Commemoration of Shopian double rape and murder at Kashmir Univeristy and the dictatorial attitude of KU Administration

An event organized and planned on Facebook got my attention as it was about the victims of Indian barbarism-the victims of Shopian double rape and murder, Asiya and Neelofar, who still await justice. Kashmir University Students Unions (KUSU) had organized the event to commemorate the double rape and murder. KUSU, a student union which is still banned, trying to get off the hooks of administration and work freely as a true Student Union had organized the event despite numerous restrictions and restraints laid down by the administration. I got to know from students that they had to struggle a lot for organizing and holding this event, but they finally managed to get off the hooks despite stiff resistance from administration. At the event students from different departments of University spoke about the atrocities committed on Kashmiri people, and especially about the use of rape as a weapon of war by Indian agencies and forces in Kashmir. Being one of the few such opportunities where students of KU get to speak freely and openly on political issues, all the students spoke their heart-out on how they feel about the oppression of Kashmiri people, the atrocities committed on them and the way-forward for Kashmir movement. It was interesting to see KU students speak-as the representatives of Kashmir and students of the said premier institute. As I said it was one of the very few chances that KU students get to express themselves politically, the sloganeering didn’t stop. The students raised slogans against Indian imperialism and for the freedom of Kashmir at the conclusion of each of the speaking sessions. The event went peacefully and completely according to the norms, with students exercising their freedom of expression at the very best.

But I was shocked at the attitude of university administration. I don’t get it, why did they have to intercept and interfere after every brief interval and ask the students to wind up the event instead of joining the event  and speaking against the atrocities committed on their fellow citizens, like the students did? They, being the intellectuals and representatives of Kashmir, have the foremost duty to speak against the oppression and atrocities committed on Kashmiri people. On the contrary and on a shocking note, they didn’t let the event go on smoothly, but instead kept on playing the spoilsport. Is it a  serious problem that the students of their university are speaking freely and inclusively on Kashmir issue? Is it an unbearable sight for them to see KU students actually defying the absurd restrictions imposed on them? Their intervention and interruption was so irritating that students booed the university administration many-a-times by shouting, “shame…!”. But still the shameless administration didn’t keep off and consistently kept poking their nose in the functioning of the event. What happened finally was that the organizers  of the event had to give in to the forceful intervention of university administration and had to conclude the event in a hurry and in a haze.

If all these things weren’t enough for the dictatorial attitude of KU administration. One of my friends(an outsider-not a KU student) who had sloganeered powerfully and strongly, was later detained by University Police. University administration was so baffled by mere sloganeering that they got him detained! Where on earth is the sanity and the intellectual integrity of the administrators of the premier institute of Kashmir? Why can’t they stop being dictators and being pests in the lives of students?

While interacting with KU students you’ll get to know the level of irritation that the students have against administration. Students are fed-up of the administration. They want a change in the attitude and the working of administration. They want the administration to stop being stooges in the hands of some ‘higher authorities’ and stop working at the behest of the same. They want the administration to work for the welfare of the students, and for the betterment of university.You get a notion that university administration is so scared of students, that they feel giving them a political platform will be a disaster for the university. But you are left wondering, why? It’s high time that the University Administration shuns such dictatorial attitude, and takes the path of construction and reconciliation, and recognize the fact that their present attitude will backfire at them, because censorship and oppression has limits. And when the limits are crossed, things turn ugly. I fail to understand the illogical, unnecessary and idiotic ban on KUSU, and suggest the administration to revoke it immediately; if at all, the administration is serious about democratic principles and freedom of speech. Ban on KUSU needs to be revoked immediately to inculcate democratic principles and accountability in the administration, so that administration works for the benefit of students, and not as some adversary that students hate to death!

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Perception

Why do we dislike feelings of pain, loss, sadness or anger? Why do we even dislike anything in the first place?

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What if we were told from the day one that losing something isn’t bad, it’s good, it’s awesome, it’s amazing to lose something or someone? Would that change the way we perceive loss? Is it in human nature to feel sad when we lose something, or do we learn this thing with time? Why do we ‘hate’ the feelings of sadness and anger, and ‘like’ the feelings of happiness and joy? Can we change the way we perceive the feelings of happiness and sadness. Can we reverse the trend, i.e. ‘like’ the ‘negative’ feelings like sadness, anger etc. and ‘hate’ the ‘positive’ feelings like happiness, joy etc? What are these feelings all about, why can’t we just enjoy pain? What makes us hate the feeling of pain? Why can’t we just like it, why not?!

