Sixty seven years have gone by; the world has changed topsy-turvy over these years and so has India. The strenuous and arduous work of freedom fighters finally bore fruit on the jovial night of 15th August. The land was liberated from spiteful and vicious Firangis. The dreams seen by our forefathers bore fruit and the days of reconstruction began. Unanimously leaders and all around spoke of democracy, equality, secularism, freedom of speech, upliftment of poor, non alignment, freedom to raise one’s voice and a whole lot of things that formed the basis of India. No doubt many of these were practiced and it was the sequel of these efforts only that we are seeing the country at a formidable position.
But hold your breath if you are not a partisan and a parochial, the rendezvous with today’s so called success story has not been equitable enough. The visionary statements that applied were not equitable. Sixty seven years down the line the streets of Srinagar still reel under curfew, the mothers don’t get milk for their kids, the pregnant women are not allowed to go to hospitals, and the streets are nothing but secluded deserts of Sahara. Kashmir has always been treated with a different mindset, ideology, set of beliefs and nuances which apply to Kashmir only. Thousands of deaths in Kashmir does not shake the conscious of anyone across a country which claims itself to be comprising of eggheads, boffins and scholars but when a Mufti issues a trivial fatwa in the same region the news runs for no less than two weeks on the so called elite news channels of the country. The fear of protests other states makes Home Minister do the rounds and promise resolution but the killing of innocent people in proven fake encounters doesn’t shake his conscience. Wow how much we brag about Jawans but the same people say that for atrocities their men won’t get justice if tried in Kashmir courts, what does chief of Army mean by statements like this? The yardstick for Kashmir is different and so are the hearts and minds of people living there.
There has always been talking about Kashmir but does anybody even talk of fateful Kashmiri’s. They talk about it in New Delhi, Islamabad, Geneva, New York etc but do they talk about a 12 year boy playing cricket in bright sun and is killed while in cold blood, do they talk about 120 mass graves which get unearthed from a camp site, do they talk about those 12000 boys who have been taken to custody and are missing since then, do they ever talk of my childhood friend who was taken for assisting a search operation and then killed and my sobs still say whether it was his job. Words would fall short if I tell you what happens at a place which you all call bliss and wish to rendezvous with.
It’s a high time now. No government can claim that it does not know what Kashmiris want. The recent incidents in Kishtawar again make it clear that it’s not a valley centric moment only.
Much blood has flown down the Jehlum and Chenab valley in these 67 years and earlier as well. The issue needs to be resolved as was promised to Kashmiris. Till then Srinagar will always see black flags being hoisted on this day.