Own the orphans

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Arshid Malik

The last more than two and a half decades of Kashmir have been strewn with violence in which scores of thousands of young and old men, women and children have been murdered in cold blood by the Indian “security forces”. I am forced to enclose the term security forces within quotes because security as such is the last thing that these forces have provided to the people of Kashmir. These scores of thousands of murdered people have been mourned by the people of Kashmir and at the same time their sacrifices have been “elemental” in providing impetus to the “freedom struggle”.

These sacrifices have time and again been used to remind people of the need for more sacrifices to “take the struggle forward and towards the attainment of the goal”, even though how things would be accomplished by way of design of more sacrifices has never been charted out. That is for the separatist leadership which has stayed in “oblivious” power for more than two decades now at the behest of the “sacrifices” of the people of Kashmir and the continuous exemplification of the same.

As for the people of Kashmir, the common people, they have also been motivated by the scores of thousands of sacrifices made by their very people in the past while the circle continues. The people of Kashmir are moved by the sacrifices of young men, who fight the Indian “security forces” and of recent we have come across incidents where common people have come out in throngs to protect militants caught up in sieges and encounters, many a times sacrificing their own lives to protect these “soldiers” of the land.

Now, while the sacrifices of the people of Kashmir in the past have become a source of inspiration for the rest of Kashmir to desist Indian occupation, have the people of Kashmir gone beyond that. Do pardon me for my shabby references, but what I am trying to say is that have the people of Kashmir, the ones who are alive, tried to connect themselves with the sacrifices and the ruins they left behind mainly in the shape of families. By all measures, scores of thousands of sacrifices had to mean scores of thousands of orphans and widows. Have we the people of Kashmir, beyond lame rhetoric, owned the families of the people who sacrificed their lives by way of fighting for Kashmir or yielding as collateral? No, we have not.

We the people of Kashmir just keep talking and debating unforeseen outcomes and wandering possibilities. We have only talked till now. We have just used the sacrifices of our own people to get ahead in the race of life. How else did pawns turn into kings overnight if they did not indulge in the business of selling the very blood of the martyrs of Kashmir? They didn’t win lotteries or have overnight successes in business ventures. They bartered the soul of Kashmir. Do forgive mydigression. What I am trying to point out is that the orphans and widows of Kashmir are lying unattended for not even a single one of us has ever tried to reach for them. Don’t reason that orphanages and rehab centres are taking care of them and that you, the people of Kashmir, are donating to such organizations because we all know of the conditions in which the orphans survive in orphanages and how underprivileged the widows of Kashmir are. If you tell me that the government should do something about them then they are not your martyrs at all.

Let the wind change and let every Kashmiri claim each sacrifice of Kashmir by reaching out, owning what it left behind; what needs our utmost attention and care. Let us desist from rhetoric and give meaning to the sacrifices of the thousands of people of Kashmir.

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