream, no it is a perpetual nightmare? 

(Feedback at firdoussyed@yahoo.com)

Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 3 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 4 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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