From the same womb!
Few days ago, I visited the graves of rebel commander’s Abu Dujana and Abu Qasim who have been seen as the biggest foreign inspirational figures in the renewed armed resistance in Kashmir, a lot was going on in my mind and I recalled the endless discussions with Ruban and Naveed (my brothers) regarding these figures and more (who came from Pakistan). However, I always am of the opinion that despite all reservations, violence has had its place and has played an important part in conflict torn Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir.
I just wanted to experience success in my chosen field. I had no time for friends, parties, celebrations or family. I hardly have attended any marriage ceremony of any of my cousin or friend in last 10 years since I left home in search of life. Often I did not even have time to call my brothers and even my mother. But today while seeing both of them and the life they are living, I feel they have achieved whatever they wished and I am again at the door of life in order to get where I want to.
I haven't completed the journey of my life as yet but today I feel like sharing a slice of it with you. I belong to a middle-class family. I come from a small hamlet ‘Nazneenpora’ that is nestled in district Shopian. Gun is a romantic word here and it has been romanticized in my village since 90’s. But my passion for success was making me work like a maniac. I excelled at my workplace and got a lot of appreciation from my seniors and customers. I would often eat only one meal a day not because I did not have the money but because I did not have the time. I was hungry for success not for food. But on the other side, both of my brothers nowadays hardly eat food as per the need because they neither have the time to eat nor the availability of food!
Naveed and Ruban- Naveed was earning good being in JKP and Ruban was gaining a lot of fame due to his cricketing skills. We all, as family as well as brothers-cum-friends, used to discuss Kashmir, armed struggle, political issue and at some point our views were different on all these things but I was not that much brave as they both were. I used to tell sometimes tell them that the way they put their points in order to make a bold argument on armed struggle, they should implement it on themselves first. We must preach what we can do by ourselves. But I did not know that they both will do it one day and that the day was very near. I would always give the example of Yasin Malik (Chairman JKLF), one of my favorite Political leader, a well known rebel commander of 90’s and a well known Political leader in current times.
However, both my brothers choose the way they always believe in. That is when I realized that even if two people are born from the same womb they can never ever be the same. The same blood flowed in my brother’s veins too yet we felt differently about the same issue.
Since Naveed left for woods and people came to know, I saw a change among my friends and other relatives, I don’t get the kind of attention or at times I don’t get the phone calls, texts, care and love, I used to. But From the day Ruban left, I can see the kind of boycott from people towards me on all above mentioned things.
We are clearly double faced. Sometimes I feel that I am a kind of threat to others. Prior to leaving my brothers, my friends used to stay with me till late in the evenings, they used to call me a number of times a day and even I also used to stay out with my friends. But this has come to a staggering halt, it doesn’t happen now. I remember 4 weeks ago, I requested a friend of mine to give me some space at his home as the forces (JK’s SOG wing and Indian army routinely came to my home) so that I can stay there for a night and relax a bit, he came on my request but while traveling towards his home he said, “Please don’t tell my family members that your brothers are active militants.” I felt virtually like in search of a grave.
We as a family have done everything in order to get the basic things available from a home to motorbike to car and other things but 8 years down the line I remember how Ruban used to take me to his friends home for staying over due to less space at our house then (one room muddy hut). Now as everything seems to be fine, I wish I could sleep at my house which we made by all our blood and sweat but I am not allowed to do so just because the family doesn’t want to lose me.
The point is that both my brothers including 500 others haven’t left home for any personal case rather for a cause of nation but at times seeing and analyzing the circumstances and the behavior of people (exceptions may be there) towards me makes me think that they shouldn’t have done so for such a society which even can’t afford to talk to the families of such people in public or in person. There are hundreds of people who have left for woods and whose families need support (emotionally as well as economically) but people go there just once that is when they receive the coffins.
In conclusion I say brothers my eyes yearn for you both and there are a billion stabs in our heart and families await your loving calls. Tears, misfortunes, sadness, loneliness and above all frustration define our life now.
In the hope of life, traumatized with violent experiences, living under shades of fear, hopelessness and uncertain future Naveed (28) and Ruban (20) both left for woods after being harassed, abused and at times beaten by JKP and Indian army a lot of times since 2016. May Almighty Allah bless both of them and others as well and give them a long life and may almighty have mercy on us (Kashmiri’s) as well.
The writer is former student leader, founder AJKSU, a blogger, with an MBA in Marketing and Human Resource. can be mailed on firstname.lastname@example.org