In Kashmir over the past few months the killings have been increased enormously at the hands of security forces. Majority of the killings took place at the gun fight sites after civilians resist the security forces against counter insurgency operations leading to confrontation. The trend of locals interrupting security forces at gun fight sites is a fresh trend which started a year ago in south Kashmir after local youth started rushing to the encounter spots to offer safe passage to the trapped militants.
In a similar kind of incident on Sunday as many as five civilians got killed after news about the outbreak of encounter spread in Shopian and people started marching towards the gun fight point. The deadly Sunday recorded the ten killings in total apart from five civilians and as many militants. There seems no let up in the killings and the worrying trend is of losing academicians, scholars and highly professionals to the vicious cycle of violence.
What is more ironical the government forces term every killing of a militant as their achievement while for the separatists every dead militant turns hero. In other sense on both the sides the deaths are glorified in different narratives. For government each death of a militant is defeat to the separatist ideology and for separatists every death of a militant or civilian exemplify resilience to occupation. This narrative in the place since three decades consumed over one lakh lives but failed to achieve any goal. One can’t secure the future without knowing his past.
Collectively we have all failed as a society to build a strategy for existence with resistance. We are resisting to perish and our strategies are self destructing. Be it economy, human lives or the socio economic process, it has deeply been wounded over the past thirty years of insurgency. For New Delhi as along as security forces are staying in this hole of paradise safe, there is no outcry. Civilian killings for them matters least. But the question is what has happened to us.
Why can’t we think for ourselves?
To safeguard our own precious lives, economy and the social structure that we have been living since ages. Why instead of glorifying a dead militant or a civilian who either happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time or facing emotional discharge for a militant battling inside from the house and paying with his life for him. How can Kashmir afford to lose brilliant minds like Mohammad Rafi who was teaching at our highest seat of learning? Why Manan Wani who acquired the degree of scholar from the prestigious Aligarh Muslim University opts for a gun and lives his life of resistance far away in the dens and woods.
We may have contrasting views for National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah for his political ideology. But no one can deny him a space for setting a political discourse against autocratic Maharaja’s of Jammu and Kashmir. Sheikh was denied the job after earning a master’s degree from Aligarh Muslim University and tried to join the Maharaja’s government as civil servant but was denied.
Dejected Sheikh strengthened the political movement against Dogra’s and in few years he became influential enough to start the civil disobedience movement against Dogra’s in Kashmir. We need to pick the threads from past to secure our future. Present always sows the seeds for future and let’s ensure we sow the right seeds for our upcoming generations not to see them facing the situation with no exit. For that the role and responsibility of intellectuals comes first.
Their role is to transform the society positively and usher it to the social, political and economic progress not to die like sitting ducks and inflict huge loss to the society what we have already started reaping.