(By Abdul Majid Zargar)
Kashmir’s tryst with peace has proved short lived yet again , thanks to the vacuous & barbaric killing of two young men Meraj-ud-Din Dar and Faisal Yusuf . As if the recent floods were not sufficient to devastate Kashmiris physically, emotionally & economically, the killing was thought necessary to notify them that besides God there is also a demon on earth to batter them.
According to Army’s official version, the men travelling in a car did not stop on being signalled to do so and hence were fired upon resulting in instantaneous killing of two young men & critical injuries to two other young boys. While acknowledging the incident as a case of mistaken identity, it has provided no answers to questions as to why bullets were not used to deflate the car tyres instead of being pumped on inmates or for that matter why the massive security presence in the area and vast communication network available with them was not used to catch them alive? It’s expression of regret over the loss of innocent lives is merely an attempt to cool down immediate tempers. The callousness of our chief Minster can be gauged from his statement terming the killings as “avoidable”. He seems to have lost even the sense of describing an unfortunate incident.
Kashmiri Muslims have been mauled, cleaved and dehumanised by a system in which only the writ of security forces work. These trigger happy forces have the unfailing habit of creating reasons for mass disruption at regular intervals just to remind the natives that they are here and you cannot live in peace unless & until you are fully & truly subjugated. A bereft political leadership at the centre and a state leadership playing a mercenary role for them has neither the desire nor the will to investigate at the macro level the reasons behind the recurring episodes of mindless killings by the various wings of the police and the military, which by their regularity and timing must certainly be significantly more than the aberrations they are made out to be. We need to ponder over the question -whether the current killing of two young boys is a stage-managed military-politico operation to raise our anger level to a point of total & massive boycott of forthcoming elections which at present suits the ruling junta at the centre ?
After all there is a widespread belief that a military-politico operation in the form of massive firing at LOC was also a stage-managed event used to enhance the electoral fortunes of BJP in Mahrashtra & Haryana. Credence to that belief is lent by the sudden stoppage of firing after the elections were over and the rich electoral dividends it reaped in both these states compared to earlier reversals in Uttrakhand, Bihar, UP & Rajashtan etc. by-polls.
We are told that an enquiry has been ordered into the gruesome incident. We have also been assured that the enquiry this time will be fair, transparent & meaningful. But Kashmiris wonder that whether such assurances have any meaning in view of the past record of both the state & central Govt. Even where security forces have been held guilty of cold blooded murder, by none other than New-Delhi’s own premium investigating agency CBI, in Pathribal fake encounter case, the highest judiciary has come to its rescue & provided it a safe passage. After all national interest weighs more than the lives of ordinary kashmiri Muslims in the scale held by blindfolded statue of Justice installed in Indian courts. Pathribal is only one instance & scores of such instances can be quoted to prove that Justice in Kashmir is and has always been, subservient to national interest of retaining Kashmir’s land mass with or without its masses.
About the reporting of this unfortunate incident by National media, less said the better. While most of the media, both print & electronic, by & large, ignored the incident, Times of India, a national daily of repute, reported that two “soldiers” were killed by “terrorists”. The news went viral on Social media inviting sharp comments by many that it is the only correct & truthful reporting. I take pity on reporting standards of this giant media house, incidentally a co-sponsor of “Aman ki Asha” along with another media house of Pakistan.
Great nations never try to correct the history, but only learn from it. India is doing exactly the opposite in Kashmir. Without learning anything from what Pandith Kalhana has said that Kashmiris may be conquered by love but cannot be suppressed by force, it is trying to re-write and change the Kashmir discourse through military pen & ink. A crass & compliant media is helping it to advance that false discourse. It needs to be reminded that greater the injustice, ferocious is the resistance. A physical act of resistance may be temporarily foiled, but the spirit behind it cannot be so easily subdued.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at firstname.lastname@example.org)