To be or Not to be
Hi, buzzed my phone with a messenger message.
To my surprise, it was a message from a journalist friend from Srinagar, my home town.
Hope you are fine, he messaged.
I was happy to see the message and instantly, I replied to him.
Oh My Gosh! I can’t believe did India lift the internet ban and are the phones working?
He laughed and said no I am in Ladakh that is why my internet is working.
Listening to this conversation, my heart sank again. However, I was equally happy that someone from my hometown is in my contact.
He explained every single moment and the atmosphere of Kashmir. He said Kashmir is no more a Kashmir, it is a ghost city. We have been grilled since August 4.
Though I couldn’t see his emotions coldness in his voice explained all that was shrouded in India fake media narratives.
My heart sank further. For a moment, I felt completely hopeless. I felt I have nothing of my own.
I sighed and said in response, see this shall also pass. We have seen the worst and we shall emerge. After a brief pause, he replied it is not going to be easy now. I couldn’t stop my emotions, so I burst into a pool of tears rolling down my cheeks. This wasn’t just the salty water that gushed out of my eyes but I was mourning my loss, I was mourning my oppressors and I was mourning the so-called civilized world that believes in human rights while human rights violations in Kashmir. I was mourning the hypocrisy of the world leaders who sewed their lips when they needed to voice. I was mourning the deceit and inhuman behaviour of the world largest democracy.
Anyhow, we both consoled each other that they have been under Great Britain and were freed, so shall we. My heart was paining but I was happy to message him and talk in my own language.
For two days, I was quietly happy that I am chatting with my fellow Kashmiri. Nevertheless, my heart went back to the memories of my people. I asked myself, how are they managing such a communication barricade and how long it is going to happen? I was in a dilemma and didn’t know what to do any news about Kashmir.
The internet, mobile and landline communications were clocked in the region while tens of thousands of troop reinforcements have flooded the main city of Srinagar and other towns and villages in the occupied valley.
Additionally, many of the region’s urban areas remained in lockdown and more than 500 political or community leaders and activists remained in detention.
According to Australian journalist CJ Werleman, there is one Indian soldier for every 10 Kashmiris making it one of the world’s heaviest militarized zone, even more than Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza. In such a situation, can the civilized world and world democracies imagine the moment of women in such a militarized zone?
The devastation caused by wars and conflicts is not limited to infrastructure and economics, but also produces strong psychological trauma that affects individuals in both the short and long term in ways that may be difficult to treat and heal. Psychological studies have confirmed that traumatic experiences cannot be easily overcome, especially those resulting from wars and ongoing or armed conflicts
The Lancet, a medical journal in its editorial on 17 August 2019 titled “Fear and uncertainty around Kashmir's future” cautioned that the people of Kashmir need healing from the deep wounds of this decades-old conflict, not subjugation to further violence and alienation.
This is exactly, we the people are Kashmir are going through and what I am going through. How easy is say, be brave and be strong? Easier the words, harder to reconcile. And I was doing the same to my journalist friend.
Dear have faith everything will be alright. Deep in my heart, I know it is going to be a long and challenging to fight the mighty colonizer that controlled our territory by ruthless force and utter deceit. His last message was…
Him: I am leaving for the valley of ghosts and don’t whether I shall able to chat with you or not but take care of yourself. If we aren’t anymore, tell our stories to the world which talks about freedom however maintains silence over the atrocities of the powerful over powerless.
Me: Don’t say so, we shall reunite soon. He was no more online and I was again alone fighting my inner battles with myself and with my colonizer.
Sumera B. Reshi