Jan 21, 2013

Gaw Kadal Massacre : A deafening silence!!!

Snowy Streets bruised white and grey
Muddy houses smelling too aged

As the walkers beat the beaten path
A rusty board speaks the pain

The board is illegible for the blind at heart 
Only few can see what the cipher means

Pause a while, It heralds a sign
#GawKadalMassacre is what it reads

21st January One Nine Nine Zero
A bloody holocaust casts its shadow

The vale was in peace and the people smiling 
Alas! A boss came in, to rule the inmates

An army was built overnight
Reddening the snow that once was white

Men, Young and old, bruised blue while women shrouded alive.
Streets were packed with anger and cries.

Angry men took to streets and spoke for the right
Dared the bullets that filled the skies

Machine guns showered the deafening rain
Silencing all the voices that reverberate

A young man came like a Godsend brave
Jumped over the gun that roared the most

Digesting all the bullets, the unsung hero
Saved his brethren from the killing ammo 

Bang! All ran for survival and 52 dead
Trucks loaded martyrs, Jhelum engulfing the rest

The aftermath was ugly as it changed the maps
People were dead but the rebellion born

Behold! This is no cock and bull story
It is an episode that needs an ear

Lo! Time changes and so do we
As nothing in the sphere is stationary

People come and go and least remembered
Inscribing and exploiting, to earn a name

I dream and write but to no avail
A lame duck in the land of stool pigeons, that’s what I am

Illustration Of Gow Kadal Massacre by Abdul Basit.


Sometime back I visited a friend in Gow Kadal, one of the archaic parts of old Srinagar. The place is more famous for another reason, the bloody episode called as #GawKadalMassacre that took place on 21st Jan, 1990.

As I walked through the intricate busy streets of Basant bagh, across Gow Kadal Bridge towards Habba Kadal, an old rusty board hung at one of the wooden poles in memory of GawKadal Martyrs attracted my attention. It read some urdu text that was hardly legible because of the rust and deformation. And once I inquired from my friend who lives nearby, I was acquainted that the board was a placeholder to the memories of GowKadal Massacre. The text was old as were the memories of the gruesome day.

The small board although barely visible left an indelible mark on my heart, growing my curiosity. I explored about the massacre that consumed more than 50 innocent lives.

I munched down over a dozen important pieces previously written on the same subject. Believe me it is not an easy task to read something again and again that makes you feel not only sad but discomforts your soul to screech out the deafening wail. Reading the disheartening compilations about the massacre, I couldn’t stop myself to pen-down my sadness or should I say my anger, that was boiling to vent out since I started to read the first piece. It seemed as if an ugly gulp of bloody imaginations was stuck at my throat, hard to swallow and even more hard to digest. I couldn’t, so I vomited out my feelings on paper.

#GawKadalMassacre is believed to be the first massacre following the rebellious uprisings in Indian Administered Kashmir that consumed more than 50 innocent lives.

I cannot narrate in anyway the real pain of my brethren about how they were massacred on the fateful day. My poor perspective can never have that mountainous courage to carry the sufferings of #GowKaddalMassacre and what followed. I could only lament over my past and my present helplessness. In the least terms, I could only weave the gloomy imaginations into the form of this poem.