13th July, celebrated all over Kashmir as the Day of Martyrs, marks the death of much more than 22 young souls. In addition to commemorating the loss of 22 lives, it reminds the world, every year, of the death of its own morals, laws, and principles – the death of humanity itself. These 22 souls laid down their lives to give eternal life to the ideals of freedom, self-determination, revolution in the face of oppression, strength derived from principles and saying No to injustice. In addition, the day also reminds us that hypocrisy and double standards are still alive, along with unashamed double facedness masked under the claims of greatness and democracy.
The day stands as a live evidence of the fall of humanity, in a world making false shows of nobility, sacred morals and higher ideals. It presents the most disgusting scenes of attempts to tarnish sacrifices in the name of freedom with even more oppression. Today, after a little less than a century, oppression shows up with a new though similarly ugly face. The new rulers follow in the footsteps of the old ones. The allies of the oppressors try to do political business with the souls of the freedom fighters, in a failed attempt at washing their blood stained hands with the sacred blood of the martyrs.
The day stands as a reminder and an assurance that this oppressed group of people has never kept quiet in the face of injustice. They have always said No to oppression, be it with their voices or blood, at the cost of wealth or lives. If you attempt to take their land, kill their men, humiliate their women, orphan their children, demolish their houses, or simply destroy their lives; you may do so if you have the means, if you have acquired rulership and chosen to deal with your own people (so-called) with a cruel fist of iron. You may do all this and more, but you have to be prepared for the counter effects of your demonstration of absolute but unjust power. You may make their lives a living hell, but then you will never enjoy heaven on earth either. If you are more powerful, in terms of the materials of the world, so be it. But you cannot force them to shut up or give up. You may take their lives and spill their blood, but you can never take their voices from them – the voices that are beyond and above all kinds of suppression.
If you believe in making your point with weapons, they can make their point in a much stronger, though essentially painful way – through their own blood. You could take their lives, but remember – that is all they have left to make their own statement, and make it they will, through that same life. If you attempt to suppress the voice, the blood will scream much louder. The voice is strong enough, but the martyr’s blood is manifold stronger. It remains forever, its message is eternal, and it reminds the people of Kashmir every year that the situation has not yet changed; that the tyranny they fought remains alive to this day, though with a different face, a more sophisticated mask. The memory of that single Abdul Qadeer sheds light on the numerous Abdul Qadeers who are still persecuted and chained for daring but to speak the truth. The memory of the 22 souls gives eternal life to the numerous martyrs that fall everyday.
And the memory of that eruption reassures of the need to erupt every single day. This day broadcasts the message anew, that tyranny leaves no option but to revolt. Persecution has no answer but a No. Injustice cannot be dealt with but with denial. Freedom and basic principles are more precious than life itself. Justice has to be fought for. The truth, rights, principles, morals and nobility demand sacrifices, in terms of the material as well as life.
This day further assures us that tyranny and oppression are short lived, while revolution is eternal. The tyrants change faces, modes and methods, tools and means; but the answer is always the same; and it, in turn, lives forever, in the hearts and minds of the people, till eternity. It is alive and its effects are beyond the confines of time or space; they inspire humanity across the globe and through history.
The ultimate message of this day is: Down with the Oppressors! Long live the Revolution!