Ikram Ullah: Why I Write?


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I was born when Kashmir’s struggle took a new direction, when the conscience of people of Kashmir told them that “enough is enough”. Enough of suppression and enough of deluding talkative measures to settle the Kashmir conflict, and instead, people choose to make the world to listen to them. Yes, it was the same year when the Kashmiris took to gun that I was born in down-town Srinagar. The neo-resistance movement that began in the Valley had set the alarm bells ringing in Delhi and the response to that message was clear: crush it hard, so it can’t stand.

And the following years saw the gravest of crimes against humanity in Kashmir. As I was growing in the midst of this conflict, I saw it all right from the age when I should have been playing video games like the children in other parts of the world. I saw people sacrificing their lives for Kashmir. I saw blood. I saw bodies, burnt homes, crackdowns, parades and raids. I lived the conflict.

After attaining maturity I understood this conflict, in which we all are caught up, the pain that our heart is not sometimes able to behold. And it needed a vent.

Two-thousand-eight and 2010 civilian uprisings and the murderous government approach to tackle it marked a renaissance in my life. I too wanted to contribute to the civil movement but having been hundreds of miles away it was not possible. But something of these civilian movements left me daunting. I was always inclined on doing my part, may be a subtle, but a part.

And, Subhaan Allah, one day it just came to me, a poem. And I started writing poems.

I laced into a Poet’s throat.
Accoutred with a skilled hand,

I started pouring out my thought
and, thus began my poetic renaissance.

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