They will never miss the snatch. Their xenophobic and communal tentacles are always directed at us. Sniffing, round the clock, they keep on hovering over our skies. For the hungry and salivating vultures of Indian media Kashmir is a carcass waiting to be cut up. They never forget their duty of enmity towards we Kashmiris. And for all this demonizing and hunting they enjoy the blessings and fullest support of their political class and so called civil society. Perhaps they all believe this kind of ‘ scavenging’ is ‘sacred’ and ‘essential’ for the hygiene of the state. We might be disappeared in graves unnamed, killed extra-judicially, maimed for life, blinded through pellets and bludgeoned in suppression, for them it is just a ‘routine’ ‘cleansing’ activity. So there is no whisper across the ideological or political spectrum of India.
Even if from head to foot we are draped in all-white, we stand prosecuted, censured and vilified. How much peaceful and democratic our approach be in pursuance of a just demand, it has to be quelled. For Kashmiris are a sitting ducks to win promotions and medals. A protest for a few days in Tamil Nadu forces the Delhi government to bypass/ reverse Supreme court judgment on Jali Kato and bring an ordinance in lifting ban on bull race( where casualties do take place) –with not a bullet or lethal pellets fired on protestors which burnt police stations and vehicles. Our limbs and eyes are pierced through all kinds of lethal weaponry when we surge the streets peacefully. The difference, there the media is fully committed to its professional ethics, here they are completely and brazenly prejudiced against us and our democratic aspirations. Elsewhere they are in praise of peaceful assemblies and support mass movements, here they are perversely against our rising up to break reins, halters, blinkers, bins and harnesses. The ‘ animal farm’ they don’t like to be disturbed. With the physical hold of the land, they want occupation of our mind too. Their manufactured empathy with teen age star of Kashmir, Zaira Wasim, reveals this all. That unless we cease to look through our eyes and think of our own, they will troll us, stalk us and hunt us down. They only want to fasten us to the loyalty gates of the ‘Manor Farm’ and adhere to its Commandments. That done, we get safe.
Zaira’s stardom is not an issue. Whatever she got, she scripted it by her own competence. No one said anything in opposition to her liking. Nor for her achieving, in young age, the ‘celebrity’ status. But it was only when she met Mehbooba Mufti and pictures of the duo in one frame went viral that youth on social media raised their eye-brows. Reasons are not far to seek. Zaira was aware that Mehbooba Mufti was widely perceived to have presided over the killings and blinding of innocent people, many of which were in blooming youth like her. Mehbooba sunk in chair but, obviously, the price she paid outweighs the gains. And to compensate it she latched up to Zaira she thought would help send ‘ pleasant’ vibes from her drawing room. The little girl was not loathed by her people. But she should have, knowing the brutalities inflicted on people, anticipated the measure of pain she was inflicting in disregarding peoples’ sentiments. Yes, the same she realized, and in all humility apologized for ‘ unintentionally hurting the people’s sentiments’. The matter should have ended there. But no, now was the turn of the hounds to do they are notorious for.
A vicious campaign to malign Kashmiris was unleashed. Even Islam was not spared. Though no one here forced Zaira to tender apology, yet they invented the’ evil’ from us to kill us. Now the ‘ Hamaree Baitee’ has the instant ‘country-wise’ ownership. She became the ‘ role-model’ for the ‘kids of India’ and for the entire Bollywood. The way they have stood up in defence of the Zaira is intriguing. It shows they support her because we have ‘ trolled and cyberbullied’ her? And it is their belief in ‘humanism’ and regard to ‘human value’ that they gave priority to. It is the ‘victim’ they all have rallied in support for. If that is the case, why hundreds of other ‘ Hamaree Baitian’, who have been crippled or blinded for life do not attract that kindness, that solidarity? Why hashtags like ‘ stand with Insha’ never make the headline? Why ‘Dangals’ are given priority to bloodbaths when Kashmir stares at their face? Why the ‘celebrities’ seal their mouth when innocent youth scream their lives out at the chopping block? The fact is they, as shrewd poachers, pluck Zairas to show the world how ‘fatherly affectionate’ they are towards us.
One Bollywood lyricist (Javed Akhtar) tweeted ‘the people who shouted Azadi from the roof tops don’t give an iota of Azadi to others’. This is most deplorable and shameful. The man has the temerity to accuse the victims who continue to be governed under the draconian laws like AFSPA and PSA and where dissent is crushed and peaceful assembly denied. People like you have not uttered a single word in condemnation of those who have converted valley into a ‘prison’ (European delegation expression) and which is governed by ‘lawless law’( Amnesty International).
Before giving vent to his baseless allegations, he should have at least asked Yashwant Sinha. Jumping in the arena, Indian politicians have shown their communal fangs too. They have projected Zaira as a “revolutionary” girl against Islam and Muslim women in veil (Union Minister Vijay Goel’s tweet). Zaira herself ridiculed the comparison and called it ‘ discourteous’, nonetheless, the comparison unveils the mind and objective behind.
When Shah Faisal topped the IAS, he too was marketed as ‘ role model’ for Kashmiri youth demanding Aazadi. But far from ebbing, the sentiment, after a few years, surged up to the zenith in 2016. Pitting Faisals or Zairas like ‘ icons’ against the mass sentiment won’t relieve India off the albatross that Kashmir has become for her. All these political machinations and media vilification are bound to boomerang.