The armed struggle and mayhem in Jammu &Kashmir has led led to endless and untold miseries, pain and suffering to the people. It has left deep psychological and physical scars on people which even time couldn’t heal. The Society is facing a lot of Social issues. The People have lost their loved ones. The conflict has spawned many orphans. Their souls oscillate for their loved ones. According to the the survey of Department Of Sociology, Kashmir University Kashmir has 0.214 million orphans. While as Government puts different figure of 0.100 million orphans. Orphans are victims, uncertain of future. Agony of orphans is difficult to imagine for people living normal life.
The book under review “Kashmir Orphans, Nurture and Challenges” published by Gulshan Books Srinagar written by the seasoned Scholar and author Rao Farman Ali who already has written many books and having the credit of being first author to write full book on Armed Struggle wing ,Al-Fateh “Kashmir Under The Shadow Of Gun” is a story of many such voiceless souls who continue to suffer due to negligence of Government Policies on orphan care, their proper identification and revaluation of data. Each single page tells us the agony and pain of orphans. The book has deconstructed the narrative that armed struggle started in 89 following the mass rigging in elections. The book gives us the details of armed struggle started from time to time by different leaders since1947. The books gives gives us details of people losing their lived ones since 1947. The book talks about tribal raiders giving reasons which led to their coming to free Kashmir. The killing of muslims in Jammu by RSS and Akali Dal with the blessings of wife of Maharaja’s wife but doesnt include the work done and invitations to tribals by Muslim Conference leaders Sardar Ibrahim and Sardar Abdul Qayoom. The book discusses in detail the history of J&K bu the author hasn’t written about the history of orphanages in Kashmir which is the major topic of book.
The book gives us detail about the NGOs,international organisations in Kashmir. It talks about different plans and programs run by Government offices like Social Welfare Departments. The author has recommended many policies and programmes to governments for upliffitment of orphans and orphanages in Kashmir.He even reminds government of implementing different policies and talks about child and orphan laws in Kashmir which are of no use in Kashmir .However, author himself forgets about the wrath and ruthlessness of State. He even forgets the electionmendate given to people likePapaKishtwari,Khursheed Parray known as kukka parray who ruthlessly and mercilessly killed people. The author talks about the operation Sadhbavna different programmes run by army. On Page 115 Author writes that “whether operation is successful or not is debatable”. Operation Sadhbavna was started by army to win hearts of people which they miserarbly failed as can be understood by the uprisings of 2008,2010 and 2016. The author has written and documented major of the casualities per day in Kashmir. The author has written about the pandit killings also. However,author hasn’t written the problems faced by them in camps in Jammu especially orphans.
The rise of orphans has led to illiteracy and uneducation of youth in valley due to burden of their families for survival.It has even increased drug addiction. It has even added to the business of faith healers like Gulzar Peer. It has even increased child labour in valley.The author has consulted the work of international repute scholars and organisations like U.N,E.U and Save The Children. However, the work of local prominent organisations like J.K.C.C.S and A.P.D.P hasn’t been consulted. The work of prominent Psychiatrists like Dr. Mushtaq Margoob hasn’t beenconsulted about mental problems of youth especiallyorphams Overall the book is a welcome addition to the literature of resistace, orphans and orphanages in Kashmir. It is a daring contribution of young scholar as it deals with the aspect of Kashmiri’s in which state is mostly responsible. I congratulate the author for writing such a book and dedicating the work to the activists who themselves fell prey to bullets for pleading Kashmir cause especially human rights which lead to increase in orphans and orphanages in valley, Advocate Jalil Andrabi and H.L Wanchu.
Faizan Bhat can be reached at [email protected]