It gets damn confusing. Such questions irritate me. Or is it that it’s only me, who can’t make sense of feelings and the way we perceive them? Why on earth can’t we just change the perception of these feelings? What would the person be like, who’s taught from the day one that pain is something that we enjoy? This is such a confusing topic that I’m scratching my head right now. What the hell am I talking about…? Isn’t happiness and sadness all about the perception of our brain, and the way hormones are released and they interact with our neural system? Why can’t we change our neural system and make our body to release hormones that would make us feel good when we are in pain, and make us feel sad when we are in comfort?! Why can’t our biological/neurological system be modified to make us feel good when we lose something or when we are hurt? Why can’t we feel good when we are sad or when we are angry?

Let’s assume that from the day one we were taught that ‘negative’ feelings (negative according to the generally accepted definition) are actually good, and the ‘positive’ feelings (positive according to the generally accepted definition) are actually bad. How would have our personality been like?  How would have our personality developed? What kind of a persons would we have been? Would we still have felt bad about the ‘negative’ feelings and good about the ‘positive’ feelings? Or we would have perceived the feelings like we were taught? What I mean to ask is that, is it natural/instinctive to feel the way we feel or, is it that we feel the way we feel because of the way we are made to believe about feelings and the way our society teaches us about these feelings?

I don’t have the damn answers to any of these questions. If you do have, please let me know.

Gender Stereotypes and Sexism

Kashmiri society is marred by various stains like racism, complexes, and numerous gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes and sexism are amongst all those evils which have collectively defaced the shape and color of our society. The problem of sexism in Kashmir is not limited to any specific race or religious community, the evil finds its place across all such barriers. Kashmiri women have to face the brunt of these stereotypes across all walks of life. There are people who will praise the ingenuity of Habba Khatoon and Lalla Ded but at the same time call a woman Kam Aqal (feeble-minded). And there are people who’ll say that, “Heaven lies at the feet of mother”, while at the same time consider women “less-worthy“. In case of women, our society is so messed up, that a person is caught between the clouds whether to call it a misogynist, a male chauvinist society or not!
We all come across such instances where women are disrespected just because they are women. I once heard a man telling another man that he shouldn’t have paid heed to anything of what his wife said because, “Zanaan chi bay-aqal aasaan (women are foolish)”, and “Zanaan chi aasaanuee fitnal (women are just mischief-makers)”. Women are found unworthy of being a part of any discussion and they are told, “Tuahi zanaanan kya yath sit? (What have you women got to do with this?)”. If all this wasn’t enough for disrespect, I once heard someone saying, “Zanaan kathan goss nu’ sanun (One shouldn’t pay heed to whatever women say)”. I’m always disgusted and shocked with the way people so easily label a woman, “Gaaen (slut)” if she does something unacceptable according to the moral standards of our society. While at the same time if a boy did the same thing even zillion times, no one bats an eye and it will be mostly laughed off or just giggled about. In Kashmiri society weakness is highly associated with women, If a man says that he won’t be able to do something, he’s rebuked by saying, “Chu kya zanaan chhakhaa? (Are you a woman?)”. Women are told from day one that they don’t have freedom like men, and they have to respect the restrictions imposed on them. Once my sister (around 8 years old at that time) had gone with her friend playing all day long, and when she came back home, my mother told her, “Koarih chhan yithpaaeth nachaan (Girls don’t roam like this)”. She was just a child back then, and she was given a impression and the belief that she is different from boys and she doesn’t have freedom like them, not even as a child to be like a child! This is what our society has imposed on us, and we the gullible people have wholeheartedly accepted and embraced it with love and respect, while the fact is that gender stereotypes and sexism is all about hatred and disrespect.
Being a part of the society all this seemed completely normal to me, until gradually I realized the hollowness of such arguments, and understood the absence of logic and reasoning in such statements. Many people believe that such stereotypes exist only among elderly people and older generations, and the new generation is above such silly and shameful things, but that’s not the case: Once while having a walk with my friends, they started talking about Facebook, and suddenly one of them lamented that a girl from our locality has a Facebook account. I said, “So what?”. He said, “Ladki katih hek Facebook chalaayith, yih chi galat gasaan (A girl can’t have a Facebook account, it’s not good)”. I was shocked and I said, “Yel chu hekakh chalaayith akh ladki kyaaze hek nuh? (If you can have a Facebook account, why not a girl?”. He had no answer to this question so he stopped the buck by saying, “Yih chi nu’ jaayiz, yih chi gunaah (It’s not permissible, it’s a sin)”. So I figured out that people blend in some silly customs into the religion, and then present it as something coming purely from religion (in this case, Islam). I didn’t realize that the stereotypes associated with Facebook and social networking sites go even deeper, until I came across many female accounts with pseudonyms , and I once asked a friend, what stops her from putting her real name on the social networking site, and the reply was completely unexpected. She didn’t want the people in her locality to know that she has a Facebook account else she’ll become talk of the town, and something of immoral kind!
From the famous online jibes to those from the real-world, women are always disrespected as idiots: who can’t handle gadgets, understand jokes, or make sense in what they say. While joining a new coaching center, we were told that we’ll be taught Organic Chemistry by a female teacher. So, one of my classmates said, “Ladki kya organic chemistry parnaaye? (How can a woman teach organic chemistry?)”. This is purely sexist; we find someone’s gender enough to declare her intellectual integrity!
At least you’ll find people talking about the rights of women, but the case of eunuchs/transgenders in Kashmir is even sadder. They are considered nothing but funny creatures, something to mock about and a laughing stock. They aren’t even considered human beings! Wherever they are, people around them will be making jibes about them, calling them by different names. Doing so feels funny to  ‘normal’ human beings, but they never consider their emotions and their sensibilities. They never give it a thought that they are actually hurting them by their words and actions, and that they too have a right to exist with dignity and respect. We fail to understand that they are as much creations of God as we are, and in no way less human beings than we are.
The attitude towards women being less intelligent, and in many cases less human beings, is destroying half of the human race, and Kashmiris are proudly into this ‘noble’ job, and are ‘persistently’ and ‘consistently’ trying to be forerunners in this cause. This is really a sad case for humanity. We talk about humanity and forget that women are as part of this human race as men are. How silly of such men who think women are less intelligent, while they forget the fact that they developed for nine months in the womb of a woman, a not-so-intelligent-creature! Women have their own individuality, we need to respect a woman as a woman, she needs not to be someone’s someone(brother, sister, mother etc.) to be respected. There is no logical explanation to such beliefs regarding female and other genders, but these are all about what we were made to believe and accept, as if they are some facts. As is the case with most human beings, they accept almost anything that is imposed on them by their society. Kashmiri people have also been made to believe that the moral standards set by the society are unquestionable and ultimate. It’s high time that we rise above stereotypes, start questioning such beliefs and bring in a wave of change that our society craves for.

