By Mohammad Tuyyab Malik
I vividly remember, a few years ago while lazing around in the park near around dusk, my eyes got engrossed by the act ions of a few birds. The ambiance was that of complete silence and a gentle wind was blowing. It was very relaxing. After sometime, I heard some strange sounds by my side; some old men were talking about Kashmir’s past – the culture, the generous people and so on. Listening to them for a while they succeeded in drawing my attention towards them. From then on, the first thing that comes to my mind when I enter the same park is Kashmir of yore
Have we changed? Have we upgraded or degraded ourselves? Where is our culture and our identity? Have we lost it masked it under the name of progress (ion) and Development? Where is our Kashmiriness Where are We – the original We? Taking a deep sigh, every-time I feel the aroma of those mud houses with thatched roofs devoid of any 7-layered brass locks, were more safe, more known and more attached to the core of heart. Those all unknown brothers of the past were more of blood and trustworthy.
The selflessness, the love for all, the kinship among brethren, our world famous hospitality, trust-gaining nature, tenderness, friendly character – was what our elders has left for us. These are the traits which we have inherited from our elders, from our nature, from our Kashmir. But, today all that what used to call Kashmir is on the verge of extinction. Sooner or later , a time will come when we will lose everything. Nothing of our culture will remain. Nothing of goodness of our past will prevail. The height of misfortune has reached to the point where we are c catalysts in destroying our culture, our own name and fame. Nobody among us are concerned with the true flavour, variety and aura of Kashmir.
It is said that language of a place is the barometer of its culture. Our Kashmiri language is crumbling down and continuously losing the taste of its sweet flavour. Now, only its blended form can be seen here and there. The rate, at which it is deliberately obliterated from all the sections of society, is such that, within a decade or two, it will completely perish. The most saddening truth is that today the time has arrived when we feel ashamed of speaking Kashmiri. How ill our mindset is? Speaking our mother tongue gives us a sense of backwardness.
In the remote past, we had an active relationship with the rest of world via trade and travelling, that our forefathers carried on their own. Today, should we feel happy for our ancestors who were the world famous artisans; who were the players of world famous trade route – silk route, which was not merely confined to trade but also incorporated, a never ending river of knowledge and the art of learning? Or should we feel sad for ourselves who have lost it to the name of development?
We seem to be losing our heritage and ignoring our past. But truly we have nothing concrete which can justify this loss.
Where is that ever-glowing and ever-growing goodness of our culture? Why has it all come to a stand-still? What actually caused it? Who is responsible? The answer perhaps lies within the framework of our culture that we have adapted.
—The author is a student at the Department of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org