AFRAID OF THE DARK

AFRAID OF THE DARK

“Please don’t leave me, stay with me for some time,” said the little child to the sun in a pleading way. She was sitting outside during the sunset, about to cry. But the sun couldn’t hear her voice as it was so far away.
Oh! The sun left her, and the sky grew darker. The little child was so sad, I asked her why? Her reply made me feel sad as well. “I am afraid of the dark,” she said. I gave her a warm hug and I think that she felt a safe zone between my arms.
I thought to myself, why is the little child afraid of the dark? And my mind replied, “Because this is Kashmir”.
She was afraid because she had to spend her evenings in the dark as there was no electricity. She was sad because she had to spend her night in the cold without a heater or an electric blanket. She was sad because she didn’t want her toes to get hurt again by some wall or something she could not see due to the dark.
She was sad because she could not sleep in the dark as she was scared that some aliens and monsters will come and grab her. Not only that little child, everyone is scared of the dark as this is Kashmir. Here we pay electricity bills without getting electricity. The rivers are here, the glaciers are here, snow is here, water is here, but there is no electricity, no internet, no roads. There is not even the right to speak or to raise one’s voice for the right to speak. From electricity to water to fundamental rights, everything has been taken away from a Kashmiri.
I wonder how we Kashmiris are bestowed with the ability to survive in such deprivation! Kashmir as everyone knows is covered with snow during the winters, and during this harsh time people have to melt the snow to cook food, take bath, wash utensils and clothes. Kashmir generates electricity for more than 70% of India, but not for Kashmir itself. Oppressed places like Palestine, Afghanistan and Iran are never denied internet, but it is denied in Kashmir, the world’s largest prison. Why?
The government takes decisions for us without letting us know. It passes bills and makes laws without our agreement. Is this democracy? Are these the rights of citizens? Aren’t we humans? Don’t we have rights, needs, wants? I always wonder!
—The writer is a student and a freelancer. asfiyataliey@gmail.com

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