Islam and Muslims: The path taken…

The way Muslims are portrayed in this world and they way Muslims have become “Muslims”, without actually knowing what faith stands for, is really an irritating trend that forces me to clarify the stand of Islam on Muslims.  Most of the religious people are religious just because they were born in such a family/society and Muslims are no exception to this. So if this is the case with anyone of us(Muslims), he/she has got no right to claim of being the follower of the only true path and disregard others as deviants and lost people. As my concern is about Muslims so I’ll present them as examples to talk about some common characteristics that are found in religious people, thus making Muslims no different from followers of any other religion.

A Muslim who offers five times Salaah (prayers) regularly, gives Zakaat (charity), observes sawm (fasts) , or as we like to say, is a “True Muslim”, but has never ever given a thought to his/her religion, or to the path he/she is following. And keeps on doing what he/she is told to do in Quran and Ahadith just because he/she saw his parents and people around him/her doing the same for the sake of Jannah (Paradise) and respite from Jahannam (Hell). A Muslim who  follows the commandments of Islam because he/she’s taught by his/her parents and the society he/she lives in that, it’s good and noble to follow these commandments, and its bad and evil if you don’t follow them. And a non-Muslim, who tries to do good and noble things, and stay away from bad and evil things as defined to him/her by his/her parents and the society he/she lives, come out to be the followers of the same track. When a non-Muslim, who follows the commandments of his/her religion in the same manner but has never ever given a thought to his/her religion, is compared with the above type of Muslims they come out to be no different from each other, the path they follow is nothing but just the same. Unfortunately, we Muslims think that the ‘Muslim’ is destined for heaven and the ‘non-Muslim’ for hellfire, when according to Islamic principles and doctrine both are destined for destruction as none of them tried to follow the commandments of God but only followed their forefathers and the society they were born in, as Quran describes them:

