“Are you lying to us? Do you really get money from Pakistan? Are you a Pakistani agent?” These were the questions of my son Abrar, a Class 10th student, put to me as soon as I entered my house. With tears in his eyes, he was roaring at me while his mother sitting right next to him, along with my little daughter Shabnum, a class 5th student. Before I could say something he handed me a summon from NIA, on my name, which was delivered by a cop of local police station, in my absence. I tried to pacify them saying that there is no truth in the agencies’ accusation but they continued bombarding unexpected questions. My daughter said that every TV channel is abusing you and calling you a Pakistan lover MLA.
I tried my best to make them understand that I am being targeted for speaking the truth and talking about Kashmir issue but my son rebutted saying that why don’t you resign then and in one voice my son, daughter and spouse roared at me and said that they can’t face humiliation for none of their fault. They left my room in anger and anguish leaving me red faced. The only thing I could do was taking a tough decision of not allowing my children to watch TV channels from that day. Any of my known fellows can authenticate that my TV remains locked in my absence from that day onwards.
I have no magic to make my family, especially children, understand that I have nothing to do with Pakistan, nor have received ever any illegal money from any source. But I can read from their faces that they see me either as a liar or as a person of no worth who can only cry but make no big difference. For my children my politics, my ideology, resistance, and concern towards society means nothing and even they feel that I am only there to receive salary, perks and privileges at the cost of my credibility and reputation. Without exaggeration let me make the revelation that my kids at least once a week, even on a lighter note and in kiddies style, ask me to resign from state legislature and do some business. For them my hard work and even admitting Abrar to a Govt. Run school, or not engaging even a servant at my home, means nothing.
As a responsible and affectionate parent I am worried about their confusing mindset. I have reasons to question the so called warriors of Kashmir, sitting in power corridors of New Delhi and Srinagar, that why the children of people like Ashraf Sehrai and others would not be in search of answers to dozens of serious and sensitive questions. If I, despite being an MLA, and having some role in developmental and administrative matters, have become irrelevant even in the eyes of my family, what would be Pro-resistance leaders facing in an atmosphere where they are abused by Indian media and politicians on daily basis, and their kids being dragged into manufactured controversies with which they have actually nothing to do.
There can be nothing unfortunate than the fact that it is New Delhi which runs a controlled show of democracy and if someone tries to cross the red line he has to face the consequences. Similarly it is Pakistan that decides and defines role of Resistance leaders more than they do it themselves.
In an era of information technology where nothing can be hidden, majority of our youth must be getting sleepless nights while thinking about their future and possible fate of Kashmir dispute. Then the sermons of politicians, security heads, TV anchors and intellectually dishonest, bankrupt and biased political analysts do act like last nails in the coffin of tolerance and trust. The outcome is that educated and talented youth, even from well off families, joining militancy.
It is high time for those bankrupt TV channels that are busy in criticizing new Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chief Ashraf Sehrai, that they realize this situation and try to understand the response of Kashmiri youth to the prime time rhetoric. The fact is that nothing has changed since 1989, thus dashing the hopes and scope for a respectable political reconciliation. No one would ever desire to see his or her son joining an underground movement? But the circumstances have made every Kashmiri parent helpless. Before crying radicalization and other stupid charges let the state introspect and answer why even kids of an elected representative were forced to question the integrity and honesty of their father and what would be the feeling of thousands of children whose voices always go unheard.