Updated: Apr 24, 2021
Amjid Hussain | Tithwal, Kupwara
....Atif Ahmad, a resident of Kashmir arrived in Srinagar from Delhi. He went straight to his father Nizam Ahmad's house and hugged him tight. His father’s eyes got filled with tears of pride and happiness since his son was now a dignified officer of Indian Defence
Forces.... Read to find the rush of emotions that stems from lifetime struggle of the protagonist (Nizam Ahmed) to path of righteousness; mimeographed by writing flair of the author.
“People of Jammu and Kashmir have always been prepared for the worst. Whatever we have been facing for the last 50 years has made us strong as a community. People always find ways to fight back and rise again”
- Nizam Ahmad
45 year old Nizam Ahmad (name changed) is a Lance Havildar in the Territorial Army. Born and brought up in the valley, life has been a topsy-turvy ride for him. Accompanied by struggles for decades, his story proves to be a major testimony to the fact “persistence is the key to success”.
Since his school days he was a very determined and bright kid. To attain education, he had to travel a distance of 18 Km everyday. He worked for the armed forces as a porter to support his family. His friends and acquaintances started moving to PoK and that was the time when he faced the real impact of the growth of militancy in his area. Naïve enough to know the reason, he and his elder brother kept helping the defense forces by providing labour support and were paid moderately well for the work. He and his elder brother soon established a local woodwork shop in his area and kept supporting the armed forces as guides, labourers and carpenters. One fine day, Nizam Ahmad was approached by his friends from PoK to join them as a militant and fight for them. Disgusted by the incident, he refused the offer and avoided any further connection with them. Such gesture didn’t please the militants across the border and they got annoyed.
In due course of time a series of ill-fated events took place in the life of Nizam and
eventually his elder brother also went missing. Unable to find his missing brother he
turned towards Indian Army for help and an operation was launched by the defense
forces to search his brother. The body of his brother was recovered from a densely
vegetated area and he realized that his elder brother was captured, killed and buried by
the militants. The responsibility of his elder brother's family which consisted of his wife and five kids, was now on Nizam's shoulders.
He still continued to help the army in various operations by providing intelligence and by acting as a guide and soon became a familiar name for the units serving in the area. His bravery was very well rewarded by the army and the mutual understanding and trust between the two grew strong over the years. This caught the eyes of the militants and their informers. He was shot in his arm and his house was burnt down with a blast by the militants injuring everyone in his family. Army once again played a vital role as a saviour by providing instant medical help and shifting and admitting his family to the hospital in Srinagar. It took a time span of three months for the complete family to recover and their injuries to heal. When they came back, their house and shops were destroyed and life was not the same for them. The family was under danger and were getting repeated threats from the militants across the border.
A new house under the supervision of army was constructed and they were now under
the watchful protection of army. After all these mishaps, the determination of Nizam
Ahmad grew stronger and he became a trusted man for the army. In 2004 he applied for
Territorial Army and worked hard to pursue the uniform. Now, he was a rifleman and had the opportunity to prove his worth to his country. His experiences, knowledge and the familiarisation to the valley helped various units and thus helped in bringing normalcy to the area.
Being a parent to his elder brother’s kids, he made sure of their living and education.
Two of them are now professors and one is a retired Naik from Indian Army. His own
kids have carved their way to success by attaining good grades in their respective fields
of education. One of his son is a commissioned officer in Indian Defence Forces, while
another is preparing for IAS in Delhi.
A true patriot, Nizam Ahmed once said, “Desh ke sath achha karega toh usko achha hi fall milega, desh ke liye wafadari honi zaruri hai"
(English Translation) “If you are being loyal to the nation, you will have a fruitful life, it’s important to have loyality towards the nation”.
Kashmir has always been in news for violence but time and again success stories of
common men have grabbed limelight. But in the midst of the turbulence, there were
many who didn’t let the conflict around them get to them and stayed focused at their
lives and lives of their loved ones. These individuals have achieved greater heights
through sheer struggle amidst all odds and will inspire generations to choose path of
righteousness and emulate such success in their lives.