by Basharat Ali,
Congratulations to you on your Country’s Republic day. I can see it is a great feeling. I can see the fruits of your freedom. May I too feel and havethem one day.
I thought changing my profile pictureto something black would not serve any purpose, better I should write to you.
I write to you from a …part of the world begrudgingly cobbled to your map; the one that you call your crown, your integral part. I write to you from the beautiful Mughal gardens and bloodied Apple orchards.I write to you from the posh Gupkar roads and deserted Old Town streets. I write to you from the silent streamsof Shopian and the doomed village of Poshpora. I write to you from the shade of every Chinar and the rear of every Poplar. I write to you from the cold kitchen of my widowed aunt and empty bedroom of my orphaned cousin.
I have written to you profusely for the last two decades, since you arrived like an unsolicited guest and settled in every part of this paradise — turning the land of dervishes into agarrison.
Whenever I move out I find more of your men and less of my own. My paradise is ruining fast and turning into a police state with fewer gardens and more camps, less flowers and more guns, less candies and more bullets, less candles and more tear-gas shells, less water and more blood. In my homeland, you question me, stop me, slap me, humiliate me and kill me. I’m helpless, I can’t do anything. I’ve no gun in my hand. In my land you live with impunity. You can kill me and get away scot free. I can’t throw a stone in reply to your blood thirsty bullet. I’m sentenced for two years imprisonment, to say the least. You have all the legal covers to be back to your
guarded camp but my chances are uncertain to make it back by evening.For all these years your country tried everything to purchase and suppress me. It used lots of money and loads of violence to crush my voice. But it could not buy and suppress my yearning for freedom.
You raped my sister in the broad day light, paraded my father naked in the chilling winter, took away my brother and buried him in a namelessgrave but I still address you as brother. I’ve no enmity against you. I’m not for war but peace.
My Valley has witnessed the rise and fall of Kingdoms. It has laughed, it has wept and it has mourned. It has flourished and it has suffered; centuryafter century. It has been a host, and it has been a victim. The history of my valley is colorful—–re d. Walk through its pages and you will be face to face with aristocracy, slavery, deception, conspiracies, struggles, resistance and genocides.
Your country is, as you propagate, thelargest democracy in the world. I don’t really believe it is. I have all the reasons to challenge and contest yourclaims in any court of justice. Your own people doubt your democratic pretensions. Take the case of Salman Rushdie and M F Hussain as instances. Here in Kashmir your democracy pales into insignificance.
You call us the integral part your country. But is this what you do with your integral part:
In Kashmir we have 250,000 displaced, 70,000 people dead and 8, 000 enforced disappearance, more than 60,000 youth are grappling withdrug addiction. We have widows, halfwidows and orphans.
I want to tell your country: Holding regular elections does not prove you own Kashmir. Sending funds and setting up developmental projects does not win you a place here. You have failed and continue to fail. Your words challenge your actions. Your policies are against our will. You are the reason my land is awash in weapons and sliding into chaos. You have used your institutions to oppress and suppress legitimate demands of Kashmiri people. Over the years our beautiful valley has turned into a mental asylum. Our leaders have over time become you. Our intellectuals have been persuadedto speak your repressive language.
Half a million of your men patrol through my villages with the latest weapons of warfare. Some of your men along with their families come here in different.
Publish Date: 26-01-13 12:59 PM
by Basharat Ali,