Kashmir, Afzal Rahman: The demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupees notes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 have made the common Indians stand in queue and opposition have been highly vociferous on this. However, Afzal from Kashmir has his own view on this, as per him the situation is different in Kashmir as revealed in an open letter to PM Modi by a Kashmiri is different.
Afzal Rehman, penned an open letter to PM thanking him for the improved condition in the valley. Rehman is a proud Indian who aspires his son to become a policeman but is also the one who unknowingly pelted stones at security forces in lack of money. He is the one who is apparently happy with the reduced stone pelting and people socialising while standing in bank queues.
Below is his full letter which was initially published in theindianvoice.com.
Dear PM Narendra Modi
The life of a Kashmiri is unimaginable for the rest part of India. How a Normal Kashmiri, who works hard everyday to feed his family, lives his life amidst the constant tussle between separatists and Security forces, though it is really a sorry state but we have to live with it.
I am a Normal Kashmiri– Afzal Rahman- and I am not from the 2% separatists in Kashmir. I am a husband, a father of 4 and a son of aged parents- And yes I am a proud Indian and a Kashmiri who runs a “Garments Shop” in Srinagar.
Only thing that I think over and over again is to give a good future to my children. Thus, even after so many threats, I asked my elder son to go for the “Police admission Exams” this year. One of my daughter is studying in class 12th, and I am aware how big this year means in her life, Career and Growth.
But last 4 months have been very unsettling. With almost No Business for 4 months and Curfew almost every day. How can a lower middle class man survive without work? Somehow, I managed to feed my family with past savings- but that was not the only problem.
My daughter lost so many days of her schooling, in such an important time of her life. My son was very demoralized with the situation he saw. The youngsters of his age, who were unemployed, were throwing stones on the security forces. They were given money by separatists. But then what an unemployed man can do?- He will do anything to get some money which could feed the aged parents and crying children.
My own so, who was an aspiring police man, joined the gang of stone pelters, without my knowledge. I got to know about it when he was shot on his arm, by pallet gun.
When the tussle slowed down a bit, they started burning the schools in the valley. My daughter’s school was also there in the list of those 29 torched schools.
Our life was totally down and out, neither we could sleep, nor we could eat, and we were not even allowed to die.
But then on 8th November we heard a news on Radio-Kashmir. You took a decision on banning currency notes of 500/1000. The decision scared us further. We had a little money left with us and that too was in the currency notes of 500. And the option of exchange was never with the Kashmiris, due to unrest.
The whole India thinks about Black Money but Kashmiris think about survival. We never thought this decision of yours would give us our lives back, but it certainly did.
There wasn’t any stone pelting on streets, though the forces were there but pelters were not. With in one or two days traffic started moving in the valley. We opened our shops, there were people in the market. We could certainly see some happy faces.
At other part of India, they must be feeling pain standing in lines, but we Kashmiris are enjoying standing in the bank queues, and socialize.
We were worried about my daughter’s exam, but now she went there to take her board exams. And it was not my daughter who took the exam. There were so many other happy faces came to take the exams. It was the highest attendance of students in examination hall this year- almost 95%.
With all this positive happened- We all sat together and started talking about what went well? We came to the conclusion that -These separatists have had only 500/1000 rupee notes which no one is taking now.
I don’t know what rest of India thinks but we in the valley are very happy with the decision.
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