“Stop talking of Kashmir, if you do not know what happens there!” burst out Khurshid. He had been listening to the self gloating talk of four guys who had been praising how the Indian Government was handling the situation. He had seen how his younger brother’s bullet ridden body had one day been brought home. He was just 4. The stony eyes on a still glowing face with bullet ridden stomach was hard to digest. Khurshid was angry. But he had never wanted to be another killer. His family had seen a lot. His Uncle would often be away from home, some said he was in Pakistan. He would often come and bring some friends they had never known. Surely not Kashmiris, but who were very disciplined in the daily prayers and strict on religious practice. Then one day his Uncle never returned. His Aunt never recovered from that setback. Ever since, she was with their family bed ridden. His father had brought his cousin and his own kids up.
Ajay was the angry one. “Oye.. are you a Jehadi?”
No. DO I have to be? I am one of those who left the valley because I could not take the violence and did not want to be violent. There was little choice.
“But its you guys who do the violence anyways!” Neeraj said bluntly.
Who is this “you” here? A car in your colony ran over a kid last evening… you heard about that didn’t you? Can I say that “you guys” run over kids? Why do I have to take the curse of masses?
The four were stunned! His argument was strong and to the point.
Pankaj then requested “Then why does violence happen in Kashmir. Since you suggest that we do not know, you ought to explain to us why you think it happens?”
Isnt it obvious? Over the years, the Government of India, has been putting up puppet rulers who have never looked at the good of the people. When the people asked for their rights we got violent Army and then came the reaction and violence escalated. We are asking for rights… of basic human beings. That we need to be ruled by ourselves and live with our consent. Youth with no future can take a violent direction. And that is what has happened in our land of peace! I am angry, but do not desire violence. Bahut takat chahiye yeh sab bardasht karne ke liye!
Rajiv was smoking. It was an interesting conversation. He looked back. “Bardasht is a very interesting word. Can you use that with an angry mind?”
“What do you mean? When pain occurs, the mind will react. To not take a wrong action despite provocation is Bardasht!”
“But anger shows that you have not forgiven your tormentor. So, you may not take action, but the anger does not display the calmness and serenity of one who has bardasht. If you had forgiven or even more empathized with those whom you thought wronged you, then you could say you are not violent!”
“That is easy to say. If you lived in Kashmir you would know!”
So many in Ladakh and Leh have the same rulers. They don’t even get a semblance of money that Kashmir gets, but they never had any issues. Why did the youth in Kashmir have to fight?”
Our religious rights were trampled with! We were targeted because we were Muslims in a Hindu India.
So what! Many who live in many countries cannot practice their religion openly. They do so at home. God is in your heart.
The atmosphere had grown tense. Night was falling and they dispersed. They all went home and the discussion was something that kept them thinking in their dream. A discussion that had taken a different turn.. had their minds shifting from one side to another.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where that sole glass of water was the tastiest thing you had there? Well, the college cafetaria was one such. “Sorry for raising my voice, yaar”. Rajiv smiled “No problem.. Vaaray Chuvsa?”.
Oh, are you Kashmiri as well? Khurshid said surprised
So you understand what I was saying about what we went through.
I do, Khurshid, but I doubt you understood what we went through? You CHOSE to leave your home. I did not. Some one like your Uncle made sure we left ours. You can go home. I cant.
Khurshid was speechless.
If between you and me anyone should have felt angry and taken to violence, I guess me and my siblings would have the greatest reason to do so. Khurshid peace-loving is not that you did not resort to violence when you were not given your rights.. but when you did not resort to violence even when EVERY HUMAN right you had was trampled by your VERY OWN! My father was killed by our own neighbor!
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