They said, “We found our fathers worshippers of them.” (21:53)
They said, “But we found our fathers doing thus.” (26:74)
Rather, they say, “Indeed, we found our fathers upon a religion, and we are in their footsteps [rightly] guided.”(43:22)

I wish to ask my Muslim brothers and sisters, are these verses just for non-Muslims? Can’t we apply these verses to ourselves? And the answer is simple yes for both the questions. So, Muslims need to introspect and unfit themselves from the above mentioned definition.
Muslims like other religious people are accused of following blindly, let me clarify it here that, a true ‘Muslim’ is a blind follower but never follows ‘blindly’.  A Muslim is not a Muslim until and unless he/she hasn’t been a ‘freethinker’ at the time when he/she had to decide which way to go and which way to follow. Once that is decided and he/she has chosen Islam then he/she becomes a blind follower, because when a Muslim gets the ultimate sense of satisfaction from reasoning and logic that Qur’an is the word of God, the need to exercise logic in the commandments of Qur’an ceases to exist and becomes completely null and void. So, now he/she is a complete blind follower but hasn’t followed blindly and that’s what Muslims ought to be, but unfortunately aren’t! Muslims also need to understand the word Kufr (concealing) and the way it is used in Qur’an and find out whether they unfit the definition or not, as I already said the reason for most Muslims being Muslim, makes them fit into the definition of Kaafir (one who conceals). Kufr is about hiding the faith and hiding the truth. As we know that, Islam is called Deen-al-Fitrah (Religion of Nature), and it’s  in the fitrah (instinct/nature) of a human being to search for haqq (Truth) but when human beings suppress or conceal that desire deep inside themselves and never let the desire to take them for the search and the quest to know the haqq, they automatically fit in the definition of Kaafir (one who conceals). Islam is about thinking freely and thinking on the basis of reason and logic. Islam teaches us rationalism. So, lets start introspecting whether we are following blindly or we have been proud and decisive freethinkers that decided our path according to the bestowed fitrah. We have to decide, we have to get over that stage where we decide the path we need to take and the course we need to follow. And not let others decide our fate; be it our parents, the society we live in or anything else. God is not unjust, that he will reward a Muslim with heaven, who followed the Islamic principles just because he was born in a Muslim family and society. And that He will punish a non-Muslim with hell-fire, who followed the principles of his/her religion just because he/she was born in a non-Muslim family and society. God won’t ask us what we were told to do, but will certainly ask about what we did, and did on our own accord! He will certainly reward us on the same basis and not on the basis of our place of birth.

Relationships, and the Relationship

We’re surrounded by relationships the moment we’re conceived  in mother’s womb. We get connected in a blood relationship with our parents, and their families. These blood relationships stay forever, even after our death the relationships are carried on  through our lineage and our siblings. Then from the moment we are born into this world, our circle of connections and relationships keeps on expanding. We befriend people, associate ourselves with others and become of a part of larger circle, which includes our blood relationships as well as those who we befriended and develop relationships with, over the period of time. From the ancient times to the present day, the most important relationship besides blood relationships, is the relationship of ‘love’, between a boy and a girl, between two ‘love partners’. This relationship of love is presented in the stories of the likes of Romeo-Juliet, Layla-Majnoon, Heer-Ranjha and others. We have tragedies of love, we have stories of ‘cheating’ and ‘betrayal’ in relationships. I can understand the longing of Romeo for Juliet and that of Juliet for Romeo, but I fail to understand the concept of ‘cheating’ or ‘betrayal’ in these relationships.

Relationships

These love-bond relationships/affairs come with the tags of loyalty and faithfulness, defined in terms completely alien to logic and intellect. How does one become unfaithful just by having relationship with some other boy or girl? How doesn’t one become unfaithful by having friendship with some other boy or girl; but if it’s given a tag of ‘relationship’, the same bond becomes illegal and illegitimate? I fail to get the psyche of the society which has set such standards. People don’t feel cheated if their partner makes new friends, but if their partner develops ‘relationship’ with some other guy or girl. They feel cheated, betrayed, they get angry, they feel frustrated. How good the society would have been to us, if it won’t have set such standards. If it wouldn’t have labeled such acts as illegal and immoral. How many lives would have been saved, how many fights could have been averted, only if society wouldn’t have decreed itself on such a matter, in such a way? We wouldn’t have had horror stories of lovers committing suicide, if the act of loving more than one person wouldn’t have been declared a betrayal? I can’t understand the society where having affair with one person is moral, but having affair with more than one person, immoral. While at the same time, you can have as many friends as you wish.

