An open letter to Geelani Sahib from a Kashmiri mother

"Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits have faced political agendas with ignited minds, they have long understood the world of letters - the world of education."

Written by Sabeen Beg Wani | Updated: September 23, 2016 3:05 pm
kashmir, kashmir unrest, Geelani, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Hurriyat Conference, Hurriyat, kashmir violence, kashmir protests, kashmir freedom, kashmir pakistan, kashmir india, kashmir issue, kashmir situation, kashmir news, india news Syed Ali Shah Geelani

Dear Geelani sahib,

This is a letter from a Kashmiri who bears no agenda up her sleeves except, yes, the agenda for her children! Agenda to see a better and a promising tomorrow for her children. And ‘MY’ children include all the children of Kashmir whether living in or outside the valley. I am sure ‘my’ also assumes a broader meaning with you.

Sir, I am proud of my Kashmiri lineage, and this makes me ‘feel’ the pain of my brethren-whether Muslims or our better halves Pandits. I have felt the pain of leaving my home in 90’s and grew up with our ‘other half’ community; witnessed the pain of trying to survive without roots! Cramped in tents and one-room apartments trying to beat the furious summers. However, the ferocity with struggle made this half wriggle through.

I saw and unfortunately still see blood oozing out like extended rivers across our Valley. Losing young precious lives of our brethren doesn’t do any good, only brings pain and grief. Grudges keep on adding and piling making our hearts heavy with agony.

I grew up with this mindless pain I always felt as a Kashmiri — which now has become numb with the monotony of hollowness.

But what makes us resurrect is surely the DNA of our race which makes us bright and reasonable. Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits have faced political agendas with ignited minds, they have long understood the world of letters – the world of education.

I know this makes us alive and kicking. Our only golden pass to survive! But what do I see: three months and no schools! The calendar by you, which is just updated and which your people have to adhere to, doesn’t mention opening up of schools!

That makes me question: Is that so because you don’t want a common man to break this regimen he is trapped into? Unless they get a whiff of normal life!!!

So, very conveniently the future has been dropped into the hot boiling pot of political agendas… how lovely. So, now we aim to attain azaadi by making a dwelling in a nation gripped with ignorance-future which would be unlettered? Generations which would rather take up stones than a pen! Geelani sahib I wonder whether you would want that for your grandchild.

Our prophet (PBUH) emphasized jihad with the pen and asked us to take to ‘Ilim’ whatever risks or hurdles we might have to face. But to understand our deen we need the aid of letters and somebody wants to take this away from us — our only solace. They want to unshield us, make us vulnerable or maybe make our entire generation blind! Then everything will be sorted. AFSPA can stay since we might need forces anytime of day or night to read letters or drafts for us. And also men who sneak in from across the border too would be handy in the unlettered land!
This is a humble plea rather the apprehensions of a mother who doesn’t want the lifeless body of her child but a soulful life instead!

Sabeen is a freelancer with Kashmir Times. The piece first appeared on her Facebook page.