“Poets in Punjab have added a new dimension to concerns over the situation in Kashmir-through poetry”
A Punjab based writer has dedicated a strongly worded poem to Kashmiri man Mushtaq Ahmad, who was booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by Jammu and Kashmir police for allegedly demanding return of the body of his son.
Kuldip Kaur claimed to have dedicated her poem to Mushtaq Ahmad, father of slain youth of Kashmir who was arrested for demanding the dead body of his child. She further stated that the poem is in the painful memory of all those who are killed, pushed to suicide and arrested for raising their voice against the ‘fascist regime’.
Referring to the death of youth in Kashmir, the poet in Gurmukhi language wrote that in a naked country of dead people, a father is looking for the lifeless body of his lost son. That father has been ordered to be arrested.
“I have heard that the dead body recovered from field had disrespected the national flag, which is ordered to be confiscated and a case has been lodged against the dead body,” reads the Punjabi poem, adding “An old man of seventy years, in the last leg of his life dedicated to the nation, writes blood soaked four lines. The paper carrying those four lines is almost set to burn.”
It reads, the stickers of flags, laws, disappearances and murders are stuck on the walls, how obscene are the advertisements showing exclusion of farms and houses from the country.
Poets in Punjab have added a new dikmension to concerns over the situation in Kashmir – through poetry.
“Most interesting is the continuity in the expression of support for the Kashmiris here in Punjab. It did not end with the massive ‘decentralized’ protest of September 15 that the government tried to suppress by cancelling permission for the proposed rally of farmers, students and other organizations. No event in Punjab now is complete without new verses being read out by poets,” poet Rajwinder Meer from the Malwa region of the state told the media.
He shared a strongly worded verse from his latest poem that refers to the derogatory comments by right wing Hindutva politicians about Kashmiri women in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
And went on to say, “Poetic resistance does not deliver results instantly. The very purpose is to etch something on the sub-conscience level of the listener. These words of poets echo even after centuries when the history of a region or a place is written. The sentiment that is later discussed in political theories and principles is first expressed by poets. That is why poetic expression of political incidents in areas that are disturbed is a must,” Meer added.
Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had booked seven people, including the father and kin of one of the three boys who was killed in a gunfight in Srinagar in December last year, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Athar Mushtaq, along with two other alleged militants Ajaz Maqbool Ganai and Zubair Ahmad Lone, was killed in an encounter with security forces on December 31, 2020.
The families of the three have been holding protests and demanding the return of their bodies, claiming they were innocents and killed in a staged encounter.
According to reports, an FIR was filed on February 5 under sections of UAPA — an anti-terror law in which a person can be pronounced as ‘terrorist’ but on a few conditions — against seven persons for “raising slogans against the integrity of the nation” while demanding the body of the deceased youth.
Last year Chandigarh based poet Manu Kant had come out with a powerful tribute to the Kathua rape victim as he lashed against those trying to protect the rapists.