Aabid Rehman Pala
The fickle ambiance of Kashmir is once again slowly and stealthily trudging towards the nineties. The education and economic sectors, which act as the backbone of a society’s progress are once again falling apart. Children, who are the future, do not have much to look forward to.. They are the victims of the inscrutable politics of the two countries and bear the brunt of the conflict. Certainly, it looks like a void is in the making which would take decades of peaceful ambience and hard work to fill. The generation which we are losing and wasting is the great tragedy of our time.
Keeping in view the present situation, children who belong to well off families are being sent out of the state, firstly to get a sophisticated education and secondly to get some respite from the apoplectic turbulence and upheaval in which the valley has been presently wallowing in. Distancing children from the unrest and engaging them on the track of nation building is a good move. But question arises that, are the children in a position to distance their minds from the turbulence which they are actually part of? Is it possible for them to take off their traumatized minds from their native place which is a militarized zone?
If the children won’t make you feel what they think about it or what they are going through, does it mean they don’t think about it at all? Living in the plains of India, their tongue may speak something else but their heart and mind is always surrounded by the trauma that reflects their entanglement in the conflict. You can scarcely distance their minds and hearts from the turmoil.
The trauma is realized more intensely, when they compare themselves with the other students belonging to different places whose mind is exultant and replete with lot of creative ideas. The whiff of the conflict is smelt there. The latter possesses the diverse realization of the world. But , your mind would always end up at Kashmir. You can’t think beyond that. It is not the fault of the children that they have confined their mind but of conflict which doesn’t provide them enough spaces to contemplate beyond certain contours. After witnessing bloodshed, how much creative can a student sitting in a library or experimenting in a laboratory be? What kind of progress and creativity can be expected from him or her? They are the ones on whose shoulders the fate of your future lie.
The child of conflict is everywhere the child of conflict, be he or she in or out of it. But, there is only one difference between the children who are wallowing in the turbulent ambiance and the ones living out of it. The difference can be understood by the William Shakespeare’s’ famous drama “King Lear”, where he talks about internal and external storms. The children living in the valley are the victims of both the storms. They have external storms in the shape of daily upheavals, and internal storms in the shape of mental trauma and an unabated anger within. The children who are out of it are the victims of later one only.
The person living in the conflict can’t imagine what he is being deprived of. Because conflict has confined his or her mind only up to a stone. No doubt you can’t expect anything from the conflict, but if you fail to pull yourself out of the conundrum nonviolently, it would engulf you. Amid miseries you would only see darkness all around and your future generation striving in sheer agony. So, it is high time to take some vigorous and concrete steps to save our future from the ensuing calamity. For it, the leadership (mainstream as well as the resistance) has a major role to play. The soon they would act, the better it would be.
—The author is the student of English Literature at the Department of English, Aligarh Muslim University. He hails from Frisal in Kulgam Kashmir and can be reached at: [email protected]