15th of august, last year; it was the same heyday for India, the Independence day. Tring Tring!! My cell phone rang. An old Indian friend was calling me and before uttering the typical Hello! she felicitated me “Happy Independence day, Dear Wajid!”. For a while I was totally dumbfounded, thinking how to react with my mouth frozen and running out of words as if she had jammed my jugular vein. Unable to answer her properly I changed my tune and the course of conversation. Soon as I hung-up her call, something turned me frantic and left me in a helter-skelter situation.
So in order to burst away my frustration and draw the reasons for such a weird reaction of mine, I took up my pen and started to decode the contents of my disturbed head on the paper. I penned as how I could accept something which I never realized since I never felt independent in a nation which claims to be independent. Every now and then I see my brethren suffocating out of the toxic attitude of the so called largest democracy of the world. I further wondered as how I could celebrate the day after watching colossal of my valley mates openly murdered and humiliated. From my very first breath I took in Kashmir, I have seen my valley under the fencing of stress, agony and pogrom only. It has been gifted with terms like curfews, crackdowns, humiliation and fear. Even a newborn prior to hearing the first Azan, his tender ears have to hear only painful screams and sounds of blasting fires, unfortunately.
Now knowing this entire please give me one good reason for celebrating the 15th august, not to talk of 14th August. Even Mahatma Gandhi in 1920, in protest to the JallianWalla Bagh massacre, returned back his noblest award of Kaiser-i-Hind to the British which he had received in 1915 for his work in South Africa, saying "How can one accept something from a regime that kills your brothers on one side and commiserates them with awards on the other side."
Truly speaking the majority of the Kashmiris don't know the word "independence", so needless to talk about it. Another fraction carries a vision-impaired brainless romance for Pakistan while only a minor fraction sings the Indian National Anthem with pride.
Now the parting shot: A question for all those who think Kashmiris should celebrate the I’ day of India or Pakistan: why the streets in Kashmir look deserted every year on red letter day of 15th august when the whole Indian nation is celebrating on the streets?
To conclude I would feel contended to present my heartiest felicitations to both Indian and Pakistani nations for their respective heydays but I am sorry I can’t celebrate your big days here in Kashmir because the day I’ll celebrate is yet to born. I can only dream of no jackboots, no curfews, no check points and no barbered wires. Now am I really free? I think I will die finding an answer to this bewilderment.
P.S. Requesting to be excused for any emotional sting..PEACE!!!