Covering Kashmir Up

Arshid Malik

Kashmiri people have been betrayed once again; they have been left helpless at the mercy of the political winds, while the establishment spins off one disjointed and uprooted contraption of hate after another. Belongingness is a distant dream and democracy is a farce for the hapless Kashmiri people. They are not up in arms to have “invited” such a lethal charade. Armed with slogans and stones, these people are out only expressing their opinion. Shot at, brutalized, beaten up and sometimes even scandalized, these are the very people who like every other person on the face of the planet earth have not forgotten that they were born to live freely and prosper however hard the establishment attempts to annihilate their dream – the universal dream of a better life. The common Kashmiri is agitated by the wrath that has been unleashed down upon him and by all fair reasons why not? We are a thinking lot of people and would not at any cost abandon reason.

Whatever has happened inside Kashmir in the past few months has left the Kashmiri psyche deeply hurt and maimed. If we were to look at the casualties the numbers might not be stirring enough to evoke a global outcry but the fact is that it is not the only thing one should be looking at. There are deep, gaping wounds on every heart and hearth. One bullet shot at common, unarmed people may bring down just one person but it hurts thousands of them.

One Kashmiri son dead opens a new chapter of revulsion, fear and forced antagonism. One mother weeping by the hearth leaves the whole nation crying. The use of brutal force and lethal “mob control measures” against people out protesting against or demanding something has woven a thread across the heart and soul of Kashmiris and has turned them immune to something so eventual and categorical as death.

You could always put this question to every rational mind, why do you stand in the way of bullets when you know for certain that all it can bring in is violent death? And the answer, I am sure would be because I am so deeply hurt and agitated that life does not make sense anymore. The establishment by resorting to senseless and inhuman force has only demonized itself. Today, in the face of everything that has taken place, all the young boys who have been murdered, a singular enemy has emerged painted red and white with background hues of tricolour. Not even a single identifiable humane gesture has been extended to the people. They are left to die and die again.

Here the national media, electronic as well as print is to be blamed, which has attached itself to a sensualist and sensational agenda covering only the sun spots of what is happening within Kashmir without caring to attend to the damages done at the psychological and social levels. No one has reported how a common, daily wage earning, Kashmiri lights up his or her hearth if at all. No one has followed up on a mother who lost her only son to military might.

No one has talked about the father who lost his yet-to-be-born child to a strict – bordering on inhuman – curfew regime. No one has talked about Kashmiri people beyond TRP ratings. If this is the Fourth Estate, I have no grudges against the other three.


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