Kashmir: Ongoing bloody conflict continues consuming lives

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Views from Srinagar

Firdous Syed

TWO civilians, including a young lady and a militant killed, was the news of the day. Whatever, the way the loss of a human life is characterised. Undeniably that day, ongoing bloody conflict again consumed three more precious lives. Yes three more innocent Kashmiri’s had to pay with their life. Life in a conflict zone is always stranded in a waiting hall of death. Who knows whose name will be called next? Yet we never desist from labelling the dead.
Indeed civilians are innocents. What about the militants, are they not the sons of the soil? We have every right to disagree the way one chooses to lead his/her life. Yet how is it possible to distinguish a loss of life from the other? Adil had chosen the path that perhaps had to culminate in death only. We may agree with this argument, for a moment though. But why Shaista was killed? Other than daring to live in a conflict zone, what is her fault? Why the flame of her life got doused so brutally?
Does this depraved characterisation of dead, in any way help to stem the tide of death? Till the time we are unable to comprehend and mourn the loss of precious lives holistically, conflict devouring humans, irrespective of the labels— militant, military or civilians— will continue rather unabated.
In the aftermath of every gory incident, the race for condemnations and constituting the inquiries has almost become a mundane affair. As condemnations betray all the compassion, equally the government inquiries are simply a pro-forma exercise. Nor have condemnations helped to save the precious lives, neither the inquiries make possible to punish the culprits. And soon dead turn into dots, cold statistics. How many innocent Shaista’s have been killed so-far? And how many more Adil’s will continue to tread the path of death? If one death is incapable of bringing burden on our soul, can thousand consumed by the conflict awake us from the numbness? Why deaths here fail to stir the passion of camaraderie? Why this deadly lack of feeling and compassion?
“Two civilians including a woman were killed” all the factions— disgustingly several of these, at times one even lose the track, which one has said, what— jumped to call for a strike. And all make a beeline to visit the household of the dead. As usual fallen combatant will be eulogised as a saviour of the nation. And a civilian’s death will be condemned as a genocide being carried-out by the state.
If a civilian is a young lady, accordingly condemnation is bound to be more furious and intense. That mainly depends on the verbosity of the make-believe anguished leader. And there ends the charade. The real grieving family, however, is left to mend the life on their own, for rest of the period. Whether they beg or turn out to be a police tout, to tug the burden of life. How does that affect the conscience of a so-called resistance leader?
What’s movement other than solidarity? How would we rate an indifferent father, failing to take care of his children properly? As a careless parent moreover a third rate person. And how should we describe a leader causing the bloodshed to sustain the resistance but failing to take care about the physical and emotional needs of orphans and the widows? Is he not an irresponsible and degraded leader or simply unworthy of a man?
The moment these so-called leaders are reminded of their moral responsibilities, their chorines start calling names. Obviously the all time preferred slur has to be, he/she is an “Indian agent”. Without getting intimidated rather we sincerely ask them, let’s have an honest appraisal about the sorry condition of widows and orphans. Let’s try to ascertain how their meagre needs are being met? If resistance camp is duly discharging its responsibilities, why this profound helplessness rather hopelessness still prevalent within the real sufferers of turmoil?
Is the resource crunch a genuine explanation? How could that be the case? If this nation is incapable of looking after the small needs moreover the emotional comforting of suffering families, how could it still claims to be a nation-in-resistance? If there is no solidarity, resistance inevitably turns out to be a sheer wastage of effort. That’s the reason why even after a quarter of century having been past, we continue to be badly caught in a chaos. That fully refuses to yield a resistance.
Apparently to save the lives, the authorities instead of bullets now shower pellets. The ordeal of the pellet victims is worse than the dead. Even after getting badly hurt, availing treatment in local hospitals, is perhaps a huge risk, they continue to be hounded by police. Majority of the pellet victims belong to lower strata of the society. To avoid the prosecution at the hands of forces, instead of availing treatment locally they prefer to go outside. The parents of many of the pellet victims had to sell whatever little they have in order to seek treatment out of state.
Is this not a triple jeopardy? First to be a pellet victim that makes liable to be hounded and hence denied a treatment locally. And then to dispose of whatever little they may possess, in order to fund the treatment. A pellet victim indeed is worst victim of state brutalities. How to describe the callous attitude of the so-called leadership? Does this behove well for this movement that we usually get to read the sickening headlines in newspapers; “2 sons killed, 2 missing in custody; Mother lives in poverty”. Is this not the plight of all the sufferers? How could they still claim it to be a resistance? Is a resistance possible without solidarity?

—Courtesy: Greater Kashmir