Kashmir: In Search Of Lost Paradise


Kashmir is a land where everyone across the globe savors its picturesque beauty; Where everyone relishes its wazwan; where everyone craves to come again and again; where everybody bask in the glory of its different seasons. And same is the case with its own people; they too enjoy everything associated with their land except the illegal occupation.

Now this paradise has lost its magical spell. It seems to have fallen victim to an evil eye. Since the start of occupation, I have lost my paradise and I am in search of its lost glory. From plant kingdom to that of humans, they have lost their peace and paradise. I was taught by a teacher in early stage of my life, that in a paradise nobody is supposed to interfere in your affairs; you are free of constraints. But in a paradise like Kashmir pattern is reversed. You are forced to follow draconian laws. You are asked to show your identity. You are caged in your homes for months together. You are tortured, killed after being implicated in false cases. You are subjected to enforced disappearances without any fault of yours. Your mothers, sisters and wives are raped. Your schools are burnt to ashes where our blooming flowers learn the precious lessons of their lives. Unlike the features of paradise, here you won’t find the singing of the flying birds as they too are in grip of fear. From children to old aged, from girls to women, from plants to animals everybody has witnessed the pool of the blood all around.

Our blooming buds (children) are psychologically depressed now. When I was in a 2nd standard I used to play hide and seek with my friends. One day a call from the neighbour frightened us as the army had cordoned off our village in search of a militant. While we still continued to play, an army man unluckily approached where I had hidden myself. He ruffled his gun and pointed on my head as if he thought a 7 year old child would be the chief of the commander of the guerilla group. I screamed in front of him till somebody told him that these children were playing hide and seek. Only then did he leave. That day was the last day when I said good bye to the hide and seek game; as my parents didn’t allow me to play it again. Same is the case with our present blooming buds as they are caged in their homes for months. They are depressed due to the ongoing turmoil in the lost paradise. They lack interest in studies, always feeling a sense of discomfort. We are worried about the future of our children. I heard some students talking to each other and the conversation goes like this: If the government will reopen the schools again how can we go to the schools, as the schools are now burnt down. How can we play with the friends as they are pellet victims? How can we take our meals when some of our friends are in their graves? How can we face our teachers as some of our teachers are behind bars and some are in an eternal paradise?
Now it is time to think about these ill-fated children. Let them play again, let them play the game of hide and seek which I couldn’t relish. Let children be spared ugly sights of the pool of bloods on the roads, and bullets in the rooms. Let them see again the same paradise about which Jahangir had rightly said’ if there is paradise, it is here, it is here, it is here.

It’s not only our children who are suffering, our younger ones as well as older ones too are suffering on a multitude of fronts. Economically we are facing worst financial crisis since that goddamn accession. But the ongoing turmoil has hit tourism and transport workers the most. This conflict did not only batter economy but it also took lakhs of lives and atrocities around the lost paradise is going on. From time to time India and its rulers made lofty promises but instead they raped our women.  “KUNAN POSHPARA” is a glaring example. They kill, maim, torture Kashmiris through their draconian laws. They make women half-widowed. Now they call a lost paradise their integral part. Gandhi and the Nehru categorically declared in their speeches,’’ Kashmir’s will have to be given their rights, according to their wishes. “But unfortunately India forgotten the promises of their father of the nation.

As we know human life is a precious asset and no price can compensate for its worth. We need to think to regain the glory of lost paradise via the talks not through the barrel of gun. The gun whether it is from the India or from the other side can only devastate the paradise. So let the concerned start talks to reclaim the lost glory of our paradise. Let peace prevail.

Author is a student at UOK and hails from kanispora, Baramulla. [email protected]


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