“Everyday when i would wake up, i would wear the ‘good boy’ mask on my face. You know that’s how it worked for me all my life. Hearing good things about me from everyone at home and outside would be something that i loved. Certain narcissism built where i though everything is about me. On the social media, there was a similar portrayal. I wasn’t taking because i thought this was my real self. But beneath all of it, this mask was devouring every my being
They ask us, why do Kashmiris go to India to study and work. They ask us to see India’s growth and development. They remind us of their GDP numbers, the trade percentage and all that financial numbers.
They love us but behind the garb of this duplicity they take a dagger and stab us in the back. Their love will never understand what an occupation means, because they don’t live under one. Under their hypocritical nationalism, they can’t ask their killing troops to come home.
They won’t protest outside the headquarters of the army, and demand punishment for their crimes. They won’t protest in the streets and carry “End the Indian Occupation”. But they sure will under the garb of justice, indianise our struggle, as an internal matter.
I don’t hate Indians, and I have no reason to love them either. Neither I’ll ever ask them to give their attention to us, cos not only is their nationalism hypocritical but also they are morally corrupt.
If you don’t have an established record of critique of our oppression, don’t go around with criticism of our resistance.
As far as jobs and working in India goes, the day you take your troops home. We won’t need to be in the sweltering heat and hate of Indian state. We will be free.
We may not be the richest nation of the world, but surely we will be free. And their is nothing more worthy in the world than that. We may not be the world’s superpower, but for sure the warmth of returning home without the fear of occupation, will be powerful enough.
Keep your love and sympathies with you. If you want to support Kashmir, become our allies. Solidarity with Kashmir means demanding end of the occupation, and supporting our right to political destiny, to be independent. If you’re ready to do that. We can be friends.
Note: There are many Indians who are our allies in the struggle, this is not for them. We love them. Like our friends and neighbours.
I remember in school, to my question on Kashmiri Independence, the teacher would often give me the explanation of
“Look at the Indian map, if we take out Kashmir, it will become ugly and the map wouldn’t look good” or “Kashmir is like India’s Crown, if you had a crown would you take it off.”
No factual analysis, no documents to support the facts. But since we were kids, we are supposed to accept whatever was told.
I knew that it was just bollocks, but the way these answers would be repeated in class would just make me angry. How our own teachers are cheating us off our own history.
Or the two sentence mention of Kashmir acceded to India after tribals invaded. “Maharaja kya karta woh majboor hogaya” (the Maharaja was left with no other option).
So like always I would find answers in the crackdowns as a little boy, why Kashmir wants freedom. I know our elders thought that “this is not your thing, go study or play” but in that quietness, I would observe and listen.
So much so that I was banned from going to the Bakers in the morning, cos I would give my turn to others as I wanted to listen more of our history.
Few months ago, I went back to the same school where some teachers would make a fool out of us all. In one of the first classes, I asked them about Kashmir’s history. To my surprise, I heard “India is a democracy and if people fight obviously they would kill.” I was shocked, and saddened in that minute of silence.
Until one girl in her teens gets up and says “Sir, she’s talking nonsense, the psychological warfare is working well on her but not us”, another boy stands up and “it is the Indian occupation of our country, if we do not fight we are not human beings”. Another girl echoing from the last row, “Sir, we want freedom that’s it” and quickly sits down.
I had a lump in my throat by the end of the class. I went home passing through the old streets where I would pedal home. Our new generation knows and they know well.
As much as it makes me sad that the fifth generation of Kashmiris have lost their childhood to the occupation, it swells me with pride that our resistance has found a new home, among the young.
Hundreds of years ago, the Mughals in Kashmir built the gardens bordering the Dal. Thinking that there imperialist empire that occupied Kashmir would last forever. They consolidated the occupation with ministers, numberdars… (bureaucrats)
Couple of centuries later, the powerful Durranis broke the Mughal Occupation, with an occupation of their own. They built the Fort which is atop of Koh e Maran, again using the example of their predecessors, they consolidated their occupation through bureaucrats. Thinking that they would last long.
Then the British came, and sold us in what could be the biggest slave trade day in the history of mankind. The vassals Dogras became the new occupiers.
They brutalised the valley which led to the exile of hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris to what is known as Pakistan. The famines that killed thousands more due to their policies. (read Mridu Rai’s Hindu Rulers Muslim subjects)
When Kashmir was subjected to a genocide and subsequent bloody partition of their country. They were taken over by new occupiers.
The military complex of India is unfathomable for a valley like ours. The massive army cantonments, the ammunition, the number of armed personnel (almost a million), the structures and the planning for next ten years.
Just like the predecessors who occupied this country for the last 500 years, they consolidated their occupation through bureaucracy which is counter-revolutionary.
They too think their might and power cannot be defeated by the people who have resisted for five centuries.
But they forget an important lesson, nothing lasts forever, even the most brutal occupation. The Mughal Gardens, the Durrani Fort, the Institutions; the very land where you walk is a witness to this brutal history.
Be on the right side of the history, and you’re answerable not just to the Almighty but to the generations that would witness the dawn of the promised day. On that day, no justifications and no amount of intellectual bullshit can exonerate you.
C’esta la vie
I am cut from the world
The air reeks smells
of prison cell
surrounded by invisible
a leash around my neck
breath by breath Continue reading “Invisible prison”