Have you felt like an outsider in your own house? Have you been denied the same privileges that your siblings enjoy? If you haven’t, then you can’t really fathom what every Kashmiri has gone through. More often than not, any news that emerges from the valley is unfortunate and even if there are glimpses of hope, various propagandists shroud the same with false information.
What follows is a barrage of opinions from both; self-proclaimed experts and PhDs, all of whom have developed their own ‘perfect, vision for the resolution of Kashmir.’ As always, the ones who suffer and felt left out are none other than the Kashmiris. Do we really know what Kashmir is? Will we ever associate it with anything other than guns and fire? In our generation, will there be a time and day when we can plan a holiday to this heavenly paradise without fear?
The answer won’t please you but recent developments such as the removal of Article 370 will definitely influence the future of Kashmir. With each person roaming around with the basis for an argument inside their pockets these days, one can easily draw flak for saying that this unprecedented move is a step in the right direction. In other words, it is a positive move that will benefit not only Kashmir but India as a whole.
So, when Kashmir was literally welcomed to Bharat with the removal of this archaic bully (Article 370), it lifted spirits of Indians across the country and the globe. To those wondering, why we are assuming this to be a positive step, we’ll start off by highlighting the fact that an overwhelming majority of Indians (both within and outside of Kashmir), clearly support this decision. While better livelihood and overall development seem to be the reason behind this support, it goes without saying that security and peace in Kashmir are what each Indian ultimately hopes and prays for.
With the Government taking additional security measures as well as confidence-building measures such as the visit of the National Security Advisor to interact with the locals during a critical phase, we can safely say that this historic decision is being backed by the attention it so desperately needs. Needless to mention, the situation is even more delicate than it was yesterday and isn’t going to ‘cool off’ in the near future.
However, what’s promising is to see young Ismail smile off into the evening with his rowing equipment stored at the Dal Lake in anticipation of a brighter future for him and his three sisters as he looks back on the day this decision was announced. This itself is a reflection of the truth which needs no representation in the form of polls or debates.
For seven-odd decades, whenever we’ve spoken of Kashmir, we’ve felt our own to be outsiders who get swayed from one end of the spectrum to the other, at the whims and fancies of those in power who wield their unjust sword of might that ultimately tames, limits and impedes hopes of a peaceful heavenly Kashmir. When we flip the pages of history, we recall bloodshed, tears, agony, violence and misery. So, do we as Indians want this continue for the sake of our fellow Indians? Doesn’t our constitution guarantee equal rights to those born in Kashmir? Do we want this jewel to wither away and turn into a huge cremation ground for years to come?
I’m sure we all want the exact opposite and to make this happen, we need to pledge our support towards the removal of Article 370. An absurd fact that has emerged from this situation is that a minor section of extremists colluded with corrupt elements in positions of power to hold their clout and expand their repressive footprint over the land of Kashmir. This is why it is even more important than the vast majority of us who wants Kashmir to be azad, support their fellow brothers and sisters by giving them, even more, love and compassion than they asked for. Once again, let’s welcome Kashmir to Bharat.