Reality of Kashmir: Violence, Deaths and gun powder

By Humra Quraishi. Dated: 7/12/2018 12:16:24 PM

Is the right to protest banned in a conflict situation? Will others also meet the same fate if they dare to protest? When will we see a halt to civilian deaths?
Three more civilians killed in the Valley. I'm writing this in the backdrop of last week's Army firing in South Kashmir's Kulgam, where three young civilians- Shakir Ahmad Khanday,22, Irshad Ahmad, 20,Andleeb, 16, - were killed when an army patrol opened fire when confronted by protestors.
Couldn't the army have tackled the protestors without these killings? Is the right to protest banned in a conflict situation? Will others also meet the same fate if they dare to protest? When will we see a halt to civilian deaths?
Also, are we still going brush aside the recently released report by the United Nations on human rights violations taking place in the entire Kashmir region. No, we cannot deny these ground realities which we have been witnessing for the last several years and have now been brought into sharp focus by this 49-page report - the first ever issued by the UN on the human rights situation in Indian-Administered and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir - which not just details human rights violations and abuses on both sides of the Line of Control, but also highlights "a situation of chronic impunity for violations committed by security forces."
To quote the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. "The political dimensions of the dispute between India and Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering…This is why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and provide redress for victims…It is also why I will be urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir…" Zeid said.
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Also, it's about time to sit up and question: what will happen to our forms and psyches if political rulers of the day are seen garlanding killers after offering them sweets, or else rather too blatantly meeting Right - Wing rioters lodged in a prison?
Barely had the Tripura chief minister Biplab Deb got over commenting on the lynching by violent mobs in his state, with this obscenely shocking comment: "There is a wave of joy in Tripura and you should also enjoy this wave…" came in another shocker. This time, with the Union minister for aviation, Jayant Sinha, garlanding and offering sweets to the bunch of men who have been convicted for lynching Alimuddin Ansari, last summer in Jharkhand. Though these men are out on bail but stands out the crucial fact that these men are linked to the BJP and to the Right-Wing brigades and they were part of the mob that attacked and killed Alimuddin Ansari.
What is Minister Jayant Sinha up to! Openly garlanding and distributing sweets to a lynch brigade, which is connected to the Right- Wing brigades. Sinha has only confirmed that lynching is directly or indirectly linked to the Right - Wing agenda to spread around anarchy and destruction.
And now comes in news of yet another shocker ( although nothing should shock in these fascist ridden times!) - Union Minister Giriraj Singh not just met Right - Wing men imprisoned for rioting at Bihar's Nawada Jail, but even came up with provocative communally charged comments. And got away after unleashing all that poison!
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On GURU DUTT'S BIRTHDAY - July 9 - I make it a point to read, rather re-read, journalist Sathya Saran's book - Ten Years With Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi's Journey ( Penguin).
I know why I do this; quite simply because I have been one of those ardent fans of this genius actor whose emotionally charged eyes relayed so much. He can be described as one of those men who was equipped with a set of potent eyes! Of course, not to brush aside all those emotional aspects to his life …till,of course, he took his life at the age of 39 years.
And with this in the foreground or background, I never miss reading anything or everything on him. And its just once I managed to view a film on him; on his life and times. It was Nasreen Munni Kabeer's film - In Search Of Guru Dutt. Though it was screened in the Spring of 1996, but till date etched are those details, perhaps more so, as that film had left me disappointed.
Nah, the film carried none the answers to that suspense - why did Guru Dutt kill himself? Those 'whys' to that traumatic end? Why was he going through that phase of intense depression? Why was he left alone particular night when he was in acute depression?
I still recall shots from that film. When Waheeda Rahman's all done - up face came up on the screen one was somewhat sure that she would utter something relevant to his death, but being a seasoned actress she spoke in a greatly guarded way. She didn't directly or indirectly mention any of the personal aspects to him, and spoke in that matter- of -fact way only of the films he directed.
In fact, the only two persons who spoke out in that film, were Guru Dutt's sister, Lalitha Lajmi, and his mother …As the camera focused on Lalitha, her eyes seemed focusing on the floor and she'd said that her brother Guru Dutt seemed to be possessed with one of those personalities that could be best described as "disturbed…on earlier occasions too he had tried to commit suicide, once he was in coma for three days ."
And as the camera focused on Guru Dutt's mother, sitting on what seemed a wooden bed or takht, she started by describing his childhood personality traits -" he was very, very stubborn …and did whatever obsessed him .And at times he would ask such questions that I thought I would go crazy answering them."
But unfortunately, none of them could throw light on the immediate reason for that drastic step that Guru Dutt took…killing himself .Why? For whom? What was the sudden provocation?
And though Abrar Alvi - his favorite script writer - did say in the film that, that particular evening (before his suicide ) he was with him and found him to be in a depressed state. "I had reached his home around 6 pm to discuss the final scene of Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, but found that he had been drinking from early evening and he was talking in a morbid way. I tried get him out of those talks, of those morbid thoughts … I had left his home only around 1a.m., when I was sure that he had come out of that depression and was okay. But next morning heard he was no more."…
Film personalities who were interviewed in this film, included Johnny Walker, Raj Khosla, Murthy ( his chief cameraman ) and,of course, Abrar Alvi, but none of them dwelt on the cause of that great depression, nor on the cause of his ultimate end .
Though their comments came to one single conclusion: Guru Dutt was a little too sensitive, a little too different, and a little too passionate cum humane for the Bollywood world .In fact, one of one of the commenters interviewed in the film, even said that if Guru Dutt would ever lie, his ears would 'blush!' I suppose, turn red.
So obviously how could such an emotionally sensitive man survive long in Bollywood or just about anywhere!
*(Humra Quraishi is a freelance columnist based in Delhi and is currently a visiting Professor in the Academy of Third World Studies in Jamia Milia University).

 

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