Uncertainty is part of life in Kashmir, and its natives have long known that. But uncertainty underlined and emphasized by neglect and political opportunism makes for an ugly and repulsive reality. Such is the state of a nation brought to its knees not simply by the vagaries of weather, but also by the failure of those supposedly in the business of serving its unfortunate citizens.
Year 2012 had barely put on its footwear to start a long and arduous walk in the most unfortunate part of the world, called Kashmir and already two innocent lives have been snuffed out by the security apparatus. Muhammad Altaf Sood, 22, was mercilessly killed in CISF firing at Boniyar providing a grim reminder of the reality that human life in Kashmir continues to be dispensable, notwithstanding the state government’s propaganda of providing life safety. It hardly matters whether one is a protestor or a spectator. And barely within hours the discourse has already changed from few parroted words of sympathy to grant of immunity under AFPSA to the CISF personnel. Had they been better informed there would have been no need to seek such immunity as a precedent of killing protesters in similar situations already exists. It was 1988 when Eight people protesting for power were mowed down and not even a word of sympathy from the present Chief Minster’s father against the erring police officials. There was no AFPSA then. This is Kashmir where immunity is inbuilt in the actions aimed at annihilating its inhabitants, whatever be the reason.
And dust had barely settled when another civilian lost his life at Sopore. A young man, was brutally done to death while crying for help in an injured condition.
Scholar Vincent H. Smith once wrote “few regions in the world can have had worse luck than Kashmir in the matter of Government.” And this observation which is echoed by most historians of this unfortunate nation, ascribes their fate partly to the coward character of its population which invited oppression and partly to their leadership to whom nothing but staying in power matters, even if it means playing a mercenary role for their Masters.
And When the nation’s chief executive, its Chief Minster, makes a sojourn to Delhi with his three year report card and a request for additional power (mind you –it is electric power and not political power) to PM Manmohan Singh ( HT online edition-3rd Jannuary) one is reminded of the famous couplets of Allama Iqbal
`Aaj voh kashmir hay Mahkoom-o-Majboor wa Fakir'
How many Indians, I wonder, recognize the fact that since that fateful night of 26th October 1947, Kashmiris have gained less, lost more. Do they still hope to win the battle for minds when they have already lost the war for our hearts?
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feedback at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST