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Reputation of heavenly abode of peace, love is falsified to the extent that it creates an air of prejudice about Kashmir

By Manjot Singh Kohli
I have seen roads turning, dawn breaking, mountains trimming, and opinions changing. A wanderer myself, however, I never wanted to return from this paradise! The black shade of the moon is so much blared about and condemned that its glow and charm is ignored like it never existed! Meeting people of every opinion for sure broadened my perspective of what they call hell streets, and what I call heaven lanes.
There was a time when Kashmir was the last place I wanted to travel in the world. The image was of savagery and mortality. Not that everything thing is flowery now, but for sure it’s less thorny than it is portrayed.
I had always believed it to be an exotic place that would reveal to me to horrors of humanity. But my views about Kashmir changed after my recent travel to the valley. Meeting a few people was all it took to make me see the actual picture of this blessed place. As I reached there I realized that I had carried a cocoon view of Kashmir for years. I can say now, is not even remotely like what it is portrayed to be.
The reputation of a heavenly abode of peace and love is falsified to such an extent that it creates an air of prejudice about Kashmir. 'Adventurous' travelers that visit India are drawn towards Kashmir by its scenic beauty, while the rest are clutched by the thought of horrors they will have to face in Kashmir. The fault is not mine or of those 'unadventurous' travelers; the fault lies in the portrayal of Kashmir.
'Art', which is considered as a reflection of society, fails to reflect Kashmir as it is. Instead of showing the 'reality' or 'the positive aspects' of Kashmir, artists tend to focus only on the negative aspects of Kashmir. According to what the very wise peace lover Farooq Renzu Shah, chairman, Kashmir Society, says, every religion teaches love, harmony, peace, unity, but at the same time, regardless of what religion we are talking about, there is an atmosphere of hatred and war, which is preached by calling it different names. Some call it “Dharm Yudh”, others call it “Jihad”.
No matter what the name is, we regretfully see blood all around! And the most disappointing part is that this minor hate teaching attracts majority and hence is given a reason to be the centre of attention when it is preached! In Shah’s opinion, the only way of getting through this rusty phase is humanity and love for humans!.
Tahir Syeed, media analyst in the CM office, who welcomed me for a coffee meeting, said that prolonged protests are self-destructive. He added, unfortunately, many people are ignorant about the kind of help India has continuously been providing to Kashmiris, regardless of what aspect one talks about.
One shouldn’t overlook the fact that there is a need to fix priorities among issues confronting Kashmiris. As an activist my veins say that there are issues that must be urgently attended to in the Valley, yet they are are totally ignored. As Sajid Yousuf Shah, a law student in the Kashmir University, says, it not difficult to figure out what India is providing them with.
According to him violence has never been a solution to anything. He adds, it disheartens him to see his own brothers having blood thirst for their own folks. Being a Muslim, he explained to me, there was a need to understand a few teachings of the Prophet, who said that killing a person is killing the whole of humanity. He also told me that the Prophet even opposed picking up a pebble which might end up giving a bruise to someone walking on the road. Hence, he wondered, from where do these rebellious stone pelters come?
Clearly a few in number, but much, in effect, politicians are trying to enjoy the prolonged luxury of the current conflict phase of Kashmir, in which there is murder of the conscience of the young and innocents, making them use fire arms. These young minds should devote themselves to serving society, and educate themselves. Yet, they are busy in painting Kashmir with blood!
I wonder where this bloodshed is coming from when even the shikara wala bhaiya invited me for the Eid party modestly in his house in Dal Lake! The much talked about Kashmiriyat is nothing more than common people of Kashmir showing love towards their land and an unforgettable warm hospitality.
Portrayed as militants, these people, following Kashmiriyat, are nothing more than common human beings seeking their rights over their lands, which are constantly stuck in conflict between India and Pakistan. These Kashmiris are not terrorists but rather common human beings who not only respect their guests but also worship them, like the rest of the country.
People there are polite, compassionate and honest. As they say, there is always hope – a hope to see a Kashmir where no one talks about killing other humans or throwing bombs at places. There are many who insist on talking about love, happiness and dedication towards their land.
No doubt, one can see death of conscience at several places. People have lost their reason and ability to find ways and choose the right direction. They are blindly proud of their land, but wouldn't be, if they owned this heaven! Yet, there is hope that people will understand things logically, with reason, to see that Kashmir will turn into Subhan Allah Kashmir!

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