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Issue:January' 2018


Who cares for Kashmiris ?

Humra Quraishi

Attack on Kashmiri students F or the last few weeks I have been sitting wondering what happened to P r i m e M i n i s t e r Narendra Modi’s assurances; that he and his government would reach out to the Kashmiris…remember, his speeches where he had spoken of kashmiriyat, insaniyat, jamooriyat, in the context of the Kashmiris living in the Valley.
Where were all those promises and assurances, when, some time back, hundreds of the young and even the not- so - young Kashmiri Muslims were targeted in Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and in several other States of India.

Hounded to such an extent that they had to rush back home; travel back to the Kashmir Valley, from where they had stepped out, to either pursue academics or else to earn a living.

The tragedy for the Kashmiris gets compounded, as even in the Valley the situation has been deteriorating. Leaving the Valley residents apprehensive and unsure of what lies ahead, what with ongoing arrests and detentions? It is a grim situation. On the one hand the Kashmiris are finding the going very tough in their home state and, on the other shifting to other states of the country would be riddled with trauma and tension, in this surcharged atmosphere dripping with the obvious strains of communal poisoning. Today we seem hell bent to sit like mute spectators, seeing the mess getting messier.

After all, in the last over thirty long years we have been witnessing uncontrolled violence and counter- violence in the Kashmir Valley. Kashmiris have been severely affected by the unending killings and counter killings.

Ray of hope

Supreme Court Amidst this grim situation the only little ray of hope stands out in the fact that the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Central government and 11 states, seeking their response on a plea for its intervention to prevent the alleged attacks on Kashmiri students . The notice has been issued to Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).The court said the Union home ministry will issue advisories to all the state governments to ensure the protection of Kashmiris in their respective states. It asked the chiefs of the state police to ensure the safety of Kashmiris.

Cries for survival

Today’s rulers of the country ought to look around at the sorrows spreading out in their constituencies. But amidst all these war cries, sabotaged are the cries for the survival of the masses. Ground realities are turning harsher and dismal even as electioneering turns aggressive and fiercer; and with that announcements of all possible packages!
I sit wondering why is it that only and only as elections near that the politician takes charge and with that begins to woo the very masses who have continued to sit neglected and ‘forgotten’ all through the five years. Why is that only now, at the fag end, that all too sudden concern for the common man comes up in that absolutely publicity- dripping way…after all, all this electioneering reeking of sheer opportunism?

Why only now, that these lofty announcements come from lofty public platforms and forums? Will these promises get executed in time or remain as mere promises? Will they actually reach the common man or remain jotted in a cluster of files? Will there be any dissenting or rebellious voice if these promises and assurances turn hollow? Why is it that there’s building up an atmosphere where that basic right to even question or query is getting demolished by the day?

Why is it that though the politician continues to hoodwink but can’t be touched or even made to stand in the dock?

The entire political atmosphere is reeking of political opportunism and much more, along the strain of uncertainty and chaos. In those yesteryears when political leaders came up with their speeches, the masses believed them and there wasn’t a moment of disbelief in whatever they held out. Their words were taken with much seriousness; simply because their words seemed to be spoken with earnestness and as though coming from the heart or soul.

Dying Emotions

Kaifi Azmi How I wish that as the general elections near, poetic verse overtakes all possible speeches, to not just provoke us towards seeing and sensing the reality of the day but also to awaken our dying emotions, nudge us towards marching ahead, not just towards the polling booths but also towards questioning and counter- questioning the rulers of the day.
During those dark phases in the history of the country, it’s the rebel poets and writers who led the protest meets and marches…Where are the rebel poets and writers of the day who should be seen marching ahead along with the masses?

Leaving you with this verse of Kaifi Azmi

“How long will I live this oppressed death -like existence

The times are about to change My blood boils, my brow is sweaty, My pulse pounds, my chest is fiery Roar O Revolution, for I am ready.”

And these lines of Faiz Ahmad Faiz-

“Not enough to shed tears, to suffer anguish

Not enough to nurse love in secret Today, walk in the public square fettered in chains.”

And this verse of Sahir Ludhianvi- “That morning, when the veil of night will slip away from the head of these dark centuries

When the clouds of suffering melt, when the wine- glass of happiness sparkles

When the sky dances joyously and the earth sings songs of delight Surely, that morning will dawn someday.”

Also, Sahir’s this particular verse- “If there is a reason for my angry songs, it is this

That when I see the hungry farmers The poor, the oppressed, the destitute, the helpless

My heart cannot participate in assemblies of pleasure

Even if I wish, I cannot write dreamy songs of love.”