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Whose land is it anyway?

by Sneha Subramanian Kanta
(Mumbai, India)

The grippingly beautiful Kashmir

The grippingly beautiful Kashmir

It was one of those rare moments when I cared enough to switch on the television and see some broadcast. I stopped by Discovery channel, this gesture of mine coming through vivid glimpses of the Kashmir valley, a child and blood.

The entire profile of the story interested me so much, that I immediately picked up a pen and started writing what the child said. I sometimes feel it is of immense importance to 'listen' to a child's perspective. The adult world is anyway too full of complications. Children live more relaxed, and thus unprejudiced and unbiased lives.

Like this one. A simple, immensely playful heart that feels and also bleeds alongside the Kashmir valley. There was someone who had gone to the valley from Discovery channel, asking a child questions that would be most relevant to them. And this forms, perhaps the representation of what all the other children want to say.

When interrogated about the land, the child innocently replied "the authorities." This is emblematic of the fact that what is happening is not a child’s play, and the adult world is far too complex to understand these idiosyncrasies.

Next, when asked, "What if they dismantle your house?”, the child replied with a glint of pain in his eyes, "What can we do? Nothing. We will come on the streets."

I then realised how the place we often refer "heaven", has become a blood clad land because of its own people. Blood can be symbolic of many things; two of the most ironical ones would be that of life and death. Blood also symbolises terror, pain and war.

Kashmir is oscillating between India and Pakistan in the clutches of terrorism. India feels that Kashmir is helping Pakistan manufacture terrorism, whereas Pakistan feels that India should let Kashmir free.

In Hindi, the expression "bekaar hui zameen, hare hue log," would unfortunately describe this beautiful valley the best. It is not only about the beauty of Kashmir, but about humanity too. The issue of Kashmir brings forth lots of questions we need to ask ourselves, each one of us.

Meanwhile, the person from Discovery asks the small boy how much he would charge for taking him from one end of the lake to another. He replies, "10 rupees". He tries bargaining and settles with five.

This boy is Aarif. Yes, the same boy, who like many of his age feel threatened by every outsider, by every noise. Every noise reaching his ears, alerts him for being prepared for another death and a new fresh wave of violence.

In the expectant dream of a better tomorrow, Aarif earns a living by rowing boats. He doesn't engage in violence.

Interestingly, when asked for 3 wishes he would want, he says, "A big house, 10 lakh rupees," and when probed further, he says, "A maruti car."

When asked if he would want anything more, he replies that "the three wishes are over."

He then gives a naughty grin, and says, "A CD player, a colour television, one cycle, a camera, airplane..."

Many of the things mentioned above, bearing of course childlike fantasy of having an airplane, lie in our houses, unused and gathering dust. The intricacies of being poor and helpless are many, and we've been totally desensitized from all of it. We need a so called 'practical' world to flourish, they say!

Meanwhile, someone's body falls in the valley, and blood covers it all. Till when would this go on?

Don't many children like Aarif atleast deserve a decent life? Don't we all do?

This article is purely based on my personal views about the current happenings in Kashmir from a child’s perspective, living the violence there every day. It is not an article from a political perspective or any other view.

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Mar 03, 2012
The best
by: vimala ramu

Dear Sneha,
This is the best writing I have ever read from you so far.The vocabulary combined with sensitivity is very effective in reaching the readers' hearts.

Mar 03, 2012
Thank you
by: Sneha

Thank you so much, Vimala. I'm glad you think so...I believe heartfelt feelings expressed always connect a chord.

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