On my way to the academy this morning, I passed by this board that swang between two trees. I ignored it, considering it another marketing add, the ones that adorn every corner of Pakistan. It reappeared as we turned for Karachi company (a sort of market), and then again on the back of a punlic bus. It was when our car took a sharp left and his face stared right into mine that I had to pause for a second, enchanted in a state of deja-vu. I felt his eyes o me. He almost glared at me out of that printed picture, mocking me for my poor memory.
“Come on, girl. You know me. You should know me.”
And then, it hit me like a firm lighting, intense and agonising, brutal and warming, with the flash of my Samsung as I took a picture. Wani. Burhan Wani. Of Couse.
For those if you who are unaware of this man, let me narrate to you a story. I will just highlight the facts to make it as less of a history lesson as possible.
14th August, 1947. Pakistan came onto the map of the world, there were cried of “Allah-o-Akbar” (God is the Greatest) everywhere. An enteral state of felicity and immense happiness, so much that the mouth couldn’t stop grinning and the eyes couldn’t stop watering. Happiness- happiness everywhere except Kashmir.
Who knows, maybe they, too, had a blissful moment when a rumor came that Kashmir was annexed with Pakistan. A second of exhilaration from a wandering story that they, too, were given freedom and human rights. I don’t know how long this comforting oblivion lasted – a day, perhaps. For soon, Indian Army entered and took control.
Days later, the Maharaja of Kashmir issued a formal statement, declaring to join India. Armed rebellion broke out, the Muslims who formed the majority never wanted India. But the people were disarmed, the Pakistani army stopped by the UN and Kashmir handed over under a blind promise of a fair election ( Here, I present to you another example of UN puppet show).
Since then, there have been repeated events of violence and brutality, pictures showing women been beaten and men striped naked, houses burnt down and rights violated, again and agajn and again.
See what happened here? They create a frantic world where the tomorrow is not secure, and conceal it behind a dead man’s orders ( a man who, by the way, never represented the majority of the Kashmiris. He was a king, a Maharaja, not a democratically elected man, to give him the right to decide the future of the province was a complete absurdity and lack of common ssense itself). They humiliate the women, kill the children, degrade the elderly, and when a man stands up against this unjust behaviour, they brand him the label of a terrorist.
Burhan Wani never was a terrorist. He wanted nothing more than a Kashmir where his people could live a safe, if not perfect, life. He wasn’t a murderer. India made him into one. He was one of those who stood up for the rights of his people, he was supported by the majority (a terrorist is never supported by a majority), and when he became dangerous to the image of India, he was killed.
What hurts me is how readily the world accuses him. If a similar group of people rise up in Syria, they are called “the good rebels” (today’s Syrian kichri makes it very difficult to differentiate between the good and bad rebels but nevertheless). The rebels are backed up by the people , prasied worldwide and admired for their chivalrous actions. But a similar group of rebels in Kashmir are easily called “Terrorists“.
Burhan never was a bad guy. He never deserved his death, which took place by a planned (some say coincidental) operation by the Indian army. All he did was rebel to the killings of the government. And if you can call him bad, but support the Syrian people, then you, my friend, are a bloody hypocrite.
Tomorrow marks his death anniversary, 8th July 2017. The banners were about a gathering that will take place tomorrow, in the memory of Burhan Wani. People will gather, just like they do every year, here in Pakistan, as well as in Kashmir, and pray for this man who was defamed by the media. There will be speeches, songs, a display of pictures and a lot of emotions. I won’t join the gathering, for I have studies to attend to, but I’ll watch in the television with hope and a strange pounding in the heart, the kind that echos to the ears and takes a spiritual shape.
Because my support for the people of Kashmir is not only because of Indian rivalry, nor history or humanity. No, my feelings of agony for them because I care for them as my family in religion, for we worship the same God and declare the same Prophet. They are my brothers, my sisters, no language, race, colour or anything involved. I own those people. Their pain is my pain, for the bonds of religion, I assure you, run deeper, even deeper than humanity.
Maybe this year, the people will wake up as to what is happening in Kashmir. Maybe this year’s anniversary will be enough to sparkle out what remains of humanity’s dwindling fire. To stop this massacre, to better the people of Kashmir. I have hope for them, just like I have for Gaza, Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan.
I hope the other people have hope, too.
Friendly reminder: nothing is to be directed against the Indian people. I myself had two Indian online buddies, and they were amazing people. As mentioned before, its just the government (and army, in this case) with which I have a problem.
I’m going on a hiatus. Have a final paper on 27th August. Next post will sadly be on 28th August. This paper decides my future, all that medical college admission and stuff. So. Goodbye, for a month.
Wish me luck.