To say that we are living in a dark, gloomy, hopeless world is a gross understatement. How would one describe the situation where voices are suppressed, human rights are violated, victims of mob violence charged and incarcerated for the violence that others have visited upon them, innocents killed and houses taken over and ransacked while inmates are intimidated by those calling themselves “security forces (SF)” who enjoy the state-sanctioned immunity and ultimate freedom to barge into private homes and hearths without proper permission or warrant to invade an individual’s privacy. Once there, the entire family is commanded to remain confined to a single room while the rest of the house is taken over by them. As if that is not enough, access to the washroom is granted to the inmates only after seeking prior permission from the occupiers who, in the meanwhile, treat themselves to tea and snacks which the inmates are ordered to provide them without demur. Or else!!!
That is exactly what had happened yesterday at 5 pm in my neighbourhood when four local Kashmiris were shot dead in cold blood without the “necessary formality” of an exchange of fire from the latter that is often quoted by the Administration as a ruse for retaliatory action from the SF that had snuffed out their lives. As of now, not a shred of evidence has surfaced of the martyred young men having been involved in the sort of activity that would justify such a gruesome end to their youthful lives. Have been completely dazed into a state of utter shock, awe and immobility since this grisly spectacle had come about yesterday within a stone’s throw away from my residence. Is anyone listening?
How long would our voices remain choked like a lump in our throats? How long shall our legal and legitimate battle for the restoration of our dignity and honour be looked upon as a crime and as a challenge to the integrity and sovereignty of a country which is being lorded over by a bunch of self seeking individuals who have no use for the law of the land or the constitutional propriety. How long shall humanity continue to remain hostage to their idea of a “new India” which, in their perception, is synonymous with the notion of creating an imaginary enemy and going after him as a blood sucking vampire.Though despair and despondency are the kind of human frailties that could further accelerate a fall into the abyss of absolute hopelessness and an ignoble surrender to our fate, I’m beginning to discern the early signs of that state of mind affilicting certain groups and aggregates of people in Kashmir.
However, based on my understanding of the psyche of my Kashmiri compatriots, one thing may be said for sure: despite occasional signs of being seen as low on morale or of being perceived as having given up, they have shown immense grit and resilience over the past three decades and learnt how to rise from the dust, as it were and get on with their lives all over again and with a stronger resolve to never ever give in to a sustained campaign by their tormentors to break their will. One can only hope and pray for that resolve to persist. Surely, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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