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A Wannabe Kashmiri Mujahid

Kashmir is a beautiful place. Just like the rest of the world, Kashmir is also home to many rockstar Islamists Secularists. Problem is that Kashmiris are a generally peaceful lot. Unlike their neighbors in the South, East and West they primarily have rice all day. Just like Bengalis. But out of this population sometimes some young guy gets highly inspired - helped by a few overly 'vigilant' CRPF guys. Also attach to this the romantic aspirations of freedom, secularism, Islamism etc etc. You end up confused. Getting a way out of this confusion and reaching a conclusion is more difficult than killing someone. Quite a few do so.

Peaceful Azaadi image
No. This is not the guy! This guy is really dangerous.
Haneef was a normal guy. Her mother fell down the road after an Army truck speed past her. The poor old woman could not take it. She slipped and fell. A few bones got dislocated. But due to ignorance or poverty she was neglected and after almost a year she died. Haneef convicted the Indian Army. (Note: In border areas Army trucks are used for a variety of purposes and often by contractors to transport supplies to far off areas) What he did then can be safely considered a tragedy from anybody's point of view.

He got a few 'bombs' back from the Afghan war and strapped it to himself. Then he went to the highway post and started shouting the popular religious chant. The soldiers in that post by the highway were Muslims. They stood idly as Haneef undid his jacket showing the 'bombs' strapped to his vest. Haneef pathetically tried pulling all the strings of his 'bombs' but not even a pop came out. A kind hearted soldier came upto him and informed him about his mistake - the bombs were simple dynamite sticks and manually pulling the fuse will simply make them unusable. He should have lit fire to them instead. Then the whole camp started laughing.

5 months later I found him in Sopore. He was with a Confidence Building camp of the Indian Army. He was then an actor. He played(you guessed it) a joker. He would come with balloons strapped to him and blow himself up. It was hilarious and macabre. Then the other kids would come and tell him that what he was doing was wrong and all that. The scene would end with a song where ten men and women would dance in a line.

Strange how human life is changed by luck. His life is almost like as if it has been picked from a comic book. When I asked the Major in command, he laconically replied, "Nehi janaab, woh to sirf mazaak karne post me dynamite phodhne ki koshish ki thi. Woh chahta to ura sakta tha, woh joke tha...Dekho Army me naukri mil gayi" - "No sir, he was just kidding when he tried to blow himself up with the dynamite. If he wanted he could have, but that was an intentional practical joke". Perhaps, but then it could have cost him his life.

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