The Houses that Vanish

The Houses that Vanish
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By Sheikh Abid

Conflict kills humanity! This small collocation of words forming a sentence is enough to give a person with rational thinking a clear notion of pain, agony and endless sufferings attached with it. “Human life is precious”- the universally famous quote most oftentimes used in those so called international/ national human rights conferences and conventional convocations but unfortunately least accepted and least than the least implemented. Such is the paradox of our times. The ugly scars conflict brings as an extra package on the masses affected with it has no words to describe. Despite the loss of “precious human lives” there is also an endless loss of continues collateral damage which can turn lifelong dreams into ashes, roosts into rashes and treasures into trash. Yes, I am talking about destructions caused and post encounter houses.
I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s quote that “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government”. Fortunately or unfortunately, he is counted among the founding fathers of United states of America and has served as the third president of the country (1801-1809). Yes, it is the same modern day United States which is responsible for the deaths of countless innocent citizen killings (including children and women) in Iraq Libya under the garb of so called “Global war on Terror”.
Kashmir is also victim to the bathos and pathos of conflict. We, Kashmiris, have gone through immense loss and sufferings since decades. Every alternate day, we hear about frequent encounters happening in parts of the valley. Whenever news of encounters breaking out between militants and security forces hit my ear drums, my subconscious mind strikes back to an imagination mode defined by the tragedy that is Kashmir.
Besides the loss of precious human lives, what gives me sleepless nights are the thought of post encounter houses. It takes a person whole of his life with ultimate hard work and determination, sweat and blood, feelings and emotions, hope and desires to build a house but whole of his world gets demolished in front of his hopeless eyes and helpless body when his/her house falls victim to the conflict. One cannot image the state of pain he goes through at that time. Death is not the greatest loss. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we are alive.

—The author is a student of Journalism. He can be reached at: