Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is anyone listening?

Facing the weapon/Bare hands/Who will listen?
Facing the bullets/Oozing this blood/Who will listen?
Wishing the smiles/Full of tears/Who will listen?
Turning the heaven/Into hell/Who will listen?

These lines have been taken from a poem written by a Kashmiri youth from his hospital bed. Hilal Ahmed was hit by bullets as he participated in peaceful protests demanding "FREEDOM from India" in his hometown, Anantnag, Kashmir, on August 2nd, 2010.

The dispute over Kashmir between India and Pakistan has always stuck like a bone in the Indian politician's throat. None has ever been able to get rid of it, and often India has choked over it. But now it has taken the form of a revolution of the people to 'free Kashmir from India'.

The valley is boiling with a fierce anti-India sentiment and the government is not paying enough attention to its potential. Reports such as these, where unarmed protesters indulging in peaceful protests have been shot at, have only fueled it further. The more than 50 youth that were killed in the clashes between the protesters and the security personnel have been revered as martyrs, who laid their lives for 'the cause'.

So the Kashmiri youth ask today, "Who will listen?" While I ask today, "Is Delhi listening?"

The government needs to do more, and differently, than what it is doing now to tackle the sensitive situation, before it turns into an "uprising" against India. And I fear once Kashmir breaks away, it will give leverage to the whole Naxal movement and then some other movement will follow and some other state will demand freedom and then another and another....There is just no end to this!

Well, we have been struggling with this for the past 63 years and it hasn't got any better over the years.

God help Kashmir. God help the people of India!

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