In the Midst of a Lie called Journalism

The problem of a sponsored media has always been the central problem of occupation. The elitist journalists use false narratives to build a name for themselves burying a just cause under the debris of narcissism. The elitist journalists can never protect an occupied populace from the propaganda of the political class. In situations like this, our foremost duty is to tell to truth, not only to ourselves or our people, but also to those who blatantly lie. We must all be capable of spitting it on the faces of these arrogant and politically neutralized beings.

In her recent piece for The Washington Post, Indian journalist Barkha Dutt claimed that “the recent terror attack on Hindu pilgrims could change everything for Kashmir”. She also said that the attack had brought Kashmir’s “27-year-old insurgency” to critical crossroads. There are some stark realities in the statement which cannot be denied. The recent attack alone should not wake us up, but the post 9/11 realities and global shifts of politics cannot be overlooked too. In a world marred by wars and dangerous diplomacies, opportunistic policies of nation-states are never there to resolve longstanding disputes. Their businesses are running as long as the disputes remain unresolved. 

However, the arguments she raises further in her piece are unfounded and have been written in a manner of looking down on the people of Kashmir intellectually. She pretends to be the messiah of people (I don’t know whose) while writing narratives that build up the current Hindutva myth. These lies destroy every credibility she may have with the people. This is not a curious Barkha Dutt case. Many Indian journalists and “Kashmir experts” have a habit of glorifying their political setup and aggressive policies in Kashmir because they cannot survive without appeasing their masters. Perhaps, they will get jobless if peace returns, who knows!

She asks, “In the land of Mahatma Gandhi, why is there not one non-violent icon in the valley?” She has forgotten the dialogue offered by Yasin Malik to the government of India. What happened to JKLF in 1994 must serve as a reminder to all the peace loving people. They were backstabbed and ignored by the Government of India and its consequences are well in front of us. In 1996, the Jammu and Kashmir government set up the State Autonomy Committee and recommended the restoration of autonomy in 1999, the NDA government rejected the resolution passed by the J&K assembly. Dr Farooq Abdullah was not trusted. Even the People’s Democratic Party was formed just days after the Kargil War had ended. Although it had been an old dream of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, it was formed to bring peace between India and Pakistan at that point of time. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is called a moderate in Delhi, in fact. Advocate Jalil Andrabi was killed by Army for his zeal to bring peace in Kashmir. We have the father of Tufail Mattoo, who has has shown exemplary valour and his fight against the state apparatus is an inspiration to all of us. Therefore, there is no dearth of non-violent icons in Kashmir, but the truth is that they are not recognized.

She mentions Irom Sharmila and tells people of Kashmir to get inspired from her. No doubt Irom Sharmila is an inspiration for the whole human race, but exactly like the Indian state, she did not recognize Parveena Ahanger, the Iron Lady of Kashmir. After the disappearance of her son during 90s, she championed the cause of all those subjected to enforced disappearance. She was nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize for Peace in the year 2005 but she never got any recognition from the state. Do you expect dialogues to happen in the atmosphere of arrogance? People deserve justice, equality and freedom while activists are busy proving their worth.

‘Militants’ of Kashmir have no role in India and there is no point of their want to start communal riots in India. Communal riots in India are as old as the partition of India. This rhetoric of linking Kashmir to Muslims of India is an irrational one. MJ Akbar also said last year that giving up Kashmir was surrendering Muslims’ rights which is baseless from the face of it. Linking ‘Muslim’ to Kashmir does not help because Kashmir issue is not the issue of religion and the question of Indian Muslims is distinct from that of Kashmiris. It is due to their will that Indian Muslims form an absolute part of India and the fact is quite undeniable.

