A Tale: Absorbing and Cruel…

Aditya Almora

I have tried to write about Kashmir on many occasions and on all occasions I failed desperately. To me and certainly for many it is a complex, strewn issue. There are enough perspectives to the entire tale. I say tale because I dislike calling it a controversy. As I cannot be factual and honest at the same time, and I guess being factual shall not satisfy me once I have completed this piece, thus I may be more of a lunatic traversing end to end on an issue that consumes the intellect of the nation.

Do not ask me to be specific and to be ordained, nothing on Kashmir seems to be predictable and there is nothing like a destined line when I discuss an account that has engrossed the governments, armies and sentiments of ‘two and a half nations.’

Kashmir has been the place of Aadam Aziz the grandfather of the hated and loved Saleem Sinai our fabled Midnight Child, the state caressed by the love and acclaims of the grand Mughals, the state christened paradise, the land of the Kashyaps. Today it stands with all its identities unsure which to stand with and which to discard. It contemplates whether to embrace the anger or continue with the disconcerting calm, Kashmir muses upon participatory politics and the separatism. And tired of the unending cogitation, it seems it discards all.

For years I have marvelled at the beauty of both Kashmir and ironies related to it. But for the northern most state of India it is a cruel irony. The heaven on earth is tarnished by pain, violence and the intense politicization of its dismay on the national and the international platform. The Place which should have been the most peaceful area of the subcontinent troubles the whole region whenever it’s discomforting stillness and silence gives way to slightest ruffling. It’s hard to think about Kashmir, to think of the iniquity that this land of beauty has seen. It’s disturbing to go through the various lost opportunities of the past when this place would have risen as what Gandhi called “the distinguished land of hope.”

The killings on the streets of the down town area, the sons and husbands missing in thousands, the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, the increasing ferocity in the Chenab, the ever increasing chill of distrust in the valley towards the nation are always overshadowed by the naiveties like the third party interventions, the silent diplomacies and the fights to call Anantnag, Islamabad or vice versa among other such factors that combine together to give a meaningless profile of the Kashmir issue.

I wish not to talk of employment, development, medicine and education. These are hardly the concerns when people are killed by rubber bullets. The recent outburst of anger has steadily made sense to everyone, as the killings escalate the counterproductive nature of curfews and restrictions too increase. The government does not have many options either, but the repercussion is imminent. A land that is flouted as the paradise to the tourist has thousands of young men missing. It is not the lost paradise but the paradise of the lost.

Devilish underground cemeteries are unearthed on regular basis in the land which was once ridden of underwater serpents and demons by the Kashyaps, the mythical story of reclaiming the land from the great lake called Satisar is being played in reverse today with each contributor drowning the valley in grief and distrust. Like the quilted wrongs, the anger could not be dodged for long and today we see an angry generation pelting stones on road or verbal volleys on the web. Yet we fail to have a solution.

What is the way out, of what is now being termed as a cycle of violence? I have my reservation to the term anyway. Over a fifty people have been killed in stray firings by the paramilitary forces in less than a month when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for peace in a televised address. He asked the Kashmiri youth to show restrain and that he understands their plight. Anyways, he did applaud the forces for being able to work under the duress. The media strangely described this as healing touch. The prime opposition party which goes into the overzealous nationalistic mode whenever and wherever in opposition asked the government to make sure that the security forces are in good morale. What needs to be criticized must be criticized, what needs to be lamented must be lamented. We are not in a war, our security forces are trying to impose curfew. Why bring in the rhetoric? We need to concede that most of the stone pelters are our own boys. The day government does it and deals it that way, Kashmir shall be calmer. Many unrelenting nationalists may criticize me of simplifying and overplaying the recent crisis in Kashmir but imagine 115 people killed in firing by security forces in UP, Bihar. The governments would have toppled. The parliament would have debated nothing but the killings. The Mulayam’s and the Laaloo”s would have decorated the security forces with adjectives unimaginable. One of my friend commented India is as much alienated with Kashmir as Kashmir with India, and at times I fear she may be right.

One can only hope that the unrest settles down and something goes right with this majestic place. With or without AFSPA the Chinaar, Gulmarg and Sonmarg shall remain magnificent, A day before the autonomy or a day after the self-rule, the Dal lake shall continue to reflect the imposing mountains around it, in the look for justice the spirit of the place shall continue to shape and reshape and amidst all this a generation shall grow. We can only hope that words like Sufiism and Kashmiriyat remain relevant throughout and after the commotion that’s already over half a century long.

The end-


About theparallelpost
The language of words is more heavenly than the language of tongues and lips. The Parallel Post is a forum to offer a space for people who dare to speak through their words. The intention is to create an environment to share in words what we perceive in our minds...

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