What Will Time Tell?

July 18, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Ahmed Khan

 

By

Ananya S Guha

I have never felt so lacerated, inside I mean. But what does it mean you may ask. I mean torn inside, guilty, angry, hurt all within. But I know life will or must continue, writers will write poems or stories, rave and rant at governments and people. What does Kashmir mean to me? Just a patch of land which people describe as beautiful, murderous and murdered? Or a recalcitrant part of the country, which many say does not want to be a part of India?

Employed in a National University I have colleagues there, working hard to get students admitted into academic courses. Have I ever paused to think about their working conditions? Yes but barely, never had the temerity to pick up the phone and talk to them. Today I read in the newspaper how a young girl in a village near Srinagar, was shot and is now blind. We can save her, but not her eyes, doctors camping there said.

We are blinded by hate. We are blinded by love or misplaced love. When we thought sometime back that Kashmir was improving, there has been a setback. Kashmir once again has become a war zone under military operations. How do we as a country gauge this situation? Leave it to the people and the governments like that? As it is? Continue to accuse a neighbouring country of interference, even as it does not care? How will history write Kashmir? That it is a part of India where people resent militarism, resent also terrorism from within? What will history say of the over hundred unmarked graves in 2010? Does death have no names?

The hurt is a deep searing wound, the one say you or I experience. But the people who are there in the middle at the crossfire of guns, bullets, armed forces, terrorists, what have they done that they should suffer so? Where is the political will to find the soluble, so that alienation does not go depraved, mad and treacherous? Kashmir with its paradise of natural beauty, colourful and bountiful lakes, and its arcades of history has become a war zone. Political analysts will anatomise, why did the powers at the centre go in for a rushed alliance with a local political party? How do we define a collective, political will?

Living in far off North East India where things have been starkly similar in the region, one thinks that separatism, its strong feelings has reasons. What are these, in the midst of table talk of race, ethnicity and the much vaunted ‘mainstream’? How will the mainstream unite all the sub streams, the recalcitrant peripheries, whose voices are heard only through a rattle of guns, hunger strike, civil disobedience, which the governments do not know how to assuage? Which the government thinks is an issue of lack of development, but does not know how to go through its processes? Much has been said of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and its disembowelment, and now after the Apex Court verdict that no authority has the right to kill with a spurious law even if those killed are terrorists, militants or criminals. The law applies to everyone it says sombrely. In other words you cannot take it in your own hands, or blindly kill anyone. This verdict shows that an Apex Court of a country infested with war and violence has its very own stark objectivity and rectitude.

What will be the outcome of such a decision, only time the ruthless invader and narrator of stories, mine and yours; will tell!

The little blinded girl I will never see- and that is in a way a relief, but also is a reproof of our inert escapism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ananya S Guha

Ananya S Guha was born and brought up in Shillong, North East India. He has seven collections of poetry and his poems have been published worldwide. They have also been featured in several anthologies. He is also a columnist, critic and editor. He now is a Regional Director at the Indira Gandhi National Open University and holds a doctoral degree on the novels of William Golding.

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