By Kaiser Mir
So, the Right to Privacy is now a Fundamental Right and people in India now have definitely got something to celebrate but in our part of the world , the right to life is yet not functional. By the way , there is one more reason and that is triple talaq too has been declared unconstitutional. It is equally fascinating that some people are happier than others and those who should really have been are rather confused. Why not? Confusion is part of their identity.
Shahid, a student, was murdered few days back. Kashmir zone police head rhetorically asked what was he doing in forests? He further added he was moving with militants hence he was a militant. Well, by that logic even tourists could be considered as militants because they too move in forests in places like Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Tribal people live their whole life in forests. Anyway, when did logic work in Kashmir? Militants too live in forests so anybody seen moving in forests will be treated the same. Please remember this in future.
The deputy commissioner Kupwara Mr Khalid Jhangeer himself said that Shahid was not involved in any subversive or militant activity. We are guilty until proven innocent. Innocence is such a costly affair in Kashmir. It is however saddening that DC’s cavalcade was not treated well and there were reports that few vehicles were burnt down by the angry mourners.
Now let me turn to the people who murdered Shahid. The Army not only murdered this innocent soul but also declared him a foreigner. It disfigured his face, cut his beard, cut his fingers, made a hole in his chest so that he could not be identified. They left him half-buried and half-naked in the Handwara forests -some 130 kilometres from Srinagar. It was later when they surrendered the dead Shahid to local police and with the help of doctors that his identity was ascertained . For three days, he was the unknown-dead.
Shahid was a third-year student of Degree College Handwara and was aiming to crack the Kashmir Administrative Service examination. Meanwhile as an administrative measure internet was suspended, this time a total ban. This has now become an essential part of governance in Kashmir.
The intention here is not to merely re-narrate the whole story but there is a purpose. The purpose is why is that there was no hue and cry in the same way when it happens somewhere else. True that Kupwara is a frontier land where there is less media coverage and hence whatever happens there is not reported the way it is when it happens in some other parts of our state. But except MLA Mr Rashid engineer nobody spoke about it. It seemed as if nothing has happened. As if people in Kupwara don’t know the art of mourning. The sobering lesson here is that if we cannot be a society we can’t be a nation!
—The author is a student at the Department of English, University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org