Monday, 18 March 2013

Kashmir: Of Dreams

Humans anywhere are equal. There is no point of difference in them, as far as, aspiring for a better future, enjoying equal rights, and awarding justice to them, is concerned. As a matter of fact, it is a basic trait of humanity, that when humans do not get equal treatment, they begin to resent. This resentment may take any form, which is mainly aimed to get their grievances redressed.


The past two decades have been full of tragedies for the Kashmiris. They had to go through pain, agony, and distress. Cases related to human rights violation, torture, forced disappearances, unkindly and indecent treatment as well as high handedness have eroded the real meaning of “justice” from their lives. As a result, their entire outlook towards this word has changed which as a consequence has rendered this word, good for nothing, for them. The crusade for equal rights and equal treatment hasn’t met with the desired outcome. These people are shattered, and all that they have with them, are broken dreams, muzzled voices and unfulfilled promises. The injustices done to them have given rise to a sense of alienation in them against their authorities that has created a wedge in their hearts, which drives them to fight for their rights, they have been robbed of. Thus, what prevails is the sign of distress, anguish, trouble and dissatisfaction among them which has reached to alarming proportions. Although several efforts were made to resolve the affliction but so far no effort has been able to bring them out of the trauma they are in, for last twenty years, and put an end to their sufferings. While getting them out of that, is of prime importance, but the fact that it is necessary to make a congenial atmosphere and a bond where both can share their opinions openly cannot be discarded. Bi-lateral talks between the authorities and the people hold the key to resolution of the problems which as of now seems to be missing.  
Kashmir, as known to the world, is the paradise on earth. But does it really deserve this prominence keeping in view its present situation, is an important question to answer. The word that could aptly describe Kashmir is “The Battlefield”. “The battlefield”, where people and security personnel are at war with each other to take revenge, for the loss they incur. “The Battlefield” where politicians contest each other for the power they could rule with. “The Battlefield” where innocent people are deceived with promises that are never made to be fulfilled. “The Battlefield” that has no rules: where innocents and guilty both come under the same purview, and are dealt without any distinction. “The Battlefield” where human rights as well as constitutional rights are not valid for the people and have been debarred from the same. “The Battlefield” where the security personnel can take advantage of the draconian act like AFSPA, and deal with the situation according to their wishes without fearing, of whether the action that has been taken is valid, genuine and required or not. “The Battlefield” where innocents are slapped with PSA (Public Safety Act) and sprayed with bullets. The situation in the Kashmir valley is so grim that it is very difficult to ascertain who rules whom. Is it the security personnel who rule the people and resort to their own ways of dealing with them or is it the inability of the state authorities to keep its security personnel in check, which would have not resulted in such situation? Injustices, in no way act as a propellant, that could bring about a peaceful and prosperous future but they have the power to ignite and add fuel to fire of war, hostility, and conflict. The people of Kashmir in no way want to be a part of that place which breeds injustice, where human lives are of no value and where curbs have been put on them as far as enjoying their rights are concerned.  
Kashmir that used to have been, at the time when it was awarded the title of being “The Paradise On Earth” has lost all its charm and now it is in no way, worthy of it. Had it been the same as it used to be, this valley and its people would have been the most fortunate of all.  But the injustices done to them accompanied by agonies and miseries that they faced present a deserted look and often reveal a sad story that makes even a cruel heart to cry and weep. What was their fault, for they had to pay by their lives or even whatever they had? Why no one listened to them when it mattered the most and where were their elected representatives who had promised to be by them, in the times of distress? What else do they needed, other than having a safe and secure environment, where they could had excelled in their lives without caring for any injustices that they might become victims of. Was it too much they had expected for? 
The dream of Kashmir, where everyone could live a life of dignity without fearing for their existence still needs to be fulfilled and for this, the first step is to address the aspirations of the people and work towards achieving them. The dream of a Kashmir where there is no high handedness and everyone is accountable for his/her actions before the people and where everyone cares for each other regardless of the benefits that often tear them apart, needs to be changed into reality. A place where the civil administration and the people work in close contacts so, as to give rise to a society where there is justice, harmony, brotherhood, equality and above all love for each other. Such should be the place like Kashmir, if we really aspire that it should, still hold the title of being the Paradise on earth. A place where there are no cold blooded murders, where there is no favouritism and where people perceive that nothing wrong can happen to them: for the law is there to safeguard them.


Syed Maajid Raashid Andrabi
the author can be reached here : syedmajidr59@gmail.com


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