By Rameez Bhat
Human life is precious and no price can ever compensate its loss. We lost five more unarmed youths recently in Handwara and elsewhere, and tragically, given the reality that Kashmir is a conflict zone; such killings will be repeated. What happens here can’t be actually seen as something obvious as there are so many covert interpretations attached to everything. But as far as the recent incident goes, I could barely see any hidden agenda, as the propaganda machinery often propagates after every heinous act, this was very clear.
Nayeem was a student dreaming of becoming a famed cricketer. He was known as Gavaskar to his parents, and AB de Villers to his friends. His obsessive concern was mostly the bat and ball and the playground was his ultimate destiny. But a bullet pierced his body and tore to pieces his dream of becoming a cricketer. Nayeem did a lot of hard work on his cricketing techniques. He always dreamt of playing at the international level. He would dream not just for himself but for the people as well who suffered. He was a hope for the people of Handwara.
Nayeem, the hero of Handwara, won a cluster of awards at state level cricket competitions not only for himself but for the people of his area. When he used to play, everybody cheered for him. Now the angels might cheer for his classical cricket shots. When he would leave home to play cricket, his mother always hugged him followed by these tender words: “Lejyaa mojj aaz haa eei zeh zenith”. Now, the same mother is longing for his return; but he never will. I am hardly able to control my tears when I see his parents. They lost not only their cricketer Nayeem, it seems they have lost whole world. His mother often chants: “Nayeem soeba panien mojj kyaze thewthen kuney zyen, che kyaze cholekh meynesh doer, talaa logsei balayie pakh jall wein, baa chesei intizares. (Beloved Nayeem, how can you leave me alone. I am waiting for your return, come soon I am alone).
The murderers of Nayeem’s dream, along with those of his other brethren, are none other than those wearing the crown of the world’s largest democracy.
If you are living in Kashmir you can’t think about dreaming of anything. Nayeem’s only crime was that he was born in a place where dreaming of anything is a crime. Kashmir has seen so much bloodshed that all this seems a routine affair, but actually it is not that easy particularly for our families who pin all their hopes on their young children. The youth is full of adventure but Kashmiris can’t even afford the luxury of dreaming in a place where dreams are killed with bullets. If an armed solider imagines the death of his own son by the application of the same cover of impunity like AFSPA, then how would his wife, daughter, family react to the mechanism through which ‘justice is served’?
Kashmiris have been fighting for their rights from the day when Indian forces illegally occupied this “peer veer”. They had promised us that “we will give you, your right to self-determination”; but one wonders as to what makes them renege on their own promises.
History is witness to the fact that the two nations, Pakistan and India, waged three wars which not only resulted in loss of precious lives of their own soldiers but dealt a blow to these countries in economic terms. Same is the case of Jammu & Kashmir; besides losing lakhs of people for our right (from 1947), we have suffered on a multitude of fronts.
It is time to solve this long pending issue, or else this bloodshed will continue to inundate our streets. Only bloodthirsty monsters can derive pleasure from such bloodshed; never one whose sanity is intact and whose conscience is alive.
—The writer is a student at the University of Kashmir