Atrocities on Indian Muslims have a reaction in Kashmir!
This refers to the news article titled “Usually calm, Budgam is tinderbox” by Nirupama Subramanian (Indian Express April 13th 2017). The journalist had visited Dalwan village in Charar e Sharief area of Central Kashmir where she met family of Faizan 12 and Abbas 17 who got killed in firing incident on the recent election day. Not only Budgam but whole Kashmir is a tinderbox now. Areas like Charar e Sharief and Khansahib assembly segments in Budgam used to witness 70 % plus polling and during 2011 Panchayat elections, the turnout was 80 to 90 % in Budgam district. What is the reason for this huge shift? Why 99 % people in Budgam district, which is part of Srinagar Lok sabha seat, boycotted the recent elections? Why was there so much of violence? Different people have different reasons for this massive election boycott and subsequent violence, but I view all this development in a different perspective. The rise of BJP –RSS lead Hindutva forces across India and subsequent riots, murders & torture of Indian minorities especially Muslims has added fuel to anti India sentiments among Kashmiri youth. The 5 month long 2016 summer agitation is also linked to it. Dozens of provocative videos depicting atrocities on Indian muslims have become viral on social media from last few years. Almost 90 % of Kashmiri youth who own smart-phones have these videos in their cell phones and this has made them believe that India is no more a secular country and BJP–RSS combine are posing a direct threat not only to Indian Muslims but they are a threat to Kashmir as well. The increased incidents of stone pelting from last few years in Kashmir can be related to growing activities of rightwing hindu extremists across India.
Tagores’s My Heaven :
Famous Bengali poet Ravindra Nath Tagore who was awarded Noble prize for his book Gitanjali has around 157 poems. One of the poem is titled “My Heaven”. More than 100 years back Tagore prays to God that the people of his country (India) should be fearless & society should not be divided in the name of caste, language and religion. Faizan 12 year old boy from Dalwan had been taught the same poem in his local school. In neat handwriting this little boy answers the question written with red pen “What does Tagore wish for India and Indians” ? Faizan pens down the answer in blue pen “He wished people of free India should be fearless , proud of their culture and loving” . While writing this answer Faizan would have never ever thought that he would become a victim of violence which is someway related to growing religious intolerance across India that has a direct effect not only in Alwar , Muzaffar Nagar or Dadri but in the remote Dalwan village of Kashmir as well . India has once again been divided in the name of religion. The way 55 year old Pehlu Khan from Rajathan was murdered by cow vigilantes is a blot on Indian democracy . Irony is that local BJP leader and MLA who was on a TV show, didn’t had words to say sorry to Pelhu’s son’s. Similarly a communal BJP leader Aditya Nath Yogi who is known for his anti Muslim stand was appointed Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. How can we expect peace & calm in this whole scenario ? Pertinently Pehlu Khan had not purchased two cows for slaughtering them but he wanted to have their milk , but nobody listened to him , reason was his religion.
How can we call it a democracy when people are asked to vote under the shadow of gun ? While I am writing this piece I see at least 300 military personnel outside my house to guard a small polling station with 2 rooms. This polling station is among 38 polling booths where re-election for Srinagar parliamentary seat is being held by Election Commission of India (ECI). It was so shocking to see CRPF personnel’s being kicked out in some village during recent elections. Why shall these poor people become victims of state’s high headedness ? Our youth are becoming more and more violent day by day and Indian state instead of listening to them will continue to use force on them. Why is BJP lead Govt pushing our youth towards militancy ? People of Kashmir need peace and resolution of their political problem. It cannot be achieved by holding elections or use of force but through a meaningful dialogue which is unfortunately not happening . BJP and its offshoots should stop harassing muslims , dalits and other minorities across India. Indian leadership has been portraying past assembly and panchayat elections as a referendum in their favour . Now there has been only 7 % voting in recent by –election in 3 districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, will BJP, Congress , and other Indian mainstream political parties have a courage to call this complete election boycott a referendum ? It is the time when New Delhi must stop acting like an ostrich.