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Fifth Edition

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

Sept 2002



Ajai Sahni


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Praveen Swami


Special Report   

A H Khan



Praveen Swami



Najam Sethi



R K Mishra


Ground Zero

B Manzar


In Black & White

A K Verma



R Upadhyay


Table Talk       

Indra Munshi

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C o p y r i g h t s

 G R O U N D   Z E R O

Peace, peace and peace

Bashir Manzar

If the warm reception that the cinestar turned politician Sunil Dutt was given at holy shrine of Dargah Hazratbal is any indication, then his peace message has well been received by the people of Kashmir. Fact of the matter is that no human being can be averse to the idea of peace particularly the people of Kashmir Valley, which has been an abode of great Sufis, Rishis and Sants, who taught peace, love and harmony alone. Kashmiris do want peace. They too want to live a dignified, secure and peaceful life. They have an eye over the outside world and want to make big strides alongside the world on the front of development. What peace means only those can understand who have seen the absence of peace. And Kashmiris have been witness to a war-like situation from last more than a decade. They have witnessed and in fact continue to witness mad dance of death at every nook and corner of their land. Their lanes and by-lanes are filled with human blood and their rivers and lakes have turned red. They long for peace. They want their children to acquire best education and lead a normal and prosperous future and are well aware that it is possible only if there is peace restored to this part of world. And it is their strong longing for peace that they extended a warm welcome to Sunil Dutt who had come here on a peace mission.


But the question is that is it only the longing of Kashmiris that can bring back peace to this troubled piece of land? In this high-action drama of death and destruction have Kashmiris any role to play? These and series of such other questions need to be answered before coming to any conclusion.


Kashmir is a bone of contention between two neighbouring countries which, fortunately or unfortunately, have of late acquired nuclear capabilities. Unarmed Kashmiris are caught between two guns, spitting fire. The security forces that India has deployed here and the militants that Pakistan is arming are fighting a battle of egos and this hapless land has been turned into a battle field. Bullet coming out from any of the guns has only one destination - head or chest of a Kashmiri. In this scenario Kashmiri may cry for peace but does it going to help. Peace can be restored only by those who destroy it. If the guns of security forces and militants fall silent providing some space to Kashmiris then only this unfortunate community can contribute its bit in strengthening the peace. But as of today the voice of Kashmiri has been choked. Kashmiri people have been rendered to nothingness. They are forced to play a certain role - role of a victim, role of someone who has to get killed, role of a person who is to be kidnapped, role of a girl who is to be raped. Those who wield power are in no way ready to let Kashmiris come out of this role.


In this scenario it is people like Sunil Dutt who can play a very positive and effective role. Sunil Dutt is a man of integrity, his secular credentials are unambiguous and he has all along been speaking in favour of peace. People like him need to understand that time is running very fast and thus they have to pull up their sleeves and jump into the troubled waters of Kashmir. They are the people who still enjoy peoples' love here. Otherwise, for an ordinary Kashmiri everything has lost credibility and acceptability. They have seen people like Goerge Fernandes, who at one stage was behaving as a strongest advocate of Kashmiris, talking of pro-active policies. But the way the same people welcomed Dutt at Hazratbal shrine is enough to convey that there still is some hope. And it is the responsibility of people like Dutt to nurture this hope. This hope shall not die. If it dies, that will be the end. The people who advocate peace and who dream of peace have to bear in the mind that Kashmir is such a festering wound that has every potential to infect the entire subcontinent and, therefore, before the infection spreads let all conscientious people like Dutt take some initiative that heals the wound. 


Author is the Editor of Kashmir Images, Srinagar

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