From the day terror arose in Kashmir (from last week or last two decades?) and my social media feed was flooded with news, views, opinions and caricature of what is going on, I had deeply wanted to write this.
But, alas, something stopped me.
I don’t usually like to write on topics that I do not have much education on – So, before jumping the bandwagon, I had to study, read up, and immerse myself into what history tells us about Kashmir. And the more I read, the more confusing it became. Therefore, today, I cannot tell you about what happened historically to have arrived at this junction.
But a day will come, when I have read enough and spoken enough, when I will be able to tell you what I feel about the history of Kashmir.
Now, today, despite a lot of people suggesting me otherwise, I want to tell you what I feel about what is happening in Kashmir now. About a certain someone called Burhan Wani.
Burhan Wani was younger than what I am today. He was apparently the commander-in-general of Kashmiri militant group, Hizbul Mujahideen – Militant, huh? – A militant is someone who employs violent means to support their political or social agendas.
Burhan Wani fled from his home at the age of 15 to join this group – At the impressionable age of 15 – And he was given the “prestigious post” within this organization only because of his fame on social media.
For a moment, I really thought to myself – Could this be a joke?
The Indian Government had a prize of INR 1mil for finding him – His social media pages are plastered with content that encourage the youth of Kashmir to join his group, pictures of him with guns and ammunition and these activities also may have resulted in him recruiting young boys (again, at impressionable ages) to fight his war. He openly claimed to kill and attack the “men in uniform” and asked them to stay out of his way, as he led on his mission to make Kashmir a better place to live in.
Better place to live in, by distracting children from their education and forcing them to join your propaganda, and in turn, getting them killed, ruining their lives and families and conveniently saying that it is for the greater good?
Were you a good person?
Had you been a good person, you would have already used your social media influencer-status that you had, to promote peace. You would have built schools, tended to the old, erected hospitals. You would have been an “influencer” to the readers, showing them with your words and compelling dialogue how peaceful, non-violent aggression can look like.
Instead, you chose to post pictures of yourself in “uniform”, holding rifles and releasing videos of questionable content.
You were killed on 8th of July in an encounter as you tried to kill the “men in uniform” as you had warned previously.
Now, consider this – If someone continuously threatens you, tries to kill you, poison you, bomb you and openly says that his existence is solely to destroy you – What would you do?
You would defend yourself in every possible way.
So, Burhan Wani got killed – (I personally am intolerant towards bloodshed and violence) – But if he openly declared war on the Indian Army and got killed as a result of the war – He does NOT become a martyr.
He did not get killed because of his mission.
He got killed because of his stupidity.
He got killed because the army that he built was weak, and will never stand a chance.
He got killed because he was a terrorist.
What did his “work” in his organization lead to?
Did they get “their” Kashmir?
Did they get jobs? A better economy? Maybe a better house?
A better education? No? Kids are still not going to school?
His organization, that claims to love its people so much, couldn’t even give them a few square meals?
Instead, what they did was what they intended to do.
Business – War is good business.
If this was truly based on passion, then why are these random boys made the face of this organization? Why aren’t the sons of Ali Geelani alongside you, fighting for you, dying for you? Why are they comfortably miles away from Kashmir, doing their business and letting boys like you die for their cause?
This killing (or should I call it a homicide?) resulted in other followers (comprising of impressionably aged adolescents and youth) protested, burnt down police stations, killed some more, got killed in return.
His body was wrapped in the Pakistani Flag and buried – No problem – We get it, you did not belong to India. And I don’t have a problem with that. Pakistan is a great country too, I have lots of great friends from Pakistan and if you wanted to claim allegiance to Pakistan, good on you, mate.
But you failed at what you set out to do.
And so will all the others who follow you.
Yes, I want to hear what Kashmir wants for its own land. Yes, I want to hear what grievances Kashmir has with India. And yes, I want Kashmir to be as pristine and un-maimed as they show in postcards.
But I can’t hear what Kashmir wants for its own land.
Because the bombings and violence that you created in my ears is sort of numbing my aid to hear what Kashmir is saying.
#IStandWithKashmir but also #IStandAgainstTerrorism.