More reasons to talk about Kashmir? “The Pain” What exactly, you might ask?

Posted: May 6, 2012 in Conflict and Peace, Draconian Laws, Human Rights, Right to Dissent, State Violence
Tags: , , , , , , ,

From- Junaidmakbool’s Blog

“Why don’t YOU write something?” A Friend asked, a while back.

Why not?, I thought. Why don’t I write my own words for once. The question was, what would I write about?

This reminded me of what Arundhati Roy once had to say about writing, “People write when they have a story inside of them.” So, what do I hold close? What is it that I couldn’t say before? What is inside me?

The answer wasn’t too difficult.



Kashmir;  tricky , very tricky. I have been on twitter long enough to realize that writing anything related to Kashmir, even a single line, can be controversial business. Write anything about Kashmir, and it is generally categorized into three headings

  1. Rants. “Why are you complaining all the time?” Move on”.  You get the idea.
  2. Playing to the gallery, again, there are types of galleries here A.) Mainstream Indian Gallery. B) Pakistani Gallery. C.) The separatist gallery N . B . There is NO Kashmiri Gallery.
  3. Biased. “you missed this” “ I died too” . As if there is a competition.

I hope to circumvent the above categories, and write as a layperson, I am no expert on anything, I write as a common Kashmiri.

Phew, that was tough, categories and all, now about Kashmir. Kashmir is home, though I have been out a few years, and because of that I have realized even more that there is no place else that I can call home. Why? Let’s get to the ridiculous first;  it is breathtakingly beautiful, the weather is mild, the food is good, amazing people, even tap water tastes good, I don’t know how, but it does. You might argue that this is true for everyone, the native place is special, but, where else  do you get such a beautiful spring, when you can palpate the joy in the air, or the sunsets? And such clear demarcation between seasons? Have you seen the Chinar in autumn? You will sigh with me if you have. Dal lake in  the evenings? It indeed is heaven.

More reasons to talk about Kashmir? “The Pain” What exactly, you might ask?  There is a certain kind of pain inside every Kashmiri, kind of an dull ache,  we aren’t born with it (or maybe we are), but it is there, and it refuses to go, no matter where I am. Let me dissect this pain, the pain of Kashmir’s history, all that it has gone through, even the beauty gives me some kind of pain. What ails Kashmir?  Is it paying the price for being so bloody beautiful?  Maybe.

When did all of this start, 1947, or earlier, when Kashmir was sold for a paltry sum, (like a miserable bride, who has no say in the matter), or even earlier? I don’t know, there are no clear answers.

Let’s take it at 1947, a stupid King can’t take a decision, and Kashmir is plunged into war (That is why it is important to be firm in decision making, even if one is wrong) The King can’t decide which way to go, dreams of a “Independent “ nation, the neighboring country attacks( can’t resist free meat, you see) , the King fears for his life, calls Nehru for help (Who is a Kashmiri) , Nehru does what he has to do(Politics), the army is called in, the day is saved, but only up to a certain line (The ALC, afterwards). Kashmir is divided forever.  Nehru is even more indecisive than the King, doesn’t allow the army to take all of Kashmir back, makes a lot of huge promises( None to keep) , and goes to the UN (taking the moral high ground ).

Meanwhile , there is also a PM(CM) who is played with like a rag doll (More versions of him afterwards too). Finally, the two countries have had enough, and they go to war. Nothing happens, there is no conventional “victory” . Things cool off. Kashmir gets used to the status quo, everyone is happy, till something else happens , and all of this repeats, ad nauseum. And while all of this is going on, millions die, thousands disappear, some in mass graves, the Pandits lose their homes, mothers wait eternally for their lost sons.

And a common Kashmiri like me? Where do I fit in? No one asks me anything, I am a mute spectator, always ready and willing to be taken for a ride, you see, I have got so used to seeing promises being broken, that I am  quite the cynic now; I usually smirk( inside coffee houses, and that is mistaken for joy).  I have no dreams, I have no hopes, I just want a regular life, I don’t want to see the face of a gun, every single morning, I want some dignity, I want some degree of justice, some redemption, I don’t want you to patronize me, no sympathy either, just some empathy.

Yes, I want good roads, a thriving economy, a good regular job, I want the violence to stop.

But what is the cost?

I don’t want you to tell me what to do, I want you to ask me, “Tere dil mein kya hai?”  I want a voice, but no politicians shall speak for me. I can’t take any more broken promises, shady deals.  I want you to hold my hand, as a friend, as an equal; and then decide.

I do want to move on (Trust me, no one wants to get killed evevryday),  but to move on, one has to have a good road, the past must be buried, with dignity. Can you do that? Is that too much to ask?

I am tired, too tired right now, to think beyond the mundane, but don’t take this silence for acquiescence,  all is not well, I need help, right now, before all hell breaks lose.

This is what a common Kashmiri thinks like ( at least me) .

Ignore me now, I am lost forever.

Click here to junaid’s blog

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