The Kashmir

November 24, 2006

What justifies my pain?

A Kashmiri Pandit still wonders:-

What on earth happened overnight in the valley – that the face of my neighbour changed suddenly? Was I in comatose for some unknown period – not to see this coming? Or have I been cheated by the neighbour who had been conspiring for so long, sending his kith-kin across the border to get trained in aiming his gun at me when he returns? And he is today holding me responsible for his agony – for not supporting him in his demands – demands which he was conspiring for behind my back – demands which I don’t agree to at all.

 If his son died in the ambush at the border – his kith are saluting him as a mujahid, a shaheed. He died for some cause – even though I don’t understand what his cause was – nor relate to that cause. But why was my brother killed? He had no demands, no cause, no claims. He didn’t get trained to hurt anyone. He didn’t come to kill or steal anything. 

He eulogized the terrorists; he invited them home and thought they were His messiahs. He made a mistake and pushed my dear valley into a period of war and strife… and where there is war – overt or covert, there will be death, pain, sorrow and agony. But why was this pain and agony in my share – I didn’t invite any terrorist, I didn’t want a war, I didn’t want a messiah… I just wanted to live a simple straight life… a life which my neighbour just high-jacked.   

My kith-kin got killed at hands of terrorists – just because I don’t pray in the same mosque as his, just because I didn’t agree with the cause he was motivated for, just cause I still loved my land and tri-colour. My kith was branded a mukhbir and killed in cold-blood, and he applauded the killer – calling him a Mujahid. Last month, he welcomed and garlanded this killer in those very streets… and yet expects me to empathize with his pain. Did he really ever share my pain? Never, beyond lip-service. If he really had, he wouldn’t have garlanded that black-belt killer…

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