This ‘love-relationship’ has been exaggerated to abnormally high levels. We have singers singing about the betrayal by their lovers, wishing them goodbye for having relationship with some other person. Singers cursing their love, and telling him/her that they are good enough to go alone in their lives, or in many cases the lover committing suicide because he/she can’t take this damn betrayal, and must end his/her life. Then there is the society which curses the betrayer for betraying his/her loyal partner, and the third person in this love triangle is even highly cursed for playing a spoilsport in a beautiful relationship and being a thug in the society. Isn’t there a bond of love between siblings, friends, between parents and children, between youngsters and elders? Why should this bond of love get so many conplexities because of a mere tag of ‘relationship’, boyfriend/girlfriend, et al? Why should such a tag even matter, in the first place? When your friend befriends some other person, do you feel cheated or betrayed? But if your ‘love partner’ gets into relationship with some other person, why don’t you feel like the same? Why are you so damn outraged? What makes friendship different from this relationship? Having more friends never effects the already existing friendship, nor do you feel that friendship has become less meaningful. But why do you feel that your relationship becomes meaningless when your partner also gets into an ‘affair’ with someone else? There is no logical explanation, their is no intelligent answer, there is no actual feeling of heart or whatever. These are just societal stereotypes, standards set by our ancestors, our society, for reasons only known to them. But to me this is nothing more than a rhetoric, a blind faith, meaningless and illogical standard, that should be done away with as soon as possible.

Nothing makes a relationship less important or meaningless, except for hatred or dislike that may at times grow in you for your partner. Love is just like friendship. Numbers don’t matter here, a pair of lovers and nothing more is no divine declaration. Two is no universal law for number of people in a ‘relationship’. It’s just an illogical standard, set by our predecessors , and accepted wholeheartedly by gullible people like us!

Color Obsession, Stereotypes and Racism.

The obsession with fair color in Kashmir is a sad aspect of our society, which at times takes the ugly form of racism. What makes it worse, is the way it’s ignored and accepted by people. There will be a lot of such instances where you’d have come across such obsession. There is a general perception in Kashmir, “Ugliness is the measure of darkness of skin”. I may not be right to say this about all the Kashmiri people, but there is no dearth of people in Kashmir who think on that pattern. In Kashmir, being dark colored is a kind of curse, you may not agree, but ask any Kashmiri who is dark complexioned. Ask him about his experience of being a dark-colored person, and when you’ll hear him speak, you’ll realize how deeper this obsession with fair color goes, and how far it has molded itself  into blatant racism. I, being a Kashmiri, know well about the qualms and ordeals of this nonsensical obsession, and have experienced it and seen it turn into ugly racism. This obsession reflects the general stereotypes associated with the color of skin. And the feeling of being superior, reflects the race related complex that runs deep down to the division of our society.

In Kashmir, you comes across such color obsessed (or I may say racist) remarks on a daily basis, ranging from phrases like Kaaluh Waatul (Kaaluh means black and Waatul means Cobbler) to Kruhun Kaav Hyoo (Black as a crow) . The words Kaaluh and Waatul are completely different in syntax and meaning. But when they are combined into one, they make mockery of two things, one is the color of skin and the other is the Waatal (Cobbling) profession. When someone is to be told that he is a disgusting person, people will abuse him by saying, “ho waatlaa! (Hey you, cobbler!)”. Being dark colored is no sin, and being a Waatul is no crime. Neither any profession, nor any skin-color should be mocked, or talked about in a derogatory manner; this is what equality demands and logic defines. Kruhun Kaav Hyoo is used to insult a person who is dark colored. I don’t see any logic in comparing a dark colored person with Kaav (Crow). You’ll also come across people calling someone Kaaluh Nasal (from the race of blacks). There are also some people who will abuse another person by calling him a Gujur, or by calling him Gujir Nasal(from the race of Gujjars). To reduce the guilt of some Kashmiri people voting in any election, voters are shredded out of the Kashmiri society  by saying, “Yim vote traaye yimav Gujir Shikasladav  (It was only these Gujjars, who voted)”. And if this isn’t racism, then racism is an imaginary word, and nothing like racism has ever existed! There is neither any point nor any sense in making such remarks, except for being abusive, derogatory and outrageously racist. When such remarks are made about someone, it even turns the scene into a physical fight, proving that such remarks aren’t taken lightly by anyone, and they actually hurt the sentiments and sensibilities of people.

