This Kashmiri Woman’s Reply is a Must Read for Everyone Who Thinks He/She Knows about Kashmir Conflict
This reply came on Quora to a question ” Is it not unfair to downplay suffering’s of Kashmiri muslims by playing the Pandit victim card?” by a Kashmiri namely Andrea Khan.
Here is her reply:
It is very unfair to downplay the sufferings of the Muslim Kashmiris, playing the Pandit victim card. A straight answer to your question.
In general, it is unfair to downplay anybody’s /anything’s suffering or experience of injustice by playing the victim card.
Its easy to understand the “apparent” conflict. All you do is watch a little bit of the news, see some Indian flags burning, Kashmiri’s pelting stones at police officers, people mourning a dead rebel and there you have it. You automatically connect this to a bigger picture.
Lets take an example. Lets use Raj for the sake of BBT.
Raj is an average Indian living in Mumbai. He doesn’t know much about the Kashmir conflict. So one day he is exposed to this crisis by a friend. He watches the latest news. Kashmiri MUSLIMS (that’s important) are pelting stones at Indian soldiers and policemen. The poor policemen are trying to defend themselves. Now, Raj makes a connection. Raj’s brain links this to things he may have heard or seen before. Its a natural process. A human will judge everything he sees, hears, smells, and tastes. It is a human thing, a natural instinct to survive. So Raj says, “Oh right! That’s what X was saying to me last week! These Kashmiris hate Indians and India. They attack policemen and the army officers! right I see now…”
Rarely does one ever question the reliability or bias of the news/media. I admit, sometimes even I do not. You see an article. You see the source. It sounds like a legitimate site/source and you then believe the news.
So Raj does not ask the question as to why these people are doing this. Because he hears them chanting “Azaadi” and “We love Pakistan” and so he thinks, they want freedom.They are trying to drive out or scare away the Indian forces! Yes! That must be it.
Raj knows about the mass exodus and injustice done with the Kashmiri Pandits in the 90’s. He knows its a fact. He doesn’t question the source of where he found this information out too. But he knows it is true. And so Raj makes another conclusion. The Kashmiri Muslims want Kashmir to either be free and only inhabited by Muslims, or join with Pakistan as it is already highly Muslim populated. This is why the exodus of the Pundits occurred right? Exactly! I understand now! The Kashmiri Muslims are trying to kick out the Hindus and other minorities to have an independent Islamic state! How dare they! That is not fair at all.
Raj has come to his conclusion.
But he doesn’t know that Azad was pelting stones at the Policeman because he thought it was the best revenge. As Azad’s sister was publicly harassed by a Jawan last week. He has heard about the atrocities committed in Kashmir against the Kashmiri Muslims and so his revenge is of more value.
Raj doesn’t know that Bashir’s mother was raped in the Kunan Poshpora incident. He doesn’t know that Bashir’s mother killed herself after the incident because she could not handle it. He does not know that Bashir had lived without a mother for years and wants revenge. Bashir sees other people with their mothers and cries. Bashir is hurt and his heart is shattered inside.
Mahira is supporting the riots in Kashmir because she has been living an unfair life since she was born. She went to Delhi for a year and she saw how different every other Indian’s life is. She realized there are no soldiers walking around in broad daylight with heavy guns and sharp eyes. There isn’t anybody that will randomly knock on your door at any time and demand for IDs. Nobody is scared to talk about their political views in fear of being killed/kidnapped or being called a “Deshdrohi” “Terrorist” … Everybody is happy and not in constant fear for their lives. She hates the fact that she can never live like this at home. She does not have the freedom there as she does in Delhi. Mahira wants to see change. She sees “freedom””and “Separatism” as a ray of hope for her city. She is desperate for a better future where her children won’t live the same. But you see, Raj doesn’t know this.
They say Ignorance is a bliss. I agree with this. These things are not shown in Indian media as much and so people develop an opinion that differs to many Kashmiri Muslims.
People do not realize the heavy situation in Kashmir.
“If you don’t learn about history, it will repeat itself.” This is important to understand. To understand today’s situation we have to understand yesterday’s.
Raj will automatically use the argument of the Kashmiri Pandits suffering in his defence. If ever confronted by a Kashmiri who engages in discussion.
This is because people tend to attack people’s weaknesses. Its like if I wanted to get my rival out of the competition so I had a better chance of winning, I would use their weakness. I would tell the official that this person has a history in drugs and illegal activity. It is the truth but it is not relevant. Because that was 10 years ago and the person has improved themselves for a better future. So why shall they be eliminated on this basis? Do you think this is fair? What happened yesterday should not overpower the truth of today.
If the Kashmiri exodus was a black phase in our history then we must understand that we are, creating and supporting another dark phase happening. It is happening now. But what truly disgusts me is when people deny this. Especially when they deny this but do not deny the atrocities against Kashmiri pandits. It enrages me. When you tell them to “Visit Kashmir and you’ll know” They reply acting like they Know it all and say “I have”
Clear enough for me to say, you have not. When you are in Kashmir, you are in Kashmir. But you are not a Kashmiri. You cannot be. You cannot experience life as a Kashmiri unless you stay there pretending to be one. You cannot expect to be a tourist in Kashmir and expect people to react the same way as you. No. It is not what you think it is. Yes. You had a good time when you were there and maybe, you didn’t see anyone suffering in front of your eyes. Does that automatically negate the fact that injustices are happening in Kashmir? No. Does that mean all Rapes committed by a member of law enforcement or soldier are false allegations or rumours? No. Does that mean every Murder accusation is fake? No. Does that mean every missing person is not actually missing? No. Does that mean the inhumane treatment of Kashmiri Muslims, separatists, freedom fighters, protestors, etc. are all talk? No. (Note I did not say Terrorists. There is a huge difference)
So when we Kashmiris, see people like this who are unfairly biased, condemning the Paris attack, the Brussels shooting, the Orlando massacre, the killings of Yazidi’s by ISIS, the bombings in Pakistan, etc. We feel angry. We feel hurt. We feel neglected and ignored. Because we hear you people chanting, “Kashmir belongs to India” “Kashmir is our heaven and we own it” “No one can take it from us” then we ask you this question… If you so dearly love Kashmir, want to protect Kashmir, want to keep Kashmir for India, want to visit Kashmir and enjoy Kashmir, then why do you fail in loving the people? why do you fail to even TRY and understand the situation there instead of turning a blind eye all the time… Why do you fail to accept Kashmiris, after you’ve accepted Kashmir? Why do you refuse to listen to us? Why do you think we are lying?
Why do you not care about OUR sufferings? Why don’t you condemn OUR losses? Why don’t you accept us as Indians even when you accept Kashmir as part of India?
No good in expressing your sadness for victims across the globe while your denying the sufferings of your own people…
PS: I am a Kashmiri Muslim who is totally for Kashmir’s independence. But I also don’t mind staying with India. I believe that unbiased education is the only way to inform and educate young Kashmiris so that they are not manipulated, brainwashed and indoctrinated to be against India with a RIFLE. This is why we need to work together as a team. Both sides need to realize the importance of cooperation so that a conclusion can be effectively discussed. I hate the violence and bloodshed happening so I would love for there to be an immediate solution even though that’s a far away story.