Kashmir a burden on Indian conscience

What is it that I can probably write a fresh about Kashmir? Every new killing and every news is same as the previous one with the only key difference being the nouns and constructions of sentences. The protests, curfew, pellets and bullets remain the same. Every time it feels like I am having a déjà vu. It is an endless cycle.

While I am writing this, I ask myself why do I need to write about what world already knows? What purpose it can serve to add a few more lines? Killing is nothing new when it comes to Kashmir. It is a decades old fight which India is fighting against an invisible enemy. It is a sentiment. It resides everywhere, in everyone and at every time in Kashmir. Curfews and shutdowns cannot be imposed on what lies beyond physicality.

Kashmir is a place where dead are killed in the day and their killers patrol roads in the night. It is a place where forces fight graves. It reminds me of Yasir, a young boy from my village. He lost his dear friend Mansoor to a bullet when both were part of a street protest. Young Yasir saw his friend lying on the ground, lifeless and bloodied. “It was the day when they killed me too,” he says. There are thousands of Yasirs in every village in Kashmir for every Mansoor killed.

How can you defeat Yasir’s sentiment and resolve to resist when it is celebrated in melodious folklores? How can you kill it when it is sung as a lullaby to kids before they sleep? How can you kill an enemy with force when enemy is beyond the flesh and bones?

When it comes to guarding the sentiment, which is dearer to people than life, madness takes over. It flows in hearts and reverberates in air. It can’t be stopped by force. Decades of deceit and ignorance can’t be washed away with rhetoric masterpiece. If it is to be won over. It needs political maturity and highest degree of sincerity to resolve.

What is happening in Kashmir is a big burden on Indian conscience. Admit it or ignore it, it won’t change.


Athar RatherThe author is a multimedia producer at Hindustan Times and can be reached at [email protected]