Apercieve & Preserve

Yet another harrowing incident of cold blooded murder; the life of two youth in Markundal village of Bandipora was as ordinary as those of hundreds of other Kashmiri boys who fell to the bullets of armed forces operative in Kashmir. In the recent incident, Army personnel came to the village in the dead of the night sprinkled bullets on its inhabitants without any provocation killing a teenager on the spot. In the morning when the helpless people started wailing over the dead boy, trigger-happy personnel of the same army unit silenced one more youth, lest people may forget what they are.

Kashmiris sacrificed another day of their livelihood to register their protest against the killings of innocent youth, the local print media cried ‘murder’ on their front pages for a day or two, separatist leaders issued and reissued press statements against the oppression of Kashmiris, some mainstream politicians expressed their sympathy to the bereaved families, the state police registered another FIR against the murderers and yet another enquiry was ordered. How systematic has become the violence perpetuated against Kashmiris; it follows a set pattern. Every Kashmiri has over the years internalized this scheme of things.

Yet another moment of grief for our dynamic Chief Minister; surely he has grieved many times in the past, but it has not reached the tipping point. Surprisingly chief minister’s remarks were bereft of AFSPA rhetoric created by him some years ago. And rightly so. With the boring of yet another hole in the Pirpanjaal, Kashmiri’s oldest party is just to fall in love with Congress for another term of political marriage.

The irony of these tragedies in Kashmir is that such incidents as a matter of routine are lost from the collective memory of the people within no time. A week of normal life activity in valley represses these traumatic events deep into the subconscious rather unconscious alleys of our psyche. This is something that is not deliberate on their part; it’s a reflection of prolonged distress the people have been subjected to, and it’s a normal human tendency to push these pain-evoking events out of their conscious selves.

Secondly in the last more than two decades of death and destruction, Kashmir has failed to evolve an institution that would effectively document these events of human tragedies. Unfortunately, we as a collective entity haven’t attained such a level of consciousness.

What essentially goes in the making of nations is a clear consciousness of its past, institutionalized and preserved, particularly when generations of people have spilled their blood for upholding the ideals of liberty and justice. Whatever way the destiny of the people of the state is going to take and no matter how prolonged the resistance be, the future generations must be taught to live with the memories of their past. And it’s the unbounded responsibility of every conscious Individual of the valley.

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