Our hearts bleed when a protestor or a policeman is killed in the streets of Kashmir but the selective sermonising over human losses does a lot of disservice to the values we respect and observe as humans. The soldier, the policeman, the civilian, the militant, all belong to the category of humans and they all deserve to live. While pursuing our agenda, we attack the consequences, not the root cause. While a group of families of Kashmiri young men killed in protests in 2010 and 2016 were planning to gather at Lal Chowk to condemn the attack on Yatris, Farooq Ahmad, Wamiq’s (a young boy killed in 2010) father was quoted as saying, “I can feel the pain of the families of every killed yatri. I have been living with this pain for the past many years.” He also said, “There was no condemnation from the people of India.”(Muzamil Mattoo, Kashmir Reader, July 14, 2017)

It is, therefore, humbly argued that the learned journalist needs to present the view of the people, their struggle, instead of a state focused perspective. By presenting a state perspective, you betray your own people. The liberals in India badly need to organize #NotInMyName protests for the violence committed in Kashmir. They must ask for forgiveness from the people of Kashmir.

Excerpts in Greater Kashmir newspaper:
http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/a-biased-view/254906.html

Also here: http://dailykashmirimages.com/Details/144760/sponsored-media-paid-journalism
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When Killings become Political

The Cold War is gone and long-forgotten. The infamous period of 90’s in Kashmir is gone too and the consequences are well before us. Let’s contextualize the two events in history that shaped and dismantled some of the modern world powers and democracies.

The Cold War produced ‘one of the most repressive periods in American history’ (Stone 2004:312). Crimes Against the State: From Treason to Terrorism by Michael Head is a much needed book. The book has a separate chapter entitled The United States: Free Speech in ‘War’ and ‘Peace’ that explores the violent struggle by the United States during the Cold War for its global dominance against communists. It was a period of red-baiting, black-listing and McCarthyism (Stone 2004). In times of political stress such as the Cold War, what is prominently observed is the adverse role of highest institutions of the state such as judiciary, media, police and even semi-independent and independent institutions such as the bar associations or the unions of different professions. Pertinently, ‘the government’s indictment was a virulent form of prior censorship of speech and press’. Decisions in favour of the government had been a result of judges succumbing to ‘pressures, fears and passions’. Even the experienced judges had bowed to the ‘prevailing hysteria’. A sad picture of judiciary is therefore present during what is known to us as the Cold War. There is no appraisal of the ‘liberal’ media. The legal profession is termed as not having proved principled as it is noted that the American Bar Association called for the expulsion of all Communist Party members and many lawyers. In nutshell, the institutions, particularly political systems, have chosen selective complexes having been surrounded by selective entrapments and history is witness to it. Thus, killings and their denouncements too became political.

Nothing is missing when it comes to the torments we are facing. One can consider the subject of Kashmir after the shameful election rigging of 1987. Democratic principles were put into danger by the state itself and Kashmir became a story of distress. Killings, massacres, disappearances, unorganized and organized loot and plundering became the everyday news and there was no custodian of the civil liberties. This, of course, continues. I do not, however, need to elaborate things because the consequences are well before us.

Some days ago, an advocate, Advocate Imtiyaz Ahmad, was shot dead in Pinjoora village of Shopian district. People in Kashmir observed a long siesta when it came to condemning his death. No denouncements followed up. The deceased had been a former public prosecutor. The rhetorical line picked up by people that Public Prosecutor fully represents government and its dictatorial engagements is wrong. Of course he represents state, but his role begins once investigations are completed by the police. He is no figure of contempt. In the art of lawyering, he is just one of the actors. What was disheartening to see was the criminal silence of all the political parties in Kashmir. The High Court Bar Association did not also frame a full-fledged programme to remind the political parties of their misdeeds in Kashmir. How would you explain your criminal silence to his wife and his little child? His little child must have a question for all of us: Why was my father killed? In one of his recent Facebook posts, Imtiyaz Ahmad had vehemently condemned the killings and state of affairs in Kashmir. Little did he know that he would himself fall into the deadly trap. And interestingly, what follows up in cases like this is the ‘unidentified gunman theory’.

