Power of narratives
When you keep an elephant inside a dark room full of people and ask them to feel and thereby state what object it is , wide range of answers pop up. But the truth is that it is an elephant. In a democratic society respect for subjectivity is essential indeed but the objectivity does exist in the same way as the elephant does inside the dark room. History is always seen through the eyes of it’s writer. Same incident can mean different things to different people. Story lines may be varied whilst the events surrounding them could be the same for each story. As the time goes by, the story line is edited and depending on who edits it perceptions are moulded.
I was browsing through Facebook seeing videos and photos posted by people while they watched the film, “The Kashmir Files”. One person who I know, was in the cinema hall with his family. His sons barely 20 and he in his late fifties. Son was taking a selfie and father posed, utterly confused, unable to show the excitement of having come to watch a movie with popcorn and the coke. It seemed as if he had come for the first time into a cinema hall. Though there was no excitement on his face but his eyes reflected the curiosity and the nervousness of a student who had just stepped into the examination hall. After all watching on screen the enactment of destruction and devastation of his own life was the last thing to be imagined. Watching the ditto cinematic version of the life changing misery of one’s own life is unexpected . His family and society would never ever have talked about how to deal with a situation like that. Moreover after 32 years, this gentleman was re-living the worst horror of his life at a place which is meant for entertainment. There could be no bigger irony than this.
There were other set of videos popping up on social media, of those who had never lived or been to Kashmir and they never knew the details of the terror which prevailed and still prevails in the beautiful valley. While the gentleman I spoke about earlier was frozen like a stone in the movie hall, the second set of people were shocked. To them it felt like a snake sleeping under their own bed for 32 years , spreading the venom which had not yet affected them but had bitten many others who were not known to them. They could only scream on top of their lungs and curse the snake. Such scenes were totally uncalled for at a place which is meant for entertainment. But never mind there is always a first time.
|Rohini Vaishnavi |
Promotes women entrepreneurship & Education, Founder R V Learning Foundation
Editor The Chronicles of Kashmir Biography Of Pandit Amarnath Vaishnavi