by Tahir Bhat
SRINAGAR: This winter will not go into history as the coldest in recent history. It will also be remembered for the novel initiatives by individuals to ensure that the not-so-privileged people should not suffer for want of warmth. They created systems and, the walls of kindness to see the haves’ donated for the have-nots.
This wall of kindness, as a concept, however, landed in controversy. It chose an interesting time – the visit of a major delegation of the diplomats to Kashmir and Jammu.
The newsbreak came from Safia Abdullah Khan, the daughter of Dr Farooq Abdullah, Jammu and Kashmir’s five-time Chief Minister. “This has sprung up overnight on Gupkar Road. Perhaps it’s to offer warm clothes to the EU delegation?” she wrote on Twitter.
Moments later, Sheikh Aadil, a DySP of Jammu and Kashmir Police responded to her: “Ma’am plz update it, I have got nothing to do with it. And they have corrected it now.” Aadil has been part of the warmth movement in Kashmir and has been erected such walls in the city.
Ms Khan did corrective tweet: “I have now come to know that the Indian Army is responsible for the Wall of Kindness on Gupkar Road.”
The issue is settled. But the questions have sprung up. Does Gupkar, Kashmir’s power street, where the bourgeoisie live, require a ‘wall of kindness? If it does, why it sprung up on the eve of envoys visit who will be using this road more often than even the Abdullah for today and tomorrow? The good-intentioned initiative should have emerged with Kashmir was fighting a sub-zero temperature and not in February when the weather has hugely improved.
The Wall of Kindness is a non-local concept of simple charity in which the people have spare clothing put it at designated places so that those who are in requirement come and take the same. No questions asked and no interventions required.