New Delhi: Kashmiris don’t celebrate the deaths of army men because they are also humans, slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s father has said, ruing the alleged silence of civil society in the rest of India over killings in Kashmir.
“Indian intellectuals are quiet. It’s true that Kashmiris are dying but India doesn’t have peace either,” Muzaffar Wani, a government school teacher, said in CNN-News18’s Off Centre show aired on Saturday.
“If army men die that’s a problem and their death doesn’t give us any joy. They are also humans. We are sad when our own people die but we are not happy when army men die.”
The senior Wani blamed the recalcitrant attitude of both the state and central governments for frequent bouts of violent unrest in Kashmir — the latest was triggered by his son’s killing on July 8.
“Kashmir has been burning for the past 27 years and instead of dousing the fire everyone who comes here adds fuel,” he said, referring to controversial government proposals of separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits and soldiers and a ban on beef.
“These (issues) act as petrol on fire.”
He said it was “everybody’s responsibility, especially that of the Indian people, the common man who votes for the BJP or the Congress” to help douse the fire in Kashmir.
Wani asserted that people in India were generally not aware of the Kashmir issue and what is happening in the valley and warned that what “happened in 2008, 2010 and now in 2016” may happen again. “We just suppress it somehow… The Kashmir issue must be solved at one go.”
He said people in Kashmir had hoped that “some solution would be found because the BJP has a majority and some bold action would be taken. But that hasn’t happened.
“The agenda of the PDP and BJP alliance government had stated there would be talks between India and Pakistan and include the Hurriyat but no talks have happened.”
The school teacher condemned the burning of dozens of educational institutions in the Kashmir Valley and said such acts of arson were mysterious but detrimental to the future of Kashmir. “Nobody knows who is burning schools and everybody, including me, has condemned this. I don’t think kids are involved in burning schools.” (IANS)