JAMMU: One more death on Friday; one more mother left with her lap empty; one more home pushed to devastation and bereavement. This is Kashmir where the death of a 15-year boy has as usual hogged the headlines, some of these ‘heart-wrenching’. No sooner will the separatists call for a shutdown to showcase their writ is running large; the soft secessionist mainstream political leaders will get zerox copies of their condemnation cum condolence statements issued to media to invest for their electoral gains; the human rights activists will raise banners to ensure flow of funds. But in the process and end of the day, the family will find itself drenched in life-long grief with all these politicians, secessionists, scribes and activists looking for another prowl to pounce upon.
The Pulwama doctor would not have thought in even his wildest of dreams that some day he may have to declare his son brought dead in the hospital he works. It is another sad saga of the Valley that has witnessed trail of bloodbath during the past nearly three decades of Pakistan sponsored terrorism, which the ‘real stakeholders of Kashmir’ term as Jihad.
While all hearts must go the devastated family of the doctor, he himself has to do some soul searching. The people like the unfortunate doctor might have excelled in their professions but have they really succeeded in upbringing their children. According to reports, the young boy was among the protesters who came under retaliatory firing in the wake of stone-pelting and sloganeering against the security forces near the encounter sites. The parents should have counseled their children to keep off such situations, lest the worst happens. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is on record having warned that stone-pelters who try to disrupt anti-terror operations in J&K will be treated as “over-ground workers of terrorists” and can be fired on. This sane counseling has not been given any heed by many parents in Kashmir, except people like Shabir Shah, currently under detention for alleged acts of money laundering among other charges. His daughter topped the recent CBSE Class 12 exams in Jammu and Kashmir, scoring 97.8 per cent marks. Couldn’t the Pulwama boy excel in the examinations?
It is ironic that those highlighting the academic performance of a separatists’ daughter glorify the girls of same age, bunking their classes and indulging in stone pelting in the Valley. This glorification lures innocent girls and boys too to take the path of destruction. The concerns of their parents are not out of place but who will appreciate these. The politicians, the separatists, the journos, the activists and all those thriving on boiling Kashmir may shed crocodile tears on their misery but they can’t stand by them for any long. They have never done that. And they will never do so.
However, ironically, somewhere in a single column or two in these very newspapers, there was yet another news of Hizbul Mujahideen module busted, terrorists killed in an encounter, infiltrators pushed back from the line of control, youth dispersed and cane charged for indulging in stone pelting etc etc. What a contrast; sons of the same soil, same blood, same culture having different roles. One, who makes his family and his land proud and the other becoming fodder of the demons’ canon, who come and offer fateh, make speeches, bury the dead Mujahid in the martyrs’ grave yard, salute the parents for having produced a martyr and then disperse heads down. The mourners keep coming and going, separatists keep issuing statements eulogising the sacrifices and paying visits to the families under full media gaze and then they forget, leaving the broken parents lick their wounds for life. Let the parents of stone pelters and terrorists realise before it is too late; before Kashmir turns into a huge martyrs’ graveyard. When the parents of IAS toppers and crackers of Jammu and Kashmir could do so, why not the ordinary poor Kashmiri? The ‘Mujahids’ and the ‘stone-pelters’ should realise and relieve their parents of life-long agony. The Mujahids and stone pelters are not the sons or brothers of Geelanis, Maliks, Bhats, Lones or Muftis. They are the sons of poor unfortunate poor ones. They are the hopes of old parents or brothers of young sisters. They are the daily earners of their poor families. They may be anything for their families, but they mean nothing to the dream merchants of Kashmir other than the show pieces of their shops decorated to run their business. The world has not heard sons of Gilani carrying AK 47 or kin of Yasin Malik attaining martyrdom. In fact, Malik chose to be a Gandhi than to be a Mujahid. He gave up the violence to don the mantle of a leader but never made an effort to prevail upon the gun-wielding Mujahids to emulate him. Emulating him would have meant rendering him irrelevant. Gilani is not giving gun or stones to Naseem Gilani for carrying forward the ‘freedom movement’ but he is preparing for coronating him to carry forward his ‘family legacy’. The people of Kashmir know all about the sons of Geelani, Sallah-ud-Din, Shabir Shah and all others.
This is the time when the people of Kashmir should see the things in a long-term perspective, with open mind and not with jaundiced eyes. After passionate introspection they may find themselves facing the toughest test of life- choosing between the graveyards and the vistas of opportunities across the world. And if their decision is for the later, let they rise and revolt.
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