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What does Afzal’s death mean?

Perhaps, beyond angry outbursts and slogans nothing was left of Kashmiri intellectuals engaged in understanding problems of home land. Afzal Guru was hanged and pens were strangulated. I was one of the people who protested at Jantar Mantar, with no strategy, no political statement, I bundled myself with others to the station, to enter a site of ‘mourning’. Kashmir has a rich culture and cultured production of ‘grieving’, when someone dies, everyone assembles and expresses grief verbally and through wailing. That is what I found myself doing.

For people in Kashmir, it was another grieving, just yet another but for people in India, it was a grieving and mourning over the death of cherished democracy which they once thought they had owned. Perhaps, for Indian people who have struggled to restore justice to Afzal, had undertaken it as a project to restore democracy itself. The disappointment for them is much robust. This time when they ask me, what will happen to Kashmir? I say, perhaps something good. Afzal’s hanging has affected the memory and history of conscious Indians beyond repair. I see people no longer argue with me instead appear somber. It seems the question, what is wrong with Kashmir? is now What is wrong with India? Afzal is a collective memory of bruised Kashmiris and newly hurt Indians.

Another, empty grave is earmarked for Afzal in Kashmir, next to Maqbool and this time Kashmiri responses are more informed, political and mature. With ethical formulations and critical thinking central to the discourse of nation-hood, Kashmiri people are evolving for a new genre of resistance, perhaps more international this time, hoping to carry along their Indian sympathizers.

The webpage I recently encountered says a lot about how people are gearing up to engage the world on Kashmir’s political resolution. The About Page reads:

This website is created in memory of Shaheed Afzal Guru who symbolizes and epitomizes the innocent oppressed Kashmiri Nation under Indian rule. This portal serves as a one stop resource for generating awareness pertaining to the execution of Shaheed Afzal as ordered by the Supreme Court of India. The materials provided here are already published newspaper articles, blogs and columns for helping improve the public understanding of the injustice meted to him. It serves as a researchable database about the man and his occupied nation. This website is an attempt to break silence over Kashmir.

Shaheed Afzal Guru was hanged on 9th February, 2013.

Comments

inshahkashmiri's picture

link:

shaheedafzalguru.wordpress.com

Inshah

Cali gal Michelle's picture

in response..

Hi Inshah-

I appreciate this journal entry, and admire your courage and passion. You have a beautiful way of writing, almost like poetry. I hope you will consider entering the Voices of our Future 2013! It is a great opportunity to write, to reach a great audience, and make many connections.

The website you posted could also be brought to attention under Resource Exchange. It is a good platform to share such websites for those with similar interests.

With you in the world, yes, something good WILL happen in Kashmir. Because it only takes one to bring about change.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

inshahkashmiri's picture

Thank you

Thank you Michelle, I have entered the programme and looking forward to the opportunities there in, and really looking forward to interacting with the brave, courageous women out there.

I did share it in Resource Exchanges, thanks for directing me, and yes I hope, I shall make use of this self in a positive way and I have trust of my friends like you.

love and admiration

Inshah

Cali gal Michelle's picture

We stand

We stand behind you and with you in whatever you endeavor. Please keep me posted on how you are doing and if there is anything you need.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

JaniceW's picture

What does Afzal’s death mean?

Inshah, there is such a profound sense of resignation in your story. I could not get past the words "nothing was left of Kashmiri intellectuals engaged in understanding problems of home land. Afzal Guru was hanged and pens were strangulated."

I am deeply saddened to hear that such deaths are part of your daily life but hope that Afzal's death may awaken in the Indian and Kashmiri peoples a sense of morality and urgency that will demand action. There must be times when things seem hopeless but I have faith in the voices of people like yourself who will not let us forget the territorial wars that exist between Indian and Pakistan to the detriment of the Kashmiri people.

One thing: are you able to give us some background to Afzal's life and what he stood for?

inshahkashmiri's picture

Afzal stands for Freedom

Dear Janice,

in the website there is a section on his story in brief to give you more idea, in brief if i could conclude, he was a freedom loving kashmiri supporting free kashmir, independent of both Indian and Pakistani interference, he tried to fight the Indian occupation in Kashmir via armed struggle, but he was disillusioned with Pakistan's treatment of Kashmiris as inferior and using them only to gain rest of kashmir territory. So he lost hope and wanted to quite the armed movement and he did, but Indian govt implicated him in a crime he did not commit and ultimately hanged. he is representative of innocence, and injustice met to Kashmiri people on everyday basis.

Inshah

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