I am an apologist. Of first water mark. I am known for defending the indefensible. Protecting the pretender. Pleading the preposterous. That's what makes me so popular. Even as my style is provocatively absurd, it nevertheless drives home some hardcore realities of the times I live in.
I am a crooked ruler in Kashmir who knows that time heals as it alone possesses the true healing touch. So, I advise you people to allow yourselves to grieve and carry on. Time will dull your pain. It has a history of doing so since 1990s down to 2010. And you all know that our history is nothing but a construct of alibis and artifices!
I am a vainglorious politician of Kashmir who knows the craft of licking the filth of power by any means. From family to friends, I sell everything to be a henchman. I cross floors. I con ways. And I do it to remain your 'representative'—I stay for your pain that I never felt; your loss that I never realized. What else than this can you expect from me!
I am an established leader from Kashmir who knows the mantra of exploiting agonies than innovative ways of defiance. I believe in staying in and sticking it out, continuously. There is no need to understand what you are feeling or analyze it. I have failed you, over and again. But I still contest my relevance for I know you are a leaderless lot. That defines my raison d'être!
I am a teenager in Kashmiri crowd, hurling out my anger. Upon everything, that comes my way. I am writing, painting and singing my hurt on the street. Amid betrayals and bleakness in my mind, I clash with a harrowing pain. That's why I am a leader unto myself!
I am a cop amuck in Kashmir. Stone frightens me. Crowd unnerves me. But the draconian laws shield me. My use of pellet guns is warranted as I consider my life precious than yours because you faltered to recognize the value of it. My allegiance to state is my armor, and you all are just fifth columnists!
I am a cyber-warrior of Kashmir. My courage comes from your credulity. I am a diehard supporter of your cause but I can post only when I am grounded in a 'safe zone', out of bounds of tailing laws. I am your 'cyber martyr' for whenever any of my accounts is blocked or hacked, I earn you a mention. You keep dying, I promise I will keep posting!
I am a neighbour next door in Kashmir. I am a play-actor who is 'bereaved' over the happenings around and am bothered about nothing but my own comforts and survival. I am a good orator who expresses no-holds-barred solidarity without spirit!
I am an ordinary shopkeeper in Kashmir. I tell my distressed customers to bite back their tears but I can't help but to take an extra bite from their pockets. The situation is full of fluttering what ifs and I have to sustain my family and fleece you people for my rainy (stoning) days!
I am a friend in Kashmir who is as battered as his friends are. I am thinking, over thinking, and carrying a feeling of an anarchic milieu around. But I shy away from speaking about it openly and I am not sharing my concerns with anyone. I am afraid of even you, my friends!
Besides, I can be any other person in Kashmir who craves to create a magical art (azaadi) from the collective campaign (junoon) but I secretly confess that magic rarely takes place in real world. And that too in this part of the planet where every horrendous event leaves behind a residue of remorse, in the long run.
Yes, for every magic to happen, there is a dream to live for. And for a dream to be lived, there should be a dreamer like Martin Luther King. The one who dreamt to make his dream not a part of history but a part of his nation's destiny. Such a dream lives beyond flimsy variants of realism and becomes dearer than anything else. Of course, the timeless power of grief—blood and bathos that goes into making of such a dream—can become a converging point where apologetic ways of corrupting a just cause will fail to recur.
Bottomline: The moment we turn apologists for not only our slogans but also even shape and sense, that bells the alarm for rethinking. Combining sufferings with moral passion while divorcing romanticism, and looking for a meaningful direction in an ever-chaotic situation seems the approach to stay away from re-witnessing wicked history in Kashmir.