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Srinagar: September 3, 2010, Friday 23 Ramadan 1431 AH
Now the other side; other subject. Kashmir is not a battle between Good and Evil or Belief ith an almost three month long strike, continuous protests in every part and Disbelief, in a classical philosophico-theoof Kashmir, and unremitting loss of life, things have reached almost logical idiom. It is a case of political disaster and its aftermath. Unfortunately the symbolism and a crescendo. There are unequivocal denials from people to yield, yet content of resistance politics, drawn heavily from the Muslim culture and ethos of Kashmir, undercurrents of anxiety about what is to follow accentuating by the day. are presented and promoted in a language that entirely belonged to the divine interventions in the history of mankind, represented by prophalism. The political urge of Kashmir has always Kashmir being a Muslim dominated place, with MehMood-ur-rashid that it has now gone out of everyone’s hands. ets. The understanding, and consequent applicafound itself tossed against such paradoxes of a rich Muslim ethos, can build up relations with But by saying that if they want to add a degree of tion, of scripture and the Prophet’s work are the regional politics. The relationship between Srithe Muslim world, without undermining its IMAGINE a people waking up to the disapdifficulty to India, they are adding a degree and pearance of all meaning. Nothing stands for a half to themselves. It’s mindless. First thing areas that need speedy and prescient appraisal. nagar and New Delhi is guided by the ironies other geographical, political, historic, and ecoThe Muslim intellectual tradition spread over that closely accompanied the political urge of nomic connects, is a positive urge. Besides, our anything and anything could be stretched to to do is to dismount this silly, and disastrous, hundreds of years cannot be subsumed into a Kashmir, when 1947 happened. But over the relationship with the Muslim world cannot be everything; could there be a catastrophe bigger rhetoric. Getting the act together, this is the person, an ideological framework, or a particuperiod of six decades the paradox fixed to the monolithic. It is bound to be varied, in measure than this! It is an imaginary situation, though time to think over the crisis, as is expected of lar phase of Muslim history. Besides, there have political urge of Kashmir has grown into a paras well as kind. History, culture, economy, lannot completely unreal. There are times when leadership. been parallel intellectual developments in the allel urge of a population that far outnumbers guage, and geography are always there to shape people fail to communicate between themselves, history of mankind, and it only enhances the Kashmiri Muslims. Though it has been done up the complexity of this relation. because words either are divested of all meanTHE URGE: understanding of former if the latter is read and with a sinister design and has actually no real ing or else invested with confusing complexity This goes without saying that the moveunderstood from its own sources. Developing foundation, but that unless explained to the ConClUsion of meanings. There is another situation akin to ment for restoration of fundamental political this; words retain meaning, but people prefer right – the right to determine the political status the idea of self in isolation and understanding people who have been stuffed with a particular All the above options need intellectual the other on the basis of stereotypes engendered variant of nationalism and religious past, stainputs and political practice. The theoretical silence. The communication between them, as of a nation- belongs to people, as people. It’s in, and by, that isolation give birth to a lantioned on a flawed reading of history, stands as and statistical contributions can flow more a people, with a definite national and societal rooted in the hearts and minds of the people shape, ceases. Right now Kashmir fits both. of Kashmir. ‘Quit Jammu & Kashmir Moveguage that not just proves an inadequate tool of a great threat. Kashmir cannot afford seeing effectively only if the questions are democratiAt one level there is an absence of meaning, ment’ and ‘Civil Disobedience communication, but becomes a itself pitted against another population. Though cally opened for wider appraisal. If an atmoand at the other there is a tightlipped silence. Program’ is an expression of barrier in itself. This is an afflicResistance leadership has time and again made sphere is created where more people can partion that has seized most of the it clear that Kashmir holds nothing against the ticipate in building up a response on all the This silence either has to break or else it will this popular urge. Connecting IT is not only the break Kashmir. And the breaking of this silence it to some ‘instigation’ is an act Muslim societies, disallowing people of India, but that does not suffice. There above options, better politics can take roots should announce the restoration of meaning. of refusal to listen to people. State-of-India, but the them to engage with the rest of is a need to diffuse the false tensions that can in Kashmir. It’s always a painstaking job that the world. Kashmir too suffers anytime conflagrate the fires of communalcalls for utmost patience and discipline. The With this inauguration, perhaps slightly dense, Whatever is happening in very Politics- of-India this affliction. some straight talk. Kashmir, its urge is absolutely ism by entering into a serious and continuous capacity to accommodate difference respectindigenous, real and essential. Here the role of Geelani Sahab of Here too, that comes in the way is very crucial. He belongs to a dialogue with the peoplehas India.taken into fully and a preparedness to perpetually revisit PREsEnT MoBilisATion: It fully belongs to the people of the problem of language to be the premises and conclusions of the theoretical party, and an ideology, which account. constructs