Is India an Apartheid Nation?

POETRY FORMAT, 18 May 2020

Dr. M. Ashaq Raza – TRANSCEND Media Service

An Ode to Kashmir Conflict – A Word to Kashmiris

Lockdown, curfews and restrictions
Internet bans, telecom suspensions
Attacks, crackdowns and detentions
Fear, tears, cries, crisis in all directions

Rapes, murders, massacres, abductions
Refugees, martyrs, widows and orphans
Children, youth, aged and the women
Everyone in stress, trauma and pain

Strikes, processions and agitations
Stone pelting and lethal pellet guns
Burning schools, edifice, destructions
Prejudice, chaos, anger, frustrations

Harassment, torture, humiliations
Poverty, hunger, drug addictions
Ugly divisions, clash of civilizations
Intolerance, mob lynching, fanatism

Surgical strikes, search operations
Nuclear bombs, missiles, munitions
Hindu-Muslim tiff and polarization
One laughing on other’s cremation

Mindless debates, discussions on TV stations
On social media, viral fake news circulations
Intellectuals, academicians, sport stars, politicians
Celebrities, journalists and divided Humanitarians

A war like situation in South Asian region
Nuclear nations likely on head on collision
And hell turned Kashmir called the heaven
But for what this all, I peeped the reason

Because we want an independent nation
Yes, the hell-bent full Kashmir freedom
Yes, in the light of partition, UN resolution
Then I asked the fighters this very question

Is India an apartheid Nation?
So are you fighting for freedom?
Are Non-Muslims not equally human
So you want to have a separate nation

What lessons have we taught to children
So they feel ashamed of being an Indian
Call indigenous rule as foreign aggression
And lift guns against their own brethren

Before conceiving idea of freedom
What was,  of those leaders, vision?
Were article 370 and UN resolution
Above breaking this great nation

Had they not seen bloody 1947
When millions lost lives unseasoned
And thought of affording another 47
And putting at stake the generations

Have they missed train to Pakistan?
As there was no problem in Pakistan
As are Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan
So are Bengal, Kashmir, Rajasthan

As a Sindhi, Punjabi and Pashtun
Live with brotherhood in Pakistan
So, the Hindu, Muslim, Christian
Are living as brothers in Hindustan

Although promises made not undertaken
Addressed nobody the conflict resolution
Ignored plebiscite, right to self determination
And struggle, sufferings, pain, all gone in vain

But to stop bloodshed, mutual tyranny in region
And the flow of hate, enmity across generations
To save Muslims in India, Hindus in Pakistan
And to reduce human sufferings all-around

To repay the debit of attack on a civilization
For 900 years by Muslim rulers as invasion
Massacres, rapes, sufferings, mass conversions
Destruction of temples, human rights violations

And finally breaking, in many parts, one nation
And now, in order to, avoid any further division
And while thinking that dears lost by everyone
Still you have chance to reduce sufferings, pain

Stop telling stories of betrayal to children
Cash opportunity to live with bigger nation
Help build confidence, good relations
Forget past, think of future generations

But, if you have right to break a nation
Nation too has a right not to be broken
Let’s be wise in our vision and action
Let’s think being a responsible person

Count how many youths lost in treason
Count how many lost we security men
Count how many past lives in prison
Count how many displaced persons

Restrict not to plebiscite or UN resolution
Go beyond 47, see legacy of a civilization
Before breaking a good going nation
Try to understand their very position

Hijacked you have the entire region
For freedom from your own brethren
Think one day beyond lines of religion
You’ll cry from whom you ask freedom

Anyhow that’s your choice and decision
But, if you listen my humble suggestion
Let’s not be stubborn to break a nation
As it may have dangerous repercussion

So, think positively, bridge division
Be proud citizen of this great nation
Neither you should intimidate anyone
Nor you get intimidated from anyone

Call your Pandit brothers for rehabilitation
Call the youth back from camps and prison
Give them the books, take back the guns
Give peace a chance, turn hell into heaven

Look Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian
All are sons of one mother- Hindustan
Neither India an apartheid nation
Nor you are an apartheid citizen

Look here All are equally human
Free yourself from preoccupation
Think it, feel it, live it, as thy own nation
Yes, our India is not an apartheid nation
————-

[My apologies if feelings of anybody hurt
But whatever I said, I said from the heart]

_____________________________________________

Dr. M. Ashaq Raza is an academician, peace worker, human rights activist and member of TMS based in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Ass. professor of botany, Govt. College for Women, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu; former director of research at Eritrean Institute of Technology; currently in Department of Higher Education, Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir (India). Founder/president “Attitude Change International”, a non-profit peace NGO engaged in sustainable peace and development; charter president, Rotary Club of Darhal Malikan. Website: www.humanrightsforpeace.blogspot.com.


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 18 May 2020.

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One Response to “Is India an Apartheid Nation?”

  1. Debidatta Aurobinda Mahapatra says:

    Dear Dr. Raza,
    An interesting poem. It seems to transcend divisions of religion or border.
    You may be interested in my book on Kashmir: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/conflict-management-in-kashmir/6D39F30C0FDB23B6BD05757752030BCE
    Best wishes,
    Aurobinda

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