Kash­mir: An el­egy for a young death

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR - [The writer is a stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Kash­mir]

RAMEEZ BHAT UMAN life is pre­cious and no price can ever com­pen­sate its loss. We lost five more un­armed youths re­cently in Hand­wara and else­where, and trag­i­cally, given the re­al­ity that Kash­mir is a con­flict zone; such killings will be re­peated.

What hap­pens here can’t be ac­tu­ally seen as some­thing ob­vi­ous as there are so many covert in­ter­pre­ta­tions at­tached to ev­ery­thing. But as far as the re­cent in­ci­dent goes, I could barely see any hidden agenda, as the pro­pa­ganda ma­chin­ery of­ten prop­a­gates af­ter ev­ery heinous act, this was very clear.

Nay­eem was a stu­dent dream­ing of be­com­ing a famed crick­eter. He was known as Gavaskar to his par­ents, and AB de Villers to his friends. His ob­ses­sive con­cern was mostly the bat and ball and the playground was his ul­ti­mate des­tiny. But a bul­let pierced his body and tore to pieces his dream of be­com­ing a crick­eter.

Nay­eem did a lot of hard work on his crick­et­ing tech­niques. He al­ways dreamt of play­ing at the in­ter­na­tional level. He would dream not just for him­self but for the peo­ple as well who suf­fered. He was a hope for the peo­ple of Hand­wara.

Nay­eem, the hero of Hand­wara, won a clus­ter of awards at state level cricket com­pe­ti­tions not only for him­self but for the peo­ple of his area. When he used to play, ev­ery­body cheered for him. Now the an­gels might cheer for his clas­si­cal cricket shots. When he would leave home to play cricket, his mother al­ways hugged him fol­lowed by th­ese ten­der words: “Le­jyaa mojj aaz haa eei zeh zenith”.

Now, the same mother is long­ing for his re­turn; but he never will. I am hardly able to con­trol my tears

Hwhen I see his par­ents. They lost not only their crick­eter Nay­eem, it seems they have lost whole world. His mother of­ten chants: “Nay­eem soeba panien mojj kyaze thewthen kuney zyen, che kyaze cholekh mey­nesh doer, ta­laa log­sei bal­ayie pakh jall wein, baa che­sei in­ti­zares. (Beloved Nay­eem, how can you leave me alone. I am wait­ing for your re­turn, come soon I am alone).

The mur­der­ers of Nay­eem’s dream, along with those of his other brethren, are none other than those wear­ing the crown of the world’s largest democ­racy. If you are liv­ing in Kash­mir you can’t think about dream­ing of any­thing.

Nay­eem’s only crime was that he was born in a place where dream­ing of any­thing is a crime.

Kash­mir has seen so much blood­shed that all this seems a rou­tine af­fair, but ac­tu­ally it is not that easy par­tic­u­larly for our fam­i­lies who pin all their hopes on their young chil­dren.

The youth is full of adventure but Kash­miris can’t even af­ford the lux­ury of dream­ing in a place where dreams are killed with bul­lets.

If an armed solider imag­ines the death of his own son by the ap­pli­ca­tion of the same cover of im­punity like AFSPA, then how would his wife, daugh­ter, fam­ily re­act to the mech­a­nism through which ‘jus­tice is served’?

Kash­miris have been fight­ing for their rights from the day when In­dian forces il­le­gally oc­cu­pied this “peer veer”. They had promised us that “we will give you, your right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion”; but one won­ders as to what makes them re­nege on their own prom­ises.

His­tory is wit­ness to the fact that the two na­tions, Pak­istan and In­dia, waged three wars which not only re­sulted in loss of pre­cious lives of their own sol­diers but dealt a blow to th­ese coun­tries in eco­nomic terms.

Same is the case of Jammu & Kash­mir; be­sides los­ing lakhs of peo­ple for our right (from 1947), we have suf­fered on a mul­ti­tude of fronts.

It is time to solve this long pend­ing is­sue, or else this blood­shed will con­tinue to in­un­date our streets. Only blood­thirsty mon­sters can de­rive plea­sure from such blood­shed; never one whose san­ity is in­tact and whose con­science is alive. —Cour­tesy: Kash­mir Reader.

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