By Abid Hussain Rather
Shabir khanbali or more often know as ‘Angrez Ladka’ has become the talk of the town in Kashmir from past few months. He has become the new sensation of Kashmir and his dialogues like ‘seedhe mooth kolleh manz, peth latmond’, ‘rantas’ etc are making rounds across the whole valley. He has become more popular among kids and youth folk of the valley who are often seen repeating his dialogues and some people have even modified his dialogues to fit them in other situations. He has gained so much fame that some people have imprinted his dialogues on their vehicles. Social media is full of his funny videos and these videos are viewed by thousands of people within hours after they are uploaded on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social sites. He has gained thousands of followers in the valley and some people invite him to their local areas for amusement and recreation. Youths from different areas of valley visit his home to take selfies and make videos of him. Some YouTubers in valley have started casting him in their dramas for popularising their channels. Different memes have been created out of his dialogues. He is more famous for his cricket commentary. With every passing day he is becoming more and more popular and his fan followers are increasing though most of them know that he is mentally unwell.
Shabir khanbali is from Batpora Khanabal and his full name is Shabir Ahmad Bhat and his father’s name is Khalil Bhat. He has four brothers and two sisters. His parents live with his other four brothers at KP road Khanabal. He was adopted by his aunt who died many years ago. He himself resides lonely in a big devastated house with no window panes at Batpora Khanabal. When I contacted some of his neighbors and other people of his village, I came to know that he was a very nice person who used to teach Quran to children and lead prayers in a local masjid at Goripora before he became addicted to weed smoking and other drugs almost three years ago. He has been a healthy person and a very good cricketer. He worked as a tree cutter and was famous for cutting trees tactfully. Some of his villagers reported that he has received education up to matric and worked as PSO in police department for almost a year before he lost his mental stability.
Nowadays Shabir is living lonely in a ruined house and he has been socially alienated. He is too much addicted to weed smoking and other drugs and has totally lost his mental balance. He rarely takes his meals rather prefers tea, junk foods and cold drinks. He is suffering from schizophrenic mental disorder. Some YouTubers in Kashmir are casting him in their dramas on YouTube and in turn give him money for that. Youths also visit him and give him money as a mark of their love for him but he uses all this money for drugs and other opiates. Due to availability of money he is using more and more drugs and other intoxicates. Resultantly, with every passing day his addiction is increasing and his health is getting more and more deteriorated and he is at the verge of destruction. It is very unfortunate that people are destroying his life for their own enjoyment. He is considered to be a comedian but he is a mentally ill person who needs to be treated. He has been socially isolated and remains alone for most of the time which is adversely affecting his mental health. Besides being medically treated, such people need our love, care and concern for their rehabilitation rather than exploiting them for our personal means like earning money and enjoyment. From his videos it can be vividly seen that he has a good talent and he can be a resourceful person as well as a good entertainer if he is medically treated for his illness. If his fan followers really want to help him, the money given to him ( which he later uses for drugs and other intoxicates) should be collected in a proper way and should be used for his medical treatment. All those YouTubers who are casting him in their dramas should not give money to him for his acting rather it should be collected and used for his treatment and rehabilitation.
The society should never provoke such mentally ill people as it may have negative results. If such mentally unstable people are insulting or hurting the sentiments of our community on being provoked, it is not only these psychologically unsound people who are responsible for such negative and gauche social behavior and such wrong acts, but we are equally responsible for these things as we are inciting them, revving their anger and instigating them for such acts rather than concerning about their gauche behavior and their rehabilitation as it is our collective social responsibility to help such people of our society. Instead of helping such mentally sick people in their rehabilitation we are enjoying their state of destruction. The present condition and unsocial behavior of Shabir Khanbali episode is an eye opener for all of us and we should learn lesson from it. Such people in our society should be treated at earliest for their mental diseases rather than exploiting them. It is our responsibility to help those people who are addicted to drugs and other opiates to get rid of these wrong things otherwise there will be countless Shabirs in our society in future. Drug menace is becoming worst menace in our valley and with every passing day more and more youth are getting involved in it. We are loosing our human resources and the future of our society is in utter danger. The concerned authorities should take strict actions against the drug peddlers in order to curb this menace in the valley before it is too late.
(The author is a columnist and teaches Geography at GDC, Kulgam. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)