The attack that restored Kashmiriyat

While these terrorists may feel buoyed by every such heinous crime that they commit, in effect they are losing any foothold they may have had in the Valley. The majority of people in Kashmir have unsubscribed to this ideology of separatism and above all want the madness to stop

Written by Waheed Ur Rehman Para | Updated: July 13, 2017 7:31 am
Amarnath Yatra terror attack, Amarnath Yatra, Mehbooba Mufti, Kashmiriyat, Kashmir, Muslims, Kashmir terror attack, Amarnath attack, India news, Indian Express J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti with a family member of one of the seven killed in the Amarnath Yatra attack. (Express Photo/Shuaib Masoodi)

It was just another ordinary Srinagar summer evening until I received a frantic phone call from my friend breaking the horrifying news of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims coming under attack. It left me cold and shell-shocked. But there was no time to lose, so I immediately left for Anantnag to join Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in her rescue efforts. The thunderstorm and incessant rain darkened the gloom of the ill-fated evening as our car sped past high alert checkpoints all the way to Anantnag.

Panic was reigning supreme when I reached the spot. The entire hospital was in turmoil. Heart-wrenching sounds of shrieks and wails filled the corridors as doctors outdid themselves serving the injured and calming their families. The devastation this barbaric attack against humanity had left behind in its wake was unprecedented and it was difficult, if not impossible, to face the victims of this naked atrocity. But the Chief Minister stood strong in this hour of emergency and led from the front, reaching out individually to each victim in their hour of anguish and spent the entire night in Anantnag ensuring that all possible assistance – medical, logistical and moral – be extended to them.

In the meantime, news of the attack was spreading like wildfire across the country, and rightly so. Amarnath Yatra has always been a crucial aspect of Kashmir’s syncretic tradition and this journey of faith has been continuing in the Valley since time immemorial with Hindu pilgrims being welcomed and facilitated by local Muslim populations, as a living manifestation of Kashmir’s values of diversity, tolerance and harmonious co-existence.

Over the past three decades our society has been going through a difficult phase. Death, destruction and denial of justice has resulted in a complicated situation. But what is most disturbing is the break-down of societal structures. Religious fanaticism, indiscipline, and lack of considerate secular values have constricted the space once held by dialogue and debate. While the elders once ran the writ that once maintained peace in villages and mohallas, today inexperienced and gullible youth have taken over in the cities, wreaking havoc on the ground by their misguided actions.

The very idea behind the dastardly acts of violence that was the Anantnag Attack is to further fracture the harmony of Kashmir’s space and social fabric . The intention is to invite conflict not only in Jammu and Kashmir but in the entire country, to further polarise the already conflicted communal situation. But in reality the only message that the terrorists send across by killing innocents is that they are not against a nation or a religion but against the very people of Kashmir and their glorious past.

While these terrorists may feel buoyed by every such heinous crime that they commit, in effect they are losing any foothold they may have had in the Valley, as there remains no discernible legitimacy for violence anywhere in the world. The majority of the people in Kashmir have unsubscribed to this ideology of separatism and above all want the madness to stop.

In this unsettling environment, it was heartening to see the entire Kashmiri civil society rise up and unequivocally denounce the killing of Amarnath Yatris, by uniting against this odious act of terror and speaking vociferously against it. The overwhelming condemnation shown by everyone should serve as an eye opener to those who harbour hate and glorify violence. The people of Kashmir have made it clear that these killings are a matter of disgrace and go against every tenet of Kashmiriyat, against the essence of Islam, and against humanity at large. This constituency of peace and love has to be strengthened and supported for a peaceful and developed Jammu and Kashmir.

Finally this fills us with a sense of hope that Kashmir is on its way to reclaiming its once-celebrated past by defeating the agents of animosity and delinquency.

Violence has never served us in the past and will not do so in the future, and Kashmiris understand it as such as they rise in full strength to make it clear that such acts of violence are against their interests and will not be condoned.

The biggest tribute to the victims of violence at this point is for the society to remain steadfast with its faith in justice and in humanity, and isolate the divisive forces, which is exactly what Kashmiris everywhere are doing right now.

