The liv­ing mar­tyr of the Hand­wara in­ci­dent

Views from Sri­na­gar

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR - [The writer is a so­cial ac­tivist]

DAR WASIM AYE maele la­gan baye vaan sa­jann/Baye lukh neran pan’nen kaaran/An­maz janaano rowukh che (Again there will be fes­tiv­i­ties/Again mar­kets will bus­tle/Again peo­ple will go about their work/But you never re­turn my dear).

Th­ese words of Bashir Dada are more rel­e­vant in the present at­mos­phere af­ter the Hand­wara car­nage. A few days of hue and cry about the blood­bath at Hand­wara, and ev­ery­thing is back on track ex­cept for those who have lost their dear ones to this hor­rific and bru­tal in­ci­dent. The gov­ern­ment has fi­nally suc­ceeded in an en­forced nor­malcy, yet again. Peo­ple killed, cur­few im­posed, il­le­gal de­ten­tions made and the in­ter­net was snapped to curb the truth. In this pause of killings, which In­dia calls peace, only the fam­i­lies of the mar­tyrs – who laid down their fu­ture and in­vested their blood – are shat­tered. Par­ents live to see the day of suc­cess for their kids, but in this part of the world fa­thers are shoul­der­ing the coffins of their sons and moth­ers are wail­ing for them.

Kash­mir has be­come an in­dus­try of killings and trig­ger-happy forces of In­dia are in ro­mance with it. Loot, rapes, killing, dis­ap­pear­ances and all other doses of tor­ture are a rou­tine here. The beasts in uni­form never fear any ac­count­abil­ity and pun­ish­ment for per­pe­trat­ing th­ese crimes. In­stead, they are re­warded with gal­lantry awards for their abuses. They en­joy the cover of AFSPA and the state help can’t lag be­hind. The mis­treat­ment kicked off in 1947 and still con­tin­ues.

Peo­ple are al­ways fooled in the name of in­quiries and probe com­mit­tees to silent the out­cry. The truth is that none of th­ese probes have found any clo­sure and

Bthe probe or­dered in the Hand­wara car­nage will not be any dif­fer­ent. The in­no­cents are dead and they will re­main so. A few days of out­cry, and peo­ple have for­got­ten ev­ery­thing. Hur­riyat cal­en­dar is over, politi­cians have shed their croc­o­dile tears; ex-gra­tia is an­nounced, a bunker re­moved and the col­lec­tive con­science of peo­ple is set­tled.

Even a huge num­ber of peo­ple at­tended the rally of a politi­cian just where in­no­cent blood was spilled a few days ago. We are the traders of in­no­cent blood and we don’t de­serve what we aim for. We even be­lieved the video of th­ese war crim­i­nals, who mo­lested an in­no­cent girl and then ex­e­cuted a blood­bath. Th­ese su­per­vi­sors of bru­tal­ity gave them­selves a clean chit even be­fore the start of any probe. It was a mo­ti­vated plan to es­cape the truth and cre­ate con­fu­sion in the minds of the peo­ple. This time too they suc­ceeded in by­pass­ing the truth, as usual.

The per­pe­tra­tors take the cus­tody of the girl, shoot her video and it was enough to kill the call for jus­tice. Any right-minded per­son who saw the video can pre­dict that the girl was ei­ther mo­ti­vated or in a state of fear. But our so­cial net­work­ing war­riors, crafted English writ­ing brigade, self-styled an­a­lysts and in­tel­lects blindly be­lieved the video and started mud­sling­ing the char­ac­ter of an in­no­cent and im­ma­ture girl. In this out­rage against the girl we for­got we are sid­ing with the op­pres­sor. They have con­verted this land into a killing in­dus­try. Jus­tice here is only a dis­tinct dream and the in­te­gral part claim is re­tained by mass mur­der­ing.

From Maqbool Bhat to Afzal Guru, Ku­nanPosh­pora to Shopian dou­ble rape and mur­der case, Gaw Kadal to 120 killings of young­sters in 2010, we have seen hor­rific crimes of In­dian forces, and yet we be­lieve the video re­leased by them and han­dover a clean chit to them. Sur­viv­ing decades un­der oc­cu­pa­tion we are yet to un­der­stand the tac­tics and prac­tices of the op­pres­sor. Ev­ery le­gal and il­le­gal end is used to sup­press the truth and kill the pop­u­lar nar­ra­tive by any means. From politi­cians to a lay per­son, ev­ery­body is used to fol­low­ing the dic­tates of his per­sonal mas­ter. First they kill and then they di­vide.

We have ex­pressed much hue and cry over the mar­tyrs who fell to bul­lets while de­mand­ing the hon­our and dig­nity of their sis­ter. But no­body has come for­ward in sup­port of this liv­ing vic­tim. Bar­ring a few peo­ple, ev­ery­body fell into the trap of the per­pe­tra­tors. We have failed the truth even be­fore its ar­rival. It will take time to emerge or never emerge, as truth is the great­est casualty in Kash­mir. The world has be­come a grave­yard for this vic­tim and name-call­ing has be­come a norm since the re­lease of the video. One can only hope that she turns to school.

See­ing this mis­treat­ment of the girl-vic­tim, the mar­tyrs of the in­ci­dent will be cry­ing over our be­hav­ior on the is­sue they laid down their lives for.

We have seen the or­deal of moth­ers who lost their sons, sis­ters who lost their broth­ers, wid­ows who lost their hus­bands and daugh­ters who lost their fa­thers. Put your­self in the place of this girl and feel her pain, how she was vic­timised even af­ter sur­viv­ing that at­tack. If not to­day, then later we will be curs­ing our­selves for not re­al­is­ing the truth on time. —Cour­tesy: Kash­mir Reader

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