August 8, 2016
Why is it that the deaths in Kashmir, and the blinding of more than 100 people are never referred to in the media or in drawing rooms as the death and injury of Indians?
For days after the killing of Burhan Wani, every TV channel rang with acrimonious debate. Wani was described by India as a terrorist and by Pakistan as a martyr. The media resounded to argument and indignation. The number of dead and injured continued to rise relentlessly. Among the earliest to be killed was Yasmina of a suburb of Kulgam in south Kashmir — her brother Amir Hussain serves in the Border Security Force in Tripura — as she fled from a street into a side lane with her teenage brother whom she was dragging away from joining the protesters. The 54th death on July 31 was of young Ishfaq Ahmed of Sopore in north Kashmir with a shattered skull, which although denied by the SP, himself a Kashmiri, the public believes was a result of beating by the police.
It was only in March this year that I had travelled to south Kashmir on the invitation of the then popular CPI(M) MLA, Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami. I was to address officials of Kulgam district on the right to information (RTI), under the District Development Commissioner, a dynamic young Kashmiri, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, one of several young Kashmiri officers who have successfully qualified for the IAS to serve their people through governance. RTI has captured the imagination of many a young Kashmiri, within service and without. Abid is today the District Development Commissioner of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s home district of Anantnag.
July 8 and its aftermath