A 22-year old, young Kashmiri boy was killed in an army encounter and the peace vanishes from the valley again.
Burhan Wani was the chief operative of militant group Hizbul Mujahhiddin in Kashmir valley. He wasn’t anything less than an inspiration for the people of Kashmir, especially the youth.
He recruited more than fifty boys into the separatist militant group in 2015 alone.
Burhan Wani’s death is not a cause of mourning or celebration; it’s a cause for introspection.
Why is Kashmir mourning a militant’s death?
Wani , for the localities was not a militant, he was a crusader. His brother was killed by the army on the mere suspect of being a terrorist. His family was harassed for years until they left Tral, his homeland for good.
This is not just a singular occurring but story of hundreds in the valley today. The conditions are ripe for several more Wani’s to be born.
The young Kashmiris are educated but unemployed; the army is a constant presence in their lives, normality is just a term and not reality for them. Where do they go? What do they do? Radicalising these young minds ain’t too tough.
Burhan Wani was widely popular on the social media network. He encouraged Amarnath pilgrimage and promised not to bomb them. He talked about youth education and expanding Kashmiri economy.
What went wrong?
Wani held the army responsible for the Kashmiri conflict. He encouraged people to attack army colonies and offices but not the Kashmir police.
Umar Khalid of JNU compared him to Che, another controversial figure. Wani was fighting for his freedom, a kind of assertive identity he had lost and turned to violence since that was the easiest of them all.
This is not to say that the outrage his death spurred was misplaced, not at all but blaming the army or other security forces is misplaced too.
Maintaining harmony in the valley is as crucial as ever today, separatist leaders are joining hands with the enemies and the army should be given space to work.
Kashmir needs to find a balance between the army and the people. The people and the security forces need to work together to make Kashmir a peaceful region again.
Best Friends, Pakistan!
This is another instance where Pakistan jumped in to fuel the fire between India and Kashmir. Our neighbour country expressed ‘shock’ over the death of the ‘martyr’ and observed Black Day because the world lost a ‘gem’.
“Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support for Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination,” said their Prime Minister. Well, they definitely need a reminder about Taliban.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.