Why are there these shocked reactions from these so called experts representing sarkari forums on the Kashmiri’s dismal response to the upcoming panchayat polls to be held in the state this coming autumn? Experts surely know of the fact that the Kashmiri is aware that the the political situation is not changing and with that the ground realities are turning more than tragic. Daily news reports of the killngs, counter killings and the aftemath are simply on the rise. Sandwiched sits the Kashmiri, between the military might and the militant!
I had covered the 2002 elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Though a considerably high percentage of Kashmiris had voted in those elections, they had made it loud and clear that they wanted to elect representatives so that civic amenities could improve. In fact, even then, the local Kashmiris had told me that they did realise that the elected representatives would be of nil help for them in cases of illegal detentions, harassment and hounding they faced on a daily basis!
And during the 2008 elections, there seemed little change in the mood of the residents of the Valley. In fact, it was rather un- nerving to see military and police presence spread out in huge numbers. Even before the electioneering process had begun, the clamp-down effect, siege-situation were being practiced. There were cries for azaadi from military might, as human rights violations were reported and rebellious or vetoing voices were sabotaged. Several rebel leaders were under house arrest; all those who had dared to speak out, ‘Our politicians are rendered useless, as all those big orders to gun down or arrest are coming from New Delhi. Our ministers, chief ministers, are at the mercy of the rulers sitting in New Delhi, who could in turn be getting orders from foreign powers. After all, American and Israeli lobbies keep a close watch on the developments here!’
Today, of course, the situation in the Valley has only compounded; turned more than tragic and rather too hopeless. Human lives are at risk in the midst of political treachery that’s been ongoing. Political games are getting played, with none of the rulers of the day talking of that much-needed and vital political dialogue to end the ongoing conflict.
Building highways or tunnels, or placing the political who’s who from here to there, means little when killings and captures of innocents are on. Speeches of the rulers sound bogus when there is hollowness around each little word they utter! All possible whitewashing seems futile, as blood stains continue to spread around.
Till date there is little transparency in this sarkar’s Kashmir policy. And this in itself compounds the already complex situation in the Valley. There are no answers to the long list of grievances of the Kashmiris. Not just that, the sarkar of the day has not been successful in preventing the harassment faced by Kashmiri students and professionals who travel down to study and work in the cities and towns of the country.
Go through the news-reports of the last few years and reported cases of assaults on Kashmiri students, studying in the so called reputed educational institutions , might just shock you. They are not just taunted and labelled along communal strains but have also been detained on the alibi of carrying or cooking beef! Although, all that they had bought was 300 gms of mutton! In fact, the police and right-wing goons keep a ‘watch’ on them and this in itself is a very disturbing aspect, yet where are forums from where they can talk aloud of this and of the other injustices heaped on them!
Come September and I get all too determined to write on the Alzheimer’s Disorder, as awareness of AD is still rather low in our country, unless, of course, one’s parents or grandparents are battling this disorder.
It is a progressive, degenerative disorder that affects the memory cells. The memory cells start shrinking, fading, declining, deadening. And with that, what is affected is not just the memory but also the AD stricken person’s entire personality. He or she finds it difficult to perform everyday tasks or even recognise his close relatives and family and as it accelerates the speech and physical movements are greatly affected. In fact, patients start behaving like small children. Some withdraw into a shell, others turn aggressive and have to be handled with much care and sensitivity. And though till date there is no cure for AD but specialists stress on these very basics for the care givers – treat the AD affected with much sensitivity and gentle handling. Also, avoid shifting the patients from his or her familiar home settings, as that could further aggravate their condition.
Perhaps, these lines of poet -writer Kamala Das describe how AD affects. These lines are from her poem titled -‘Alzheimer’s’ ( from her poetry book - ‘Closure’):
is a spider
deadlier even than
It weaves its web
within the brain,
a web rugged like
For seven years had
It looked out
through her eyes
although she was
silent as a safe
emptied of memories,
her disease talked.
Like a Buddhist monk,
it said life is sorrow …’