I’m an Indian and I apologize for what India is doing in Kashmir, writes Rashmi Sehgal.
Current situation in J&K reminds me of a famous story of a child and his mother. When the child asks his mother for the moon, the witty mother, to please her sweetheart fetches a bowl of water and keeps it in front of the child. Seeing the reflection of the moon, the child’s happiness knows no bounds. Same is the situation in India these days, with the government and media floating many self-fulfilling prophecies to keep the public in good mood. It is perhaps the time India realized the difference between fact and fiction. Being a research scholar on Kashmir problem it many times becomes difficult for me to keep a track of the unabated killings in Kashmir. The never-ending massacres by Indian army are next to impossible to sum up in one page. It wrenches one’s heart when we see mothers coming on roads, rallying and shouting against Indian army or precisely against whole of India now. Even the people who used to have most balanced views regarding the situation in Kashmir that: “it is a political game” now have started hating Indians. Perhaps it is not their mistake; anyone can turn irrational at the sight of mutilated dead bodies of their innocent friends and family.
Looking at the reaction of the Indian masses to what happens in Kashmir, one is only disappointed. How come India can’t see the difference between the dead and the alive? It is true that it is difficult to feel the same pain as Kashmiri are feeling, but one can at least try to “understand” the pain. Instead many extremists in India call for boycotting Kashmiri goods like apples and shawls. For the first time unknowingly Indians are doing right. They should not eat the “apple watered by Kashmiris” blood. In reality any Indian citizen who thinks that the Kashmiri people should die like this are not worth of having any goods made in Kashmir.
It pains one to read most of the comments posted by proud Indian citizens on several blogs and websites these days. How the people’s mind can be poisoned by politicians baffles one. Now when most of the e-Indians have decided to boycott Kashmiri goods, time has come for them to know how much Kashmir gives them. A so-called proud citizens of India should not boycott only apple and shawls, they should also boycott the electricity that is generated in Kashmir and sent across to whole of India. Economically put, this alone can save Kashmir millions. It is obvious that Indian media will never reveal this to Indian public. But still the truth remains no matter what the medium.
Regarding the potential of Kashmir, economists opine that only tapping the electricity produced in J&K can turn it into Singapore. And we all know that Kashmir has much more that electricity generating power to it. Agriculture, horticulture, tourism, the list goes on. Back to India. Chanting the slogan of hindu muslim sikh isayee apas mai sub bhayee bhayee will not help unless and until the Indian citizens understand the meaning of these words. Not only understand, but live up to these words as well.
I really don’t know about the rest of India but the lamentable faces of Kashmiris and the dead bodies of innocent people are haunting me day and night. Thought of hatred by the innocent people is giving me sleepless nights. I wonder why Indian leaders do not understand this simple fact that every living creature has a right to live happily, and so is it with Kashmiris also. If we cannot do anything which will help in reducing the pain of Kashmiris, we should not yell out rabid words on TV channels and vitiate the atmosphere further. Sometimes I wince to think that I’m an Indian. Is this the same country which used to make me feel proud and for which I would pick fights with others if they said anything unpleasant her. For sure my India is lost somewhere. Or seems that if this is not the case, then some people have commandeered my India and are directing it to the quagmire many of us hate to go to but, like in a hijack, can’t help. We the Indians have garnered so much hatred in Kashmir, north-east and elsewhere that it is difficult to even extending a drop of an apology in the ocean of sufferings inflicted. Apologies nevertheless!!
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