Letter to Young Kashmiris

Letter to Young Kashmiris

We are living in an age of painful paradoxes and heightened fears

Dear All,

I know you must be feeling terribly frustrated, disappointed, depressed, and angry. You must be thinking what on the earth is going on around us! You must be thinking why is the world mean to us, why are we being blamed, held responsible for something which we have no connection with, and about which we have no idea why it is being done, and who is doing it.

Since you are connected and integrated much more deeply with the larger world via your mobile phones and PCs you must be feeling as if incessant gushes of anxieties, fears and perplexities hit you every day and night in your face, and as if you have no answers to question that are being forcefully asked to you every time you open your Facebook and twitter pages; you find your timeline filled with both happy and depressing headlines.

You see a bomb blast ripping through a mosque, a market, a school, a government building and numerous other places. You see a missile hitting a civilian convey, a wedding party, a village hut, and other numerous places.

You think there is a war going on every day and you see people talking about it all the time and yet you also realize that while this war is going on no one names it so; no one knows who is fighting who, lines are not clear, geographies are not demarcated, and there is confusion in the language of this war.

You find that the killer and the killed use the same language, the same words, and almost surrealistically resemble each other. One day you watch news report on a violent incident and you hear the word ‘terrorism’ and next time you watch a news report on another violent incident and you feel the word is missing in the report.

First you don’t think much about it, but then it becomes a pattern and you realize something is wrong. You want to yell at the news anchor that she is unfair, but you know you cannot do it; so you rush to Facebook and Twitter and vent out your feelings there.

You see a friend’s post and discover he has stolen words right out of your mouth; you like and share it instantly. You feel good and somewhat less angry now. Next moment, you come across a song, you listen to it and you like it so much that you cannot resist telling your friends about it, so you post it on your Facebook page.

Your heart is filled with new emotions and your eyes tell it all. You check your inbox, there are new messages; your beloved has sent one more romantic emoticon and written ‘I Miss you’. You smile, your heart jumps inside, and you reply with a suitable emoticon. You feel lighter and better inside, almost gleefully floating in the air. Life balances itself. You feel good and think life is beautiful, after all. 

It is happening and it is happening with almost every one of us. We are living in an age of paradoxes and heightened fears and confusions. We feel our minds are warped without any recourse available for the remedy. But an occasion a news, an event, or a moment, just arrives from somewhere to clear this seemingly pessimistic and depressing mist on our hearts and minds.

And ultimately, we discover ‘life is what it is’. 

Muhammad Tahir is current research scholar of Politics and International Relations at Dublin City University, Ireland.