The story does not stop here. On September 14, 2015, three youth were found dead in mysterious conditions in Pattan (Altaf Baba, Greater Kashmir). Police was left clueless as to the cause of death of these young men who had left homes to join militancy. There was a delay in giving strike call by the separatist camp due to some doubts as to the ‘ownership’ of these boys. Families had lost their count, all was well and they became posthumous subjects of the ‘unidentified gunman theory’

The question is: For how long will we continue to see the bloodbath and the selective outrages? And what are we going to do about it? Let’s not be so complacent that things run out of hand and there’s no one left to protest for us.

(Published in Greater Kashmir newspaper:

http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/when-killings-become-political/247356.html

)
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Selective Condemnations

How does one recapitulate or recollect his childhood memories? Beautiful stories, nice picnics, wonderful dreams, extra care and respect, positive emotional development, and so on? Wow, how fanciful!

My childhood memories are a chronological order of horrors and torments. They live in my eyes like a terrible obsession. In my secret world, characterized by these terrible obsessions, my heart is on a constant battle. That is why I write and will continue doing so.

Few days ago, a video of Kashmiri boys attacking CRPF men in Budgam went viral. In no time, ‘prime time’ shows were set to condemn the assault forgetting the eight murders that had just taken place. It took no time for the jingoistic media to turn adverse and vindictive. Gautam Gambhir, India’s national team cricketer actually declared war on the people of Kashmir. He used the word “jihadis” for Kashmiri boys. Although, there was no express context of the term, but it’s implied that he used the term generally. How shameful and terrible can it get for a man who has no business in Kashmir!

When hundred Kashmiris were killed last year, there was no word of empathy from jingoists like Gambhir. Thousands of young men and women were blinded and disabled. We also crossed a century of curfewed days and it was normal. Therefore, Gautam Gambhir must hang his head in shame and apologize for the venom he has spewed.

The question whether beating of the CRPF men is justified or not is a matter of great debate. Of course, human dignity cannot be challenged at any cost whatsoever. But let’s tell the truth about India’s presence in Kashmir. If I start from my own person, I can extensively deliver firsthand accounts of the violence that I have been an eyewitness to.

During an assembly election in our village a long, long time ago, I was used by the army as a human shield, which is a globally acknowledged war crime. My father and my uncle had fled the village overnight to evade the continuous harassment and my elder brother had also escaped to some other place. I was the only male member at home. I was nine or ten. The army took me to the suspicious and sensitive places and I was left free after an hour long search. In her Independence Day speech last year, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti herself acknowledged the use of human shields in Kashmir.

Similarly, my father was used to continuous harassment by Ikhwanis, a brigade supported by the government of the time and the Army as well. How do you react when an illiterate, gun-weilding man forcibly asks your father to take off his new pair of shoes so that your father returns home barefooted? I have seen it in front of my eyes.

The stories are the chronicles of our existence. On the first of February every year, my village commemorates the deaths of its civilians who were killed defenceless in front of the whole village during a crackdown in 1992. I have also heard that an elderly man among them was tortured to death after a log was rolled over his body. The saddest part is that this news never made to the mainstream media of India, or even Jammu and Kashmir. I remember how we all kept waiting like kindergarten children for Radio Pakistan news to learn about these sad developments. This makes me a child of war, and a victim of terrorism.

These are some of the many truths that form a part of our existence. Will India’s mainstream media gather courage to tell the truth about Kashmir to its people? If they acknowledge the crimes done in Kashmir and tell the truth to its people, I don’t see anyone not condemning the assault inflicted on CRPF men. Otherwise, Kashmiris will just treat it as a patient reaction to what’s been done in the past.

P.S: “Ajeet hain, abheet hain” written on a hill overlooking Srinagar may be sacred to the mainland India. It’s not the same to Kashmir!

