As I prepared for my travel back to Dubai after my vacation in Mumbai, I sat down to read the newspapers. The mention of Jammu and Kashmir in the news did not surprise me, for that was an everyday thing. But what the mention was about, surely did blow my mind for sometime. It was etched on my mind, to the extent that even after 3 days, I sit here now at my desk writing about the news.
The newspapers screamed,
-The Indian Express
My eyes gaped in awe, as I read the details of this young man. Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the 22 year old, top Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed in an encounter on Friday, 8th July 2016. Born into a wealthy family, and the son of a school Principal, Burhan represented the disturbing profile of young, educated local boys taking up arms. He was a tech-savvy young man. Given the opportunity at the right time, he might as well have used his talent and skills to a better use. Perhaps, his good looks would earn him some credit too. But too sad, he ended up in that kind of an extreme organization, dying in those circumstances. Couldn’t this whole sad story be evaded?This young man joined the Hizbul Mujahideen when he was only 15. Why? To take revenge from the army, that later killed his brother, Khalid in 2010.
- As the news of Burhan’s encounter spread like wild fire, it triggered widespread protests by the crowds.
- Continuous clashes between the civilians and the police forces have led to additional damages to property and life… bringing the death toll to 22 and injured at 250 (and both still counting).
- The curfew is still operational in the Valley, for the 4th consecutive day.
- Amarnath Yatra (Hindu pilgrimage) got postponed.
- Phone and internet connections have since been suspended. Roads are blocked. All forms of transport halted.
- With occasions like Ramadan and Eid on time, these are the disappointing circumstances in Kashmir.
So what really do we learn of it? What comes out of this whole episode?
A Civilian’s take on this:
The Kashmiris refuse to believe in the Indian justice. We are so bogged down by the atrocities of certain forces and politicians that we just want to take law in our hands and offer our own justice. We don’t consider what is legally right or wrong, what is ethically right or wrong; we create our own legality, our own ethics. We give in to the pressure, and resort to extremist ways to agitate and retaliate against the forces that seem to oppress us. We don’t need the army, the CRPF, the regional police, or any government based force. We will snatch what is ours. We have been wronged, we have been wronged time and again. We still are being targeted and made the scapegoat while the higher authorities are least concerned. As a consequence, we start doing what’s wrong in practical as well as religious sense and we don’t want to understand. You have no right to judge us without knowing how it feels to have our loved ones slashed every other day, having our resources exploited, our peace disrupted. We were once residing in the land of love and beauty, that has now been reduced to a mere battleground. Yeah. That’s what we are, now.
The Forces’ take on this:
We follow what we are asked to do. There are some of us who are in sympathy with the civilians and their emotional wreck. But we are ordered to overlook certain things, and give importance to some others. If some of us unexpectedly take the side of civilians, then we are deemed supporters of humanity but traitors to our homeland. What choice do we have? We agree, in the past a lot of unfair practices were undertaken by some of our formal predecessors, there was cruelty around and much of violent methods used. As a result of that, there is a terrible impression about the police, the army and other forces in the minds of the civilians. They have over time developed strong hatred against the Forces as a whole… even those who try to help them. When they pelt stones at us, hurl abuses, injure/kill our men, push us out- all just by seeing the tag of Indian Force on our uniforms, then what choice do we have, other than backfiring? In the eyes of law, they then become criminals and we predominantly are ordered to take strict action against any criminal. We don’t hate the civilians, but situations leave us little choice. We injure our own brothers of our land. Yeah. That’s what we do, now.
Neither of them is on the winning end… Both are like the pawns working on the hands of high-end people who are making choices and taking decisions based on their own concerns, interests and benefits. The forces as well as the civilians, both are on the losing end, with the stability of the Valley being at stake. This needs to stop, the situation there is in dire need of action. The Valley is in dire need of help.
Have a look at these pictures below-
The injuries of those 250 people could have been prevented, the death of those 22 people could have been prevented, the death of Khalid could have been prevented, the entry of Burhan into the Hizbul Mujahideen could have been prevented.
The death of young Burhan could have been prevented.
If and only if, both sides of the warring clans would be willing to sit down and discuss, to understand, give a word on mutual understanding and betterment, and stand firm on their respective word. If the public believes in the army, and the army too maintains its trust and protects it instead of being a reason for their death, then there is a fair chance that the situation would get better. The Valley wouldn’t need any external help, any separatist leaders or any boastful politicians anymore.