Anger Management

In a place like Kashmir where atrocities at the hands of men in uniform have become order of the day, one expects ordinary people to show sympathy towards fellow citizens. But as it turns out prolonged conflict hardens people beyond repair and makes them immune to wails of their comrades.

In last two and half decades of conflict where Kashmiris were exposed to heart wrenching stories of brutality and gore, the fabric of tolerance and humanity eroded fast. People have become less sensitive towards each other. Things which previously were sorted out over a cup of pink tea now end up in street fights often involving a large number of people.

One psychologist attributed this short-tempered nature of Kashmiris to the ongoing conflict where people have lost their basic right of dissent or protest. There is no way left to take out the brewing anger. A person who gets thrashed at the hands of men in uniform ends up taking out his anger at his family or friends. There is no way one can voice his anger against state as repercussions are often brutal. This helplessness has left Kashmiris brewing with anger. And this anger needs a way out. So this anger that every Kashmir carries within himself comes out at odd places and often on unrelated victims. This rage is visible when we drive on the roads. Or when we deal with lesser fortunate souls whom we know are not capable of hurting us physically unlike men enjoying impunity.

Recently a video surfaced on social media sites showing a teacher torturing one of his hapless pupils. The video showed the teacher laughing merrily while the poor chap cried his lungs out. As the video went viral social networking sites flooded with angry users venting their anger against the heartless teacher. How anybody could enjoy someone’s pain?  This question baffled netizens who demanded nothing less than teachers head. But if we care to look deep inside, how many times we have silently enjoyed someone else’s pain!

How many times we have remained silent when tragedy knocked at our neighbour’s door? But then one cannot justify teacher’s action. And one cannot neglect that idea of enjoying someone else’s pain that Kashmiris have inherited from their oppressors.

The day we start feeling for others and learn to take out our anger at the right time, for the right purpose, Kashmir will be a better place. And nobody will enjoy a kid’s wails!

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