Published in GK:
http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/selective-condemnations/246687.html
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Tamasha-e-Yogi All Over – Developments and Lessons

In the month of March this year, a surprising development took place across the political center of India. Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest was chosen as the  Chief Minister of India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh. Not many people knew about Yogi Adityanath. After the news was received across social media sites, many old videos of Yogi began to surface. In one of the videos, a speaker is seen asking Hindus to rape dead Muslim women. This is extremely horrifying. In another video, which has lakhs of views on YouTube (which Yogi would not have expected, of course, except for appearing as an unpleasant surprise), he warns Muslims of ‘Love Jihad’- the word used for interreligious marriages. He warns,”If you take one, we will take hundred; If you kill one, we will kill hundred.” A large crowd claps and answers loudly and merrily to his calls.
Yogi is fast. He is furious and vindictive. He wants to silence people. He knows all the “languages you would like to be answered with”. This rage rarely makes him a statesman.

Yogi and Indian Muslims:

The times are grave for all the Indian Muslims. What do I mean by this? I mean that an extreme right wing is in power. I also mean that democracy is being crippled and threatened. This is documented by Yogi Adityanath himself saying that when India becomes a Hindu Rashtra, Muslims will become second class citizens and that right to vote will be taken away from them. This, according to him, will hamper the communalization of politics in India.
This, however, should not be treated as a novel thing. Congress party has done no better. A slow persecution of minorities has continued for a long time now. Ghettoization of Indian Muslims is a fact. And generally, what has happened in Pakistan is no inspiration to all of us. But at least they are direct in declaring their country as an Islamic State, as Dr. Dibyesh Anand remarked once. They are not riding on the hollow notions of secularism. Pakistan, of course, has to face equal criticism, which is debatable in a separate article. To shorten my point, the great Saadat Hasan Manto comes to help,”Human beings in both countries are slaves, slaves of bigotry, slaves of religious passions…”
Certainly, disappointment is not the answer. Sadness should not take away anyone’s purpose and aspirations. All of us need to believe that we are as much human as anyone. We all carry a voice and our voice matters equally. The participation of Indian Muslims in the administrative system of India is important. Shyness cannot help. In 2012, a meager 3℅ qualified the prestigious IAS. In 2013 again, 3℅ made it to the civil services. In 2016 as well, the percentage remained around 3 percent. (Source: The Milli Gazette- May, June, 2016)
The share of Muslims in Indian politics is prominent. But sadly, the participation is dismal. The political action is not collective, but separate.
Indian Muslims need to identify their true leaders. They have miserably failed to produce someone like a B.R.Ambedkar. Unless life becomes better for the minorities, there can be no peace in India.

Yogi and Kashmir:

Some days ago, famous Pakistani writer Mohammad Hanif said that Modi was God’s gift to Pakistan. I revise his words in the context of Kashmir and say that Yogi is God’s gift to Kashmiri leaders.
There’s no one denying the effect the right wing government in centre can have in Kashmir. Our case, the case of Kashmir has kept the ‘Common Kashmiri'(to use the much hyped phrase) busy, hopeless and suspended for decades now. Prospects of a resolve to the issue are more remote than ever. An ugly right wing is at the helm of affairs in centre. I will not draw history because I would be losing my point. I believe that there are certain things at this juncture for all of us to observe. We all understand that Pakistan has a Muslim identity. India is not for from officially declaring itself as a Hindu Rashtra. How can we, as Kashmiris, be able to restore our identity. Kashmiri identity, I mean to say. Or will our leaders(both Mainstream and Hurriyat) prolong their differences resulting in the erasure of our identity?
The developments are alarming for Kashmiri leaders. At this stage, we should not display “politics of submission”. On the part of Mainstream, there is complete submission to India’s central policies and on part of the Hurriyat, there’s complete submission to Pakistan’s directions. The policies are more obscure and less analytical. When National Conference contends that their motive is to reclaim the position of 1953, how clear they are in their objects is self-evident and self-explanatory. How PDP’s “Self-rule” has become a ridiculous joke is also known to all of us. The Hurriyat has never come up with a significant document that could at least enlighten its own subjects of the models we could live under.
When all of us cry cultural aggression, what does that mean?
It means that we strive to restore our own identity. It means that we stay away from bigotry and religious passions. It means that we seek justice for Wamiq Faooq and Tufail Matoo. It means that we demand dignity, equality and justice for all. It means that we all carry out a march and seek justice for the mothers, wives and children of the disappeared. It also means that we condemn Nadimarg, Gawkadal and Chattisinghpora massacres in the same breath. It also means that we come out of our homes and fearlessly advocate the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.

