Thursday, July 8, 2010

Living in Denial

A pastor named Martin Niemoller lived in Germany during the Nazi period left us with these moving lines:

They came first for the communists
and I didnt speak up because I wasnt a communist

Then they came for the Trade Unionists
and I didnt speak up because I wasnt a Trade Unionist

Then they came for for the Jews
and I didnt speak up because I wasnt a Jew

Then they came for
and then no one was left to speak up

If there ever has been a blog post that I am writing with such a heavy heart as this one, it indeed is this one. There is an overwhelming gloom of the unnecessary violence in our home mixed with feelings of helplessness. Just when one thought things were finally looking better in the valley we are probably back to where it all began. It never occurred to me that the incentive for mischief in Kashmir would be such that it would lead us to a point that a handful of mobsters could hold the whole state to ransom.

J is a very good friend of mine,he is someone who has stood by me through thick and thin.We have known each other for 14 years now and never ever has an unkind word been exchanged between us. Our families are good friends too. The reader must be wondering why I am bringing the nice soul into what many call a "rabble rousing blog". The reason is that for two days now my friend has a couple of lines alongside his name in the facebook.

This is how they read:

"Sometimes I wonder why people are so apathetic towards the killing in the valley.It is time'that voice of sanity' needs to speak up.It is time that the anger and resentment of Kashmiri public is acknowledged and addressed to.It is time we stop living in denial"

The answer probably lies in the lines of the Pastor. You see "the voices of sanity" in Kashmir were mute conspirators when leaders of Kashmiri Muslims were shouting from the mosque tops and asking Pandits to leave or be prepared for the worst. The voices of sanity kept shut or simply absented themselves when the mobs were shouting, We want Kashmir without Kashmiri Pandit men but their women. The voices of sanity were unmoved when our age old temples were being reduced to ruins.The voices of sanity did not say a word when people celebrated the release of the butcher of the Pandits - Bitta Karate. The voices of sanity said nothing when the separatist leaders killed small voiceless Pandit children or raped their women.The voices of the sanity did not speak up because they were simply weren't Pandits as in the case of the Pastor's lines.It makes me terribly sad to say this but it is simply a case of bad Karma catching up.When you had time to speak for someone you didn't and now except for a few usual suspects there aren't many who would speak for you.

Knowing J, I hope when he talks of resentment and anger of Kashmiris he doesn't simply mention Kashmiri Muslims but Pandits too. Unfortunately the term Kashmiris is so loosely used today that most people tend to think that the only Kashmiris that are there are the Kashmiri Muslims but that's not J's fault.There obviously is a lot of anger among Pandits but then they don't take a stone every time they find the food unpalatable or the camps in which they are forced to live as unlivable.

The whole issue of denial is at the root of the problem that Kashmiri Muslims are dealing with today.For every issue that confronts them they find an imaginary ghost sometimes in India,sometimes in IB, sometimes in the cunning Pandits, sometimes even in Parveen Togadia or Jim Morrison but never do they look inwards to see if the fault could be there's too. Since they have driven the Pandits out they have ended up as a society which has a singular strain of obscurantist Islam and where dissent is crushed by death as we have seen in case of Maulvi Farooq, Abdul Ghani Lone and Sattar Ranjoor.

The young have been coaxed into believing that the road to Nirvana lies through a way paved with stones and bricks and people any other than them are pagans of stone and snake worshiping types.

I feel terribly sorry for poor Omar when I see the young forcibly anointed Mirwaiz - yes the one more helpless than me, shouting on television that India is killing Kashmiri Muslims. It leaves me wondering as to when he will have the courage to say the same about those people who killed his father. How strange is it that he and the Lone brothers are so scared that they have been forced to make friends with the very terrorists who killed their fathers. A strange society indeed... and they ask us to speak out...

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