From Hindustan Times: “It is different this time”
They have seen many bouts of “revolution” earlier, but this time it is different, say Kashmiris caught in the growing spiral of violence and protests that have engulfed the valley for the past nearly two months and seen scores dead in firing by security forces. On the streets and even in the households the atmosphere is of mourning and mounting anger. The daily dance of death since July 11 has crossed 40, with 26 killed since Friday, including four in firing on Tuesday till the time of writing.
Abdul Rashid Khan, 65, a carpenter, has in his life seen many seen spells of “revolution which fizzle out after sometime”.
“But I am sure this time, the things have taken a different turn. Everybody is ready to sacrifice whatever one can but the rule of tyranny has to end, now or never,” Khan said.
It doesn’t matter to Khan that he and his wife are almost starving due to the lack of food with daily shutdowns and curfews.
Khan, whose daily earning is a meagre Rs 300, and his wife live alone in a modest house on the outskirts of Srinagar in Anchaar, a semi-rural area named after a lake. Their only son, Bashir Ahmed, is in Bangalore working for a private company.
“Today was the third day in a row when our milkman didn’t come to deliver milk. It has been many days since the baker who lives close to our home didn’t open his shop. All the stocked food grain has been consumed and we are left with nothing and have been starving since last night,” Khan told IANS on phone.
Daily sufferings don’t bother many like Khan because two generations of Kashmiri Muslims have been witness to the bloody 20-year-old separatist war that has left some 70,000 people dead since 1989.
“I don’t think there is anything new in it (current situation). We are suffering and are ready to suffer more if it brings an end to the suffering Kashmiri Muslims have been encountering since generations,” Khan said, reflecting the feeling of “it is now or never” that has swept people of the state.
Many share his view.
Abdul Majeed Kapra, 45, had three months ago taken a loan from a bank to buy himself an auto-rickshaw for a livelihood. But like many others the unrest has left him with no option but to stay home.
“I am with the freedom movement,” said Kapra, but appeared rather worried for his three children, aged, 10, 8 and 3.
“I am not complaining as such. Everybody is suffering but I only wonder if we can sustain it when we cannot feed our own children,” Kapra told IANS.”