have been the necessary components Some months back none could have imagKashmir. The problem has a of Kashmir. have Qur’an and Prophet at l Complete Independence: It’s a response, of great movements. It makes larger enterprises ined things turning so difficult for India, in different shape. Its execution Kashmir. What began as occasional, yet disand conduct, at times, are at the centre of things. Why Geeand a very valid one, to what Kashmir has expemore responsible. connected, protests turned into a full blown one level spontaneous-chaotic, and on another lani Sahab has remained such a relentless and rienced from without, but least of all a reflection Can a beginning be made by disinvesting the political mobilization with an exemplary public level controlled-removed. And in neither case unyielding personality in the face of wicked that engenders and cruel politics unleashed by India has to from within. involvement. Though every thing still stays at it’s referred to people in ways that a civilized, largely do with his ideological background. But However, it is a its place, but the calm-of-placement is definitely conscious and informed society would prefer to f Geelani Sahab does it for it comes with its set of difficulties. The textual political option gone. Popular spaces are filled with the talk that do. Both chaos and control create sometimes a application of scripture and literal treatment that if Kashmir this time around status-quo must break. One situation that is too exciting and momentarily Kashmir, he will pioneer a of the extreme, but overwhelming, expressions hides the corrosive effect that the twin trends of the Prophet’s life, make it almost impossible finds herself politics that will change the being - India must go. With an almost three have on the larger fabric of a people’s moveto develop a thinking on how to deal with a finally agreemonth long strike, continuous protests in every ment. The real test of the leadership lies in its problem that is rooted in a political developing to, should whole complexion of things in part of Kashmir, and unremitting loss of life, ability to discern in these surging waves what ment with its time and space. When the two be worked out ideas, struggle for Azadi and establishing of an in the full light things have reached almost a crescendo. There they bring along. this region. It will make things are unequivocal denials from people to yield, Now generalities apart, the most pressing Islamic order are inalienably, and in an absoof prospects less difficult, and more result yet undercurrents of anxiety about what is to concern for the people as well the Resistance lutist manner, mixed, it feeds the difficulties of and problems. follow accentuating by the day. leadership is how to ensure present mobilizaboth. It also comes in language that confuses The absence of oriented, for Kashmir. It’s exactly at this point that the leadership tion not going waste. On the one hand the resilboth – Islam and Azadi. An intellectual entercontent and the prise, with an honest public communication, type of politics faces the test of times. It has to discern the situaience of people is exemplary; on the other the is desperately needed to draw the distinction that proposes it tion and refuse to act, neither inadvertently nor situation is getting frighteningly discomfiting. between the task that was assigned to prophets are the areas of aching concern. It’s like a Mona not-so-required elements from all the proposicoercively, in ways that contribute to the timely Despite such a huge protest from people governmanagement-of-crisis discrepant to the larger ment has not identified, let alone punish, even and the problems which Muslim lands face as Lisa painting who everyone likes to talk about tions and possibilities! Onwards a debate can framework of the problem. Equally important, a single killer. Leave aside this it even doesn’t an aftermath of some political developments. but less than a few really reflect over. And like ensue to disabuse our people from some fanif not more, is the responsibility to reflect over clearly talk about removing AFSPA. If it has If Geelani Sahab does it for Kashmir, he will the Lady’s smile it’s enchantingly deceptive. tastic notions that dangerously drive them in done anything, pioneer a politics that will change the whole When most of the people in their private disthe intense times. May be the changes in the complexion of things in this region. It will make cussions, and also when they get a chance to world can play a role in getting a better political it’s dropping hen the two ideas, threats to its things less difficult, and more result oriented, express themselves, speak about their choice deal for us. Further, if it’s not going to happen for Kashmir. of Independent Kashmir, they are inadequateso immediately why no long term initiatives. ‘own’ people. struggle for Azadi and (When this is ly sensitive about what it politically means, Of course it is a state power that has snatched FUTURE: to speak of what it It’s from us, but at isn’t the establishing of an the behavior THEThen there are long term questions. Rais- not expression of desire,entails. like more about livescan we disallowleastbeast it worth asking: the much the one we how the to run its claws of government Islamic order are inalienably, and the responsibil- ing them in public, particularly at a time when seen in the slogans, Yehaan Kya Chale Ga, and deep into our body. atmosphere is surcharged, may not be such a Azadi Ka Matlab Kya. It’s the address of our An ability to live less harmfully with a tranity of the situain an absolutist manner, mixed, it tion actually good idea. But once time and situation allow, self which we otherwise feel subsuming in the sitory political phase in each of more permanent squarely perchgetting actuated into that domain is inescapably more powerful neighborhood of sovereignties. conditions that entail all the possible options is feeds the difficulties of both. es on its shoulimportant. If things here are left