Jul 9, 2016

Burhan … and what Next?

Only a day has passed since 22 year old most wanted militant in Indian Controlled Kashmir, Burhan Wani, has been killed in south Kashmir and the whole Kashmir is protesting on streets. Burhan’s death is the only buzzword filling the news space around Kashmir.

Indian media is celebrating the triumph of killing the chief commander of Hizb, the local Kashmiri militant organization fighting against the Indian occupation. Kashmir, on the other hand, is on streets, protesting and mourning the death of a local hero, their own Che Guevara.

The young boy with a charming chocolate face, Burhan, has been in news following his growing popularity on social media. His modus operandi that was different from the other young recruits in the Hizb has made him an iconic figure among the locals. He was leading the Hizb as an Independent body while using social media for his campaign. His recent statement of welcoming Kashmiri pundits and Amarnath yatris in the valley added more to his following. That spoke enough of his liberal cause. He clearly spoke about his only objective of fighting against the Indian occupation. In no time he became the most wanted militant in the valley earning him a bounty of one million rupees on his head.

Now when Burhan is killed, there is strange feeling around. People from all over the valley are pouring into his town to pay tributes to him. Eulogies are being sung by the local woman, showering candies and flowers over his funeral. There have been unprecedented protests following his killing where around eight protesters have been killed so far and hundreds injured. More causality is expected; I pray otherwise.  Restrictions and curfew has been placed in most of the towns while mobile internet has been gagged.

There have been militant killings before but none was responded the way it being done now in case of Burhan. This speaks of the people’s sentiments for the freedom movement that started decades ago. Burhan’s death has given that movement a new face.
There is a strange deafening silence around while emotions are doing the talk. Violence has erupted once again in the valley but the question remains: Where is Kashmir leading? How many death tolls more? This is worrisome. 

I pray it is not a start of another bloody cycle of action and reaction where people are gunned down to mere numbers for a ravenous death toll. Whoever is being killed or kills the other might have his own reasons to do so. One is serving his nation and other is serving his cause. But what next?

Violence is definitely not a solution. Sometimes it can be one of the medium to reach a solution but definitely not a way to be preferred; history teaches us. My heart pained equally at the death of 8 CRPF personals that were killed by militants recently is an ambush in Pampore, Kashmir. Poor fellows didn’t even know why they were being targeted. They are mere pawns of a bigger bloody game unaware of the actual actors and their dirty script. How many more deaths? How many more cycles of killings and retaliations? There has to be a way out.

With the killing of Burhan opens a new chapter in the history of Kashmir struggle for freedom.  There will be definitely consequences attached – mostly bad. I pray it ushers Kashmir to its resolution in a peaceful way.

Burhan’s death should not be celebrated by pro-Indians as a triumph. Neither should it inspire pro-Kashmiris to follow the same path. His cause should rather be pondered upon. It might be the end of his life but it’s a beginning of his cause that needs to resolve with peace; sooner the better. If not, then the only worry is: what next?
P.S.  As a eulogy to the lost, one heartbroken poet friend writes:

Come to the skies, long forgotten. Come, we wait
for that promised day. Not for those, who hold winters
close, like me; but for flowers yet to be. Come, we wait.

Those saffron fields, that once were: grow not saffron
any more. We now grow stones in them. Those we keep
to fight, and some we keep to remember.

Knitting purl jersey, now half complete. If she could knit
the fate, or cancel the ink that wrote, or dissolve it perchance.
What fancy at times does heart make, when love is at the stake.

They found him after the moons forgotten, sleeping
in the fields. One shoe lost somewhere, the other
with laces undone. That white shirt had lost its color,

faded into red. Tucked safe inside the pocket of jeans, 
a letter to the sweetheart; dirty at creases. Now, never
to be read; for the want of a listener, word on his lip unsaid. 

The kohl lining to those clouds; tonight, washed away by rains.
Carefully placing the mothballs; Mothers knot those bags of memories.
Fold carefully: they are too young, for the old age bevel-top trunk.

Come to the skies, long forgotten. Come, we wait
for that promised day. Not for those, who hold winters
close, like me; but for flowers yet to be. Come, we wait