Reading Javaid Iqbal Bhat’s “Mourning Memories, Amarnath Row to the year of Dead Eyes
Dr. Javaid Iqbal Bhat is a writer, political commentator, academic and cultural critic. He is one of the few academics based in Kashmir who are trained in the West. His are widely read weekly columns for Kashmir’s leading newspaper Greater Kashmir and Pakistan based Daily Times. After recently releasing his poetry collections “Scars Of Summer”. He has now come with his collection of essays titled “Mourning Memories, Amarnath Row to the year of dead eyes” published by one of the Kashmir’s leading and old Publishing house “Jay Kay Books, Srinagar”.
The collection of essays with a foreword by Kashmiri politician Saifuddin Soz and afterword by former Dean Academic Affairs Kashmir University Prof. Mohammad Ashraf Wani is one of the great collection of essays and documentation of the past decade’s three uprisings 2008, 2010 and 2016.
The collection is informative, analytical and poignant retelling of the pain and sufferings of Kashmir in the recent three uprisings. Javaid’s essays are filled with the episodes of trauma, pain, sufferings Kashmiri’s have gone through.
The three episodes that started in 2008 when the Forest Department had
allotted 800 kanals of land to the shrine board for use by the pilgrims. It was seen as the centre’s policy to change demography which would change the course in the promise of “Right To Self Determination” and altering article 370, special status of Jammu And Kashmir. It led to agitation and state used brutal measures to stop agitation, killing more than hundred people and injuring thousand when ultimately Land Transfer Order was revoked. After two years in 2010, following killing of innocent Tufail Matoo when the valley was witnessing public protest against Machil Fake Encounter Case triggered another agitation for end to Indian occupation and resolving Kashmir dispute. The third uprising took place when Burhan Wani was killed. It triggered agitation, violent protests against India, following which more than a hundred Kashmiri’s were killed, thousands injured, and many blinded. The three episodes were seen not as an agitation against Indian government policies but as a revolt to overthrow India’s government in valley.
Javaid in his collection engages with the concerns in Kashmir. With his analysis, information, knowledge, insights Javed looks deeper in the Kashmir dispute, causes and solution. Javed has a habit always to speak and write truth. Javaid has concerns not only about Kashmiri Muslims but with Kashmiri Pandits and other communities also as we get it from his essays.
Javaid has concern not only with politics in Kashmir but with corruption social evils and other menaces prevailing in the valley. His essay “What Is Going On Here” on page 156 of the book is full of pain,the problems,corruption people face in doing philanthropic activity.
The book is useful for researchers, and students. The book contains few articles which don’t fit with the title of the book. The book has bit terminology issues as far as Kashmir dispute is concerned like National, Exile. The book is bit expensive also, common man will have difficulty to purchase it. In a nutshell, the book is must read for the people who want to understand the three agitations and episode.