Speak your lips are free
Speak it is your tongue
[Faiz Ahmad Faiz]
Kashmir, a beautiful landscape, which has got admirers from all over the world is today crying for help. But its cries go unheard. Funeral after funeral. Troubled days and nights. Wounds burned and throbbed. Meaning to say, the valley is bleeding all the way. Instead of healing the wounds, people who claim it as ‘the integral part’ gave nothing but severe physical injuries and trauma to its habitants. Bullets, pellets and pava shells were used (and still) to kill, cripple and paralyse the innocents (mostly teenagers) raising voice against the State & Central Government for their different freedoms. Thousands and thousands of the youth became the victim of security forces. More than 120 people lost their lives. More or less 200 lost full and partial eyesight. Some are recuperating from injuries and some are still battling for life. Moreover, a huge number of young and old were detained and put behind bars in different state and outside jails. In nutshell, voices of the poor and desolate, political dissent, is being brutally suppressed. Although, there is a slight improvement in the situation & the barometer is falling. But the branches are spread -ramified and the roots absolutely still. There is a terrible feeling among the people. And the air is sensing a blizzard!
It is simple to decide to kill an innocent. If saved or not killed, he is going to die anyway shortly. Because, his remaining life will be full of miseries. By “innocent” I mean “not guilty” – not responsible for killing and not knowing that he/she will be killed due to his/her good actions or continued existence. You are a gullible being, hoping from the cradle to the grave. But what you get in return is pain – the everlasting pain. You have no right to save your own life. The right not to be killed. You can’t breath free. You are a Kashmiri — And that’s life in Kashmir.
To be acceptable, life must be honorable. To be honorable, certain conditions (rights) must be fulfilled and upheld. No life is deemed honorable in the absence of food and shelter (property rights), personal autonomy (safeguarded by codified freedoms), personal safety, respect (human rights), and a modicum of influence upon one’s future (civil rights). In the absence of even one of these elements, people tend to gradually become convinced that their lives are not worth living. They become mutinous and try to restore the “honorable equilibrium”. That is to say — They rebel against any massive breach of their freedoms.
Khaleel Gibran has wisely said;
“It takes two to discuss truth: one who utters it and one who understands it.”
The point is not whether talks should or should not be held. Talks are always welcome. The point is – “Fair and wide talks, and talks with whom?” There is no alternative for India but to hold unconditional talks with Pakistan. Pakistan is part of the solution and not part of the problem. Bilateral issue — so bilateral talks. Here, I must say, our future generations will either laugh or cry at our stupidity. But to make them only smile. I have said and saying again, “If you realy want to put an end to these uprisings and resolve the Kashmir dispute permanently. Stop this bloodshed. Shun this jingoistic, complacent and biased approach. Go the extra mile — And hold fair and wide talks with the real stakeholders together with the Hurriyat leadership and Pakistan. Come up with a happy solution, meeting the aspirations of people of Jammu and kashmir and settle this issue once for all. And if that happens anytime in the future (the sooner, the better), I promise and guarantee you- a peaceful, developed India and Pakistan. Otherwise, if malarky and blame game continued to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning, Kashmir will continue to suffer as a bone of contention for the years and years to come.”
( Gowhar Naz Studies Disaster Management at University of Kashmir and hails from Sogam Lolab. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org )