Waheed ur Rehman Para is the president of the youth wing of the People's Democratic Party which is in power in J&K, in alliance with the BJP. He tweets @parawahid

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    chitta
    Jul 13, 2017 at 11:05 pm
    Hindus are afraid of growing Muslim ppulation and Muslims power. Hindus know that if Muslims gain majority than Muslim will throw them out. So Hindu are jumping here and there.
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      Vasudevan Venugopal
      Jul 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm
      Quite a facetious argument. I do not agree with you Mr. Waheed ur Rehman Para. You only appear to be resorting to the age old practice of chicanery and subterfuge. What kind of justice and humanity you have shown to the Kashmiri Pandits whose flesh and blood you are. You could welcome mullas from UP with open arms and get your daughters married to them, whereas you would torture and kill the Pandits in horrendous ways on the face of which the brutalities of jihadist outfits would pale into insignificance. What is happening now is nothing but the continuation of past brutalities of Kashmiriyat. I wish you had a clear conscience!
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        Joseph Mumbai
        Jul 13, 2017 at 9:07 pm
        Most absurd logic. K ill Hindus selectively. Valley empty of Pandits. Take money from rest of India, Muslim Kashmirs can travel, buy land, house, get education and jobs anywhere in India but other Indians cannot settle in Kashmir. You call this Kashmiryat. This is the secularists dog feed for Hindus.
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        1. S
          Seshubabu Kilambi
          Jul 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm
          Let the govt initiae tLks
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            George Cruz
            Jul 13, 2017 at 7:38 pm
            The truth is that the high sounding words like the "Kashmiriyat", "peace dialogue", etc are created by the congress, the NC, the PDP, and worthless communists for vote bank politics but at the risk of India's integrity/security. The reality is that the J-K is and has been an integral part of India since the 1947 and yet the NC leaders like Abdullah's think that that Kashmir is their ancestral property and support the Kashmir separatist Sunni Muslim terror groups like the Hurriyat/LeT who are killing innocent people aided by the Islamic caliphate Pak. The Indian citizens would never allow nor accept another Islamic Caliphate in its borders. The greater India has already lost its valuable territories when the Islamic Caliphate Pak was carved out of greater India in 1947 and the atrocities, terror/killing it can inflict on the peaceful Hindus in the Kashmir Valley as well as in W.Bengal.
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              Kooka Parray
              Jul 13, 2017 at 6:59 pm
              The Kashmiris want it both ways, the love of Pakistan and the money from Hindustan. Haqque e Khud Iradiyat, ( right to self determination ) is a pipe dream. India has invested too much blood and treasure, and therefore merger with India is non negotiable. Kashmiris can live a fantasy, or integrate and prosper. It is time for realism.
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                Babloo
                Jul 13, 2017 at 7:17 pm
                Very sensible comment.
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                Babloo
                Jul 13, 2017 at 6:16 pm
                How can you talk kashmiriyat when koran talks about killing Hindus who are by koranic description infidel, kafirs ? How can you talk about kashmiriyat when Muslims and islam in Kashmir has exterminated Hindus from 100 percent of population in kashmir valley to 1 percent today ? Even in just last 30 years, Hindu population in vallley has been reduced to 1 percent from 15 percent ? Can Hindus ever reduce Muslim population in India from 15 percent to 1 percent ? How much foolish and self-deluded will Hindus be of the religious history of south asia ?
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                  Jay Smith
                  Jul 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm
                  The Kashmiriyat I remember is Kashmiri Muslims doctors deliberately letting Hindu victims of terrorist bullets bleed to death in hospital corridors. Doctors who swore to do no harm. Muslim neighbours turning on Pundit neighbours. However even then there was hope the local barber asking my g father to flee as his life was in danger. All was not bad. But evil as usual prevailed as it does today. Far more heinous crimes have been committed by ordinary people and those in power.
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                    Babloo
                    Jul 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm
                    Islamic extremism and violence against Hindus is continuation of the same violence that has been practiced by muslims, their rulers against Hindus for last 1300 years. Hindus are totally indifferent to their own history and heritage.
                    Reply
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