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A Publication
on The Status of
Adivasi Populations
of India




My Memories With AK-47

By Sajad Rasool

17 November, 2014

A barrage of thoughts unsettles my mind as I see men in uniforms roaming around with their infamous AK-47 rifles.

I share a long relationship with AK-47. Their sight takes me to my childhood days, when these rifles used to be daily bread of my eyes. My little body would shake in fear as crackdown bells would sound and the AK-47 men surrounded the village before the dawn of a new day. Though they seemed to be like us , but their angry looks and their rifles used to make them different to me. The only
language they knew was the language of violence. The only culture they followed was the culture of Gun. Age and gender was never a bar for them and their violence.
They could come to my home as they felt whether day or night. Slinging Guns and ammunition pouches was their identity.

I remember a dark wintry night when my school bag was kicked and thrown into courtyard. Then I remember the day when my small bedding was frisked. "I carry no Gun with me", I shouted! The captain of the party came inside. He seemed a generous officer, as i remember him asking me about my school. I remember him enquiring from my dad about the other people they were looking for.

Days passed on, a gunfight broke out in my neighborhood on a hot summer day. All the people were taken to the fields including my ailing elderly grandma. At afternoon, we felt thirsty. Nearby a stream was flowing. Flowing for all! To quench thirst, we asked permission from the men for drinking water, who were guarding us. The reply came in the form of an abuse. I remember my tummy telling tales of hunger that day. A child who had nothing to eat since morning, just the sight of Ak-47s in the scorching sun.

Then there another memory of a January. A chilling snow covered day of 25th, I was busy with my younger brother making a snowman, when the news of my father's arrest came in. We ran in hurry towards our home, which had been engulfed by grief.

Next day the 26th of Jan was the day their homeland had adopted Democracy and become a Republic. We had been taught that Democracies are run by the people but the case seemed different to me. For us our part of the world was ruled by Ak-47s....... Arrests, interrogations and killings had became the order of the land.

My father had been shifted to a torture center; horrified at this information after reaching the town. Neighbors and relatives began to pour into our home. The 'Republic Day' parades ended and five more days passed. My uncle and other relatives kept on going to meet my father, but were barred. On the seventh day I was taken to see my 'imprisoned' father. As we went inside I saw a big lock on a door and i remember a person with key in hand and an AK-47 slinging over his shoulder who opened the lock. My father came out of a dark room; as I saw my father tears rolled down my cheeks and I started crying. As the noise was heard by the sentry he kicked my uncle and asked to leave quickly. I was snatched from my father's lap and the hug was incomplete.....
A day later he was released, visible marks of physical torture could be seen on his body. From that day onwards my father was asked to present himself before the AK-47 men every Monday morning. My tired gaze used to turn into an endless wait

They still exist, they still rule! Their Guns still roar in our air; that is smeared with blood of innocents. I have kept a treasure with me called 'Hope'. I wait for the day when human life is respected and loved in my part of the world. I believe there is an end to every dark night. I believe there is an alternate to AK-47.

Sajad Rasool is Satate Coordinator Video Volunteers J&K




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