This Tamil neuroscientist feels at home in Kashmir, urges others to follow him

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Krishna who grew up in Tamil Nadu but is presently working at National University of Singapore said that soon after he came to Kashmir, he got a sense of ‘feeling at home’.

SAQIB MALIK
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 18 2018 12:17AM | Updated Date: May 18 2018 10:43AM
This Tamil neuroscientist feels at home in Kashmir, urges others to follow himGK Photo

For the Singapore-based Neuroscientist Krishna K, a week-long vacation to Kashmir earlier this month proved to be quite an eventful and yet a memorable experience. Krishna’s visit to the valley coincided with the death of a fellow 22-year-old Tamil tourist Thirumani, who was injured after he was caught in a stone pelting protest near Narbal and died at a city hospital on May 8.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir, Krishna who grew up in Tamil Nadu but is presently working at National University of Singapore said that soon after he came to Kashmir, he got a sense of ‘feeling at home’.

Krishna says common people outside the Valley have developed a “negative” perception about Kashmir, created by the national media and entertainment industry which “colludes while constructing a political stand,”

“The common man and his ignorance outside Kashmir is the largest asset the mainstream rulers in our country possess. Contrary to the media perception this place is quite welcoming. Tamils don’t speak Hindi, but we could manage with English in the Valley. This is not possible in any other Hindi speaking state,” Krishna said.

Recounting his Kashmir tour along with a group of seven people, Krishna said during most of the days of their week-long vacation they witnessed a complete internet shutdown and restrictions imposed by the authorities in several parts of the city.

“A local in a small restaurant offered his SIM card to me and collected it back on the last day of trip. Even on the day we got stuck in protests at Ganderbal after the killing of the rebel professor we were offered a home stay by the locals there,” Krishna said. “It is amazing to see Kashmiris live with smile despite the prevailing situation,” he said.

Krishna said he is hopeful that all Tamils would visit the “paradise on the earth, Kashmir” at least once in their lifetime.

Commenting on the recent incident of hatemongering against common Kashmiris, Krishna said abusive social media users “spitting venom” against Kashmiris is nothing now. Krishna accused New-Delhi of “being soft” on those involved in spreading online hate.

“Just a day back a national journalist who was always mud-slinging against Kashmiris is appointed for LokSabha TV which telecasts Indian parliamentary affairs. The same journalist had posted that ‘she wouldn’t mind if there is genocide in Kashmir’ in social media earlier. I consider this insulting, humiliating act against Kashmiri people,” Krishna said.

Krishna said the national media which had recently highlighted the death of a Tamil tourist in Kashmir and projected Kashmir as a “dangerous place to visit” does not provide any coverage to the killing of innocent youth in the Valley.

“Since me and my friends are politically aligned to student movements of Tamil nationalist organisations of Tamil Nadu, we observed many interesting things in common between Kashmir and other oppressed nationalities such as Punjabis, Tamils, North-east. I and my friends find it is our moral duty to speak up about our experience in Kashmir,” says Krishna. 

Krishna said he was in favour of the removal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) not only from Kashmir but from other parts of the country where it is implemented.

“What kind of justice you can expect from the armed forces when they have these laws at their disposal. I and friends with similar political view urge all the secular leaders of India who believe in true democracy to impose a unilateral ceasefire. Killing of civilians in double digits in Kashmir every day is no solution at all. A ceasefire would let the Kashmiris breathe easy and peacefully observe the holy month of Ramadhan,” Krishna says.