Close your eyes and think about Kashmir. What comes to your mind? Serene rivers, mighty mountains and beautiful gardens? What if I told you that’s not Kashmir? Sure, that is the body, the geographical area known as Kashmir. But that’s not Kashmir in essence. The soul of Kashmir is much more than the mountains, lakes and rivers. And that soul is dying. It gasps for breath as its murderers and perpetrators live in its bosom, slowly killing the golden goose they live on. The only question is, will we allow it?

The Kashmir which I describe and the Kashmir you are familiar with are worlds apart. Mine surpasses the heavens while you stare at a crumbling façade. Kashmir was the crown jewel of India. The seat of knowledge, beauty and philosophy. It was the land which commanded such respect that the whole of Bharata bowed its head in its direction, seeking the blessings of the Great Sharada Devi, the manifestation of the Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati Mata. The great halls of the Sharada Peeth fostered divine knowledge, catering to scholars like the Great Panini himself. That knowledge is still an enigma to our ignorant minds. Just like the architecture, which embarrasses the so-called skilled architects of our times. The massive temples, immersive palaces and buildings hold testimony to the intimidating skill of the craftspeople. Take the Martand Temple for example. It lies in ruins but still commands your whole attention and awe. One finds intricate carvings, beautiful motifs and statues of Gods and celestial beings, all carved in stone with delicate detailing. It lies over a large area, on a raised platform, embracing the skies. But now, our heritage, the skill and legacy of our ancestors, lies in ruins, just like our existence, outside our own homeland. A similar story is of the Narang Nag, an awe-inspiring heritage site, spread over a large plateau like area, dotted with small but highly detailed temples, surrounding a large temple structure, highly decorated with statues of Rishis and Rishikas but unfortunately, the structure is so damaged that the Sanctum Sanctorum remains out of bounds. Just like our own homes are right now. These are just two examples, every temple in Kashmir, every remnant of our history in that blessed land has been subjected to the collective attack, an ethnic cleansing, to erase the evidence of our presence altogether.

What we can gather from this is that there has been an ongoing proxy ethnic war against our community, our legacy and Dharma, which no one wants to talk about, at the risk of sounding politically incorrect. But this is not the time to keep up appearances. If you cannot fight for your respect and your dignity, you may as well stop calling yourself a Kashmiri. Our ancestors and forefathers endured unspeakable horrors and tortures to give you a life you can be proud of. If you do not stand up for them now, it may as well go all to waste. Next time you visit Kashmir, remember that Kashmir does not exist there now. It is just a body without its soul. Its soul left the body in 1990 for the last time, when the Pandits migrated. It is up to you now to preserve your homeland. Educate yourself, form an opinion for yourself, not one that has been imposed on you and for God’s sake and for Kashmir’s sake, give a damn. Recognize the enemy and be vocal about it. Islamic jihad has successfully alienated you from your culture. Do not let them win. You are Kashmir. Your family is Kashmir. The more you stay connected to your culture, the more life you put in Kashmir. The only matter is, you will have to persevere because the odds are stacked against you. Your homeland is being burned every day. Propagandists and Islamic terrorists are betting on you deserting your homeland. The more connected you stay to it, the more of a fight you put up. You suffer because of your identity. The day you claim it and make it an integral part of your identity, it will become your greatest strength.  The eternal Kashmir’s flame has been passed onto you now. It is up to you to either let it burn out or ensure that it burns brighter than ever.

You are not just a teenager. You are not just a Gen Z, woke world citizen. You are a part of the river of Kings who ruled Kashmir with the highest ideals. If you persevere for it, put in the effort and be active about the status of your homeland and Dharma, you too can be a part of the Rajatarangini which contains great kings and leaders like Lalitaditya and Avantivarman.  Be passionate about your Dharma. Let your blood boil when you see the disrespect our temples in Kashmir have endured. Let the flames which struck down the mighty Martand temple sear your soul so you might never forget the scars you have to avenge your country for. Never forget the horrors our forefathers had been subjected to. It is your cosmic duty to restore Kashmir to its honour. Your karma to ensure that the people who let this happen suffer for eternity. The culprits of Maej Kashir cannot be allowed to go unpunished. It is our sacred duty to bring back the honour of our community. So that the whole of India once again acknowledges the presence of the Sharada Devi. We may have lost the battle, but we must not lose the war. Our ancestors are looking down on us from the great heavens, let us not disappoint them. Let us show the world what the people of the great rishi Kashyap’s land are capable of. Your country demands it of you. Your immortal soul demands it of you. Your present actions will define the course of the next millennia, it would be a blasphemy to let Kashmir suffer more. If we just stand by and do nothing, we may as well be the ones burning down Kashmir. Remember, there are no bystanders in a war. Let your rallying cry strike love for the Matribhumi in our fellow people and immeasurable fear in the hearts of our enemies.


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