‘From Kashmir to Kaniakumari, India is one’, goes the swine song. That ‘oneness’, however, eludes the eyes of Kashmiris. There is no place they feel they are safe. The fear of uncertainty stalks them everywhere. Home in, the sword of AFSPA and PSA always hangs on their heads. They are denied of all sorts of freedoms rest of Indian states are entitled to. And treated differently.
During violent demonstrations when stones and rocks are freely thrown at and even law-enforcing personnel are lynched (as witnessed in Delhi some two months ago on gang rape incident), restraint is observed, colored water cannons are fired at and less lethal tear gas shells are fired at in the air. When situation gets out of control, rubber bullets are fired below the abdomen. Never one have heard that on such occasions, or during the curfew days, news channels go off the air, press is gagged and social media banned. In contrary, people’s demands are highlighted, authorities are forced to bow before the protestors. Freedom of assembly and expression are cherished as inviolable and sanctimonious values of ‘democratic’ and ’secular’ India. All anchors, reporters and panelists join the peoples’ chorus. They serenade ‘Idea’ of being India.
Here, though they call Kashmir as ‘an integral part’ of Mahaan nation India but a scratch down every minute cell and tissue of theirs fights against this ‘foreign’ body. Not only the political class but the democratic pillars of state too seem to be deeply immunized against the bare minimum expected from a democracy. Mohd Afzal Guru’s hanging has stanchly exposed the hiatus. While it was ‘their’s’ ‘collective conscience’ that has to be ‘satisfied’ (‘a rarest of the rarest judgments’, – Mani Shankar Aiyar) and got satisfied; the clampdown of curfew for a week and jamming ‘our’s’ ‘collective conscience’ was inflicted a crushing blow. ‘Guru’s execution and burial in Tihar jail’, says prominent social and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha, ‘proves that for India Kashmiris are subject people and Kashmir is its colony’. Former BJP minister and an eminent Supreme Court lawyer and who once headed Delhi appointed Kashmir Committee Chairman Ram Jethmalani too felt ‘deeply hurt’ and ‘ashamed’ on how India is treating Kashmir and ‘hurting their sentiments’ in the wake of Guru’s hanging.’ ‘He was sorry to say but the reality is that Gandhi’s India has turned into Hitler’s Germany’, the veteran legal luminary told a local news agency CNS on March 03, 2013. This must sound a wakeup call for Indian think tank and the Kashmir policy makers. When a man of Jethmalani stature having his ideological roots in a Nationalist Hindu party outpours his displeasure to such a screaming decible, the plight of Kashmiris can but be imagined, with ‘subject people’ and ‘colony’ status (Navlakha) making the frying pan look more horrible!
In the job starved hapless state many a parent send their wards for earning their livelihood and pursue higher education in rest of India. But everywhere they are treated more a pariah than citizen of India. ‘Anti-national’, ‘dresh drohee’, ‘Pakistani agent’ like adjectives are mucked at them. ‘sedition’ is sniffed of their clothes. Despite their innocent demeanor and civilized manner they are inflicted all types of blows, physical, mental, emotional. Democracy has to stop where Kashmiris nose pups up, not only in Kashmir but across the Lakhanpur as well. Kashmiris have to reduce themselves into a monolithic robot for Indians. Choke their emotions, gag their feelings. And give their nose, eyes, lips, limbs, even mind just one shade. Indians might feel proud on their own independent opinion on virtually everything on this planet, but Kashmiris have to surrender their judgment and independence. Otherwise what for the 26 year old Mudasir from South Kashmir, pursuing his PhD in Hyderabad University, was done to death in police custody, later, unashamedly portrayed as an act of suicide. Does holding protests against Guru’s hanging and leading funeral prayer in absensia (which in every manner come within the ambit of constitutional-accorded right) is a crime for a Kashmiri youth. Your assemblies can pass resolutions for Rajiv Gandhi’s killers, your civil societies can chip in for saving lives of dreaded dacoits of Veerapan strands, but Kashmiris should kill their conscience or get ready to face the music.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is always in terrible haste to please his masters as he was when Shopian double rape and murder rocked Kashmir. On Mudasir’s mysterious killing he just parroted Hyderabad police version ‘depression leading to his suicide’. His family rubbished this and said Mudasir’s body has many torture marks and swelling head. He was down to earth religious person, how could such a person think of committing suicide. Reports suggest that proctor of English and Foreign languages, Harish Vizra, a communalist was behind the plot. It was on his instructions he was handed over to police where he was subjected to physical torture.
While faithful poodles of Delhi indulge in playing blame games to outplay each other blood of Kashmiris drains on roads, dirt cheap they receive the body bags of their dear ones. One M. Com student from Baramulla, shot at head by army, is the latest addition. Even tragedies remain unmourned.
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