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Silent Mothers With Million Word Woeful Stories


Our Sombre Sunday

Z.G. Muhammad


It was a sunny April Sunday, just, following the historic Sunday, when 2.3 million people of three districts of Kashmir, Srinagar, Ganderbal, and Badgam had registered their protest against the perpetuation of the uncertainty about future of the State through ballot- by boycotting the by-elections for the Srinagar parliamentary constituency. Nonetheless, despite the apple trees in full blossoms and vast tracts of mustards fields splashed with gold dust, the April Sunday was another gloomy day for my friends Prof. Hameedah Nayeem, a scholar and civil society activists, Abdul Majid Zargar writer and columnists  and me.

On the day of polling after another killing spree by men in uniforms, eight more houses were added to the longest ever list of ‘Matam-Kadahs’ in Kashmir. During past few decades hundred of thousands of homes once resonating with gaiety and joviality were converted into mourning houses. The heart-wrenching cries of mothers, even years after their loved ones were shot dead with live ammunition continue to pierce the stillness of mornings all over the state. My friends and I as members of the extended family of the Kashmir society thought it obligatory on our part to the visit the houses of the bereaved families express solidarity with them.

Starting at yet another saddest note in the morning, after reading news about troops having shot in head Sajjad Hussain Sheikh, 22, a  barbecue vendor of Dodbug, Baramulla in Batamaloo we reached Chadora in District Budgam. On enquiring about the residence of the boys martyred in the area before and during the polling day, a young boy conducted us to a cobbled lane around a furlong away from the main crossing of the small township. The cobbled road led to an imposing three-story house, for its grandeur reminiscent of the Victorian houses, which one read about in literature.  The house on the banks of gushing ‘Chaach Kohull’ flowing from a glacier in Yusmarg belongs to the father of Zahid Rashid Ganai- he was the only son of seven siblings.  The mother of the slain youth with pupils stuck wide open frozen to silence sitting in the corner of the room told a million word story of agony and pain. Looking at her comatose face, I felt as if she was reading out to us famous verses of Samih al-Qaseem’s:

If you blow out all the candles in my eyes,

—if you freeze all kisses on my lips,

Enemy of man,

I shall not compromise,

And to the end

I shall fight.



The Gothic house of Gania’s shrouded in mourning; told stories that demolished the ‘jingoistic and dominant discourses’ fed to millions of people in India from idiot boxes by shrieking and yelling anchors at the prime time.That the ‘resistance children’ protesting against the hegemonic politics, were doing so for a five hundred rupees note.

The boy, who conducted us to the house of  Zahid Rashid Ganai also informed us that on the day of polling two more boys had been killed at a distance of ten kilometers on the same road at in village Dalwan, Charisharif.  On reaching, Chararisharif,   a  place of pilgrimage for Muslims for the mausoleum of the patron saint of our land, Sheikh Noor-U-Din, a peasant volunteered to conduct us to the house of two more sons of the soil waylaid on the day of our tryst with “democracy.”  From the main road to the houses of the boys killed in cold bold on the ugly Sunday morning an uncomfortable and eerie stillness surrounded the three-kilometer long dusty and bone-breaking bumpy road- the road in itself was mocking at the hoopla of development. On reaching Delwan, an isolated village, a young boy guided us to the house of Faizan at a height from the main road. The three-story concrete houses with airy windows and huge verandah testified prosperity of the hard working agriculturist family. Faizan Dar 13, a class seven student was one of the brightest students of a local public school, for his extracurricular activities he had earned many laurels to his school. He had memorized first three   Paras of the Holy Quran. On the day of polling at 8 AM, much before the voting had started the BSF killed him and another youth Mohammad Abas Rather on the cobbled pathway leading to their homes. The scene at the house of Faizan was not different from that at Zahid Rashid Ganai’s house. His mother, young women hardly in her thirties deathly pale,  silent as stone with tears brimming in her eyes sitting in the corner of a huge room,    was narrating horrific tales of thousands of parents whose loved ones had been over the years by the army and paramilitary. Nonetheless, it was the grandmother of Faizan, a women of the resistance, who did all the talking about the happenings on a terrible day, she looked to me like one of those woman of the old city, who throughout history fought shoulder to shoulder with men against the oppression. Fayaz Ahmad Dar, a robust agriculturists  father of the slain boy, for the sobriety, serenity and faith writ on his face read to me like Hamza,  one of the poems of great poet Fadwa Tuqan:

Hamza was just an ordinary man

like others in my hometown

who work only with their hands for bread.

When I met him the other day,

this land was wearing a cloak of mourning

in windless silence. And I felt defeated.

But Hamza-the-ordinary said:

‘My sister, our land has a throbbing heart,

it doesn’t cease to beat, and it endures

the unendurable. It keeps the secrets

of hills and wombs. This land sprouting

with spikes and palms is also the land

that gives birth to a freedom-fighter.

This land, my sister, is a woman.

True, New Delhi is in the dock for not fulfilling its commitments to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the comity of nations and perpetuating gruesome human rights violation in the most salubrious part of the globe. The hundreds of thousands of men in olive green and Khaki stationed have been killing our children with impunity.  Nevertheless, I see the United Nations Security Council behind the genocide of our children- generation after generation.

Since the day the international organization intervened at the behest of the GOI in the Kashmir problem;  divided our land by drawing an artificial line across eight hundred kilometers separated families more than six hundred thousand children of the nation have been killed—overwhelmingly the noncombatants.  The august body needs to depart from its insensitivity, live up to its charter, the resolutions on Kashmir that have been passed on its floor and see justice done to the people of the State. The Secretary General is duty bound to see  the  bloodbath stopped in Jammu and Kashmir.

Written on 21-4-2017 and published in Greater Kashmir on 24-4-2017

Filed under: Editor's Take, Featured, Kashmir-Talk, Perspectives, Point of view · Tags: , , , , , ,

One Response to "Silent Mothers With Million Word Woeful Stories"

  1. Qayum Tariq Khan says:

    The story of kashmiri mothers is unfold tragic story of pain, suffering and sadness that needs to be brought to daylight. It pains and pains deep in our hearts, to see this unabatted sufferings, day in and day out, of these mothers in absolute silence and dispear. These mothers who lost their sons, who are waiting for their disappeared sons since long, who saw their daughters raped and molested.
    This pain of our mothers has become part of kashmiri political culture as the result of political wrongs committed for no good reason.