Stuck between protests and depression, Kashmir’s youth look for escape

Stuck between protests and depression, Kashmir’s youth look for escape

A recent visit to Kashmir took me to Pulwama which is 50 km from Srinagar, in the southern part of the disturbed valley. There I met three young men fleeing stone from the security forces.

“Yes, we paint the stones, We want freedom,” said the most talkative among them, taking the name of Jehangir. Both presented themselves as Adil and Omar.

The freedom of that; India, he asked. The response came after a pause: “In India, oppression, we are students, the police stop us, beat us, disturbing us and harassing our families …”

All were in their twenties; Low-income families. During a 30-minute conversation in a corner of a crowded market, they shared stories of police excesses. A local cop was the worst pursuer; Including blocking innocent young men and freeing them for their consideration.

As we have said, the three of them were sitting in the backseat of Maruti Alto, my local contact. They were not comfortable, the air was bare and crazy. In distracted attention they were seen on their phones, by showing me snapshots intermittently blinded by pellets and inflammatory messages militant leader Zakir Musa. The former Hizbul Mujahideen commander had been the news for threatening to kill the leaders of Hurriyat Kashmir who were called in a political conflict. Is Musa your leader? I asked. They said someone with a gun was their leader – Burhan Wani, Musa Abu Dujana or Let.

They have all accepted their leaders, relatives of activists and protesters killed by the security forces: “The father who lost his son is our leader, not Syed Ali Shah Geelani has security Z (Mrs. Hurghyat).” For them, Musa Destruction Engineering, was a “engineers bound to take the gun.”

Omar had aspired to be a doctor. With Jehangir, who is wanted to the provisions of the Public Security Law. “I have no choice. I get stones because I have no weapon to deal with security forces.”

The home village of Wani, Tral, located at a distance of 25 km from Pulwama, Kashmir is called Kandahar. A series of obstacles forcing banks to keep ATMs out of money in the region.

I tried to show triumph agitated the inconvenience of a life in crime, to be in conflict with the law, regardless of its cause, the feeling of being harmed. And if the case against the young are eliminated; Were the prisoners released and offered jobs or loans for small businesses?

His eyes light up, but only momentarily. “We can not live or eat freely, to talk about work,” Jehangir said. But it could work if it had happened, Adil admitted: “We have lost interest in the system to aspirations unjustly denied or defeated.” The students I met in Srinagar and Pulwama College domain came from a better socio-economic context. But he also felt betrayed by the effervescent and corrupt system. “The young people here lead a depressing life,” said Shamim Meraj, editor of Kashmir Monitor. Sports stadiums are in a state of detention and poorly maintained parks since the floods of 2014 even movie theaters are closed, leaving Gen-X hanging from the Internet that also locks up when events occur.

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