Protester’s Chronicle

Too often my rational voice is lost, and my dignified deep feeling comes up short

Syeda Afshana
Srinagar, Publish Date: Apr 22 2018 12:38AM | Updated Date: Apr 22 2018 12:38AM
Protester’s ChronicleFile Photo

I am a young protestor. I am out on street. I have abandoned my classroom to register my protest. I am using my right to express discontent.  The crime against a minor girl in Kathua is by all means horrendous and reproachable.

I am venting out my spleen because I feel helpless. Maybe to the point of self-decimation. I am knocking down everything. Wrecking my classroom.  Vandalizing my institution. Fuming my ire to the point of recklessness. Perhaps I have no other choice. Or else I am the victim of domino-effect, which drifts me away with the tide. 

There is enormous complexity around the way I get out on the street. What constitutes a ‘symbol of living’ to one person appears a ‘sign of lethality’ to another. But if it doesn’t make soul sense to any of us, it doesn’t certify for any appellation. Neither it qualifies to be an elevating culture of dissent nor the fortifying clique of daring. I just can’t rebuff this unspoken reality.

Nevertheless, I still come out on the road. I am not gutless. I am not gullible. I shriek, shout and stone. I am looking for a change that I know is being ‘romanticized’ without genuinely recognizing my struggles and anguish. I am preyed upon for something I don’t have enough understanding of. I live through it all.

My mind is the climax—it is suffused with stuff that is random and risky. There is an incessant stimulus-response, a catastrophic cyclical action (rather reaction) that generates the violent outlet for my expression and nothing else.  

Today, I am out there because others too are hammering in. Here, there and from everywhere. I am also jumping on the juggernaut. I am reeling under domino effect. The implicit and explicit objectives of all this don’t really make any specific sense to me. I am protesting to get pelleted. I am stoning to get seized. I am howling to get haunted. By everything which renders me defenseless and vulnerable. To draconian laws and state brutality. 

It grills my sagacity. I am pushed to the point where I feel there is nothing else I can do better than what I am doing right now. Too often my rational voice is lost, and my dignified deep feeling comes up short. And this anomaly gets exploited viciously.

I fail to locate a spectrum of honest appraisal and hands-down infallibility when leaders of resistance camp advise me to be “disciplined” while I am putting myself in peril. Comically circumspect, it exposes their doublespeak about deadly dangers appended to my resentment. For me, their “discipline” comes without explaining the phenomenally complex facts and binary surrounding my protesting near encounter sites to educational campuses.    

I am also appalled by the governmentese that preaches me to go back to classroom when “case is solved and trial is on”.  Seems deliberate obscurantism is more than a dismal attempt to calm down the jeopardy of my rage for the regime. If nothing else, it underscores the fragility of its mainstream canards. My stark memory still stocks the fate of many such trials in the past. I am baffled by such groundless ‘political wisdom’!

 For any fanatic politician, I represent the virus of “Kashmir infection”, that ‘conspires’ to sweep people like him in our ‘epidemic’ while polarizing the discourse communally. This vitriolic propaganda makes me stronger in my notion of political legitimacy while engineering a ruse of rabid illegitimacy for such elements. I am forced to stay on the street. And make it my battleground. Sadly. 

Bottomline: There are chinks in everyone’s armor here. And I am becoming the armor. For hypocritical politics. For power retention. For land grabbing. This is tragic. 

My book is gone. My classroom is deserted. My education is eroded. My meanings are maneuvered. My mood is morphed—paving way for chronic ‘classroom suspensions’ and ‘simmering summers’.

Tracing the trajectory of my grumbling, my profile pops up as a reactionary fall guy, rippling in to shield the final flickering of my faith. Whatever, I ought to look for a freedom that promises me to decide my history and my life from the ground up.