Nationalism in Kashmir: A Joke or Crime?

Nationalism in Kashmir: A Joke or Crime?
By Junaid Khan
14 June 2020

For many decades, the land of Kashmir has witnessed wanton death and destruction of Kashmiris -be it Kashmiri Muslims or Kashmiri Hindus. There are varied and plausibly attributable reasons; Kashmiris are being mercilessly killed on their own soil for a mere reason of possessing an ideology and wearing the same on their sleeves. There are hosts of prominent Kashmiris who got maimed and killed for voicing against and registering their protest against Pakistan sponsored terrorism. 
One tends to wonder whether Nationalism is really a crime? Sometimes it seems like Nationalism in Kashmir is a crime owing to the inertia marred pertinent policies of Government of India. The way Nationalists, Political Activists and Peace Activists are being targeted one after the other by Terrorists more so with Government exhibiting its  visibility for a mere day or two after these merciless killings is more than deplorable to say the least. Kashmir always remained a hot favourite of a conflict Zone where News Agencies get their TRP, Political Parties have won their elections in an unheard and strange coalition with secessionist forces and Pakistan keeps churning and renewing its buck and fundamental existence from the conflict. 
The way things are being dealt with in Jammu and Kashmir by Government of India are worrisome and the Dulat’s Failed Policy on Kashmir is the reason Kashmir always finds a place in the Bold Letters of International/ National Publications, Local, National and International News Studios. Many questions Strike my mind and one among them is ‘Who actually is Safe in Kashmir? – A nationalist or those who dance on the tunes of Pakistan. 
It is perhaps the mother of all ironies that those who keep ranting persistently against India and who Glorify Gun Culture get special incentives from none other than GOI itself. Only in few of the cases some have managed to experience few days of Jail life(probably owing to some no nonsense investigation by a no nonsense officer) but What about those who believe in the idea of India – There are no incentives but a mere lethal 9mm or 7.62mm earmarked for his/her Head or Chest. Kashmir is a unique land where people remember a deceased person just for few hours, Media Channels till Prime Time Debate , Government just for a day, Friends on death anniversary and the family who actually bear their pain throughout their lifetime.
The government seems to display some kind of Stockholm syndrome.
Giving perks and protection to those who work against constitutional sanctity. And depriving those who risk every element of their life for the nation.

Recently I heard an Interview of a man who Introduced himself as Rashid Khan from a remote area of North Kashmir’s Kupwara. I was in a deep shock when I heard the life story of a man who was known as Golden Sparrow of India. Rashid khan a man who brought  normalcy in the Kupwara and Handwara. He was attacked by Terrorists and the man is nowadays seen on the roads of Kupwara without Security Cover and without the roof and Shelter. Is this the policy of Government of India – “Apna Kaam Banta, Baad Mai Jaye Janta”. There are thousands of such examples which sadden me. 
Those who speak language of Pakistan in Kashmir invariably enjoy Perks and privileges from both India and Pakistan whilst serving the interests of Pakistan only; they even get Security Cover, fat pay checks, plush homes and a Luxury life.
Conversely, Those who are Nationalists in Kashmir by Conviction & not by force, get bullets in his/her head and his family a coffin with Tri-colour if he/she is lucky enough to be owned. Many Nationalists who were on the hit list of Terrorists requested Security Cover to Government, Administration and Police- Many others who lost everything in this proxy war, request a safe place to stay, many who are scared to walk on the streets because of open threats from Terror Outfits and guess what they get?

Ironically when government authorities are approached by nationalists for protection and support, all they get in response are endless trails of people to contact, who keep passing the work on to someone else and finally when the  trail  ends, they face delays, based on excuses right from ” sorry we will get this done right after winter ” , to “sorry the concerned authority has been transferred”. This endless cycle of excuses continues until the time comes when instead of providing timely support and security, the government ends up providing compensation to NOKs of the slain nationalist.

Few days back a Kashmiri Pandit Ajay Pandita ( a Sarpanch who believed in Democracy) was killed by Terrorists, he was aware that he was on the hit list he pleaded before Government, Administration and Police for the Security Cover he was ignored that costs him his life and yet some people think Relief package will heal the wounds of his family for lifetime. What a Sad State of Affairs!
 A noted Journalist and founder of Rising Kashmir, before he was killed in 2018, requested the then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for Y Category Security Cover because he was aware that he will be killed by Terrorists and he also got endless trails of lame excuses which snatched his soul from him. Who is to blame? A Nationalist Or the passiveness of our System?
Many in Jammu and Kashmir who seek Azadi from India are being treated as First class Citizens, Many of them were provided High Grade security, Government Jobs to their Kith and Kin, Perks and Privileges – Who would be held responsible for such an ideological mess which  has created this level of Confusion in Kashmir?

Now a Kashmiri is in dilemma wherein he can’t differentiate between wrong and Right. Shehla Rashid for instance who quintessentially and invariably speaks to incite Anti National sentiments, is given Safe Passage, a luxurious home in Gupkar. What Next? A plum political position may be.
Nationalists in Jammu and Kashmir have been paying the price for loving Hindustan with their death and this will continue because Kashmir is such a place where nobody cares about those who believe in Idea of India. Those who work day and night to bring normalcy are being treated as third class Citizens and when they approach for any kind of help they get one Answer – “Sorry it’s not in my domain”. If such things are not in the domain of Government of India, Administration or Police then I must say being a Nationalist is a Crime in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Nationalists of Kashmir, who are fearless , who display unconditional loyalty for their country India, who should be the voices to be promoted on international platforms as representatives of India, who should be shielded and nurtured, when the blood of these Nationalists is shed on the soil of Kashmir, it is Mother India herself that cries.

The writer is from Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir. He can be reached at @ConnectJunaidd on Twitter.