PS: Do we qualify to unite as a people? How much we are able to throw away the disagreements between us will define who we are. It’s easy to be selective, but it’s hard to be just and reasonable. Let’s endure hardships and be just and reasonable.

Excerpts published in GK newspaper :
http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/the-right-wing-roar/245663.html

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Glorifying the Adverse

Simplifying the ‘Collaborators’ debate.
When I was a kid, a group of boys amongst a great lot was selected to present morning prayer in our school. The boys were always reluctant to stand up and recite the prayers but with the eyes of teachers focused on them, they would do it. They would pretend to be cool and energetic, overcome every hint of laziness they carried. Their faces showed it all. To save everyone from the wrath of teachers, they sacrificed their shy and lazy nature. 

“Writing is prayer,” wrote Franz Kafka. The most pejorative element of writing is the haste any thinker puts into operation. Emotions, thoughts, conceit, anger, prejudice- put together may advance the nastiest blow to the field of literature. In literature, we humanize things. We do not judge, we put forward perspectives. A real writer while drawing ink on paper forgets his religion, ego, and even gender. The quest is not for the enforcement and glorification of the writer’s own beliefs but for the resolve of the greater cause of humanity.

After the selection of Kashmiris in the Indian Administrative Service, a hot debate is on table in Kashmir. It is easy to tag anyone a collaborator and unemployed youth in the valley can be seen defining ways for new boys to follow in order to pursue their careers. In the discussions around social media and newspapers in Kashmir, most people are belligerent. The saner voices lose their sanity in the hullabaloo of distracted narcissism.

Personal choice is an utmost fraction of the concept of freedom. We choose our food, we choose our rulers, we choose our dress, and we choose our most cherished goals. But how to choose our profession and what to choose as our profession: Should that be a matter of question? Kashmir is the unkind place on earth. Through the chaos of occupation, state structure, societal structure, a loosely defined morality, there is not as much of opportunity for the youth. The debate, however, is whether choosing administration as profession in Kashmir is an act of collaboration. The ordinary argument is that the IAS/KAS officers are the builders of occupational structures of India in Kashmir. By that count, almost all the population in Kashmir is ‘collaborator’. A teacher working in a government school, a professor working in a university (state or central), an ordinary government officer, and a person working in media, etc; how do we define their status? Do they also qualify to be traitors? Plus, the MLA working in the assembly whom we choose as our ruler, how do we rate him in the scale of traitors? Have we ever bothered to question the integrity of ‘our leaders’ who sell us fake promises while in power and keep us in the paranoia of Kashmiri Nationalism while in opposition. We never question the ‘embodiment of lies’ they have made out of the power structure in Kashmir. Introspect you must. The boys qualifying for different opportunities are not traitors. Traitors are those who sell us fake promises and yet we vote them to power. Therefore, this is to the saner minds: Cracking IAS/KAS is not an act of collaboration. It is simply about choosing a profession.

