Lest we forget!

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Arshid Malik

Forgotten? No, we never do forget:
We let the years go; wash them clean with tears,
Leave them to bleach out in the open day,
Or lock them careful by, like dead friends’ clothes,
Till we shall dare unfold them without pain,–
But we forget not, never can forget.
– Dinah Maria Mulock, A Flower of a Day.

Marking a sudden departure from the traditional core of the battle against oppression which lasted a good two decades here, people of Kashmir decided to develop a nuance for peaceful means of protest. But the whole picture was painted red by the offensive of a “so-called” democratic government.

The argument that the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir used to justify the ferocious onslaught on the “epic” story of the past five months of peaceful protests in Kashmir never amounted to more than dyeing the affair “morbidly violent”. The establishment, seemingly, was pulling fleecy wool over its own eyes the whole time.

 Now the Chief Minister has come around with a statement that seemingly aims at deriving credit off a dissenting movement of the people. One would not be exactly “lightening struck” to find the National Conference charting in the course of the current people’s agitation into its party manifesto. Well, the point is that all politics is pointless when it comes to the true and rightful welfare of the common people.

We, the people of Kashmir, should be very wary of the fact that we cannot let the sacrifices of our people be interjected or “pirated” into political rhetoric.

Eid-ul-Adha, the day we remember the spirit of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and how he was willing to sacrifice the person he loved the most, because it was Allah’s (SWT) command, is just round the corner. We will celebrate on this auspicious day but let us remember to not forget all those who have been martyred during the past five months. Our long drawn agitation has cost us dearly. We have suffered all along, all of us. If we discard the temperament that we carried along during the past five months then we are discarding the ideals we have vowed to stand by.

And certainly our grief and anguish is heightened by the tens of thousands of people who have left us in the past two and a half decades. We must also desist from making choices that are “ill-founded”. We have lost many men, women and children in the fight against oppression and there is no one who can tell which deaths were the most rewarding except Allah (SWT). We would be dubbed treacherous by those, seemingly infinite number, of souls who chose the honour of righteousness over everything else.

We, the people of Kashmir, standing erect in the shades of the sun or lying beneath the ever good earth, count as one, and that we ought to remember.

Frugality is one virtue we should adopt yet we shy away from it and I fail to understand why? We have suffered long and lost our loved ones to the heinous “war crimes” of an atrocious other. Beyond everything we should stand humbled. Let us remember the times that shall come, rest on the fine pillars of the times that have passed by. If we dishonour our past we recklessly dissipate our present.

About Author

A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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