Burhan-Wani

To

Major Arya (Veteran)

Indian Army

Hello,

I hope you are in good spirits. I will take the liberty of addressing you as my friend. I know that you consider me as a lowly terrorist but now that I am dead, the animosity can take a backseat; at least for the course of this letter. My friend, I am told that you have written an open letter to me. I thank you for making the effort to reach out to me even though it might be a little late. Better late than never.

Indeed I knew the result of taking up the gun against the Indian state. Don’t for a moment think that I was led astray by someone or that I was stupid to think otherwise. It is no easy a decision to take a path where the end is death. I understand this surprises many people. I didn’t choose this path out of hatred of your country or religion. I know a lot of your country men tend to think like that. It was not the case with me though.

Major Arya, my friend, I was born in a place where love, hospitality, pluralism, and communal amity is integral to life since times immemorial. How I wish life would have allowed me to host you some day. Had you been to Tral on the day of my funeral, you would have seen Sikh brothers weeping alongside their Muslim brethren. You would have seen them serving food to the mourners and marchers. My friend I always maintained that Amarnath Yatris are welcome here. I had also assured our Pandit brothers of protection, should they decide to return back to their villages. True, my friend, I had vowed to fight the plan for separate colonies. These colonies would have turned into cause of mutual acrimony and discord instead of reconciliation.

You might be wondering what, if not hatred, prompted me to choose this path. One of the most frightening memories of my childhood is the “crackdown”. You would know why if you have served in Kashmir. Succinctly, I remember elders being humiliated, the youth being beaten, the womenfolk being jeered at and the children being threatened. This was a regular feature of my childhood days. My friend, can you imagine how you would feel if you have to prove your identity every day in your own home and neighbourhood to people from a different culture, region and language. I had friends in school whose fathers had been killed. Some in real encounters others extra judicially. This was my childhood. That is how I grew up.

My agitated mind asked questions. I started asking whoever I could for the reasons behind all this. I began reading whatever I could regarding the Kashmir issue. Then I came to know there is an escape from this misery. People call it Azadi. I understand, my friend, that you love your country. You are ready to do anything for its sovereignty and integrity. But I didn’t see my dream of Azadi as a vengeance against your country. I just saw it as a basic human right of my people to live a life of respect and dignity. If the integrity or sovereignty of any country is devoid of this I was willing to challenge it. I knew the cost of doing so but I made my decision.

As I reached higher grades in school I began reading more about the history of the Kashmir issue. I wish you would have done the same before you wrote to me. I came to know that Kashmir had acceded to Indian subject to ascertaining the wishes of the people. Your first PM had promised the plebiscite on the floor of your parliament. He had also promised it at the UN and also in the LalChowk of Srinagar. The promise awaits fulfilment. I read about the gang rape of an entire village at Kunanposhpora,Kupwara by the Rajputana rifles of your Army. I read about the massacres of Gawkadal, Sopore, Handwara, Bijbehara, so on and so forth. My friend the list is long. I hope you take some time to read about some of this.Do you know my friend that around ten thousand people have vanished in custody? You might not know this. You might not even want to believe this. But how can we disbelieve what we have suffered.

My friend, you might argue that I could have chosen other ways of struggle. I did try but it was not to be. In 2008 I participated in massive peaceful protests. I was there in Eidgah rally when over a million people marched peacefully. Not a glass was broken that day. But the government could not bear the open show of defiance. It responded with curfews and unprovoked firing of protesters. Boys responded with stones. You might know that in the protests of 2008 and 2010 hundreds of young boys were butchered on the streets of Kashmir for pelting stones or marching. Many of my friends lost their lives or limbs. This battle of bullets and stones left a deep imprint on my mind. For the first time I began thinking of picking up the gun. But I wasn’t sure yet.The last straw came in 2010 when I and my elder brother were beaten to pulp by the “security forces” without any reason. I could not bear seeing my elder brother being beaten in front of me. That was the day when I escaped to the forests and became a militant.

The people here called me a Mujahid i.e. a righteous warrior. You call me a terrorist. But, my friend, I have never harmed or even threatened any civilian. My struggle was not driven by hatred. How would you have responded had you been born here in my place? You could have chosen to build a career while keeping aloof from the system. Or you could have tried to change the system from within. Or you might have tried to challenge it by peaceful means. Or you could have joined my group. All these are different forms of resistance. There is another possibility. You could have become a collaborator to the system. But I am sure a conscientious and intelligent person like you wouldn’t have chosen this ignominious option.

