Terrorism is a global threat. Humanity is not at a war with terrorism. It is in a race of survival with it. For people living in Kashmir, especially the ones living close to the border, this race has become a way of living. They do not know otherwise. Regular bullying and assault by Pakistani militants are so common, that most people have accepted it as fate. Who can blame them, and why? This is the only way they’ll be able to win this race of survival.
However, not everyone chooses to walk on this accepted survival path. Rukhsana Kausar did not. When the situation became a matter of survival for her, she reacted astonishingly. She did not beg for her life when her family was attacked by Militants in 2009. Instead, she picked up a fight and shot the terrorist right in his head with his own AK 47 gun.
Rukhsana Kausar, daughter of a Kashmiri farmer Noor Hussain, lived with her parents and brother Aijaz in Shahdra Sharief which is around 30 miles away from the LOC. On 27 September 2009, three gunmen, believed to be Pakistani militants knocked on their door to demand food and shelter for the night. In most cases, locals oblige to such requests fearing for their lives, and some even give a royal treatment to such offenders to please them.
However, Noor Saab, Rukhsana’s father refused to entertain them. Not used to being declined, the terrorists attacked the family. Instinctively, Rukhsana jumped to hide behind the bed. The terrorists began assaulting her father with the rifle butts. Her father was being beaten black and blue. Rukhsana, who was helplessly hiding behind the bed could not bear the humiliation of her father. She arose with an axe in her hand. She, without taking a moment to think, walked towards the terrorist who was hitting her father and struck the axe onto his head. Her face was expressionless as if her brain had muted all the logic and emotions. She knew she only had one chance of survival, and she’d do whatever it takes to win this race.
She put the axe down, and picked up the AK 47 gun that the terrorist hit her father with, and shot right into his head. Rukhsana, who had never touched a gun in her life, today shot a terrorist dead to protect her family. Witnessing this rare valour in his sister, Aijaz too came forward. Together, they fired at other militants, who were so taken aback with this unforeseen attitude, that too in a woman, that they fled for their lives. On their cowardly flee, one terrorist was injured through Rukhsana’s bullet; yet both managed to escape. Without any display of remorse, or pride Rukhsana simply lifted her father to comfort. Later they went to the police station and handed over all the weapons. The police identified the terrorist that Rukhsana shot dead as Abu Osama, a commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Rukhsana and her brother have been awarded various gallantry awards by the Indian government for their exceptional courage. However, she has to accept the consequences of her courage too. She lives under constant police protection in order to prevent any rebound. The neighbourhood avoids mingling with her family for the fear of being associated with her, thus possibly bringing them onto the radar of any terrorist.
Rukhsana and her family could have avoided it all by obliging to the demands of those terrorists. After all, it was just a matter of one night. Or, was it? Was it just a matter of one night? Was it really okay that someone would just barge into your house, threaten you to fulfil their whimsical demands, and you do nothing? I agree that Rukhsana acted out of impulse, and not many in similar situations are lucky enough.
However, the essence of this incident is that giving in is easy, and often logical; but giving back is always necessary!