Kashmir’s old story of death and denial

Kashmir’s old story of death and denial

By Mudasir Amin

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…Where words come out from the depth of truth.” These are a couple of lines by Rabindranath Tagore – Indian Noble Laureate who returned his knighthood against the British atrocities in India. Tagore, thus, stood by the words that he professed in these lines. I am not much into poetry, especially Tagore’s, due to obvious reasons; but when I found this poem as a ‘pinned’ tweet on Omar Abdullah’s twitter handle, I was interested. I wonder whether Omar Abdullah knows his past. On 29th May, 2009, two women were first raped and then murdered by Indian occupational forces in Shopian. And Mr. Abdullah, in defence of his Godfathers in New Delhi, tried to wrap this twin rape-and-murder as a ‘case of drowning’.  It was the perhaps the ‘immortal truth’that came from depths of Gupkar.
Omar Abdullah headed the surrogate government of the Indian Occupational State in Jammu and Kashmir in 2010 when 120 civilians were killed by Indian forces without violating any ‘standard operation procedure’ (SOP); because in Kashmir, their only SOP is ‘shoot to Kill’. And today, the same person, who has the blood of hundreds of civilians on his hands, demonstrates – rather shamelessly – a certain change in political language. On his twitter handle Abdullah writes: “3 people died as a result of firing by security forces & what does the J&K CM do? She continues her self-promoting tour of Delhi. innalilahiwainnaillahirajiuun”
There isn’t anything too significant about this statement by Omar Abdullah; he no longer is in the saddle to represent the brutal military occupation. One wonders, though, what about a sense of moral consciousness that evokes truth in us when we think in silence; how much hypocritical can a person be? Yet this does not hurt much, because pro-India politicians in Kashmir wear an attire of disgrace.
There is a famous saying in Kashmir: “When God decides to punish people, He bestows upon them the leaders who are the worst people in the society.” In this context, let me introduce yet another member of this family of Indian occupation in Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti, the current head of Indian occupation in Kashmir. When she was out of power, Mehbooba used to visit the families of those killed by Indian forces in Kashmir. She would express her grief, condemn the innocent killings, speak ill of Indian forces, shed tears, and even cradle the babies of martyrs in her lap to display her concern. She protested when Afzal Guru was martyred in India’s Tihar jail on 9 February 2013. She protested When 120 boys were martyred under Omar Abdullah’s regime.
In March 2013, when a civilian was killed in Islamabad, Mehbooba shouted some words of advice for Omar Abdullah, “You killed 120 people in 2010 and now you believe that the slab will be restricted to 10 or 12 killings by imposing curfew, by snapping internet and SMS services, by gagging media and news channels. Hundreds of youth are jailed just because you believe that if they come out they might pelt stones.” However, Mehbooba’s sympathy melodrama ends here.
Five civilians, at the time of writing, including a woman, have again been brutally murdered by Indian forces in Kashmir. A helpless Mehbooba comes up with an age-old response – imposes curfew, bars internet services, deploys more forces to prevent any peaceful demonstration and, eventually, runs to New Delhi, far away from the people she was supposed to cry with. And the saddle of occupation shall further unsettle the already rattled-and-unwise leader.
For a common Kashmiri, Mehbooba isn’t expected to mourn. As a political gimmick, she glorified female emancipation. Two weeks into power, a teen age girl is molested and another women is killed. Mehbooba runs to New Delhi – much like Omar Abdullah who was enjoying a holiday in Gulmarg in 2010 when several civilians were killed by Indian forces in Srinagar. Here the truth about Mehbooba stands vindicated. That is no disappointment; because disappointment happens where there is hope.

—The writer is a student of Social Work

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