They call it Paradise, I call it Home ©

Which Kashmir Do You Know?

In Kashmir on 5 May, 2006 at 7:05 am

There are two Kashmirs within a Kashmir. No, not the Pakistan and Indian Administered parts. These two Kashmirs exists within the Valley of Kashmir. There is a Kashmir all of you know about, which when searched for on Google gives thousands of results and there is a Kashmir, which doesn’t ever show up on google search. And it is this Kashmir which matters!

The Kashmir you know about is the Kashmir of the politicians. It is the Kashmir of Abdullhas, Muftis, Mirwaizs, Lones and Geelanis. It is the Kashmir of terrorists and Jehadis, the center of terrorism activity, if you are an Indian. It is the Kashmir of Jehad, the center of a fight for self-determination (more aptly put, the fight for inclusion with Pakistan), if you are a Pakistani. It is the Kashmir which tourists visit to spend their honeymoons and holidays in. It is the Kashmir in which Bollywood actors roamed around the valley, made merry and felt the breeze touching their hearts and minds. It is the Kashmir in which Hrithik Roshan (a Kashmiri terrorist in the movie Mission Kashmir) realises the futility of guns and calls Sanjay Dutt Abba at the end of the movie: and Kashmir gets reduced to a fight between a father and a son. It is the Kashmir that produces Saffron, Carpets, Shahtoosh Shawls, Paper Machie and Pashmina. It is the Kashmir of Apples, Almonds and Tulips. It is the Kashmir whose water is pure and sweet. It is the Kashmir of Mountains, Trees, lakes and Rivers. It is also the Kashmir of 0.7 Million Indian troops who are supposedly required to prevent the 1200 militants from snatching it away from India. This translates to 583 well trained security personnel to combat one under trained militant. This is the Kashmir which a select group of people talk about in Geneva, in Islamabad, in New Delhi, in New York, in Casablanca, in Brussels and in the five star hotels of Srinagar, Kathmandu and Islamabad. It is the Kashmir which self-appointed Indians and Pakistanis talk about over breakfast, lunch and dinner, paid for by their governments.This is the Kashmir you know of.

Then there is another Kashmir. The Kashmir of the people. It’s people to whom it has and always will belong. It is the Kashmir that scoffs at Integral Part and Jugular Vein claims. It is the Kashmir that has given it’s blood to it. It is the Kashmir that has not yet been captured by the lens, nor can it be. It is the Kashmir that has been conveniently lumped together in a single sentence ‘The people of Kashmir.’ Everybody talks about it but nobody understands it. It is the Kashmir that comes out in the dark of the night or the breeze of the morning for identification parades. It is the Kashmir that wakes up in the morning to the headlines of death and destruction, goes to the Kandur (bakery shop) and starts his day with tchai and tchot (Kashmiri bread). It is the Kashmir whose life is dependent on an identity card. It is the Kashmir that falls prey to a bullet of the military or the militant as it walks through the crowded bazaars or tries to find a place in the over crowded buses. It is the Kashmir that bargains with the vegetable vendor. It is the Kashmir that sees the day turn into evening and makes it’s way back.It is the Kashmir that lights up the gas lantern because there is no electricity. It is the Kashmir that makes a Que at the only telephone fee collection center and falls prey to a bomb many a times. It is the Kashmir that looks on as Hrithik sings songs of peace and beauty of the valley. It is the Kashmir that calls it’s land Kashir. It is the Kashmir that sees paradox in it’s being. It is the Kashmir that weeps within as it has no one to talk for it. It is a Kashmir that sees silently but is waking up within: slowly but surely. This is the Kashmir you do not know of.

Which Kashmir do you know?

  1. with so many questions raised… i wonder if i KNOW kashmir.

    Beautifully written article that captures the meaning of Kashmir in the paradoxes that surround it.

    The questions are the answers.

  2. HI Good Artical about Kashmir

  3. This was indeed a beautifully written article because it flowed freely outward from a passionate heart onto the page. And these were the sentences that most particularly brought tears to my eyes:
    “It is the Kashmir that sees paradox in it’s being. It is the Kashmir that weeps within as it has no one to talk for it. It is a Kashmir that sees silently but is waking up within: slowly but surely. This is the Kashmir you do not know of.”

    Many come to my small island year after year and claim to know her but know her not. Many who live here fulltime claim to know her also but have never become a part of the warp or woof threads that are the social and cultural tapestry that hold together this emerald isle in the Salish Sea.

    I think hear the yearning for the tourist dollar in your writing. If so then I caution you to read, to research to come to know and understand in every fibre of your being that the there are a new breed ot terrorists afoot all over the world and with them they bring the seduction. It is a yearning for a consumptive, exploitive north american lifestyle for golden arches (McDonalds) and SUV’s and prosperty.

    Well, I ask you: What good will the golden arches be to your beloved land when she has been dressed up like like a whore and used by mulitides of strangers and then like a condom full of cum thrown aside, while the next trendy tourist spot is mounted and pumped dry?

    Understand that reconciliation, healing and growth only come from within a culture. That which is injected from without is a foreign substance that the body politic and the public body will struggle to reject.

    There is a distinct difference between true development and what that word in the dictionary means and what happens to places who have rulers that throw the doors open wide to unsustainable growth to mal – development. Not all growth is good and not all development is progressive.

    Ahhh dear friend I have much to learn from you about your country and you have much to learn from me about how to speak truth to power in a way that is meaningful and constructive, and so our friendship begins.

    Best regards

    P.S. I am strongly attracted to this theme. But I desire to see an image on the front page of your blog like the first one you have under your pictures. People are visual and photographs can speak to some more than words will ever do.

  4. Perhaps there are many a kashmir within pakistan that you have not listened to. You need to educate people and provide them better means of accommodation and have them enrich their life in every possible way instead of motivating them to land grab opportunities. After all, we will all pass away and only dust (khak) will remain – what are you fighting for. This progression of enmity is not easy to stop. But war begets war and only love begets love.

  5. I can only agree with timethief, beautifully written article!! I plan to visit Kashmir some day, I have too, at least now! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: