Heads and Tails

S. Rehman

When people voted for administrative issues and the government acknowledged its wafer wide role splitting the political and administrative issues, a hope to transcend the peripheries of apathy that this forlorn piece of land faced for twenty odd years was generated all across the hearts of people.

Despite ‘summer uprisings’ in the subsequent years, the hope of change in the day to day matters remained alive, people flocked to tender their support in this cause during the Panchayat elections. This unprecedented display of the prospects of change was unexpected given the gloomy political scenario prevalent in the valley at that point in time. The expectations to have better electricity, cooking gas, roads, bridges and the things that matter in everyday life did not crash even after the blood of 100 odd lives spattered all across the streets.

Kashmir has always witnessed a surge in emotions against the authorities when it is confronted with the lack of concern and when it is deprived of the basic amenities. Electricity has always triggered big protests since lack of it becomes the reason for masses to assemble in the streets, gives a flip to the ‘sloganeering’ which eventually binds the political issues to it, unceremoniously spins to the ‘stone throwing’ old custom of youth to whatever they deem belongs to government. And it ends up in routine trajectory of teargas shells and ‘below the waistline’ bullets which kill the children of no less than ‘6 feet’ height. Then it spirals to other areas setting off the vicious cycle of violence and the issue of electricity is forgotten.

News channels blast the screens with the political ramifications of Kashmir, dissect the issue to every murky corner and the great minds accuse the Kashmiri psyche, their allegiance to Pakistan, violence and the alienation of their heart to India and its democratic face. Nobody talks of the plunder of resources, discrimination, the condition of people in the harsh winter without basic amenities and the means of alienation adopted by the clone of East India Company. ‘Boniyar case’, is not the first of its kind. Killing a person without a rhyme or reason is not the first time this valley has witnessed. This time though, the kings did not want to start the year with ‘red blood’ that could spill all through the months of 2012.

To shift the nomenclature of this ‘electricity protest’ into the ‘war against India’ to save the ‘forces’ who fired brutally on the protesters of electricity would not have taken much had it not been the fear of pushing this case on the pattern of ‘Tufail Matoo’ case which enveloped that whole year into the head splitting ache to the government. AFSPA, cannot be hence revoked. The invitation to the death angel is to be justified by whatever means and ways. If you cannot flip the coin to your advantage, change the faces of the coin to your advantage is philosophy that has been embarked upon. Be it ‘head’ or ‘tail’, the blood of Kashmir is destined to color the dark hands that only perceive the methods of holding the hand forcibly and rule to either choke or kill.

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