I salute my Kashmir

What a courage my people have shown by not letting the disaster overcome them

 

‘ It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light’—Aristotle Onassis 

 And this has been proved so gracefully by the people of Kashmir in the latest flood fury that breached its embankments of restraint and caught us unawares. Shocked we were,  panicked we were, drowned and devastated  we  were, but never for once we gave up or accepted it as a fait accompli. We resisted to be washed away. In these darkest moments when our  adversaries  were belching loudly to see us doomed we made our act together and  added one more glorious page to our history of resilience. 

Two days before I visited the historic city of Srinagar. It was  a pleasant surprise for me to see people  in high spirits. The pride city  was limping back to normalcy. The stench of the stagnant waters though was unbearable and spectacle of flood devastation was horribly evident everywhere, yet the resolve to retrieve the hope  from despair and script anew lines of fate were visible from every  face. They , it looked, were determined to restore  the city the  position  of eminence and authority it enjoyed  through out the annals of history. Our “well-wishers “ were cutting ribbon of joy to see Srinagarites  whirled back to alleys of darkness. They were writing them off along with their  sentiments . True flood tsunami  bled  in trillions and claimed some precious lives but it could not, and didn’t, cripple their will: to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes the valiant residents are  engaged in resurrection process . From each setback they know how to wriggle out and stun their opponents. 

 Srinagar  is face of Kashmir, pride of Kashmir, it is identity  and address of Kashmir. It has remained  nerve Centre of our resistance. Against tyranny,  injustice, betrayal, manipulation , false promises , constitutional frauds, against brutal crackdowns, torture and turmoil and repression.  It has been a symbol of our struggle. So with Srinagar inundated the hearts of people from Doda to poonch  to Kargil and entire valley  lost their beating sequence. They all joined in to help their brethren when governments  from  Delhi to Srinagar left them  drowned. The sense of brotherhood and community feelings not only got renewed and refurbished , it pronounced   the fighting spirit and defying stamina of this great nation . in fact the  ethnically and  geographically different  regions like  Chenab  and Pirpanchal  and Kargil blended  in one soul . The contours  of  oneness and togetherness  once again showed Muslim majority Kashmir is locked in same destiny. They breathe in one language of brotherhood  and community  feelings. Once again they tore  asunder  the false propaganda that Greater Kashmir is mauled by  sectarian, linguistic, ethnic bites. Once again they showed to the world that they are completely infatuated with Srinagar , their Mecca in political priorities.     

Trucks of relief coming from Doda-Kishtwar,  Punch- Rajouri and Kargil carried as much the message of love and solidarity as their political affinity with Srinagar. Perhaps for the same reasons communalist forces loved to wallow in mud of sadistic pleasure when  mighty  Jhelum breached its  threshold  of patience. Their remaining callously frigid in the time of tragedy amplified how humanity gets  hostage to their communal considerations. 

 As the torrential rains and flood deluged Kashmir , Highway was blocked aggravating the woes of people. It is amazing when we have far more dependable and comparatively easy accessible, Mughal Road, as better alternative available, why should valley be left at the mercy of Jammu-Srinagar Highway? It is  past over three decades when work on Mughal  Road started. India joined the coveted club of nations sending  satellites  to Mars but road is not compete yet. Not because terrain is more difficult or Delhi lacks resources , appeasement of Dogras  in Jammu  and apprehension of Kashmir dominant narrative receiving more impetus  makes policy makers in Delhi skip and foil the  project. Similar malicious intent is  visible in  creating impediments. In  connecting valley to Chenab region via Simpthan route.  The Durbar is instead focused on other priorities. It wants state government to accede to its proposal of  giving ‘Highway status’ to Khanabal-Panchtarni road. Though it is fully of the of the adverse  impact on the fragile ecology of the area, still Durbar is intoxicated  with its agenda and for that purpose is pestering and pressuring the state government. Note the  fresh communication Delhi shot to Omer- led  government Delhi has also asked that the ‘assets’ falling under the road stretch should be transferred to it’. In the growing assertiveness of the people 0n  issues of environment, especially in the context of recent floods, it will be extremely difficult for  Kashmir govt to  sanction it. Look at the double standard, state government has been continuously requesting and pursuing ‘Centre’  for giving ‘Highway Status’ to the Mughal road, but it froze in indifference. Obviously and expectedly.   

 People know the value of their homeland when they are about to lose it .  Similarly the deluge has made us to sift hypocrites  from messiahs. ‘ Us’ and ‘them’ stand unveiled.