My friend, I chose a way of resistance which I knew will lead to death. I have no regrets. Neither do I have any complaints from you or your people. All that I am asking you is to ask yourself why would 3 lac people participate in my funeral if I was a terrorist? Why would the whole valley mourn me if I was a nihilist? My friend, Major Arya, I and my people harbour no ill will towards your people and country. All that we want is basic rights of self-determination, life, security, and dignity. I wish Kashmir and India have a wonderful relationship based on love and respect instead of bloodshed and hatred. But that will not happen unless and until you see reason.

Regards,

Commander BurhanWani,
Martyrs Graveyard,
Tral, Kashmir

Mohd Azhardin Ganayee is a  Research Scholar in a reputed university

16 Comments

  1. Burhan wani you are our hero..
    Brother your martyrdom will bring kashmir to its freedom…
    I wish that i could become a bit like you…
    No one can take your place and you will be alive in our heart ever…
    I salute to my motherland kashmir where a brave solider (Burhan wani ) is born….

  2. Burhan wani Can you justify the rape. looting and killing of Kasmirir Pandits?

    • We all kashmiri whether Muslim or pandits never allow such a gruesome job.we all kashmiri respect human rights .How could we rape , kill and loot our own kashmiri sisters and brothers.it was the then governor of the jk jagmohan who was involved in the exodus of our pandit brothers and sisters.

      • Mr. John, I have witnessed what Shikha said with my eyes. Many of my relatives were called out by their so called Muslim friends and none of my relatives came back home. What came back were their dead bodies. We had to flew in the darkness leaving behind all our belongings, home etc there only. Why was there no movement started at that time. Why a movement being run for a terrorist. Before 1988 there were no issue in Kashmir and that was because everyone in Kashmir was living with love in heart for each other. No one gave importance to religion or freedom at that time. There is no point asking freedom of Kashmir because that would expose us Kashmiris to the world and then we could be conquered by either Pak or China or anyone else. People in Kashmir should start using their brains that its India which allows people in kashmir to use anti-India slogans and unfurl flags for other countries. Had this been the case in any other country, you would have faced big consequences. Gun is not the answer to everything. Kashmiris should leave guns and start living the way they did before 1988. I still remember and cherish those days. Your gun battle and terrorism can never get me those days. So please, be peaceful and the Kashmir will be back to life

    • Yarii Arafat says:

      Where you got looted & killed that has done only army he is just 6 year crusader what you are talking

  3. Vaibhav Chavan says:

    I think Mohd Azhardin Ganayee has read only half of the history….and conveniently forgot the part about the kashmiri pandits were driven out of their homes in Kashmir.
    Not sure what kind of research this guy has done…he probably researched propaganda books published by the Pakis .

    • Basil Thomas says:

      don’t read stories. check both versions and ask certain questions to yourself like,Pundits were spread across valley .Did you,me or pundits visit every place and noticed those posters & threats which they were recieving from militants? . How & Who informed all pundits to leave on same day ?. It was hard becuz there were no such communication tool like mobile,pagers… yes, i remember there was one common landline for each mohalla.

      Why sikhs didn’t leave ? Who arranged transportation for such a huge population on same day? How some pundits stayed back? all crap. Rajesh Kumar I was living among pundits & truth is pundits were bit coward & never want to loose anything.They didn’t even inform close muslim friends regarding migration plan. I know they were not ready to support freedom of kashmir which obviously was threat for freedom fighter because pundits can be best informers for Indian govt. Finally,It is believed that jag mohan promised them that ,we will get you back here in valley after crushing whole militancy but jagmohan failed to crush militancy rather it has increased beyond limits like militant count in valley has reached to 60,000 from 8. Jagmohan was war criminal which is very much evident.

  4. Are Kashmiris only interested in Kashmir valley or Ladakh and Jammu as well? Do they speak on behalf of these other parts of the state…

  5. Daniel Vaiphei says:

    Im not an expert on Human rights nor am I from Kashmir, I have no t witness what many civilians might have in Kasmir. But I have a story of a state called Mizoram, it was very much similar to Kashmir. Our Fore fathers fought the Indian Government, our women were raped and our youth killed….)let me not brief about the movement). This went on for 2 decades when our leaders realized that they have to give up arms for the sake of their childrens and grand childrens…the scale of massacre was so much that Mizoram was the only state Indian government sactioned the Airforce to Bombed. Our fore fathers requested the Fighters to negotiate with the Government…we became a state from a mere district of Assam…now we are the most peacefull state in India…our men have joined the Indian army and they are infact the 2nd highest number of jawans in Assam regiments and Rifles. All these was possible because the general masses forced the fighters to negotiate…our fighters didnot get everything they want but.. their childrens and grand children did got what they couldnt.. Freedom, peace and prosperity. People of Kashmir can only decide what they want for their Childrens..

