The loss irreparable!
How well did you care for our assets?
DR RUMANA MAKHDOOMI
I witnessed a fire as a teenager in the middle of one fateful night, when the flames lit up the entire city. All the dwellers’ of this caged city were woken up –some from their slumbers and most from their uneasy bed-rests…We saw not just a structure burning, but our heart burning. All rushed towards the Kohimaran with buckets and pails of water and tried saving what could be saved. A mosque and a library adjacent to the shrine of Makhdoom Sahib had been set on fire. Thankfully, the shrine was saved, though the adjoining structure which was an architectural marvel and a place for peaceful moments with Allah was lost. This was the tale of early nineties, when after schools and colleges ,it was the shrines and Dargahs which were getting burnt. After a short lull, our heritage sites, our monuments and our business hubs tasted fire. The fire at Dastageer Sahab is the latest and the harshest attempt to rob us of a ‘dear to heart’ monument and a ‘dear to soul’ ornament, which has sent a fresh wave of pain and anger into our humiliated bodies and mutilated souls. This is an inconsolable loss, and we pray to Allah for patience!
What is it that that they call a ‘mysterious fire’ every time our asset is set on fire? For more than twenty years these ‘mysterious’ fires have consumed almost all our assets. Is there a ‘mysterious fire’ riddle which has ever been solved? Is there a ‘mysterious fire’ culprit who has ever been charged? Is there a ‘mysterious fire’ conspirator whose name has been made public? We have a reason to ask from all those who plan to feed us with the placebo of inquiry-What happened to the inquiries into the earlier ‘mysterious fires’? Will your inquiry lead us to the culprits or like the previous ones , it will be inconclusive?
How can I describe the assets we have lost- That structure, those carved walls, those minarets, those colorful windows, those chandeliers, that calligraphy in wood, paint and metal….and that someone who lost his place of solace, his place of peace and his place of respect. Where will that Burqa clad old woman go, who used to pour out her heart and whisper to her Lord –pleading ,complaining and requesting for all that she needed –in these very corridors? Isn’t it because of these sanctuaries that the people of Kashmir have braved so much of trauma? Now tell me, how well did you protect this shrine, which considering the happenings here was vulnerable to fire? Did it have a fire fighting mechanism in place? Why wasn’t it equipped with fire extinguishers and fire alarms? What vision you have about preserving our heritage and culture? I hope these places generate enough funds for all what was needed for their protection-why didn’t we utilize them to make them secure?
For twenty years we have been losing one structure after the other to the so called ‘mysterious fires’. I do not care as to who burnt the structure – there is Allah to deal with him, more so, at a place where culprits are not identified ,but I am really perturbed that we let him burn it easily ,without a difficulty, without resistance-on a bright morning….Does it happen elsewhere? Can an evil fire come year after year elsewhere and burn all that you have saved for ages? Who needs to be apologetic and to whom-to the past which has been destroyed, to the present which has been traumatized or to the future which has been deprived? Come all of you from your own sanctum sanctorums and tell us honestly-Why are our assets being destroyed?
Our differences apart ,our ideologies apart-all of us might not have oscillated our heads in the shrine that was lost,all of us might not have said mesmerizing naats and manqabats there ,but all of us had love and respect for the shrine and the saint whose name it bore….for it carried the footprints, the musk and barkat of all those who sought God there. You might replace it physically ,but what about its kernel? Will you be able to replace it?
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Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 27 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 28 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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