I dedicate this piece to two human lives we lost last week.I try to capture in words what Suhail Naqshbandi sketched through a cartoon inGreater Kashmir. (Aatif flying in the clouds telling a Kashmiri watching fromthe earth, `didn't I deserve a shutdown'? Now the background.
Rizwan Pandit is a young school Principal reportedlydetained by the police for investigations. Two days after, the man is declareddead. What happens in between we don't know. But what happens at last is toonaked a truth to be covered by any fig-leaf of law or justice. The details ofthe case may be investigated but that won't change the fate of the man sleepingin his grave.
Rizwan's death didn't generate a war cry. It was just an incident drowned in a cluster of incidents more important than a human life. Media institutions, television studios, human rights bodies, and political activists outside Kashmir had no time to mourn.
Protesting against the purported `killers' may be a little premature and pre-timed, but voicing one's concern on the very loss of life was a hard fact which no one could refute. A death which should have shaken all shook a few and the shock died soon.
The resistance camp here couldn't be silent. They did what they have been doing in such cases. They did what they are capable of doing. They called for a daylong shutdown.
That is their single stock answer to all such questions – a One Time Tribute to all the dead and the dying and scheduled to die. But whatever little they could do, they did. They couldn't bring back the dead, they asked the living to suspend their lives for a day.