“Gar firdaus ae baruhe zamin ast
Hamin astu hamin astu hamin ast”

meaning: if there is heaven on Earth, it is here it is here. These words, uttered by Mughal Emperor Jahangir, which were supposed to be carved into eternity, have become just a farce now. You can only empathize with the antithetical situation that currently exists in Kashmir, totally decimated by terrorists and incessant scuttles between incompetent Indian ministers and their dogmatic counterparts. But there is a lot more to Kashmir than being raped threeway.

In a recent news, a group of Kashmiri students were arrested in Meerut because of their ostensible support towards Pakistan in an Indo-Pak cricket match. Historically, sports have always aroused feelings of patriotism. These become all the more aggressive if the sport is cricket and the teams are India and Pakistan when both the countries, ironically, utter the same tirade of Hindi expletives to the opposite team players. It is highly irrational and so Chinese, to arrest someone just because of their favour towards an opponent in sport. For god’s sake, it’s not a fucking war. What was the fault of the students? Supporting Pakistan. No, being Kashmiri and supporting Pakistan.

No one in India understands Kashmir really. On one hand, people roll their sleeves and get ready with their spoons and forks to even go to Lahore and fight Pakistan because of their constant infiltration in Indian territory. On the other hand, they even remotely discard any possibility of Indian patriotism in the hearts of Kashmiris and label them all as Pakistanis. Either you stop disparaging them and treating them adversely or stop being such a hypocrite about the Pakistani intervention and don’t give a damn. Just because they are Kashmiris doesn’t mean they can’t be sentimental towards India.

In fact, in my conversations with some locals, many people favor India over Pakistan. And it shouldn’t be and isn’t a surprise. However, a totally perverse view is presented to the rest of the country by the media. Of course, there are attempts of brainwashing by the local parties etc but not to the extent to which it is inflated and shown. What media doesn’t portray is many other atrocities committed to them. One example is the illicit behaviour by certain military personnel posted there. You can imagine that such condemnable instances will evoke resentment and anger.

In certain sense, they are luckier than those from North-east. Their lack of variant physical features saves them from the censure of the quintessential Indian.  Even refugees from Tibet and China, who inhabit Ladakh and Spiti valley, choose to be called Indian and they are right. Their location of stay is not at all a primal factor in judging about their patriotism and fervor for the country.

So, stop making judgements about patriotism of various Indian coteries and instead leave them alone. They already have been tormented enough.

The views expressed by the author are his own and don’t aim to hurt any sentiments of a particular group, community or nation.