Don’t recall 1990s, learn lessons from the gory period

The 1990s have been used without the understanding of the days and times when the life in Kashmir changed forever
Don’t recall 1990s, learn lessons from the gory period
File Photo: Aman Farooq/GK

Kashmir told a sordid story last week. The place has propensity to spring surprises, but this time the surprise was so shocking that it took wits off senses leaving everyone wondering where are we?

The tragic tale revolves around the killing of two teachers in their school and a famous chemist M L Bindroo. Others who met the same fate have become footnotes to this narration. They were a Golgappa seller whose body could not be taken to his native place in Bihar because his family had no means to do so, and of course the killing in Bandipore district did not grab that attention, and one more died in different circumstances, the story of whom would be told in differing versions.

These differences are the exact fault lines that have sharpened over the years. The tragedy is same, but the stories are different.

Justice has to be served. The minority community members, Supinder Kaur, Deepak Chand, two teachers, and Makhan Lal Bindroo, who fell to the bullets of their assassins between 7 pm on Tuesday and Thursday 11 a m, made it to the headlines. These deaths have triggered a fresh wave of migration.

That prompted some to draw instant comparisons to 1990s without the clear understanding of what 19990 was. The 1990s have been used without the understanding of the days and times when the life in Kashmir changed forever. Some saw it from the prism of the select killings of the minorities as they felt insecure and drove out of Valley to safe places elsewhere.

But what happened to the Muslims, the majority community, that stayed on, because its options to migrate were limited and full of so many risks. There were easy conclusions that they were collaborators of the ecosystem of terrorism that hit everyone hard.

The deadly nature of violence was wrapped in hate-mongering. It is known that who all were the hate-mongers and who all invented abominable slogans which were worse than direct threats. The mutual demonization followed. That explains collapse of the trust built over centuries. Then, we all know that there were elements from across the border using Kashmiri hands to kill fellow Kashmiris – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs. It was, perhaps for the first time that Kashmiris known for their unique abilities to foresee things failed to see what was coming. They drew sadistic pleasure in doing things which they, their parents, grandparents, and all other ancestors had not done ever.

It is not the time to reflect what happened in 1990s – and I am sure that many of the leaders talking about the 1990s in Kashmir have no idea what had happened then. You had to be in Kashmir to know what 1990 meant. There were some who could speak about assassins of their loved ones, sons reconciled to sit and dine with the patrons of the killers of their parents. How the press notes were changed – the militant groups were made to withdraw the claims and culprits who were nowhere in the Valley were blamed for murders. It’s the time to draw lessons from what happened in 1990s and how the situation was changed over the years by Kashmiris.

The way out of the gruesome glimpses of the past should be searched for. This is a national necessity. It is as important for Kashmir as also for the rest of the country to understand the repercussions of the developing situation.

The ecosystem of terror needs to be smashed. This is must. But something more, too, needs to be done.

First, the hate mongers on social media, living abroad, are faking the pain and spreading rumours. The pain is felt by the loved ones of the victims and all those who fear that this kind of violence could visit them. There also is a consciousness in the majority community, as exhibited in the statements of some of the political leaders, that they are feeling bad about the whole turn of events that has brought a bad name to their land and the people.

Second, this political leadership needs to step out of the domain of the social media and statements. A determined effort is required at assuring the minorities. There always is a minority psychosis where such cold-blooded murders leave an everlasting impact. They live in 24x7 fear. That fear can be lifted by the majority community only.

The majority community has a special responsibility. It must follow the path laid down by their holy book, where it is stated clearly that killing of an innocent is the murder of whole humanity, and the majority community has the supreme responsibility to save the minorities.

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