Sumera B. Reshi
I called my father and I asked about his well-being. Recently, my father was diagnosed with some ailments and the doctor was monitoring his heart rhythms so that he can find out the actual cause of the ailment. So I was worried and called him to confirm his state of well-being.
Me: Hello Daddy, how are you?
Daddy: Hi dear, I am good and under constant surveillance of the doctor, but the air in Kashmir sounds alarmed. There are the clouds of uncertainty and we all are unsure of the future. It is like as if ding dong bell has been played by the supreme power and we are going to end at any time.
Me: Daddy you should be optimistic everything will be alright. Have faith. We will come out of this situation.
Daddy: Hope so. Anyways, I have to check with the doctor on Monday. Let us see what he is going to suggest.
Me: You will all right. You take care of yourself and I shall ring you on Monday afternoon, ok.
Daddy: All right. Till then stay safe.
My wait was over and I took the time off in the afternoon to call my father and to know about his health. I kept ringing, but no luck. My heart started thumping faster. Many weird thoughts engulfed my mind. I was worried about why the phones aren’t working. Meanwhile, I received a WhatsApp message that India has repealed Article 370 & 35 A, thus forcing herself on miserable Kashmiris. My identity which was already in crisis was snatched from me. I was no more a sovereign citizen of a sovereign country which existed even before India and Pakistan were created in August 1947. Now I am a Gazan in India, caged, frustrated and in utter chaos. All my people were and are jailed inside the homes even the Indian stooges were not spared. Kashmir is the highly militarized zone in the world with 800,000 armed forces to eliminate Kashmiris.
We are such a hapless and helpless people that we have lost the count of the days. Every consecutive day we the people of Kashmir have been put under curfew and the restrictions and we are forced to stay inside. Can anyone imagine the world’s largest democracy forcing people of the tiny region to align with them? Can anyone imagine a country that itself remained under the colonial power Britain for 200 years is trying to colonize Kashmir at the behest of its religious frenzy? It is doing so.
Since Sunday, I have no information about my family and my other Kashmiri brethren. I am completely heartbroken, distraught and desolated. My only catharsis is that I cry my heart out. I feel choked, breathless and more so helpless. I feel so worthless now that I have never felt in my whole life. I wish I could be a bird at least I can fly and see my folks. Alas! I am human subjected to the brutal and forced occupation of the occupants who have already tasted the bitter seeds of occupation.
I am unable to reconcile that I have no one around me, that the phones in Kashmir are dead. I agree I chose isolation but I never wanted silence. Usually, I hate silence and now I am experiencing heartbreaking the silence of Muslim friends. The silence of the Muslim world towards Kashmir issue. The silence of the phones and the silence of the air which comes from Kashmir. This silence is killing me day in and day out. The media blackout and lockdown of life in Kashmir opened my eyes. It taught me who is my own who isn’t mine. And I found out that Indian Muslims are heartless human beings. My Hindu and Christian friends won my heart, I lost love for those Muslims who were unmoved by the misery incurred on Kashmir. This is not the end of my story.
Another deafening silence I felt in the flat where I live. The flat is owned by Keralite Muslims (Mallus) and they never asked me about my family or Kashmir. They are as indifferent to human feelings as a tiger is to its prey. The only question they popped up was how many Eid holidays you have. Rest they are as unsympathetic, cold and unmoved to human values as India is to Kashmir’s sovereignty.