Azadi Can Wait!

Mantasha Bint Rashid

My generation is full of envy whenever our parental generation mentions how they would throng theatres like Broadway and Regal, how they would go in Dungas to Char Chinari and Roap la’nk, how, as kids, they would wait eagerly for the walnuts on Hehrath (Mahashivratri).

It all seems like a fairy tale to us. We grew up in the armed conflict, we ran breathless in chagg, we woke up to ransacked houses in crackdowns and we peeped through crevices to see shinakhati parades. We grew up wiping the tears of our mothers waiting for us to return from school, if it took a little more than usual. We woke up in nights to hug our siblings, all sweat and shiver. We have seen blood and corpses, heard grenades and mines, lived our childhood, adolescence and now youth, in conflict.

When my friends from anywhere in India gasp on seeing the lakes and mountains of Kashmir and exclaim how lucky I was to be born here, I smirk. They can’t understand what we survived. With political nuances occupying front seat in the whole of subcontinent, I keep wondering what about the social and mental health of the conflict torn society and the people who grew up in this conflict?

As I write this, a sonic boom made me and everyone around jump out of our skin. Precisely this is one of the small effects of the loud sounds which makes us connect even fireworks to something obnoxious and leaves us pale.

A study conducted at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science shows that 55 percent of the valley’s population suffers from one or the other mental illness. The consumptions of de-stressing drugs is alarmingly high and medically prescribed drugs are widely abused too. The lone hospital which caters to mental ailments where 800 patients reported annually in 1980’s now caters to 80,000 patients every year!

What disturbs me most as a child of conflict is the stigma we attach to the people who visit this hospital. Already victimised, they are faced with difficulty in getting jobs, in getting married. How do we know that we are not facing any disorder in our thought process or emotional health? That 55 percent could comprise of you and me. And this discrimination is unpardonable.

Now with a relative calm in conflict, we are left with post conflict scars. And as we try to discover these harms and losses, we are faced with a situation where we are not allowed to even carry daily routine. Our schooling is getting affected, Patients don’t reach hospitals. Daily wagers don’t earn their two square meals. A common man whose back is already broken by two decades of conflict is being pushed to the wall with a series of mindless calendars and hartals? We, as people, who are already so helpless should ask those who claim to represent us as to what has thousands of lost lives achieved? As if that wasn’t enough, we are now punishing the living too. We have suffered enough. Let that false calm prevail at least which the world perceives as “peace”. That is any day better than being caged like wild animals.

Let us come to terms with the loss caused in two decades already. Let us devise ways to adjust and accept. Politics can wait. Even Azadi can wait. Please, let us live.

(The opinion of the writer is personal and has nothing to do with the institution she works for.)



    • Brave!!!! My arse! You don’t need to be brave to put forward pro state and anti resistance ‘viewpoint’. There are ‘braver’ guys and gals out there subscribing and propagating state narrative day in and day out!!

  1. People who are seeking freedom for themselves should accept the fundamental principle that every other person also has rights to her or his freedom of speaking or writing what he or she thinks is all right. permit space for others before you seek it for yourself. that is the idea of democracy.

  2. Dear all and Kashmir Life admin…if everybody is entitled to put forward his/her opinion then how come first comment kept appearing, disappearing, then again appear (with modifications) and then finally disappear all together…why only pro Kashmir Life comments get published?

  3. People who are least affected by conflict, i mean direct effect here, boast about laying thousands of lives and continue with the struggle. we living in our comfortable rooms can never understand what it means for a father to lose his son or what it means for a daily wager to lose his one day living. These ideals of democracy and azadi dont apply for a common man.

    We all need to understand that these hartals and stone pelting is affecting no one but US. We are helping India achieve their objective – make us dependent on them for every single thing. That’s what they want and we leave no stone unturned to help them in this.

  4. I read all comments,finally i got a clue from your comments that we must forget past,we must forget the 1 lakh sacrifices given by by our youths,we must forget the atocraties done to us by so called democratic institution,Can anyone think for 5 minutes that is it possible ?

    • My humble request to this woman is, kindly come to my house and explain this to my ami who has lost a son!!! probably she will understand your Azadi can wait idea!!

      i am being too critical and judgemental. But like the way you dont care for us we also give two hoots!!!

  5. So a babu woman wants us to forget everything! And why wouldn’t she?! After all she has to prove hersrlf to be loyal to the establishment. Listen Miss, I am a sufferer of this occupation which you conveniently call conflict. I have suffered at the hands of the system you represnt. I continue to suffer at the hands of the oppressive, immoral and illegal system you chose to be part of. Tomorrow you may sign my PSA.But I will tell you, you don’t reoresent my point of view vis a vis the colonization and its fall out on the colonized which you seek to atrribute to the resistance! Pity your servile and jaundiced views!


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