“I am deeply troubled over the incidents that took place in Kashmir during the past few weeks,” writes Neelam Mahajan Singh, a veteran journalist and TV anchor at Doordarshan. She wrote this in an article published by an Urdu daily with the title “Mein Kashmir ki beti hu, mera dil zakhmi hai”, which translates to “I am the daughter of Kashmir and my heart is bleeding.”
Singh, a dedicated writer on contemporary social, political and international issues, pours her heart out, “The wanton killings of innocent people – men, women and children – and the army men have deeply affected me. It seems someone has cast an eye on the beauty of Kashmir.”
“This article is my emotional outburst to express my angst over the current happenings in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. I began to doubt the veracity of the import of the famous poet Amir Khusro’s couplet, ‘If the paradise exist on earth It is here…, it is here…, it is here…'” says Singh whose write-ups represent an inner turmoil and struggle of a sensitive woman in quest of peace in her state.
Singh whose columns and blogs are a vanguard voice against the system that denies citizens their rightful place in society is apprehensive that the return of 1990 terrorism will be the most terrible thing that could happen to Kashmir if the authorities do not handle the situation properly.
“I have no control over my tears while writing this article,” she writes. “There are so many things about Kashmir which I cannot write as a responsible citizen. I have seen with my own eyes immense destruction suffered by homes, villages and districts. The once prosperous state of Jammu and Kashmir is suffering from terrible economic woes. There is widespread unemployment and economic difficulties faced by the people.”
Singh says that the economic situation of the state has deteriorated after the division of the erstwhile state of J & K into two autonomous entities. “Why is peace not being restored after 75 years in Kashmir 1947?”
Singh further says that the current killings of the civilians in Kashmir should not be looked at as a Hindu-Muslim issue.
“It is necessary for the central government to ensure that the state is run by an elected chief minister to save Kashmiriyat, humanity and democracy. Too much blood has already been spilt. Now it is time for the authorities to apply a healing touch by initiating democratic process in the state forthwith,” concludes Singh.