Saturday , 23 September 2017
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‘Slap in the face’ reality- Kashmir

A tirade about the real shock and awe introduction to valley

   

P Hangul

Having been in the city for two months, privy to two ‘Shabs’ and the holy month of Ramzan, the instant fortification of the city, almost overnight, came as a surprise.

          The civil and police administration in anticipation of Burhan's death anniversary has moved in forces, (or maybe they were here all along and have only just come out for me to see).

          It was comical really, how this city has the talent to transform overnight, taking on one form from the other. The calm tranquil city of last night was now marred with razor wires crawling across the city.

          People were still moving about, oh without fail, but those unexpected encounters with this ‘slap in the face’ reality was something else. Makes you really realize for the first time, that conflict here is all too real- even though on most days you’d want to believe otherwise.

          A little into the day I was notified of two events- the first news report stated there is no blanket ban on internet from July 8 to July 13It said the situation will be reviewed on daily basis and accordingly it will be decided if an internet ban is required or not. It was the IGP Kashmir talking.

          I suppose it’s only fair knowing the situation in valley can turn quickly volatile. At least there wouldn’t be a forceful enforcement of an internet ban, violating the right to free speech; that was a breather.

          The second news report, though not pleasant, is insignificant in the present day Kashmir, as anyone worth a salt knows how to go around it. It was the news of social media restrictions in the valley. The official order went on to state, in no uncertain terms, that if a block on all social media sites on lease line was not possible, they were to shutdown the service in the valley.

           Two cents on social media ban- the only people to be affected by this ban are those non residents who have the misfortune to be in valley during these times; the people who haven’t experienced the wonders of VPN yet.

          My social media feed soon sprouted an article with Syed Ali Geelani hailing Burhan Wani as a role model for the local youth.

 

It’s a domino effect, to be expected I suppose, but all this makes you wonder- What is the city really bracing for? What lies in store for the city in coming days?

 

     It’s a domino effect, to be expected I suppose, but all this makes you wonder- What is the city really bracing for? What lies in store for the city in coming days?

          It might be a lot or a whole lot of nothing but what I know for sure is that the city will persevere and it will persist, come hell or high water.

          It is not city’s first fortification and certainly not the last because for as long as there is conflict, as long as people stay disassociated with the establishment, it will continue. It is just my first one, in a string that plans to last.

 Author is a temporary resident of the valley trying to understand the city, its people and its spirit