In old times Emperors, Kings, Nawabs, Maharajas, Knights ad Sultans ruled their countries the way they would like. Despotism, autocracy, tyranny would guide them to hold the common people in the bind. A slight provocation would set habitats on fire. Chopping heads, gouging of eyes, flogging and banishment all formed devices to leash the people in one man’s hold. The fulcrum of justice delivery system would hinge on the mood of the king. Laws and constitution would seek inviolability at his door.
Today we are in 21st century. All the independent 197 countries are members of a world body, the United Nations. The UN Charter, which every Nation-state is a signatory to, holds human dignity, liberty and equality sacrosanct. It abhors colonialism, slavery and forcible occupation of territories. It is a harbinger of civilized world where people are not discriminated on the basis of religion, cast, creed and race.
Good. Jolly good. But that rosy picture of the world we see mutilated in many a different way. The people continue to be treated worse than animal. In the democratic robes, although the autocratic brazenness is tried to be concealed but the persecuted and subjugated people’s yellings and screams expose its real face.
The headline ‘pellets take another youth’s eyesight’ triggered a palpitation in me. The 21st century seemed fast replacing high-headed arrogant era of sultans and Maharajas of medieval times. Today, though eyes of people are not gouged that bluntly but democracy has discovered the means to refine the ‘art’. Pellet guns does the gouging but in a polished manner and that too swiftly. And without invoking world wrath.
Last Sunday (July 14) Sher-e-Khas was protesting (goddess of democracy has special offer for people of Kashmir; opening their chests to its bullets) on the mysterious death of a local youth in Mumbai. What else they can, when the mighty continues to laugh on their helplessness. A youth aspiring to be an economist and returning from an Islamic congregation at Paraypora (Srinagar) was fired from forces personnel during the protest demonstrations at Nowhata. Wreathing in pain at a Srinagar hospital, the victim (who pleaded to GK reporter not to write his name fearing harassment by police – that shows how life is ‘normal’ in Kashmir) narrating his ordeal amid sobs said: ‘I was returning home when police men fired pellets on me from a short range. I fell unconscious and don’t know what happened thereafter’.
His one eye is completely damaged with retina smashed out and second eye is also badly affected. The doctors attending him at SKIMS Bemina, seeing the grievous nature of the injury, have referred him to AIMS for further medical assistance.
His family members are yet to recuperate from the shock. Possibility of depriving of eye-sight he breaks down and cries aloud. Why not! Afterall, pellets have snatched everything from him and his family.
The use of pellets has been strongly condemned by Human Rights Groups, doctors, lawyers, even pro-Indian groups. Doctors are of the opinion that pellets are more dangerous as multiples of pellets penetrate body as they are sprayed. And it is very difficult to remove them if fired from short distances.
In other parts of India, police and paramilitary force use water cannons, tear gas to control protestors. That these lethal weapons are exclusively used in Kashmir shows the imperial attitude of the authorities in Delhi towards people of Kashmir. The puppet-regime in Srinagar is all pre-occupied in appeasing its masters in Delhi. They have sold their conscience and everything for chair.