The eluding peace
Syed Mustafa Ahmad
Everyone’s story is different from others. But some things are common in this part of the world that is Jammu and Kashmir. In Jammu and Kashmir, the stories are more or less same. It is because it is the only region that has been witnessing bloodshed for a prolonged period. The common things that are found in our stories are that every home has lost someone, in the form of killing or torture. So, the important question is why we have some things common in our stories. In the world of diversities, however, we have the status quo of getting killed and injured. There are many reasons responsible for this. Some are discussed in the coming lines.
First is political. Since 1947, the issue of Kashmir has been lingering in air. Being a disputed-territory, there has been no consensus how to solve this contentious issue. It has become a nuclear flashpoint in South Asia in particular and the world in general.
This issue is nestled among the three nuclear powers. Any misunderstanding can set the fragile peace of this area on fire. In February, 2019, there were chances of a nuclear war when both India and Pakistan were engaged in one of the deadliest deadlocks. Thanks to some sane voices that it was avoided.
This is the main reason for our sad stories. Lakhs of people are dead. The injured are innumerable. The half-widows are in plenty. There are unknown graves littering the landscapes. Mothers are waiting for their sons. Fathers are breathless. Sisters find their brothers in nook and corner of the valley. In this way, depression is common. Invisible fear has gripped all of us. Madness has become the order of the day. We live our lives as if we are the living-dead.
Second is corruption and nepotism. The persons, who are at the helm of affairs, don’t deserve to be there. However, they are there. The students having merit are left behind in the race and they cannot justify of being not able to achieve something or even a job even after putting in hard work and efforts.
The deserving are at the most left good for labor work. They have more degrees than who are managing the affairs at key levels. In this way, the meritorious students are left with no choice. They become depressed. Life becomes a burden for them. They cannot fulfill their basic necessities. Hence, there are same stories that speak one thing that we have been cheated in a broad daylight.
Third is social. Our society is an orthodox one. It may be called an obsolete one. Innovation is only in religious rituals. However, there are no innovations in other ways of life. Same kind of mindset prevails here and there. Everyone thinks in the same manner. Any new idea is rejected at the beginning.
Critical thinking is the most hateful thing in our life. No one is allowed to think above the existing parameters. There is a bar on thinking. Simplicity in life is hated by one and all. Futile ostentations are generally welcomed. Those who work for the betterment of society are subjected to the harsh treatment.
Fourth and last is economic. There is a wide gulf between a poor and the rich. With each passing day, the gulf is widening. The rich become richer while the poor become poorer. Wealth is concentrated in few hands. In India, 22 crore people live below poverty line. In case of Jammu and Kashmir, the situation was quite different.
However, the continuous violence since 1990 has taken a heavy toll of the lives of common people. Tourism sector is in ruins. Industries are not allowed to work due to militancy. Resources are wasted because there is no time for development. Rivers of Jammu and Kashmir have the potential to produce 20,000 megawatts of power. But since 1907, we have been able to produce about 2,000 megawatts. The Himalayas that surround the valley of Kashmir contain wealth in abundance. However, due to lack of will, technology and bloodshed, it has taken the backseat. Hence, its effect is on every Kashmiri. In the world of the wealthy, we are left begging.
There is a lot of time spared to do something tangible. Jammu and Kashmir, as said above, has the potential of providing a lot, not to its inhabitants but also to the world. We have geo-political advantage. God has placed it in an advantageous position to be the meeting point of different caravans and civilizations. This advantage had to be used in every possible manner.
In the world of so-called multilateralism, taking unilateral decisions can be disastrous. Let India, Pakistan and China ponder over it. Let our lives see some moments of happiness. Let peace prevail in the nook and corner of the world. Hope good sense prevails!