While the debate was on, Shah Faesal, a Kashmiri medico turned administrator wrote an article ‘Till Azadi Comes’ carried by The Indian Express some days ago. Seemingly, the article was a result of the ‘pejorative element of writing’ I have discussed above in this piece. He writes, “Resistance is not politics. It is not war. It is not about writing poetry…It is about living with grace and dignity, preserving heritage, eliminating corruption, about reporting truth…” But I tell him: Resistance is politics. It is war. It is about writing poetry. It is that chant, the memory that will never fade away- Asi yaar deti na, lakchaar deti na, dildaar deti na, teli kyazi yeni-Azadi. Yes, resistance is about writing poetry. If resistance is about living with grace and dignity, have not we lost that dignity a long ago? Has not our dignity been put to challenge time and again? If resistance is about preserving culture, are not we the worst victims of cultural aggression caught between the ghosts of ‘Indianisation’ and ‘Pakistanisation’? Remind you, corruption has been put into our blood and it may take decades to recover and the organization will never work in Kashmir. They are occupied minds all set to take chances, “caught between the horrors of armed conflict and the unpleasantness of elitism”. The truth has been distorted by the same state structure, time and again; the recent case being that of the Handwara girl. Lastly, it is a matter of great curiosity how the author defends his statement, “Qualifying for the civil services is also an act of resistance.” It will be immature to interpret this statement, but as a matter of sense, he may be talking of the resistance an officer may take on while fighting corruption and nepotism. But is not honesty a basic principle of life, which every person, employed or not, should follow. Why do we need to glorify civil services this way?

P.S: Narratives may differ but reality can never be suppressed. We do not need to alter the Kashmir narrative while defending our position. A person chooses his profession simply as an act of choice.

Link: http://m.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/glorifying-the-adverse/220223.html

JNU Protest, Media Hypes and the Things Thereof .

While I start writing this piece, I suffer a serious clampdown of choosing between things that I want to assemble and communicate to my readers. The clampdown is simple to express but hard to put together.

Students are being arrested for expressing ‘disgrace’ (sorry, I mean ‘dissent’), there is large scale witch-hunting, there is chaos, and state itself puts into danger the democratic principles and what not.

Their notion of nurturing students is meek: make them slaves! The general practice is that students are the pillars of a nation and they deserve their share in policymaking. It is believed that if teachers are the builders of a nation, students are its pillars; not conformists or spectators. Unfortunately, there is no such practice in our part of the world. It is simple: Teach hatred. Cherish ‘paranoia’ (sorry, I mean ‘nationalism’). Hold your view, even if it demands the breakdown of ‘rule of law’ or threatening the general democratic principles.

In this air of anxiety and tension, one gets to witness the different faces of media. Some conform to the traditional view while others tell the truth even if it means taking heavy toll. On a seemingly nationalistic Noise Hour (News Hour), one could read the headline “Accused in the Parliament Attack SAR Geelani arrested.” The thugs did not perhaps know that SAR Geelani was in fact acquitted by the Supreme Court in that particular case. One could also see a number of hash tags taking people to be traitors and anti-nationals. Whose traitor is (was) Geelani anyway? Also, when they label someone as a Pakistani, do they mean that being a Pakistani means being an alien?

Now I come to the point whether holding the event on the anniversary of Afzal Guru’s hanging was right or wrong. A lot of literature is available on the subject and I have myself written on the subject as well. What one comprehends after studying the subject is that Afzal Guru became the victim of “collective conscience” of a “pluralistic nation”. Whose conscience was it anyway? Was it the conscience of the goons who present themselves as Islamophobes? Presumably yes. After Afzal was hanged during the Congress rule, people called it a vote-bank decision. Congress however failed miserably to make mark in the following election and some politicians from the party itself called it a “mishandled” decision. While some called it a judicial error, others called it an instance of tyranny. The mainstream politicians in Kashmir could also be seen playing vote bank politics on the subject. And quoting the Supreme Court judgment,”As is the case with most conspiracies, there is and could be no evidence amounting to criminal conspiracy. The incident had shaken the entire nation and the collective conscience of society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender.” What does the judgment convey? A riddle that failed to offer evidence?

I reason, I reason, what wrong did Kanhaiya Kumar, the students’ leader do?

