Analysis

New gods in Kashmir devouring more sacrifices

When John Milton describes the horrid deity of Moloch in The Paradise Lost he speaks of it as covered with the tears of mothers and the blood of innocent children sacrificed to the deity. Slowly the situation in the valley of Kashmir is reverting to that biblical manslaughter.

Zubair Ahmed Bhat (17) was sitting at the bank of the Jhelum with his friends when the troopers descended upon them. They panicked and jumped into the river. All others swam to safety but Zubair did not know swimming. A man saw him struggling in the water and tried to help him when the police shot tear gas shells at them. Zubair died soon after. That was June 18, 2010. People took out his cortege two days later and protested on the way. The police opened fire and as a result coincidentally his cousin Javed Ahmed fell a victim. None of them were stone pelters and no lyrical rhapsody of any walnut tree growing out of the abandoned home of a Pandit and protruding through the broken window can match the prosaic description of the killing in Jhelum. When parents had to offer innocent children to Moloch they would pass them through fire and put them into the brazen hands of the deity, which were terribly heated, and the children would be roasted alive. Purification either through fire or water and then comes the agonized death.

Are the troops hoping to build a safe and sanitized piece of ‘real estate’? For on June 27 the people of Sopor took out a protest march. Bilal Ahmed, a bystander, watching the procession had a bullet shot through his neck as the troops attacked the protestors. This goes on every alternate day. On June 29 several youngsters were playing in the private lawn of one of them when the police intruded and killed two of them ( Ishtiyaq Khanday and Imtiyaz Itoo) on the spot and another died on way to hospital, the remaining two recovered from gun shot.

Why such juveniles like the nine year old Taukir Ahmed had to be killed? His age makes him a child rather than a stone thrower. Even the first boy killed on January 1, 2010 was on his way to tuition. Inayat Khan was 16 and had just passed SSC. Is it colonial complex of holding on to power despite international attention focused on the hotspot? Why should the right wing groups be so self conscious of this limelight even when they are so self assertive of the region being an integral part of the country? This latter imbroglio is the crux of the matter because Omar Farooq Abdullah and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq say that there is trouble in JK because it is a political issue and cannot be solved by military force or inducement of sorts. They mean altogether different things than what the rest of India is made to believe.

It is quite clear that the ruler of Kashmir Hari Singh was not in favour of joining either Pakistan or India. He wanted independence. The haste with which the instruments of accession were signed and 150 planes were used to airlift troops smacks of rushing fools where angels fear to tread. Strange as it sounds Nehru himself was cautious as he had four options, which he enumerated in a letter of December 1, 1947 to Hari Singh. One was to hold a plebiscite in which the people of JK would decide their destiny. Second, an independent JK state with defense guarantee from India and Pakistan. Third, dividing the state into Ladakh going to India and the rest to Pakistan. The fourth was: Jammu and the Kashmir valley to remain with India while Poonch and beyond going to Pakistan. Historical events show that Pakistan was in haste to send the marauders into Kashmir valley. But was it the only antecedent? If we do not redeem ourselves from this murky history of the state we would again regress to 1989 situation. That is we are back to square one and have not learnt anything from the past two decades. What hope of redemption with more boys falling victims to violence!