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Kashmir kids couldn't fathom why there was no state-imposed night curfew in Mumbai

By Saket Gokhale*
A few years ago, a friend who works with a non-government organization (NGO) had organized a trip of Kashmiri school children to Mumbai. On the last day of the trip, the kids were being shown around different places in Mumbai for sightseeing. They were all between ages of 8-14. I went along to help her out. After an evening of sightseeing, we took the kids out for dinner followed by ice-cream.
All of a sudden, a little 8-year-old girl from the group asked me the time. I said it was 8:30 pm. Immediately a few of the kids broke out into a huddle & started whispering. Some of them put away their ice-cream & said “ok we’re ready. Let’s leave”.
I told them -- hey it’s fine. Finish your dessert. We have a lot of time. Few of the kids looked at me puzzled and entirely unconvinced. You could see the fear and confusion in their eyes.
Finally one 10-year-old girl spoke up and said “Curfew ka time hua hai bhaiyya. Jaldi chalo.” When I told them that this isn’t how it works in Mumbai, they looked at me in bewilderment as if I had no idea what I was saying.
The idea that a permanent curfew doesn’t exist in other places was an alien concept to these kids. Even kids as young as 10 knew what “curfew” meant & how serious it was. They couldn’t fathom the fact that places exist in India where people don’t work on state-imposed curfews.
I request everyone cheering the unconstitutional #Article370 move and orgasming over buying land in Kashmir to go live there for a few days along with their kids.
Let the sanghi schmucks who crib and won’t step out of their houses in the monsoon go and live with their kids in a place where curfews, disconnected phone/mobile access, & strip searches are a part of daily life.
Let the nimrods who complain about drinking and driving checks of the police after weekend parties live in a place where there’s a check-point every 300 metres where you’re treated as a criminal.
Let those who constantly keep calling their friends & loved ones to see “how far they’ve reached” live in a place where your family can disappear overnight with no trace of them.
Let those who order food deliveries and Amazon all their shit live in a place where stepping out during curfew to buy life-saving medicines could mean living in fear of death by a stray bullet or a strip search at the least.
Orgasm about the crushing of the rights of Kashmiris and trampling of our Indian Constitution after you and your kids have spent a few months living under curfew. Live for a while in an atmosphere of zero fundamental rights -- the rights you take for granted.
Spend some time in a place where the govt. snatches away your basic rights. And only then do you have the right to cheer about the trampling of the Constitution which gave you those rights.
The bigots won’t. Because there’s a little Savarkar in all of them.
---
*Activist, former foreign correspondent. Source: Author’s Facebook timeline

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