P.S:  “Whatever is suppressed comes back in the form of disguise.” These are the smallest instances of youth retaliation. One day, we will have to answer the thousands of widows and orphans let down by the state structure.

©- Aarif Muzafar Rather

(Also available here-
http://dailykashmirimages.com/Details/103484/jnu-protest-media-hypes-and-the-things-thereof )
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A Tale of Failures

When economy of a society fails to deliver on certain aspects, economists direct for economic recourse of that society. They call for a shift or change in the system. Their want for change in the system is a result of failure of techniques vis-à-vis adjustments.
Last month, a Kashmiri trucker was attacked by goons in Udhampur area of Jammu. The subject was beef and it was connoted that animal meat was more precious than human flesh as the Kashmiri person was burnt alive. The news did not qualify to become a headline for the ‘national’ television channels. However, after a prolonged battle with life, one boy named Zahid succumbed to serious burn injuries. The news still did not qualify more to be discussed around the ‘Comedy shows of India’ where Pakistani guests are invited every evening to listen to the rants of being failed citizens of a failed state. The Nation knows every night that Pakistan is a failed state. The following day, a Kashmiri legislator was attacked with ink in New Delhi and valued citizens across the ‘nation’ were seen more concerned about the ink attack rather than saying a word about the murder that had just taken place.
Like the economic situation above, one can similarly consider the subject of Kashmir before the 1990s when the so-called extremists took part in the normal (sorry, mainstream) election process. Maybe they wanted to change the system, who knows. This however did not work and Kashmir became a story of distress. Killings became an everyday news, loot and plundering became normal activities and the corruption of every kind we were put into may still take years to recover. Yes, we became corrupt in every aspect of life and the ‘infamous’ post-90s period made us children of Bollywood movies who are violent, depressed and big-hearted at the same time after a villain takes away happiness from their lives.
When Zubin Mehta visited Kashmir in 2013, his musical concert was reserved for the capitalist class and ‘notorious’ Kashmiri  people were kept away from being a part of the concert. However, the musician had wished to perform before the ‘notorious’ people of Kashmir. For reasons known to the ‘administrators’ only, curfew was imposed and security was tightened across major parts of Kashmir. In the same connection, three people were killed in cold-blood. Therefore, when hosting of a musical concert demands killing of people, there’s a problem which you need to address.
Plus, when a decree becomes tactic for politicians to lure people, there’s some fault in the system. When Afzal Guru was hanged, the decision was taken unhappily by people from ruling party even. Opposition parties along with the coalition were seen playing blame games and trying to seek mandate from the already hurt people. However, Kashmir was charitable enough to offer lives after lives; one of whom was a student of doctorate. The period is also called post-Afzal hanging period.
The chart I am trying to make out is not simple. Even if I shorten my approach on understanding some recent happenings, I may draw blank. When some boys were found killed in mysterious conditions at Pattan in North Kashmir some month back, there was a delay in giving strike call by ‘separatist’ political parties, which has otherwise become a habit now. If common understanding is sought, there was a ‘serious’ question whether the boys belonged to their party or not. Anyway, families had lost count, common Kashmiris(to use the much hyped word) had been killed, different sides had put forward their reports and all was well.
During the recent elections in Kashmir, a ‘top’ Kashmiri politician stated on a ‘national’ TV channel that Kashmir was the integral part of India. Some days after he was given a certain post, he remarked in a function that Kashmir needed economic stability at the first place. I was curious and questioned his remark that he had made earlier. He lied and I was not surprised actually. He said that Kashmir belonged to Kashmiris alone and India and Pakistan were the main hurdles in the development and lasting peace and that resolution of Kashmir was a prime challenge. Whether democracy has failed or not is not the question. The concept of political power has been conferred with embodiment of lies, which is not otherwise true.
P.S : Have we become habitual victims enough to call for a change in the system? Do we qualify to have the right to rebellion? Period.

(Published here –
http://www.greaterkashmir.com/mobi/news/opinion/a-tale-of-failures/201063.html )