We stand dumb witness to death and destruction. And, we still watch our dear ones playing with death.
We can forget the deadly tide of flood that gulped down more than two hundred souls, lifetime assets, centuries old business hub but can we forget the facelessness and blindness of those who neither warned nor rescued us until we find courage to defeat the "death of water" with our bare hands and few innovations. We can forget how our "crisis planners" were re-settling themselves in highland five star hotels in order to stay safe but can we forget those new born babies who did not get a chance to see the face of their wailing mothers. We will forget those officials who were arguing hard with army personnel to get their families rescued first but can we ignore the stare of "Rajbagh mother" who was crying for help to rescue her two children drowning in fifteen feet deep water. We can even forget the humiliation of waving our hands to mocking and hovering helicopters but can we forget those "angels of life" doing pick and chose at our rooftops when water was choking every soul in valley irrespective of prior selection.
We stand dumb witness to death and destruction. And, we still watch our dear ones playing with death. We waved hands for help on the basis of morality, on the basis of humanity and on the basis of co-existence. we expected your extended hand that could have filled the gap of centuries old misunderstanding. We expected that humanity will surpass all your inhibitions, communal, race or ideology….but how sad, humanity too failed us. We were left alone. And, we were left alone to face death, water and devastation. The humanity, the morality and the justice became dead for us. The universe became dark, dull and now it has become a black hole for us. We lost hope in helplessness.
We are courageous enough to forget the "guided media channels" which we thought were our "saviours", they did not even express pity to share our misery. Instead, they took pride in exploiting our helplessness to such extent that every dying soul was asked to praise Indian army for rescue operation of priority people. We can ignore reporters "embedded in helicopters" who only came to glorify the image of Army but can we ignore the image of "girl in tatters" who was stammering to say thank you to army personnel before being allowed to quench her thirst. We can show magnanimity to forget your footage of dead baby’s mother who was forced to look at army Jawan in humility but can we forget the cry of sick man who was dragged out of the helicopter being identified as Kashmiri speaking.
We thought that media works beyond boundaries, ideas or loyalties and it has no religion but how come your channels were asked to teach Kashmiri lesson for being dissident, rebel, stone pelter, Azadi demander and terrorist. The Channels gave us something to amuse also in times of horror when the footage of poor Bihari labourer (labelled as Kashmiri flood victim) thanking Indian Army for rescuing him was played again and again. The images of rescuing Bihari labourers or tourists have become now dim in our memory, yet we praise you for saving these poor souls but the image of a crying child at the top of roof, begging to take him to safe place has left big hole in our heart.
Despite all this misery, callous and communal environment, something "new" has happened in us…we are reborn, reincarnated and recreated by some force more powerful than flood itself. . A "new" Kashmir is born on the day we were challenged by God and taunted by your media. We have found renewed energy and determination and we have become more strong and resilient. Our new born were dead before they opened eyes but our boys as young as sixteen gave us new life, new beginning and new hope. Who says we are left with nothing, we are left with treasure of courage, determination and belief. Our boys took pledge that they will do it and they did it. They saved our new born, they saved our sick, they saved our old, they saved our heritage and they saved those also, who were left out in your priority list and they saved humanity.
We have overcome our grief, sorrow and helplessness. We have become one big united body. Those who have enough, feed hungry, those who have two rooms, opened door for homeless. Those who earn, spend half of his income over his victim brother. Those who are labelled as radicals or terrorists have rescued Hindus, Sikhs and non-Muslims and now feed them in every relief camp. Those who have nothing to offer, offer hope, smile and hand.
We have realized that we are different from Gujarat, Uttarakhand or other states of India. Had it been other state or region with such magnitude of devastation, Prime Minister would have preferred to stay in India. He went to Washington with huge pomp and show, and Indian media was told to black out Kashmir altogether. Indians allowed international aid to rebuild Uttarakhand but it has not even announced its own aid package for Kashmir, not to talk of international relief. Affectees are aware of your priority list of aid that has everybody, excluding common Kashmiri. The state has been rendered useless and couldn’t even plan de-watering pumps for submerged areas. We have a tendency to forget everything and we will do it again…..
We do not blame Army, officials or complain against Indian media. They did what they were told to do.
What haunts us these days is the continued "criminal silence of international aid organisations" which have been created with the only purpose to serve the affected people irrespective of ideology, class, region or colour. We still harbour feelings that they serve only humanity and their only religion is to rescue and help needy people. Alas! they too seem to have followed "Masters" in Delhi at this critical juncture.
However, Kashmir will prevail even after so many odds, calamities and hurdles. People have not lost faith in those who have offered their hand and support throughout this critical juncture. We re-affirm to rebuild Kashmir from scratch. And, we will seek help from any country or organisation, come what may……