Curfewed Valley

When the whole world is waking up to the horrors of human rights abuse, we the handful populace of valley are left to fend for ourselves by our custodian, the state.
Curfewed Valley
File Photo

On Mar 23, 2013, with a heavy heart and moist eyes I wrote about how our paradise was reduced

to a valley of curfews. Four years down the line we are still living on the edge and I am left with no words but a feeling of alienation, numbness and anger. Once again, I couldn't resist changing an oft-quoted verse about our valley like this.

Agar curfew bar roye zamin ast

ham-i-asto ham-e-asto ham-i-ast

"If there is curfew on earth,

 it is here , it is here,it is here"

I have never hurled a stoned, I always chose pen over gun. But today seeing the inhumane and brutal approach of the state towards its citizens, it sends shivers down the spine. When the whole world is waking up to the horrors of human rights abuse, we the handful populace of valley are left to fend for ourselves by our custodian, the state. The lacerated political history and the  political dynamics stand of no importance when the government has waged a war against its own people. Since the population is expected to behave in a utmost democratic manner, we the people seek accountability from the democratic institutions alone. The cliché Kashmiriyat , Jumhooriyat aur insaaniyat has been overused, rather abused, as a political tool. It's horrendous that youth are pushed to wall, exhausting all ways of political engagement and the bullets of law and order are taking toll on the young ones. The pellets and bullets hit our people and we are crippled for lifetime. Many families lost their dear ones. The wounds of the wailing people may be visible to some but their psychological distress will never be noticed. Those who espoused dialogue as the fundamental approach to address political uncertainty have surrendered the idea to pellets and night curfews. The miserable state of affairs once again made us revisit ghosts of early nineties, night curfews, raids and harassment. The young generation is facing the wrath of mass suffocation, a collective punishment where the sick is dying, essential supplies and connectivity are forcibly cut off. This perhaps can be one of the saddest humanitarian embargoes that Kashmir is facing. Irony is that the democratic institutions pledge to uphold civilian and human rights in sensitive areas but on ground  we see reverse of that. The laws, SoPs and the constitution don't even exist in civilian dealings. The healing touch becomes a touch of Lathis and teargas. Kashmiris  are a sensitive people, they don't need a sipahi to engage with them or any political dialogue before they are granted their fundamental right, right to life. We have suffered a lot and we are suffering. Locking down 8 million people and blinding them is a tale of love or obsession; now that is to be seen.

(Author is a student of law)

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