Exploring The Truth
It is one of the ironies that Kashmir, one of the most beautiful places on earth, can become the bone of contention between two countries. There is no doubt that Kashmir became a “disputed territory” only because self-aggrandising politicians tried to divide the region on the basis of religion. The insurgency in Kashmir, which is bursting and hurting the entire nation, was mostly sponsored from across the borders to disturb country’s peace and unity. To achieve this goal, Pakistan is continuously recruiting, importing, training militants into armed struggle to carry out killings with the aim to convert the peaceful Valley into a battleground.
On the other hand, Indian Army deployed in Kashmir to curb such militants is seen as perpetrators and the worst sinners by the separatists. They took great pleasure in posting the image of destroyed Indian army vehicles and camps and celebrated the death of soldiers washed. People of Kashmir have had a bad image for the Army and also wanted them to leave. But the natural calamity of September 2014 due to heavy flood in Jammu and Kashmir that substantially paralysed the life in the state, the pious and humane role of the Indian armed forces and other para-military forces changed this image. Notwithstanding this grass-roots solidarity, the disaster revealed a traumatised, fractured and leaderless society of Kashmir.
Against this backdrop, the book Holy Sinners: Search of Kashmir is an attempt to make people confront with the consequence of sponsored terrorism and orchestrated religious cleansing on local population. The book comprises of a voyage of the writer Major Saras Tripathi when he served the nation as a newly commissioned army officer in Kashmir Valley. Based on the course of military operational experience, investigation and observation, the author has portrayed 14 stories out of his live experience. The book gives an account of torment, pain, loss and distress armed forces have to confront which is commonly ignored by every person.
All the fourteen stories in the book display a blend of emotions and reveal the players behind the conflict. It also depicts the whole gamut of psychological, mental, emotional and social damage caused to the people of Kashmir and the armed forces due to sponsored terrorism and false propaganda of the another country through insurgents, separatists and terrorists that propagate cross border. The eyewitness incidents narrated in the book highlights the suffering and loss of both sides—the civilian population as well as the soldiers and their families.
Overall, the book is a remembrance of the interrogations, the chest beating mothers, hair plucking fathers and missed opportunities of education and growth, pitiable condition of Kashmiri Hindus in the refugee camps, etc.
By Rohan Pal