As a child whenever I used to play with dirt or come back to home after playing all day long, and there would be dirt all around my face, I’d be rebuked by saying, “Yih kya chath paanas Bihaaer shakal karmuch? (Why have you made yourself look like a Bihari?)”. And when someone has to make mockery of some other black complexioned person, they’ll say, “Suhaa chi yuhaye Bihora hyoo (He looks like a Bihari)”. This is pure racism, they will call you a Bihaaer (Bihari) or Bangaael (Bengali) if you are not clean and tidy, and compare you with Bihari or Bengali, if you are dark colored. Being dark complexioned doesn’t mean being dirty or untidy! We should get over this stereotype where we associate dark color with filth and dirt. This is disgusting, and highly sickening attitude. I once went to a photo studio, to get some passport size photographs, and after clicking the picture, he had it photoshopped and had made me look much, much fairer than I am. And when I saw the photographs, I exclaimed, “Who is this guy?!”. The photographer didn’t pay any attention to what I said as he was busy photoshopping other pics. So I left the studio, trying to figure out the guy in the photograph. This obsession touches its height when someone is about to marry a dark complexioned person, and people will make a remark that, “Aem haa chi kormut kaalas sit! (He/She’s marrying a black person)”.

Phrases like, “Asli chukh Kraal (Your traits are those of potters)”, “Yih chukhaa greest khaslat haawaan? (Are you trying to show your traits of being a farmer?)“, “Yiman Naan-Gaaran chi aasaan yichhuee khaslat (This is the real character of non-farmers)”, reflect the deep-rooted divisions in our society, wherein we insult one or the other class of people and society. Racism and societal stereotypes in Kashmiri society are highly disguised in nature, but are deeply rooted.

It’s not just in Kashmir where this obsession with fair color is found. Even in India there are people who are infatuated with the same. I’m currently studying in Hyderabad, and there are students from all over the India. Once my classmate asked me, “Most of Kashmiris are Goray Chittay (much fairer), why aren’t you as fair as other Kashmiri people?”. I had no answer to his question, so I joked, “I take Melanin (pigment primarily responsible for skin color) tablets, and that’s why I’m not as fair as they are”. There is another classmate, who would come to me, bring his arm closer to mine, I being a Kashmiri (presumed to be fair skinned), compare the color of both and then tell me, “See, I’ve become fairer than you!”. And I’d always be like, “Congratulations!”. He would come to me and show me any of his recent picture, where he looks much fairer(than exactly he is), and would tell me, “Look, how fair I’m looking in this pic.” and I would tell him, “No, man. That’s not you!”. At times he would start explaining that, he’s actually much fairer than he looks now, it’s because of this South Indian sun that he’s become so dark, even when I never ask for such an explanation.

We need to get beyond these color stereotypes, societal divisions and racism. People should stop dreaming of becoming fairer. Actually it makes me laugh at myself and other human beings when I see them desperate to become fair skinned, and that they would go to any extent to become one. There’s nothing good about being fair skinned, and there’s nothing bad about being dark skinned. We need to stop using phrases which disparage dark skinned people, or people from any other race or part of our society. If at all we are serious about equality, we need to shun them for once and all. We also need to change our perception towards skin color. Skin color is all about skin color, nothing more, not at all!

Kashmir, A Humane Issue

Much has been said about Kashmir as a political issue, and the political boundaries of Kashmir. With Kashmiris, Indians and Pakistanis giving their views about Kashmir, based in the political boundaries they are confined to. One shouldn’t be surprised by their diverse views in such a case. But when it comes to Kashmir as a humane issue, an issue of humanity, one should certainly get surprised rather disgusted if the views change across borders. As it would signify that humanity changes it definition with the political boundaries, and a prejudice and bias towards human issues exists based on political lines of control. One may not agree with the demands of Kashmiri people asking for freedom from India, one may not accept the ideology of Kashmiri people demanding a separate nation, but one can’t ignore Kashmiris asking for basic human rights. Kashmiris asking for dignity, respect, and humane treatment. And if one disagrees over it, it’s really a sad case for humanity.

