Ihe word Martyr is a strong word used by nations to revere their heroes who laid their life. However its the most commonly misunderstood word. Kashmir can be a funny place, there heroes are victimized and bullies are glorified. The examples are very loud there. From Sheikh Abdullah to Jagmohan Malhotra, from Mumma Kanna, Rashid Billa to Kuka Parray, the impunity and glorification of violence perpetrated on the civilian population by the estabilishment is wide known. This violence is not only brushed under the rug but incentivised. Well. These things seem to continue and the whole justice system seems to encourage it. In this process of victimisation of Kashmiri’s, the widely term used by the state is ‘Shaheed’ or ‘Martyr’ for people who deserve disapprobation and rebuke. The civilian deaths don’t come in the picture, they don’t exist. Only does the state and their lackeys.
The English word Martyr has been derived from Greek “Martys” which means to witness. A martyr is a person who is persecuted for denouncing , advocating, refusing to advocate or denounce , his set of belief. In every religion, a Martyr is defined a person who dies for his beliefs in an attempt to protect it. In case of armies and other official and non-official government sponsored gunmen , where personnel join to secure the benefits of their lifestyle and family, the word Martyr can’t be used. Since they have taken an oath to protect the state and in return are receiving their monthly allowance for the services they render, their foremost duty is to serve their employer. They don’t have a belief neither are protecting one, they’re bound to work.
In a reply to an RTI filed to Union Home ministry Ministry of Defense seeking to know the meaning of Martyr(Shaheed) according to law, Ministry of Defense stated that “Martyr” is not used by them instead “battle casualty” is used whereas Ministry of Home affairs stated “operations casualty” is used instead of “Martyr”.
In other words, a policemen working with the department is doing his duty and can’t be termed as a Martyr. By any religious definition, a martyr is one who is persecuted for denouncing, advocating or refusing to advocate or denounce his set of beliefs. Then arises the question of how a single institution can title people as “Martyr’s” when the community they live in do not confirm to it and consider their presence as threatening. This is to see whether this basic elementary knowledge reaches to the mandarins of peace and it remains an enigma for how long will the custom of rewarding mercenaries and criminals continue.