The Martyrs’ Day, also known as Youme Shuhada-e-Kashmir is observed on July 13 every year on both sides of the Line of Control and throughout the world by the Kashmiris to pay homage to 22 Kashmiris who were martyred in 1931 while protesting against the brutalities of Dogra rulers. The day carries lot of importance in the history of Kashmiri struggle against foreign occupation.
On 19 April 1931, Holy Quran was desecrated in Srinagar by the occupation Dogra forces. During a protest rally a Kashmiri youth Abdul Qadir pointed his finger towards the palace of Maharaja and shouted, ‘Destroy every brick of it’. The youth was charged with high treason and taken to Central Jail Srinagar. On 13 July 1931 thousands of Kashmiri Muslims gathered around the jail to witness the in-camera trial of Abdul Qadir. When the time of prayers approached a Kashmiri youth stood up for Azan. The Dogra governor ordered his troops to fire. The youth got martyred before he could complete the Azan. Another youth stood up for Azan. He was also shot and killed. In quick succession 22 Kashmiri youths stood to complete the Azan and embraced martyrdom. The incident shook the whole State, Kashmiri people rose in protest and the traffic and life in the Valley came to standstill.
Like Kashmir and the world around, Pakistan has also been observing Youme Shudaha-e-Kashmir on July 13 in the past to show solidarity with the hapless Kashmiri. However with the passage of time as our media, the journalists and political paradigm has been influenced, rather taken over by pro-Indian lobby, such activity is no more visible at national level now. Today we are being ruled by PML-N in center, Punjab and Baluchistan who is considered to be guardian of Ideology of Pakistan. Have you seen any ceremony/ conference/ seminar being organized officially to show solidarity with Kashmiri people? Where is Chairman Kashmir Committee (Maulana Fazlur Rehman) on this historic day? Where are our freedom lovers and champions of human rights on this day? Have our TV channels conducted any meaningful programs in this regard?
We as a nation are committing the unforgivable crime of forgetting our martyrs. Remember, the life of a nation thrives on the blood of martyrs. A nation who forgets its martyrs virtually surrenders its right to live as a free entity in the comity of nations.
Akhtar Malik is a freelance writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org