Being someone who has lived through every twist and turn of the K-Conflict, particularly after 1989, when Pakistan sponsored armed insurgency assumed a full-blown & demonic acreage, I can from the very recent past recall two of the most heinous acts of terror having inflicted an impinging amount of emotional trauma on my mind viz... the broad daylight cold-blooded murder of Shujaat Bukhari at press enclave, Srinagar and yet another one of the noted chemist Makhan Lal Bindroo from yesterday.
Bindroo - a household name in Kashmir
'Bindroo' to Kashmir and Kashmiris was far from being a mere individual. In the past two decades or so, 'Bindroo' had risen to be a synonym for hope, a silver streak in the pitched darkness, particularly for those who would be reeling through illnesses.
The older folk at home while handing us the empty blisters packs of their routine medication and money would strictly emphasize on 'Yi bani sirif Bindris nish, Yinne Bindris bagear beyi keansi nish anakh' (This would be available only at Bindroo's, do not buy it from elsewhere other than Bindroo's).
We would always wonder in our naïve heads about this strange precondition until we realized that 'Bindroo' is a synonym in their agile minds for a genuine and ethical brand of their medication. The efficacy of which they would blindly trust and something that would invariably aid their healing and well-being.
Apposite is perhaps the fact that 'Bindroo' was the very first address for diabetic population across Kashmir to converge on to, for privatised clinical attention by Dr Muhammad Hayat. I have been fortunate enough to have been closely associated with his medico son, Dr Siddharth Bindroo (an acclaimed Diabetologist), both on professional and personal fronts. Therefore, I have had this fair insight into why Uncle Makhan Lal didn't choose to migrate from Kashmir in 1990's when most of the KP community did, out of the fear of being persecuted at the hands of terrorists and their fanatics constituting the terroristic milieu.
'Sid' would always reply it with his signature impish smile on his ever bright face that:
Dad loves everything about this place, everything you can think of, people, culture, food, climate and so on. He can never think of and would never allow his family to desert all this. This is precisely the reason why he asked me to come back and start serving my own people, after I was done with my higher studies at CMC Vellore."
Makhan Lal's assassination — an eye-opener
Uncle Makhan Lal's assassination should not be read as yet another solitary instance of bodily harm inflicted on an individual from a particular side of the fence in a state of conflict or belief, a phenomenon that we have been witnessing in this blood-thirsty plus long years of armed conflict. It is the murder of faith, the faith on age-old pluralistic social fabric, the faith on the ethos of syncretism that we as Kashmiris have been nurturing all these years, living with and donning with sheer pride.
It is clearly an attack on our souls and values. An attack we should resent and stand against, collectively as a society. Terrorism in Kashmir has fairly reached a stage where it is not something to be battled with by police and security forces alone. Uncle Makhan Lal's assassination and the cold-blooded murder of the street vendor from Bihar last evening should be enough an eye-opener that the terrorism in Kashmir has attained such fiendish expanse that it would keep devouring value after value of ours until we cease to be looked at as 'humans' and this, unless we stand tall against it, far from equivocations and collectively so.
It is the murder of faith, the faith on age-old pluralistic social fabric, the faith on the ethos of syncretism that we as Kashmiris have been nurturing all these years
It doesn't deserve any concession, it just doesn't, lest it escapes the censure, characteristically through the burrow of being 'condoned' in any which way and instantly emerging in its aboriginal loathsome and beastly shape. This is terrorism and this is ugly.
[The author, Dr. Suneem Khan, is a medical doctor based out of Kashmir. Views expressed are author's own and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the website or its affiliates.]