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Kashmir: In the battle of egos, when will the shriek of pellets and stones be heard?

Kashmir, the heaven on earth, has lost its mesmerising charm. Though Kashmir has been boiling since 1989, the last two years have witnessed rising insecurity in the minds and hearts of Kashmiri students who are taking part in the current protests. How can a person even think of confronting teenagers with bullets and pellets and how this will bring peace to the volatile valley? How can we forget that bullets are a solution to any problem in the world? It is true that time heals everything but the scars will remain for long. Kashmir needs love, affection and consolation more than anything else.

Increasing attacks on students whether in the valley or outside it are dragging Kashmiris away from India. Attacks on Kashmiri students in colleges outside Kashmir are increasing the anger of Kashmir’s new generation. Some people believe in an eye-for-an-eye to bring peace but the motive is to cause blindness to their own citizens to get political mileage. More insecurity in students will lead to more hindrances in the path of peace. Everybody in the valley is waiting for justice, justice for silent voices, justice for inhuman activities in the name of pseudo-nationalism and hollow ultra-patriotism. Being a democratic polity we should understand that not every stone thrower is a paid agent of foreign agencies just as every person in uniform is not ultra-patriot. It is our constitutional right to question the authority at times. We should learn to stand against any atrocity whether it is caused by men in uniform who were harassed by angry youth or by a person who is being used as human shield.

Amid shrieks and shadows of guns and stones, we forget to notice the painful voices of the families which have lost their loved ones in the battle of ideologies and egos. When a stone hits a security personnel, for rest of India a soldier has been martyred and when a bullet hits a stone-thrower, he too becomes a martyr for his people. But how many times we try to understand the pain of the bereaved families which have lost their loved ones in the battle of egos. In the battle of tagging who is a martyr, we forget that someone lost his son, brother, husband, father and most importantly a human life.

A question arises here: what we actually want: Kashmir or kashmiryat. Kashmiryat does not come with beating of students in the name of pseudo-nationalism. It comes from the core of heart, with affection and love. Every responsible citizen of India should introspect why even after 70 years, they failed to win the hearts of the Kashmiris. Why with every coming day the situation of Kashmir and of Kashmiryat is slipping away from the grasp of India. This is the right time to raise your voices against the policies and observe the situation with open minds. We should introspect how many mothers have lost their sons, how many children are living as orphans, how many women had to bury their dreams with the coffins of their husbands, fathers and sons? How much more will suffice to awaken the conscience of the responsible citizens. First it was stone versus bullet; now it is uniform versus uniform, one is representing our present and the other is representing our future. We have to decide whether we are with the present or with the future?

Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani may be contacted at imeeimz#yahoo.com

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