SRINAGAR: In the wake of recent abductions and killings of policemen by militants, the wife of a serving policeman has penned down an emotional post about struggles and worries of families of policemen serving in strife-torn Kashmir.
"I'm a wife of a policeman. I am also a warrior, much braver, overburdened and accountable. For the wives of policemen, the adolescent fancy of 'being together' through thick and thin turns out to be a distant dream," wrote Arifa Tausif, a gold medalist in Sociology and working as a supervisor in ICDS, in a local news portal "Free Press Kashmir".
While narrating their struggle of loneliness, she wrote, "We halt for lunch. We keep waiting to dine together. We keep planning to attend family functions or funerals-God forbid!-together. We keep scheduling an outing. But that hardly ever happens. It's not about solo parenting only. We're the biggest liars!"
"We keep lying to our children that 'dad is coming this Saturday'. We lie that dad is attending the parent-teacher meet this time. We lie that we're going on a picnic this weekend. We keep lying that dad is going to join us this Eid, or that marriage. We keep lying to their old ailing parents that he is expected this or that day. We lie to our own selves. But we console, and encourage our own selves too," she wrote.
Arifa further wrote that sleeping alone was not the most stressful but waking up in the middle of the night, uncomfortable, restless and suffocated is. "There's no one around to comfort when we're in any kind of pain. We wait and wait, and only wait. Let it be today, tomorrow or a day after, but the plan hardly ever subsides."
"Even if it does, a police officer only marks his physical appearance at home. Mentally (and telephonically) he is attending to his duties without fail. This makes our life more stressful. And when we talk of our current scenario, the wives of policemen are hypertensive because they're always in a state of insecurity," she said. With surge in attacks on policemen and militants targettting families of cops, she stated that risks and dangers are increasing day by day.
"Every single casualty of a policeman elsewhere makes our life additionally insecure and worrisome."Four policemen were killed in single militant attack in south Kashmir last week while families of 11 policemen were kidnapped by militants in south Kashmir after police detained family members of some militants and allegedly torched houses of two active militants.
Arifa said the varying political ideology of the society makes it hard to explain to people that doing a job in the police department never means disloyalty to one's people. "It's not always a matter of choice." She said the stress increases when "you are out of your home because in case of any unfortunate event (a pellet injury to someone), people do make us somehow feel responsible for the same. And then, when anything untoward happens to the policemen, there is hardly anyone to even sympathise with us."
She said killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari's by militants in June this year was widely condemned and rightly so. "But hardly anyone knows the name of the two policemen killed on that fateful day. The slain cops also must have had a family which is equally shattered."
Arifa said she penned down her emotions in response to one more lie to her daughter that her father was joining them on Eid. "He actually wasn't! We've been expecting him since the day he joined the police department," she said.Arifa concludes with the prayer that her children understand all this at the earliest. "I wish my state comes out of these dark clouds and we see the dawn of a peaceful and prosperous Kashmir."