A Kashmiri student’s innocent but pertinent questions
By Syed Muneeb Masoodi
Kashmir is much like a mystery than a reality. Nobody knows what Kashmir actually is, and everybody shoots arrows in the dark. Everybody gives a new definition of Kashmir. Some say; “It is a disputed area”, while some say; “It is a terrorist state”, and some say; “It is the heaven on Earth”. Each person has its own opinion about Kashmir and Kashmiris, and when all these opinions about Kashmir intermingle, Kashmir issue is born, or most appropriately “Masla-e-Kashmir” as it is popularly known, but still this “Masla-e-Kashmir”, has got many faces that is full of mysteries, and nobody has got any answer for these mysteries. Nobody knows how to reveal these secrets from the dead heart of Kashmir. A common man or a student like me is left wondering.
Kashmir is famous all over the world for its incredible natural beauty, and is correctly stated as the, “Heaven on Earth”. But Kashmir is only a heaven to watch, and a hell to live in. Kashmir was a land of saints; it was a pious land; it was a land of peace and non-violence. But now demons without horns are in their full power who do not miss even a single chance to make streams of blood flow through the streets of Kashmir, trying to make every piece of land turn into graves for youth of Kashmir. Maybe I am next.
Now in my opinion Kashmir has become the favorite place of “Death Angel”. Are we people born terrorists? Are we people born stone pelters? Were our mothers destined to mourn forever? Do our mothers give us birth for the bullets? Or is it us who were born to receive so called ‘non-lethal’ pellets? Why are we people made orphans? Why our mothers and sisters are made widows? Why are our children made prey of bullets? Why is our youth made to die an unknown death? Our land is full of blood, our land is full of unknown graves, our hearts are full of pain, anger and distress, our eyes are full of tears-tears of blood, the screams; the cries of our mothers are still echoing in our ears, our ears are full of such cries and screams.Where did those people go who were taken by ‘Armed Forces’ for investigation? Why didn’t they return home? Am I not waiting for them still? Are you not?
Why so called democratic government had no record of them? Those women, who lost their husbands, are still waiting for them to return, those mothers who have lost their sons are still waiting for them to return, those sisters who have lost their brothers are still waiting them to return, and those children who have lost their fathers are still waiting for them to return. Though all these people know that their loved ones are lost somewhere in darkness and they would never return; and that their smiling faces and their shining eyes are lost forever but still there is a wild hope in their hearts that one day the gate of their homes will open again and their lost people will come back.
To settle down the situation Government gave these bereaved families so called compensation or “Muawza”. These Government people cover their mistakes with money and these unbelievably sick people think that money can take a man’s place. Everyone has used Kashmiri people for their own benefits; everyone has used Kashmiri people to fill their pockets, and everyone only condemns the death of slain youth of Kashmir, but no one has ever opened a gate of life for them. No one gives life to us, only death hovers on our heads.
People of Kashmir have always considered “Separatists” as their way makers, as their leaders in the freedom struggle, but what good have even these so called ‘leaders’ brought to us. Their strategies are a pure sign of their false and failed leadership. Should doubts not arise that even these people have always been crushing common people of Kashmir in their ego and maybe a desire of ruling Kashmir. Else why do such uprisings die every time only after 100 more children die?
Indian government, Pakistani government, Occupational forces, accompanied by these separatists are responsible for this bloodshed in Kashmir, where common people like me bleed. They make us bleed to keep their own pot boiling. During all these years of distress all of them have become well trained in shedding crocodile tears on the death of Kashmiri people.
Is our life full of these bullets? Do we have to protest every time? Are we supposed to live under the restrictions of curfew? Are we bound to receive pellets and tear gas shells? Is there anyone who has got answers to all these questions? I guess there is no one. Because everyone around is busy in doing politics on death of Kashmiri people and everyone around is busy in cooking their own food on the burning hearts of our mothers. The heat of blood has turned the hearts into stones; cries have taken the shape of rebellious voices, funeral processions have taken the shape of freedom rallies, and mourning has turned into anger. Should I survive among a few others, could someone say where exactly should I go for getting the answers of these questions? To the lobbies of Delhi or the forests of Tral?
“When a tear dried, the soul within got buried under the deep
Silence of ocean full of fears, soul seeing the body,
Withered like an autumn flower-
floating lifeless on the merciless waters of ocean.
No pirate looted it down to silence, it was the desire of
Destiny which made them sing mournful songs.
Sky covered its face with dark clouds, closing the eyes but a
Tear rolled down followed by a stream of tears, begging,
Destiny for mercy.
But the helpless soul kept seeing the withered body floating on
The merciless waters of ocean getting buried deeper and,
deeper under the silence of ocean full of fears…
When a tear of a helpless prisoner, like me
—The writer is a student and an aspiring photographer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org