The use of adjectives like, valley of saints, peer wair, the land of pious etc to describe Kashmir shows how we, as citizens of this beautiful land, take pride in something that has no association whatsoever with reality. How we live in a fool’s paradise!
No doubt, in good old times, some centuries back, there might have lived a race who had actually earned these titles for this land. But it is not us for sure. We, the present generation of Kashmiris, do not deserve anything like that. We are corrupt to the neck. Our only identity; or distinction, is that our faces are smeared with blackness of hatred that we carry in our hearts for our fellow citizens.
We, like a snake in the water, sit quietly and wait for our prey (read fellow citizen or brethren) and attack when he expects it the least. In times of distress, the citizens of so-called valley of saints (pardon me for the overuse of clichés), wait to make fortunes out of another man’s misery.
As Chilla Kalan, the coldest 40 days of winters, were about to end, Kashmir experienced fresh spell of snowfall. As predicted by the metrological department, it lasted more than 24 hours in most parts of the Kashmir, bringing life to a complete halt. It was an unofficial holiday. As inch after inch, snow started to bury roads connecting villages to town, towns to cities, and cities to the rest of the world, this valley of saints turned into monstrous land. Eatables and other essentials vanished from shops like they never existed. Blackmarketers fleeced fellow citizens, mostly poor, who are dependent on their day to day earnings to buy supplies, to fill their coffers. And as it was winters, the same blackmarketer, who had his pocked filled with peoples sweat and blood, was seen resting his back against the mosque hamaam and press for importance of religion in life. It seems we use religion only as a readymade alibi for the sins which we intent to commit, with our eyes and mind open. And on top of all this we still do not acknowledge or accept the element of hypocrisy that has crept in our lives. We still claim to be the chosen ones.
Ironically words like, different, intelligent, culturally and morally strong, religious, pious, racially superior and special etc. echo in almost every conversation that takes place between a native and any foreigner. We take too much pride in our cultural heritage that we forget to look around us and see what we do to our heritage in reality. With our small acts of defiance against laws of humanity we have ceased to feel any pain, hear any cries, see any fault in ourselves or help anyone but ours. All we care about is ourselves.
There were times when so many great people visited our land with new teaching, crafts, wisdom and above all lessons of humanity and humility. But just a look at their relics (shrines) and you will see how we misinterpret words to suit our self interests. Barring a few, all other shrines, with dead rolling in their graves in pain, are plagued by corrupt elites.
Who are we?