Indian people outrightly claim Kashmir to be an integral part of Kashmir, Pakistanis claim the same. And Kashmir is sandwiched between the two claimants. Don’t you think that the foremost right to claim goes to Kashmiri people? So, while exercising my foremost right, I claim humanity and humane treatment. I don’t think it should outrage anyone of you out there, either an Indian or a Pakistani. In Kashmir, humanity and human values should be valued the same way as you want them to be valued in your own place. Treat us like humans, your equals in humanity. Is this too much to ask from human beings?

Kashmiris have already seen enough babble about Kashmir’s political issue, but why isn’t Kashmir talked in terms of a human issue? Why is the humane nature of Kashmir issue highly ignored, and political issue always given the limelight, by Indians, the Indian people, by Pakistan, and the Pakistani people. Why do you forget to act for the sake of humanity when it comes to Kashmir? When Kashmiri people lose their lives on routine bases, you aren’t bothered. But if Kashmiri people ask for freedom, Indian people come with the Atoot Ang theory. Your behavior should be in symphony with your claims of Atoot Ang. I’m fed up of your rhetoric. Rape of Delhi girl (no doubt a heinous crime) stirs whole India, and when a whole village is raped in Kashmir, not a single voice is heard. Not just that, but the victims are accused of fabricating the story. Could you imagine a whole village fabricating a story of being raped, claiming their children, their mothers, their wives, their grandmothers were raped; just for nothing? Could you imagine rape victims being accused of helping the militant propaganda? What hurts most is the Indian people repeating the same rhetoric and believing in it like anything. And thus, I’m forced to ask, where is your humanity? Each day inhuman treatment is meted-out to Kashmiri people, at one place or the other, but it never stirs Indians, so I ask again, where is the humanity? In 2009 two women were raped and then killed. No sympathy from Indian people, no rallies, no condolences or condemnations. So I ask again , where is the humanity? In 2010 more than 100 youth were killed, and Indians watched in silence. Shouldn’t I say that Indian humanity ceases to exist when it comes to Kashmir? Or if it exists, where is it? Does the definition of humanity change for Indians, when it comes to dealing with Kashmiri people? Or does it just just fly away?

Indians are so bothered about political status of India, that they will talk about dissolving Article 370, they will talk about complete integration of Kashmir with India. But they forget that it’s not just Kashmir, which exists; Kashmiris also exist. Acknowledge the existence of humans living there. Or is it that Kashmiris are less humans for them, and they are just worried about the Land of Kashmir? Today I won’t ask India/Indians, any questions from political point of view. But today I’ll ask questions as a human being who craves for humanity. Why should Kashmiri people trust you? They asked you to help them against the rapists, you accused them of fabricating the story. They asked you to help them against murderers, you accused them of supporting terrorists. They asked for truth behind mass graves, and they had to dig more. They asked whereabouts of the missing persons, and you kidnapped more. They asked you to  help them against inhuman treatment, you told them that they ask for it. So they protested, and you jailed them . Then they protested again, and you killed them. And now I ask again, where is the humanity? Where is the damn humanity? There are thousands of half-widows in Kashmir. There are tens of thousands of orphaned children. More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Lacs of Kashmiri people are displaced. Thousands of women have been raped in Kashmir. More than 100,000 structures have been razed to ground. When I talk about all these statistics, I feel like humans in Kashmir have been reduced to mere numbers.  Where we keep count of number of people who had to face the brunt of the conflict, the brunt of Indian war on “terrorism”, for some eternal record. Why doesn’t all this affect Indian collective conscience? Is Indian collective conscience blood-thirsty? Is it satisfied only when Kashmiri is called a terrorist, and when a Kashmiri is hanged? I would ask for justice to be done and to be delivered. And acceptance of the fact that no solution of Kashmir will be acceptable to Kashmiris, if it isn’t according to their aspirations. And if Indians don’t want to fail as human beings, they should press their govt. for the same. Because, at the end of the day, the unsolved political issue rakes up the issue of suffering of humanity and the loss it suffers and the loss it has suffered.

I hope that Indians will take a step ahead, and for the sake of humanity consider acknowledging the fact that lossof humanity in Kashmir, is in now way good for them. If you’ll ignore the humane side of any conflict and keep yourself confined to political confinements things are going to turn over in the worst possible ways. I believe that humanity transcends all political boundaries and it doesn’t care about its nationality, and the confinements of political boundaries. And I hope that Indians will wake up to the sufferings of human beings for the sake of humanity, and help the humans suffering in a land called Kashmir.