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Mr PM, Welcome To Jammu And Kashmir:
The Pristine Land Of Human Rights Violation
By Ravi Nitesh & Devika Mittal
24 June, 2013
We know that you will be quite occupied with the inauguration ceremony, with meetings, public speeches. We know that for two days, you will be busy giving interviews to the mediapersons. We know you are a busy man, our leader, a great economist but above all, you are a human being. We would request your attention as we would like to tell you something that the people around you will not.
Mr. PM, we warn you against those bright-looking messages. We advice you not to take them seriously. Instead, we request you that, try to stop your vehicle during your way and ask the passerby about his problems. If possible, please try to visit the Shopian and Kunan Poshpora. Please fix an appointment with the victims or the kin of the victims of the unfortunate but not unavoidable rape cases. But if you do not have time to ‘waste’, stay at Srinagar and try to meet with the families of some 110 persons who lost their lives during the summer protests two years ago. We know it will be really difficult for you. Your high officials will stop you from going there to sympathise with the victims because for all of you, the economical projects are more important than gross human rights violations. Even on these economical growth figures, you will obviously not ask that when NHPC is producing enough electricity to supply outside of J&K, then why people here live in darkness? You will obviously not ask that why a person lost his life during a protest for ‘electricity’ ? Again on economical empowerment, you will be certainly surprised to learn that it is the youths of Kashmir who are benefiting from your schemes, Ummeed and Himayat, but there is a special criteria, it is only for those who are spared by the army men. Do you really think that such ‘educational lollypop schemes’ will really decide any route for their peace? You are an economist and we are hopeful that you are very well aware about the ‘in principal’ concept of ‘economics’ that is to make life better, ensure better safety, better society and the inherent, justice and equality. Just building a rail project in valley really doesn’t mean much for the people of the valley, it may mean more for the tourists or for the Government to brag about the great infrastructural achievement in the hard terrain of the valley. It is going to benefit you more than any common Kashmiri and that is why you must not wear a turban of development and welfare by this. Try wearing a turban of justice, equality and humanity.
Mr. PM, you are honorable to us, but not just because you are our Prime Minister, but because you are a human being. You will have a very warm welcome in the valley that is famous for its gesture, politeness and beauty. Here it is called ‘Kashmiriyat’. You will stay here, will complete your task and then will go. and after you will go, people will react, there were be politics about your visit. Your visit in the valley is definitely a big occasion but really not an important one. But it can be made important, even historical, if you bring something and leave it here. Something, that might not earn revenues for your ‘welfare state’, something that might not be very physical infrastructure, but the emotional one, the important one, the necessary one.
Mr. PM you are well-aware of the atrocities here. You are well-aware about the misery, inhumanity, hell proliferated by the draconian laws imposed by your government. You are very well aware about the thousands of cases of the missing and disappeared people, you are aware of the unnamed graveyards , you are aware of innocent people implicated in false cases, you are aware about the conversion of schools in army establishments, about the standing armies in agricultural fields , about deploying your ‘shoot to kill’ license on ‘suspicion’ only. Though you cannot replenish all the days of their lives, we would be really if you can really bring something that could reduce the pain and sufferings of people.
Mr. PM , we hope that you will notice the security personals standing on the rooftops of the houses that they have converted to be launch pads. Their houses, the people, their mothers, sisters and daughters , all are in hands of army men. They all live in a beautiful prison where every moment of our life is not only in check but is controlled by the military. Your visit will not mean anything to them, it will just another big but disappointing memory if nothing is done for the people of the valley.
Mr. PM, you are the leader. You are a great economist but before all this, you are a human being.
Ravi Nitesh and Devika Mittal are core members of Mission Bhartiyam. They are in the core committee of the Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign.