Shams Irfan

What happened on 19th July, 2014 in Qaimoh, Kulgam was painful and criminal. But the way people in Kashmir, especially those seated in Srinagar, reacted was more than painful. It was heartbreaking, to say the least!

Unfortunately, people who are entrusted the job to highlight pain and anger of suppressed Kashmiris are dividing the house!

For them, the value of Suhail Ahmad Lone’s life, who was killed by CRPF during anti-Israel and pro-Gaza protests in Kulgam on Saturday afternoon, is nothing more than a number in the annals of conflict history. He is merely a three paragraph press note; one that will be forgotten as soon as it is written.

My immediate reaction after going through the press releases, which said that only Kulgam should remain shut on the following day (in other words, Suhail was from Kulgam, so they mourn. We don’t bother!), was one of shock and disbelief. How can we be so insensitive towards our own people? Are we against the oppressor or with them, I failed to understand.

The first thing that started ringing in my mind was that we are heading towards a situation where our fallen brethren will be mourned district wise! Then, slowly it will be narrowed to cities, villages, mohallas, lanes, localities and finally to the family who has lost its loved one. Nobody will bother to feel each others’ pain. By this logic, a Kashmiri living in North has no right to share his pain with a guy living in south! Or it should not bother me at all what is happening in Gurez, Uri, Kousar Nag etc because I have never been there, thus none of my concern. Is this what our so-called guardians want to convey? Is this what we have sacrificed our lives for? How will we justify our silence to Suhail’s family who must have waited, and waited eagerly for us to join them in their hour of pain and loss? Are we going to tell them that Kulgam is a far off place so it hardly figures on our priority list? Should we tell his family that it was a weekend so we had things already lined up? He chose a wrong day to die? Or are we going to tell them bluntly that we don’t care! If that is the case then we don’t need ambassadors who play, pause, stop and/or replay our miseries according to their will. All we wanted/want is someone who can stand by us in our hour of grief. Who is not partial or partisan!

Someone who sees no boundaries, and can feel our pain irrespective of our geographical location, background, economic or social status, ideology, proximity, etc. But that seems to be a far-fetched dream, like the dream of fresh and free air.

What is a shepherd without his herd: nothing but a nomad! Then why is the shepherd silent while his herd is being slaughtered?

This silence is criminal to say the least!

(The views expressed in the column are reflect personal opinion of the writer and do not, in any case, reflect the organisation’s state)


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