  6. M Ismail Khan Kundi says:

    Well, this is not only the story of Burhan. Many people effected by the drone attacks of US in Pakistan ended as Burhan. Its a fact that you can not suppress people for a very long time through force. Kashmiris will one day find their way out in one way or the other but the only thing we do not realize that we are spending too much on the our Armies and not on our basic development. Kashmir issue has imprinted deep impacts on our countries and turned us into hypocrite enemies who stab in the back of each other whenever find chance and by all this only the common people suffers who has nothing to do with the enmity.
    The more india kills Kashmiris, the more Burhans will born and so on.

    • ranjyabrata sen says:

      kashmiri peoplevote on their own in all elections. no one forces them to. it is the proof of their mental belonging… and tell ur dear pakistan to improve human rights .literacyn women empowerment in their own disastrous coutry first rather than yelling kashmir kashmir… pakistan is the worst blot of humanity. they kill even muslims . illetaracy.poverty.lack of jobs…followed by brainwashing in name of religion.. this is what pak is.. n to divert attention from these.they use this kashmir card to get vote… first improve ur own country then prick nose elsewhere….

  7. Basil Thomas says:

    India has created big enemy for future.. I am sure this can hurt india … Every dog has a day.

  8. John and saima? Jk is not ur ama property. .jk belongs to more to us ppl of jammu and ladakh. We own 75 % of jk. We ppl of jk loves our army and our country. And regarding UN RESOLUTION. .u must read it first before Barking. .it’s first clause says that the Pakistan should vacate each inch of POK including the one that they sold to China. Plz tell Paki pig Stone baba gaylani to ask Pakistan. .and all other clause r applicable after that..two or three district ppl led by hurriayat don’t represent my jk. If one Burhan is born and pick up gun, I promise thousand of youth from other parts of jk will join army to kill him… Shoaib Ali AaMir WaNiRiad KhanIrfan SabirImran Ali Raza Mohammed AzmathAbdullah Buttar…we ppl of jk loves our army and our country barring few Paki paid ppl. .we contribute every fourth soldier and every sixth officer to army who is fighting Paki paid militants in j&k..so keep shut..some ppl agitate and join funeral prayers of militants but have u seen ppl coming for army recruitment rallies. ??? Its 20000 for every 100 post..so janaza kutte ka bhi ho toh jate hain log..it doesn’t matter. …by the way regarding world know the truth..bhaiya jk has been deleted from list of disputed territories in Nov 10..so that’s the truth..y they removed. .?? Due to fear of india? ? Bcoz they have seen ground reality. .two or three district ppl led by hurriayat don’t represent my jk..all district of jammu division and ladakh division which too has large among of Muslims are just not bothered about wat Paki paid hurriayat says. ..and District like URI. .handwara. .gurez. .budgam. etc too doesn’t have problems. .pulwama. .shopian. .so pore town and tral and down town area of srinagar has to protest
    .bhaiya paisa milita hai Paki se..so.dont try your teach us realty .

    • Don’t fool yourself by thinking you know a lot, stop talking about the matters when you aren’t fully aware of history. I doubt you are from Kashmir, put a sock in it when you don’t have any clear idea about ground situation. Talking about Jammu & Kashmir when you don’t know names of it’s districts “Uri? Handwara? Gurez?” how stupid.

  9. You all kashmiri pandit and kashmiri muslim will blame each other, kashmiri pandit suffered they are saying but in 90s and kashmiri Muslims are suffering from 90s till now present

  10. heraclitus kapila says:

    It is clear that Burhan was brainwashed into terror, by a hateful ideology, ?He was young and impressionable. Fault of the Indiuan education system that Burhan could not have learnt the logic of Nyay or Nagarjuna. Did he ever question what valid knowledge is? of course not . The theocrats have no interest in knowledge,and no memory.India would be foolish to yield one inch of its territory to the terrorists despite the fact that some of these terrorists are only teenagers I do not feel hatred toward Burhan, but melancholy feeling takes over when I se a teenager like him being dowsed in hatred