“ History is Who we are and Why we are the way we Are ”

Well before the formation of state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Valley of Kashmir was home to great adventurer of the world. Every aspiring trekker in the world wanted to test himself on the Mighty Himalayas. A peculiar fact of this region was that, when one treks to Himalayas first he ascend through Hindu & Islamic villages, then goes through Mosques which then finally pave way to monasteries in Buddhist Ladakh. It is one of its kind where all three religions thrived with solidarity and harmony. Being a responsible Kashmiri and having spent my childhood and schooling in the valley, I have gathered few thoughts from my history notes which I feel that every Kashmiri must understand and realise.

The Outbreak

There was a time when intrepid adventurers from all over the world would plunge into the valley to spend their Summer Ramble. Each rambler had a compelling story to tell. There are plethora of journals on village customs, religious rituals, geography, geology, flora and fauna of the region. The place reflected the spirit of Kashmiriyat that transcended the culutural and religious diversity. The valley guarded by the snowy peaks, dense forests, greeny meadows and crystal clear lakes attracted pilgrims and adventurers who wanted to make Kashmir their home.It was around 1990 when insurgency broke out which led to a widespread change in the political climate of the region. If we look at it explicitly, the roots of insurgency are tied  to a dispute over the local power. This pretentious behavior of few leaders created unrest in the region. The number of visitors  reduced by large, handicraft showrooms were shut down, trekking groups called off their plans and people had to find alternatives to feed their families. It marked the end of an era which was devastating and pushing Kashmir into ever deepening crisis.

Long Road to Normalcy

Every TRUE Kashmiri longs for an insurgent free atmosphere. Since 1947, Indian government through Indian Army has been trying to set up a healthy atmosphere to maintain stability in the region. Kashmir’s history finds expression in Kashmiriyat. This core cultural value expressed in terms of religious and cultural tolerance still is remains close to  heart to most of us. These core values of Kashmiriyat are nothing more than a reminder of the years prior to the political unrest.The Long road to Normalcy entered its new path after the abrogation of Article 370. The last three years have witnessed years of calmness in most of the regions. While the tourist sector has prospered, the government’s priority which is always focused in creating an environment where the people can easily get their life going is being understood by the population. The projects like College scholarships, internships and sports development undertaken by Indian Army has instilled sense of pride amongst us.

My Responsibility

As a teenager, I have a duty for my community. I am responsible for the kind of atmosphere that is being created around me. As a dutiful citizen of this soil, its imperative for me to understand the truth behind all the unrest that has happened over the years. Our ancestors would have not wanted us to be in such an abhorrent state. The rest of our country is already a century ahead of us in spite of the arduous efforts by the government. I have pledged to create an atmosphere that will facilitate a consensus of trust and amicability in my reach. I urge each and every one of us to read through the core values of Kashmiriyat and create a path to peace and further development that has eluded us since ages. IF not now, then it is NEVER.

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