Tahir Ahmed for BeyondHeadlines
In a room full of Indians and Kashmiris, ten days after the hanging of Afzal Guru, terrorist to some and freedom fighter for others. To some more, for whom catching the DTC bus is more important than thinking about whether their conscience has been satisfied or not, they find it a waste of their time to give a thought to the whole scenario.
Is it me who has grown up and is in middle of things ( I am two steps far from the political powerhouse, the Parliament ) or is it the country, waking up everyday to surprises.
It is incomprehensible, the whole situation after the death/hanging/political assassination of terrorist/martyr. I see a wide gap in what the people who call Kashmir a part of India react to the sentiments of inhabitants of Kashmir.
Sitting in Delhi, I can still feel the tense atmosphere which is there in Kashmir. Why is the media not allowing the people there to speak and express their views. Dialogue is the best way I think for now. Dialogue serves as the pressure outlet in these situations, at least easing the people, giving them the belief that at least they have the freedom to speak and express their ideas. But Kashmiri’s are not Indian citizens right . And if they are, why not allow them to come ahead and speak on media channels.
Had the circumstances been same had the person hanged/assassinated been from Delhi or Uttar Pradesh. NO, in that case the media would have flocked to take reaction stories, how-do-you-feel things, public reactions etc. Just like the fabled ostrich who hides his mouth in the sand to avoid seeing the approaching danger, the Indian state by not allowing a dialogue, not allowing the people to express on public domains is avoiding to see the rising tension. I sincerely hope the state does not end up like the ostrich, getting a kick on its ass.
The tightening claws of the state on free speech and freedom of social media can be easily felt. There are very few posts regarding the Unfair trial. For we Indians, this is the time to think about whether to use the social media as only a means of liking the cute puppy videos or actually expressing what they think about events happening around us.
Today I actually felt the thump and tension, when a Kashmiri student said that Afzal Guru is not dead, but now every Kashmiri is an Afzal Guru, “I am an Afzal Guru”. And this is the new breed of Kashmir. The one that is going to effect the political scenario in Kashmir for at least five decades. The Indian state needs to re-think, if it is in so much love of making Kashmir its own then why such surrogate behavior with the citizens of Kashmir. The Indian state perhaps need to re-think its buffer state policy and the way it deals with such matters of importance and future significance.
(The author is media student and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org)