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The Nile and the Jhelum are different in more ways than one. Firstly, Jhelum’s 800 odd kilometer journey isn’t even in the same league as the Nile’s massive 6700 kilometer traverse. Quenching the throats of over 20 million parched souls is all in a day’s work for the river that gave birth to the mighty Egyptians & their towering pyramids, over 4000 years ago.
While listing out the major political happenings of 1990, most historians forget one major event. Sure, they mention events that led to the disintegration of the USSR, the falling of the Berlin Wall, the affairs that would lead to a long awaited change in India’s foreign policy. But something happened that was lost in the pages of history…
1990 witnessed a demonstration of will by the young Kashmiris! The dumbfound expression currently covering your faces shows the sheer ignorance of the antiquarians towards their own history! But, let us analyze why they left out such important pieces of the puzzle…
Lal Chowk was the centre of the struggle, back in the day. Kashimiri Muslim youths, not much unlike their Egyptian brothers today, declared outrightly their desire to be a state free from India as well as from Pakistan!
The Egyptians, however, tired of the 30 year long tyranny of their dictator-ish President Hosni Mubarak, have taken to the streets in a demonstration of Brobdingnagian proportions. The comparison has no credence in today’s world as the issues are no longer existent. Kashmiri Muslims, having lived harmoniously with Hindus for the best part of a thousand years, suddenly took up arms & some even went to train in PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) military camps. This is what generated a feeling of mistrust & animosity between the two major sets of Kashmir.
The secondary demand of the Kashmiris (after the ridiculous first was blatantly turned down by the Indian government), was the demand of separating the Muslim dominated Kashmir from the Hindu majority Jammu.
Murder on the Nile takes precedence over the events on the banks of the Jhelum because firstly, Egypt is virtually the country of the birth of Islam, an upheaval of power there, is more than commendable. Secondly, women & children (usually kept behind closed doors, hidden from the prying eyes of the world) came pouring out onto the streets, shouting slogans & appealing for Hosni to vacate a seat that he had held since before most of us were born!
The Jasmine Revolution, though, is a boon for the Arab world. The last real revolution in that part of the world was about a millennium ago! There are some of us who don’t realize what the consequences of our simple little actions are. Vegetable vendor, Mohhamad Bouazizi, is one of those people. His simple act of self-immolation led to the freedom of a country (Tunisia) barely visible on the map of North Africa but has kick-started an insurrection in the Middle-East!
Try & understand that on one hand is the outcry of a region long suppressed whereas the other is the irksome demand of a few grumpy Kashmiris. I think there is a reason why the events of Lal Chowk, 1990 are more or less forgotten in the minds of annalists & I hope you all realize what it is…