Crime and sentiment

Zamir Ahmad

Life seems to have come full circle for the denizens of this God forsaken land. The events of the last week fall into a baffling pattern of excesses, mistrust, mob fury, political theatre and economic standstill. The gory incident in Shopian is not only a dastardly act but a slap on the face of our collective conscience.
Regardless of who the real perpetrators of the crime were, the incident showcases the nadir of amoral abyss our society has plunged into. Walk down the memory lane a bit further, and the scarved countenance of Romana stares us in our face. Both the crimes, for me, are similar in nature even though varying in magnitude.
The uproar over the Shopian incident has, however, shadowed the despair over Romana murder. Is it because the killers in Shopian are yet unknown and the killers of Romana are our very own? Does the identity of the criminal affect the viciousness of the crime? Demanding answers to these questions does not, in any case, border on questioning the string of protests that followed the Shopian incident.
However, the moot point remains. Why did the Shopian incident become a reason for large and violent protests all over the valley while as the Romana murder invited just a few in-house seminars on morality and moral degeneration? This merits a deeper insight into the outburst of protests against the state on the alleged involvement of troopers in heinous double murder of two innocent young girls.
You should be there to see the fury of the mobs. Not against the incident. Not against the troopers alleged of involvement in the unfortunate incident. Not even against the armed forces. But against India’s control over J&K. These protests were not lead by any political leadership – separatist or otherwise (they only rode the wave trying to draw their own mileage), but were spontaneous and bordered on mob fury. One wonders why does not somebody sit up and take notice.
Of the fact that Kashmiris remain vibrantly united in their hatred against New Delhi, political machinations, economic doles, electoral politics, iron-hand policies, blood and gore – nothing seems to work when it comes unequivocal unacceptance of dominance by the Indian state. This is not a law and order situation to be tackled by use of force. It is much deeper than that, reflective, as it is, of the deeper distrust for the Indian state and of the aspirations of the people to breathe in free air.
This has a lesson for all the constituents of the Kashmir dispute. For the Indian establishment and its representatives, the message is loud and clear: The anti India feeling is as strong as ever. It only needs a trigger like the Shopian incident. For the separatist leadership, the message is even more louder: With you, without you, despite you and in spite of you, Kashmir will always crave for the identity of its own.
The incident has a lesson even for people like Sajad Gani lone. That if you are honest in representing the aspirations of masses, you need not get your security deposit forfeited in trying to establish your representative character!

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