Kashmir: where only the pigeons are free!

Dibyesh Anand

Can those who have not lived a curfewed existence and suffered occupation ever understand the banality of humiliation, the psychology of occupation, the feelings of living under siege, the frustrations, the anger, the desires, the helplessness?

I certainly do not understand. I cannot even comprehend. My words fail me.

For instance, a young Kashmiri friend I am fond of and care for writes to me today morning: “And dearest brother, as usual, again we are under siege. Cops are sitting near my gate.”

[Picture courtesy: the Hindu]
[Picture courtesy: the Hindu]
Me (in my utter ignorance you see) writes:

“Tell me something – and i say with total ignorance and stupidity – can you even go out to speak to them on the gate? i mean speak normal things like where are they from, do they like their job, does it not make them regret ever, what else he could have done, etc? i mean seek to humanise him?

I am always puzzled by what goes in their minds.
and in the process maybe such interaction would make them also hesistate before they shoot bullets?
of course only if he will not beat you to pulp in the first instance.”

The reply comes:

“Brother! To have a word is a far thing, i swear the moment i opened my gate on the contrary they will begin to abuse. But honestly speaking some are very good persons,they respect and always talk in a decent way but it happens in rare of rarer case.”

What could i say except “Please be safe”. Saying “I am with you” would be a mockery for I am not with him, i am free, I am safe. I can only worry for him and people like him. I can only be ashamed that those who kill and torture are mostly like me.

It is such young men and women with future ahead of them that mostly get killed, shot, brutalised, beaten up, curfewed. Why don’t the apologists for Indian nation state go and live with Kashmiri Muslims for a month? No, not in the tourist enclaves, but lead a life with ordinary Kashmiri family and see how their Indian nation state looks like from the other side?

 

 

 

 

 

[Picture from the Hindu]
  • Impi

    As someone who led a similar life as a child in Punjab with the threat coming from Terrorists instead of the army, I sympathize with your friend. Both him and I were considered ‘others’ in our own country. Kashmir is, of course, much more complex than Punjab. But please remember, there are two sides to every conflict and each side gets the upper hand in turn, never simultaneously.