By Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi
The valley of Kashmir known to the world as “the Paradise on earth” leaves all spellbound by its magnificent beauty. Lofty snow clad mountains, the honey-dewed orchards, mesmerizing pastures, rippling lakes and blue skies leave no stone unturned to leave a long lasting impression on anyone who is lucky enough to visit and get the glimpse of the nature’s best ever creation on earth. Nature even though has been merciful to have blessed the valley of Kashmir with bountiful resources, but what is rendering pathos and bathos to it, is the conflict that has marred its exceptional serenity and uniqueness.
It not only disfigured its attractiveness but also drove out its peace and charm which one used to attain while exploring the marvels of this valley. What was once thought of as the paradise has become a hell for the inhabitants of this land! It no longer continues to be a source of pride and praise but has in fact become a cause of worry because of its hyper sensitive nature owing to being the bone of contention between India and Pakistan which are both hell bent to claim their right on its land. Rendering the aesthetic value of this valley meaningless for its dwellers has been the first consequence of the conflict, for the people are mentally trapped in fear and agonies.
What good can the beauty of this land hold for them when they perceive themselves to be the victims of injustices and a tool at the hands of authorities only to gain their self-sufficient motives? This, primarily, has been the result of broken and unfulfilled promises that are being made to the people not to get delivered later! As a result of it, the trust deficit among the people has reached to never ending heights which alienates the people and the administration and thus, gives rise to a wedge that gets very difficult to overcome.
Owing to the vicious cycle of violence from past two decades, the people of this land are subjected to extreme conditions as the valley enjoys the title of being the most militarized zone in the world. Hence, to interpret how the law and order affairs would be managed to keep the things intact without letting them go out of control, can be easily gauged. While Kashmir is home to the best and exotic locations on the earth but the issue of numerous mass and unidentified graves testimonies the gruesome and horrific past when the human blood was spilled without even letting anyone to get to know. Unfortunately human lives are of no value here.
No sooner one hears the word “Kashmir”, the bleak and dismal state of affairs gets recalled for this is what this land has unfortunately earned to its name from past two decades. Unfortunately, human rights violation has been the hallmark of every serving government for there has been no end to it irrespective of its devastating and dreadful consequences on the mental psyche of the people. Ironically, the brutalities of the serving government (on account of maintaining law and order) become the base for the other parties too to replicate ( on the same pretext) keeping in view how such incidents are tackled later on, which only result in disappointments everywhere.
The fact that children are the worst suffers of the violence cannot be ruled out as they have to bear the hardships ultimately. What is being inculcated in their minds affects them directly, that gets reflected through their behavior, which as of now has become a serious concern for the society to address. The turmoil of 2016 is a clear proof of that. From protesting to raising slogans, erecting barricades and taking charge of roads, what not they did. It looked like that as if they had taken the movement in their hands and were determined to take revenge for all sorts of the injustices.
Whatever the consequences, the fact is that the childhood of the children of Kashmir has lost its benevolence to the conflict. Children have gone through the devastating phase of conflict that has made all apprehensive about the future. Education opens the way for a brighter future but when educated and qualified persons fail to take advantage of it because of limited opportunities, it is obvious for them to get disappointed which prompts many of them to take adverse steps in some rare cases! What is most disturbing is the presence of draconian laws like, AFSPA which gives unbridled powers to the security forces to go to any extent to muzzle the voices of the people resenting against any kind of oppression. Even constitutional rights are hardly honored; not to talk of human rights!
The authorities at the helm of affairs need to think seriously as to how to restore the already lost faith of people in them; for the people have only witnessed the miseries and injustices during the past two decades. There is a need to understand the aspirations of the people and make every possible effort to honor their genuine demands for which they raise their voice. It is a fact that public resentments occur everywhere, but what is needed is the optimal way of dealing with it, not by doing injustices to them which only aggravate the situation rather than fixing it. The government should encourage and in turn develop a sense of well-being among the population so that they could recognize that they are being taken care of and are in safer hands. Whatever is being promised of should get delivered to the public in order to give a fulfilling impression that too could re-establish a good bond between the public and the authorities. The government also needs to create avenues for the people so that they could earn their livelihood with grace and dignity which could help in developing and sustaining an amiable atmosphere in the valley.
The author is B.Tech-MBA (ECE) from Lovely Professional University. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.