27 October 1947, the day when India went against the agreement to let princely states choose the country they want to be with. When they illegally set foot in Kashmir and decided to capture it. When they showed the world that an area of 3.827 million km2 was not enough for them and so they illegally captured more.
27 October 1947. Just 2 months and 2 weeks after Indians gained freedom, they decided to take the very thing they fought for, away from someone else. They knew the pain of losing parents, children, and friends and yet, they decided to take those very loved ones away from Kashmiris. They decided to shoot bullets and drop bombs until Paradise on Earth became Hell. Until the sounds of children playing turned to those of children screaming. Where the chirping of birds was replaced by the explosion of bombs and the calm sound of flowing rivers replaced by the dreading sounds of bullets showering.
5th August 2019, the day when Kashmir experienced lockdown. When they were deprived of the limited health facilities they had. When schools and colleges were forced to shut down. When Kashmiris were deprived of mobile, television, landline, and internet services. When millions were put under house arrest. When Kashmir was cut off from the outside world.
5th August 2019. India intensified its violence because it knew that newspapers cannot be published, news cannot be reported and people will not be heard. The day when extra troops were sent in every corner and every street against the people that had no weapons except words and no plans except courage.
Since that day, hundreds of Kashmiris have been murdered, thousands injured and millions arrested. Thousands of structures and houses have been destroyed and hundreds of women raped. How much more injustice does the world have to see before it sees the violence, hears the cries, and realizes the suffering?
Lockdown due to the pandemic for three months with sufficient food, water, entertainment, communication, and peace became impossible for the world to handle. Then why is everyone silent to the suffering of Kashmiris, who have had to live in lockdown for 1 year 2 months, and 12 days without basic necessities?
Kashmiris are dying… no, they are being murdered. They are being held captive, being burnt alive, and being pelted with bullets; yet, the world remains silent. Kashmiris are being deprived of health, education, food, water, and communication; yet, the world remains silent.
When thousands under captivity can scream for help, then why don’t billions who are free do something? Why are Kashmiris the ones being held captive, yet we are the ones afraid to speak up? Why does everyone hear but not feels? Why does everyone see, but not speak? Why is everyone silent? Silent to the murders, the bloodshed, the injustice?
This is not a fight between Indians and Pakistanis; because all 1.353 billion Indians and 212.2 million Pakistanis want the same thing; for Kashmir to be freed. For them to be with the country they want to be with.
You are human. I am human. Kashmiris are human. From one human to another, I plead you to open your eyes and your heart and to see how Kashmiris are being treated as objects; how they are being torn, broken, and thrown away. How their rights are nothing more than words to their abusers and how their screams are nothing more than sounds. But we can help them. We can be the change that Kashmiris have yearned for. We can be the people that help turn hell back to paradise. All it takes is for you to educate yourself, see, hear, and feel. For you to say something and to do something.
Because in the end, they won’t remember the words of their enemies but the silence of their friends.