Amid war hysteria, Kashmiris have become soft targets for frenzied mobs

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After Pulwama attack left 49 CRPF men dead, Indian newsrooms and social media blew war bugle. Soon as Kashmiris became soft-targets in different parts of India, it brought home a horrible message of helplessness.

By Tanveer Rashid Magrey

So far, the “befitting reply” has only made Kashmiris punching bags in different parts of India. Social media peddled videos are broadcasting shuddering violence on Kashmiris outside the valley. Somewhere in West Bengal, a viral video shows a wounded face of a howling Kashmiri youth being hounded by a bloodthirsty mob. Even as he falls on stairways almost in a comatose state, the Kashmiri boy bleeding from his nostrils and mouth is forced to chant: “Vande Mataram”.

Apparently, this is the idea of India, which these mobs want innocent Kashmiris—working and studying in different parts of India—to uphold, amid war hysteria.

The mad frenzy does not stop here.

Another video shows a Kashmiri boy being roughed up inside a campus. After initial struggle he almost gives up to the ruthless violence. Then there’s a Kashmiri man facing a lynch mob somewhere in Delhi.

More videos, more violence, with the same underlying pattern—beaten, coerced, abused.

This is perhaps how the outraged India is taking its revenge against the innocent Kashmiris.

Even as these videos trend horrid aggression, a Kashmiri boy returning from Dehradun asserts that these visuals don’t even show 10 percent of violence. “Most of us were running for our lives after murderous mobs in Dehradun attacked us,” says Rameez, a boy who just rejoined his family in Srinagar.

“At one point of time, I had almost given up. Shaayed, my mom’s prayers and tears came to my rescue,” the boy adds, and breaks down over the helpless fate of being a Kashmiri in contemporary India.

Amid these attacks, some saner Indian voices have already warned New Delhi of huge consequences, if these attacks won’t stop immediately. And the way, these attacks seemed to have some backing has further disillusioned many in Kashmir. 

This Kashmir bashing took the vanguard soon after the suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a bus of the 2500 convoy and killed 49 CRPF men at Lethpora, Pulwama.  

War bugle was shortly sounded across TV channels. As social media started firing salvos at Pakistan, the calls for revenge reached to its crescendo. The tickers flashed on the screen are in sync with the war frenzy. This fanning of flames by electronic media started paying off after many Kashmiris, most of them students, stranded in different cities of India started going underground for the fear of reprisal after Fidayeen attack.

Some took refuge in mosques after thrown out from hotels. Others had to run from their hostels—leaving behind everything, including important documents. Many caught in the frenzied madness received a sound thrashing for being a Kashmiri.

Hash-tagged hatred, warmongering from studios where anchors blurt out the emotive language is a shot in the arm of fringe elements having a field day to stereotype and attack Kashmiris. They use religion and nationalism as alibi to harm Kashmiris. It seems electronic media is trying to outdo each other in increasing their TRPs, thereby besmirch the basic principles of journalism.

The property of Kashmiris was set on fire in Jammu and mangled cars lay bare the role of lumpen elements who want to strike the iron when it is hot.

In this cacophony, the moot question remained unattended: Why did Aadil Dar become a suicide bomber? Why do nuclear neighbours trade body bags without any wince on their faces? How long will we lower our fallen young ones? Can’t two nuclear powers go an extra mile to bell the mewing cat?

Despite record number of militants being killed in Kashmir from last few years now, educated youth still joined the proscribed militant organisations leaving behind bright future and lucrative jobs. Even as Mr. Modi on his recent visit to Vale vowed to break the “backbone of militancy”, it once again boomeranged and snuffed out nearly 50 CRPF men at Lethpora.

Perhaps now, time has come for New Delhi, to stop barking up the wrong tree. Let us go to gist of this Kashmir conflict which has piled up only dead bodies over the decades.

Kashmir is in the throes of this conflict and Kashmiris have borne the brunt of it.

If politicians are serious to end the macabre of death and destruction, then they need to sit across the table rather than talking the language of vengeance.

Those who are asking for eye for eye and blood for blood will end up with country of blinds and reinforce the ideology of those who fatten on the blood of innocents.

Let’s douse the flames. And, let saner voices prevail, so that the arch-rivals forge a good chapter for the conflict-ridden people of Kashmir.

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