Integrity of Dogras at stake after ruckus over Kathua rape case

Ever since I am living in Mumbai, the very first expression on the face of people here, who comes to know about my being from JAMMU is “Wao, Awesome. You Are From Heaven.”

They have always been inquisitive to know about the beauty of my state, weather, places to visit, food to eat and off course tension on borders.

I have always been complimented for being calm and composed and accommodating.

I was seen as patient and people around me here always said, "Yeh Jammu wale bade friendly and embracing hote hain".

I have proudly narrated stories of our Dogra war heroes, about our palaces, beautiful Tawi River, food and harmony.

I have told stories about what Kashmiri Pandits went through in 80's and how Jammuites opened their doors and hearts for the Kashmiri families.

I told people here, how good friends my father and Abdul Majid uncle had been throughout their lives. And how after my father's death, Abdul Uncle visits us to know about our well being.

Even though Abdul Uncle is now old and is troubled with knee pain but he climbed three floors to see my brother's new office and check if he needs anything.

How me and Shagufta my friend spent time during our masters.

How she treated me with mouthwatering dishes on Eid.

I told them that our milkman Bashir who is from Gujjar Bakarwal community is the 3rd generation of his family who gives milk to us. Before him, his mom and even before her, his grandmother use to come to our house to give milk.

If he charges Rs. 40 per liter to others he still gives us in Rs. 35 because we are a part of his family now.

I told them that how happily he narrates the story of my mom and dad's marriage to us and how he was dressed up for the reception.

My friend in Mumbai always gets fascinated to my kanjak poojan in navratris because I call them to help me and have prasad.

And all of a sudden now the perception among people towards me is changing. Since few days when I reach office I have to counter question that how could we communalize and politicize murder of 8 year old girl. How cold blooded people of Jammu are.

Believe me I feel as if my integrity is being questioned. My upbringing is being questioned.

My entire day passes in explaining no it's not the fact. We are loving and caring. We do not support rapists. We do not discriminate on the grounds of caste, color and religion.

My heart bleeds hundred times a day. I feel disrespected and looked down upon.

I really want to appeal who so ever is reading this, try not to be Judgmental. All we Jammuites want is a fair enquiry. We do not want any criminal to be left unpunished.

It's just because there are so many doubts in the heart of the people and so many theories been out in public that has created doubts.

All we want is best of the investigation from best of the agency in the country for our daughter.

We want capital punishment for those who are guilty. For us, every child is same.

Asifa or Gudia are humans and we feel their pain.

I request all of you not to generalize us.

Please stop raising questions on my state.

Please let peace prevails.

We are Indians and we want to live with communal harmony and brotherhood till our last breath.





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Pallavi Sharma