What Indians Can Learn From Kashmiris
Usually Indians always try to tell Kashmiris what to do or what to learn from them, so here we present few things which Indians can try to learn from Kashmiris.
Stand for your own people
When Burhan Wani was killed (terrorist for some, martyr for others) we rallied behind him for days. When 17 year old innocent boy Tufail Matto was shot by security forces in 2010, Kashmir was brought to a stand still for months and we lodged our protest. Also, when any unknown militant is killed, lakhs throng (actually go) to pay respect.
Sorry to say, it seems that most people in India only stand by their own people to show off on social media and to gain TRPs on TV channels. Just couple of weeks ago, when 40 Crpf personnel were martyred by a lone militant, all that the mourners did was tweet their revenge, post patriotic messages on Facebook and share viral WhatsApp forwards to each other. Apart from beating few Kashmiris and raising slogans against them in various parts of the country (bad action anyways), what did others do? Nothing. They just hoped government would do something on their behalf. On ground, it didn’t seem like anything has happened and business carried as usual, as if no body cared.
Kashmiris have been known for their hospitality and affection for centuries. In 2014, devastating floods in Kashmir left hundreds of tourists stuck in Kashmir, it was the Kashmiri youth who came to their rescue. In 2017 when an Amarnath Yatra bus full of passengers met with an unfortunate accident near Banihal, local Kashmiris not only participated in rescue operation but also donated blood for the injured. How can we forget Kashmiris risking their lives to save army men caught in accident at Pantha Chowk-Lasjan.
Kashmiris have been hosting 20 Lakh Indian tourists annually and Amarnath Yatra for centuries now. Apart from that, there are 5-6 Lakh non- locals working in Kashmir who neither have complained ever, nor have they been questioned by us. No matter how many atrocities have Kashmiri people undergone and the amount of hatred that we have for the Indian agencies, we have never caused any harm to any person visiting Kashmir. When you are around us, we treat you with respect. If you-still don’t agree, we bet you find someone who has visited Kashmir and not praised Kashmiris for their hospitality.
P.S If the first thought that comes to your mind after reading about Kashmiri hospitality is that Kashmiris survive on tourism for lively-hood. FYI tourism only contributes to 8% of the state’s Gross Domestic Product.
Now coming to India, day and night without fail, Indian television channels run vicious campaign against Kashmiris without any remorse to the condition that Kashmiris are in. Just recently we have seen how Kashmiris were mistreated, students beaten up, shops damaged and Kashmiri businessmen threatened to go back from various parts of India. Apart from the fact that Kashmiris are not able to get rented flats easily and instead are labelled as Pakistani or terrorists when they raise questions on Indian atrocities in Kashmir.
No Kashmiri has ever questioned the working of an Indian in Kashmir (believing that it is not a part of India), while in contrast Indians who blabber that Kashmir is an integral part of India have cheek to ask a Kashmiri ” Why does he/she work in India if they don’t want to be part of India?”
P.S Even though we work in India, whatever we earn is from our hard work. At least we don’t piss and spit on the road, harass your women, occupy your land and have false sense of pride.
Educate yourself more and have your own opinion
As a Kashmiri, it is astonishing to see how such a large mass of population can be brain washed so easily to have a perception which suits the governments narrative. So much are they influenced that they are not willing to see beyond and instead believe their version to be all reality that is possible. For example, the fact that Kashmiris have been blabbering for decades now that Indian armed forces do atrocities and Indians have some-how made up their mind that Indian security forces are in Kashmir to protect Kashmiris and Pakistan is responsible for all the mess in Kashmir. Dude plz…!!! Grow up now…!! Try to base your statements on facts and reasonable understanding thereof. Go to Kashmir, or talk to some Kashmiri or read it somewhere but please have your own opinion rather than thinking and speaking what is fed on a spoon to you by the media. Preferably, I would suggest to check (at least once in your life time) the UN human rights violation reports on Kashmir or of any other international NGO that do not for sure work for profit. I believe while reading them you will for sure get a reasonable edge as to why and what is going on in Kashmir and understand the plight of the Kashmiris for a change.
Do you know why jingoism and muscular action did not take place after Uri and Pathankot, but only so close to a General Election? Do you know how many times Hurriyat’s security has been taken off and given back till now? If yes, you will have contributed positively to the average IQ of India.
In contrast Kashmiris, although we are naive people who believe in all rumors, whatever we talk about and make perception is based on what we experience and what we have been taught, not what a TV anchor says or a meme suggests.
P.S If now after reading this you are thinking the writer is a hardcore Islamist who has been brainwashed to get 72 hoors and is against India and Hindus. Please, see I have not read more than 2 pages of Quran.
Have some compassion and empathy
We Kashmiris have seen sufferings, felt so much pain and seen so many dead bodies that when even a small compassion is shown towards us we reciprocate with many times more. Like when recently Kashmiris were bashed across India, Sikh community came to rescue. We not only showered them with gratification but also went on to provide them free stay in Kashmiri hotels, free consultations by doctors,etc.
The day Pakistan released a video of Indian pilot with blood laden face, most of the Kashmiris said “Hata wai bechor” (cry of anguish, and felt sorry for him) because we have seen blood, we have seen mothers crying for their sons, newly married widows, orphan children and most of all so many cases of disappearances.
Compassion and empathy are the need of the hour to make Kashmir, this country (and world) a better place.
Article by Manan and edits by Talia
Cover photo by Olivier Schram