An army veteran’s emotional appeal to Kashmiri youth
Srinagar, March 14: There is no respite to Kashmir from violence. As clashes between civilians and security personnel continue, the poor voter turnout during the recent by-poll and re-poll in the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency highlights the fragile situation in the Valley.
The lack of trust between the civilians and jawans has reached a new height, especially after a video went viral showing an army personnel getting heckled and beaten up by youngsters of Kashmir.
While the restraint shown by the gun-carrying army man in spite of being getting attacked by unarmed men has been widely appreciated, many have condemned the act stating that the jawans guarding our borders deserve to be honoured and obeyed, not bullied and attacked like this.
In such a tricky situation, an army veteran's open letter to the Kashmiri youth brings to forefront the core issues troubling the Valley for so many decades. In his column titled-- An army man's open letter to Kashmiri Youth--for News18, Lt Gen (Retd) DS Hooda wrote, "I know your pain at losing a comrade or a loved one because I have felt the same pain and seen the same scenes of grief in our homes. Just like you, I am aware that conflict is not only about lost lives, but also about lost opportunities, lost education and a lost youth."
Hooda highlights how every jawan, posted in the Valley, sees the Kashmir conflict as a neutral person, without taking any sides. "Unlike you, I come here for a two-three year posting and then move on. I thus tend to see things from a perspective which is not coloured by history or emotions. I only see what is happening today. And I honestly see you all headed in a downward spiral - being used by various groups for their own selfish reasons," he wrote.
The army veteran asks youth of the Valley to shun violence for their better future. "It is for you to decide the path to take. But decide carefully. Stone pelting, flag waving, and school burning do not really enhance your image or further your cause. Twelve-year-old Faizan was shot dead when he went to see the 'tamasha' of your stone pelting."