Since last three days we are witnessing a lot of events happening. This is no less than an actual war. Everyone in India is on high ‘Josh.’ We see suggestions, war cries, patriotism overflowing on social media and social groups. Some sitting in their lavish air conditioned living rooms and forwarding Whats app messages to every possible person they know. For many its a a thrill while travelling or in free times. It is a topic that united India to share more on social media and show their hidden patriotism openly by changing display pictures of Facebook, whats app and Instagram . All are in a hurry to show how much they feel for the country and how a revenge with Pakistan is making them happy and proud. Sadly these social media soldiers will never opt to do anything in reality. The empty vessels that are making noise would never attempt to visit Kashmir and witness the real situation or help the innocents there. It is very easy to comment sitting st s safe geographical location and expecting the army and the Kashmiri civilians to face the brunt.

These people haven’t read anything about the Kashmir issue, history or even the constitution of India. They depend on google and whats app to educate them to have strong views about issues they will only talk about and not work on to make any change . These same people would not want any of their family members or children to join the army and go on a war . Politicians have been able to use human emotions of the common people to fulfill their agendas since the partition times. Its not new. Today the younger generation and the so called pseudo intellectuals want war without calculating the the effects, economical setbacks, consequences , and loss that is bound to hit us. They forget that Kashmir witnesses Martyrs Day everyday. Many people die on a daily basis.

The youth is hurt, broken and disoriented because it has only seen turmoil, torture and deaths. Kashmiri youngsters has similar aspirations and dreams like any other young child in our country. But their life is a living hell. Those innocent eyes that I have seen which ask questions on NEET, CAT, CET, MBA later start talking about freedom, justice, revenge and agitation. A student cannot study, play or have access to the world of knowledge. They cannot live their childhood and lose innocence too early in life. All this leads to tremendous pain and frustration. Kashmiri students are beaten and badly treated in states across India while outsiders are safe in Kashmir. A tourist is treated like God in Kashmir and the hospitality is out of the world there. Women and children are taken care of by locals while they are on vacations. Recently Shiv Sena youth activists had beaten Kashmiri students in Mumbai just because they were Kashmiris. There does not seem to be any logic to this act. What happened to those who did this horrific act ? What are their names? Are they behind bars ? Have we shown our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that we are with them , by prosecuting these illiterate activists? And if nothing concrete is done, what are we fighting for? why do we want Kashmir? Why this war ?

India does not value the love Kashmir has always showered upon us. We definitely treat them like outsiders. Water cannons are used in other states, but live bullets in Kashmir. Do we have an explanation? With this the young minds are scared initially that the militants might take them, the police might beat them or they would want to kill themselves to escape from this torture . But in no time they prepare to die when they see no solution to this either by agitation or by being killed by anyone who wants to. A teargas shell was fired outside a school during an exam a few months ago when common people gathered to protest and throw stones during an armed encounter between militants and the army. Finally children are children. We are creating situations where mavericks are born. The worst part about being a Kashmiri parent is that they are traumatized by the militants, the army and the questions that their children ask them.

We in the cities get upset by just the potholes and the metro construction going around us. Imagine what they must be going through in Kashmir. They feel isolated and alienated from rest of India . Kashmiris have always been Indian and they always want to be so . But are they getting the treatment that they should get ? We are giving reservations in educational sector on the basis of caste to almost everyone now but there is no way the youth of Kashmir can get good education and a chance to upgrade . The students from Awantipora, Bijbehara, Aishmuqam, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama of south Kashmir specifically are becoming more and more radical and the reason for this is their anger of not being able to live like other Indian children. Killings are absolutely normal in Kashmir. It is a daily routine to see their dead friends and relatives being dragged. And they are so used to it now. Militants come to villages, pick young boys and force them to go with them. They are told that if they do not listen , their mother and sisters will be raped. The poor little kids have no choice. They become the living dead in order to save the women in the family. When the army figures out a boy missing from the family, the members of the family are targeted for being a militants family. If you see the pictures of these innocent kids who are handed with guns almost their size, you would want to pause and change everything at once.

India is not trying to take care of the sentiments and psyche of the Kashmiri youth which is the most important thing at the moment. They need educational support, mental health help and training on life skills to cope up with the current situations. They need guidance to plan their future. They need to be given right information about careers and courses. Why has our government never provided that ? Why are we neglecting our own beautiful state to turn into a cemetery.

Many people mention Article 370 as if it is something that they have done PhD on. As a matter of the fact most people are not aware that special mentions for other states also exist in the constitution. It is not just Kashmir . When the supreme court is already at work, there is no reason why there should be loud arguments on the same. Also There is a perception that only Muslims live in Jammu and Kashmir. The fact is that Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians also live in the valley. They have also suffered. They are all victims. Before we assume , presume , conclude and post on social media, Let us understand one thing, we can’t just want Kashmir and not take care of Kashmiris. No matter what situation it is right now; India and Pakistan may continue the fight. After Pakistans Prime Minister Imran Khans’s peace gesture to send our captured IAF pilot Abhinandan back, the tension could stop. But this will not change the situation in Kashmir. Kashmir will still live in fear. Kashmiri youth will still wake up with a thought of being beaten by either a militant or by army. It’s important to let the people of Kashmir know that India loves them, wants them and would do anything to protect them . The army and police should take care of the way the locals are treated, especially the youngsters. More institutions should come forward to do orientations, aptitude testing and career guidance for students there. The intelligent children should be given scholarships and a chance to study in better institutions. In order to save our country from breaking further, let us all unite to help Kashmir grow. Lets create a space for the Kashmiri youth to see progress and not revolt in their future. Let us visit Kashmir and promote tourism there in order to create employment and sustainability. For this we need to make Kashmir safe and tension free. We have had many candle marches till now; let us have one united gesture to help the youth of Kashmir. Let us save our Kashmir. Join me in the mission “Our Kashmir.

Corporates, institutions big and small, individuals , all are welcome. If there is any idea you would like to propose to make a difference to the Kashmiri youth write to me on dr@drswapnapatker.com .

Jai Hind.


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