By DAR WASIM
Baye maele lagan baye vaan sajann/Baye lukh neran pan’nen kaaran/Anmaz janaano rowukh che (Again there will be festivities/Again markets will bustle/Again people will go about their work/But you never return my dear).
These words of Bashir Dada are more relevant in the present atmosphere after the Handwara carnage. A few days of hue and cry about the bloodbath at Handwara, and everything is back on track except for those who have lost their dear ones to this horrific and brutal incident. The government has finally succeeded in an enforced normalcy, yet again. People killed, curfew imposed, illegal detentions made and the internet was snapped to curb the truth. In this pause of killings, which India calls peace, only the families of the martyrs – who laid down their future and invested their blood – are shattered. Parents live to see the day of success for their kids, but in this part of the world fathers are shouldering the coffins of their sons and mothers are wailing for them.
Kashmir has become an industry of killings and trigger-happy forces of India are in romance with it. Loot, rapes, killing, disappearances and all other doses of torture are a routine here. The beasts in uniform never fear any accountability and punishment for perpetrating these crimes. Instead, they are rewarded with gallantry awards for their abuses. They enjoy the cover of AFSPA and the state help can’t lag behind. The mistreatment kicked off in 1947 and still continues.
People are always fooled in the name of inquiries and probe committees to silent the outcry. The truth is that none of these probes have found any closure and the probe ordered in the Handwara carnage will not be any different. The innocents are dead and they will remain so. A few days of outcry, and people have forgotten everything. Hurriyat calendar is over, politicians have shed their crocodile tears; ex-gratia is announced, a bunker removed and the collective conscience of people is settled.
Even a huge number of people attended the rally of a politician just where innocent blood was spilled a few days ago. We are the traders of innocent blood and we don’t deserve what we aim for. We even believed the video of these war criminals, who molested an innocent girl and then executed a bloodbath. These supervisors of brutality gave themselves a clean chit even before the start of any probe. It was a motivated plan to escape the truth and create confusion in the minds of the people. This time too they succeeded in bypassing the truth, as usual.
The perpetrators take the custody of the girl, shoot her video and it was enough to kill the call for justice. Any right-minded person who saw the video can predict that the girl was either motivated or in a state of fear. But our social networking warriors, crafted English writing brigade, self-styled analysts and intellects blindly believed the video and started mudslinging the character of an innocent and immature girl. In this outrage against the girl we forgot we are siding with the oppressor. They have converted this land into a killing industry. Justice here is only a distinct dream and the integral part claim is retained by mass murdering.
From Maqbool Bhat to Afzal Guru, Kunan-Poshpora to Shopian double rape and murder case, Gaw Kadal to 120 killings of youngsters in 2010, we have seen horrific crimes of Indian forces, and yet we believe the video released by them and handover a clean chit to them. Surviving decades under occupation we are yet to understand the tactics and practices of the oppressor. Every legal and illegal end is used to suppress the truth and kill the popular narrative by any means. From politicians to a lay person, everybody is used to following the dictates of his personal master. First they kill and then they divide.
We have expressed much hue and cry over the martyrs who fell to bullets while demanding the honour and dignity of their sister. But nobody has come forward in support of this living victim. Barring a few people, everybody fell into the trap of the perpetrators. We have failed the truth even before its arrival. It will take time to emerge or never emerge, as truth is the greatest casualty in Kashmir. The world has become a graveyard for this victim and name-calling has become a norm since the release of the video. One can only hope that she turns to school.
Seeing this mistreatment of the girl-victim, the martyrs of the incident will be crying over our behavior on the issue they laid down their lives for.
We have seen the ordeal of mothers who lost their sons, sisters who lost their brothers, widows who lost their husbands and daughters who lost their fathers. Put yourself in the place of this girl and feel her pain, how she was victimised even after surviving that attack. If not today, then later we will be cursing ourselves for not realising the truth on time.
—The writer is a social activist