Tendering ‘apology’ on Kunan-Poshpora – II



Hassan Zainagairi

            Imagine the grave nature of the heart-rending incident, its psychological implications and the social stigma attached to the surviving victims which literally crippled them to confinement of utter despair and humiliation. Not only the pro-Darbar political leadership and state government remained mute spectator, they did their best top cover up the incident (they say they are for autonomy, self rule!). the present National Conference government headed by Omar Abdullah went to the extent of putting pokes in the efforts of civil society , putting a brazen face in the Judicial Magistrate Kupwara’s court the state government objected reopening of the case on the plea that ‘victims have awakened 22 years after the incident’ and ‘are not entitled to ex-gratia relief’.

            This is the stance of a government that touts its ‘regional character’ regularly and boasts of ‘peoples’ mandate’. That absolutely shows the dichotomous character of the NC and the government it heads. This government should have left no stone unturned in prosecuting the rapists in olive green as it was bound under constitutional obligations and oath of office imperative. What is more shameful is that Law Minister (from NC) hails from the same area where ‘due to gang rape uterus of 18 young victims were damaged and had to be surgically removed’, as the victims narrated in the civil society organized programme. (GK< June 23, 2013).

            Now back to Salman Khurshid. First and fire most why Prime Minister of India and Congress President and UPA chairperson preferred to zip their mouths on the issue that is a blot on the face of Indian democracy. Why they left the token gesture of seeking apology at an Indian Muslim Minister. Obviously, because a reference by Salman on the incident would not match the impact made had the same come from the two visiting dignitaries. That in itself reflects how closely Kashmir is ‘integrated’ to Darbar.

            Dr. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi boarded the train, they flagged off from Banihal to Qazigund. And seated with the neqab draped girls of a school. They chatted with them and ‘enquired about their studies’. The exercise is aimed to show to world how Darbar is taking care of Kashmiris and how ‘peace has retained’ and ‘normalcy’ prevailed in the trouble-torn Kashmir. In the heart of hearts the seated school girls and all girls of Kashmir including their parents, would be laughing on this “largesse” by Indian state. Kunan Poshpora, Shopian, Badra-Paen – the gory incidents of rape and murder involving Indian forces – and Indian state’s defending the murderers and rapists and protecting them through AFSPA legal shields. How could the incompatibles get reconciled. How could killers be protectors. How could sharing-seat by Sonia and Manmohan with girls be a deterrent against the rape and murder when they cannot be prosecuted in courts?

               Apology? After 22 years. Can apologies and ‘regret’ statements be a cure for healing the wounds of Kunan-Poshpora women who have lost their honor and are still not out of the nightmarish experience they underwent. They lived with the unbearable pain with the last 22 years and now you have only meaningless words to console them? Shameful. Brazenly shameful. Kashmiris can’t be doped by such gestures. We know imperialist has only aggression and deception in its armory. To nab the territory and coral the people.