There was a time when Kashmir was the last place I wanted to travel in the world. The image was such of savagery and immorality. Not that everything thing is flowery, but for sure it’s less thorny as it is portrayed. I had always believed it to be an exotic place that would reveal me to horrors of humanity. My views about Kashmir only changed after my recent travel experience. Meeting a few people was all it took to make me see the actual picture of this blessed place. As I reached there I realized that I had carried a cocoon View of Kashmir for years. Kashmir, as I can say now, is not remotely like what it is portrayed. The reputation of a Heavenly abode of peace and love is falsified to such an extent that It creates an air of prejudice over Kashmir. Few of the ‘adventurous’ travelers that visit India are drawn towards Kashmir by its scenic beauty, while rest of them are left behind, clutched by the thought of horrors they Will have to face in Kashmir. The fault is not mine or of those ‘unadventurous’ travelers but instead the fault lies in mere portrayal of Kashmir. ‘Art’ which is considered as a reflection of society fails to reflect Kashmir as it is. Instead of showing the ‘reality’ or ‘the positive aspects’ of Kashmir as well, these artists tend to focus only on the negative aspects of Kashmir.
As an activist my veins say that there are other trodden issues that must be caught in the valley that are totally being ignored and need immediate attention. In this aspect one of my friends and another peace lover in the strain , Sajid Yousuf Shah a Law student in Kashmir University says according to him violence has never been a solution to anything and it disheartens him to see so much bloodshed in Kashmir. Being a Muslim he added on explaining to me a few teachings of prophet who says that killing a person is killing the whole humanity. He also told me that the Prophet has always taught to pickup even a mare pebble which might end up giving a bruise to someone walking on the road.
I wonder how difficult life people would have in Kashmir that they are forced to throw stones.
Clearly , a few in number but much in effect, politicians are trying to enjoy the prolonged luxury of the confliction phase of Kashmir who would never pick up arms but would always murder the conscience of the young and innocents. When these young minds should totally devote themselves toward the serving of the society by gaining all the academicals benefit and outshining at them, they are being painted with blood! I wonder who is responsible for this bloodshed when even a shikara wala bhaiya invited me for Eid party very modestly to his house in Dal! The much talked of word ‘Kashmiriyat’ is nothing more than common people of Kashmir showing love towards their land and an unforgettable warm hospitality. Portrayed as Militants, these people following Kashmiriyat are nothing more than common human beings seeking for rights on their lands, which are constantly stuck in between the conflicts of India and Pakistan. These Kashmiris are no terrorists but rather common human beings who not only respect their guests. These people there are polite, compassionate and honest in their affairs.
As they say there is always a hope! I saw Kashmir about which no one talks about, they talk of love, happiness and dedication . They are blindly proud of their land, who wouldn’t be if they owned heaven!!
I hope to see the sense of conscience coming back among everyone! A hope to soon see Kashmir turning out to be Subhan Allah Kasheer!
Manjot Singh Kohli
A Valley and Peace Lover