Emerging truth from receding waters…?
Operation Megh Rahat has completed in the flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir with army turning out a messiah for the marooned and cut-off people whether in Shivpora or Lalchowk or BB Cantonment. The old Pandit couple Kauls residing next in Shivpora often told my mother that irrespective of religion or politics we must not stop yatras in Kashmir…they bring us God’s blessings…but they stopped Kausernag..What a shame!!!!.
Relief operations nonetheless are on full swing. Bridges are getting laid and roads are getting cleared on a daily basis. National Highway keeps opening and closing as stones and big boulders keep falling on road, giving opportunities for Border Road Organisation (BRO) to be active all throughout day-in and day-out. Qasim from Pattan or Jayesh Singh from Bihar all of BRO are working together for a national cause. To keep our head of the nation connected to mainland….Mr Mirwaiz or Mr Yaseen Malik are you listening? National Integration in all forms…
South of Pirpanjal things are almost normal and daily activity has started in all hamlets and cities. People are though not yet out of the severe mental trauma they had been through. For army brickbats and bouquets have become part of their job … synonymous to being in valley. Kashmir has been giving them maximum brickbats and almost no bouquets whatsoever. Some of my friends who were out of Kashmir during floods are criticising Army saying things such as Army evacuated people selectively or tourists or the relatives of Generals.
I was with my one such army boat that was being launched to rescue people and working day and night. It is shear madness to think like this he says chocking with emotions. With 20 -25 feet of water, streets and houses were unrecognisable …Only certain areas could be accessed and Allah did not flood the areas selectively. 300 plus infants from four days to few month age evacuated first were neither tourists nor related to Army. 120 kids who came to participate in sports event again were not related to Army. Residents of all these areas where Army rescued people from were again Kashmiris.
In any case, Army prioritised for kids, women, elders, ill and those stuck critically in one story or houses likely to collapse. There was a young man from Shivpora who accompanied our boat to evacuate his wife and kid went six times to his locality. Every time he would come with others and not his family we would ask him why? He would say “I had to be a Demon to bypass deserving people and pick up my own family.” Another story. When I evacuated one Parrey from Chopra Colony Shivpora, a journalist asked him “people are saying Army evacuated people on request of VIPs”. He retorted “In my colony, we had Gen Nanda’s house, an MLC and many VIPs, but I, a common man was first to be evacuated.” This speaks. Yes we did not evacuate those first who were safer than others, we listened to all requests and noted but acted only as per priority.
It was difficult following the principle of priority due to pressures but Army knows to handle pressures. When it comes to transporting people from Nehru Park helipad to Airport, it was not evacuation, it was transportation.
To create space for evacuated people, tourists had to move out. Here perhaps tourists got a place. When it comes to non-Kashmiri labourers. Where they fell in line as stated priority we did not differentiate whether the dying man is a Kashmiri or not, when it came a child we did not differentiate whether he is Kashmiri or non-Kashmiri, and so on. There are people who criticised army by saying that Army broke the bunds deliberately. If madness knows no bounds, these are examples of that. In all these days of rescue and evacuation Army did not care for its own people and property and selflessly worked for Kashmiri Awaam. Army is not into popularity run up, but it is proper not to condemn those who rescued thousands or lakhs, none of whom were related to them so that they remain motivated. Whatever stories anyone makes, the good shall remain good.
Gilani and his friends have and will never have any respect and faith in Indian Army. For their kind information rescue operations in Pakistan is running behind minimum seven to ten days to our rescue operations.