undefined, they But it’s a not-so-worked-on idea. Nevertheless, always an advantage with the people confrontders.) That is will prove damningly disastrous in the end. the underlying urge for expression should be ing an entrenched conflict. Since the collective These questions are about our political choices, worked out by enunciating on the Being of a human endeavors are primarily rooted in life, one side of it. the questions and difficulties that this situation The other is how to face the frustrating effects and challenges thereof. Here are some allusions. Kashmiri. This can give depth and profundity to the methods adopted are least expected to be How many options do we have- broadly three: the political struggle of Kashmir. Right now this oblivious of that primordial urge. If the ordinary has thrown up. It’s is an ethical responsibility of this behavior of the government. Any large l Engagement with New Delhi: The power idea is enchanting, and that is not enough. and complex of life is removed, even the huge and the real political challenge for the people scale public mobilization cannot go on endlessof Kashmir, in general, and the political leaderly. It has a limit to its stamina and exhaustion equation between India and Pakistan, and the l Merger with Pakistan: Kashmir’s relapolitical enterprises, and fantastic ideologies, over all rhythm of international power politics, tionship with Pakistan is not just an outcome risk failure. Public mobilization to larger politiship, in particular. hits it sooner or later. That is one thing all of The talk that we don’t listen to anyone, and us know. It is no discovery. Why then are things backs up the political possibility that Kashmir of some political developments before and after cal ends or for ideological purposes is nothing it’s now in the hands of teens and twenties, may always pushed on a steep to trundle down all by in near future might have to think about an 1947. It has deep historic and futuristic undernew to history, Kashmir being no exception. depict the deep sense of anger and desperation, themselves! No doubt, easier said than done, but engagement between Srinagar pinnings. Unfortunately, yet But history, remote and recent, has more to but in its ramifications it can be unsettling. It we do have examples in the history of public and New Delhi; elaborate and as a matter of fact, present day offer in the form of how many threatening convaried. Should that happen, and Pakistan has turned into somecerns it brings in its wake. People cannot shun can open up the flood gates of chaos. True, when struggles where imbricated political mobilizaIf the ordinary a political leadership fails to deliver it invokes tions, with each fold aimed at one particular if things suck us into that directhing that in the first instance the responsibility of looking straight into the tion leaving no other option, frightens; and in the final only eye of the concerns that are associated to life. rejection and furious questioning in the streets. demand, complete the pattern. If the current and complex of life how should that happen? It frightens more. The consolidaIn the time of crises it is all the more important One explanation why the younger generation, mobilization is considered as a part of some is removed, even as is being said, have taken it in their hands larger political demand, and is directed towards was tried by Sheikh Abdullah, tion of Pakistan into what it has for people that they delve into the repositories but except a series of failures become right now has profound of courage and composure to avert the pitfalls. comes from the consistent failure of leadership; getting some definite change in politico-legal the huge political but it is unwise to accrue from it the dispensstatus of Kashmir, besides restoring the dignity and deceptions he didn’t earn lessons. The consistent and vioThe greatest contribution of the leadership is to ability of leadership. of daily life, it can make it more time bound anything. Even moderates and lent denial of the centrist Pakimake timely interventions and guide people in enterprises, and If, after having given his entire life to Kashand pointed. Remember 2008 when people rose mainstream parties wanted to stan to the federal politics has the moments of grinding crisis. fantastic ideologies, a dampening impact. Further strike a deal with Delhi. None Of course in full light of knowledge; with mir politics, Geelani Sahab is nudged out of in rebellion against the decision of the transfer the frame by a teenager, it’s ominous for us of land to Amarnath Shrine Board, it had paid has as yet achieved anything. Pakistan’s trajectory on misprobity and fortitude. risk failure. as a people. Not just him, the entire band of off. It was only later that things took an ugly It has become a convenient tool handling Muslim sentiment is for India to discredit people in as unsightly as it can be. How(Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org) resistance faces that Kashmir is all acquainted turn and Kashmir could not handle it properly. with, despite their inadequacies have a place in Otherwise it was a moment of triumph, that Kashmir and make ‘lions’ mew. ever, the relation with Pakistan Nevertheless, New Delhi is a reality that cannot remains a valid political question. But in our Kashmir poliultimately left Kashmir with a lasting impresbe dealt with only by wishing it away. understanding of this political choice there is tics. It cannot sion of despair and distraught. ne explanation why the be denied to Here it must be made clear that engagement one inclusion that needs attention. Pakistan with New Delhi doesn’t necessarily, and only, might be intimately connected to our being as them. Even soME PARADoXEs: younger generation, as the other What comes in the way of intelligent and mean cutting a deal with Delhi, like Sheikh Muslim but is it really a religious imperative! Abdullah did in the form of Delhi Agreement If that becomes a point of departure, inclusion shades of leadfruitful politics in Kashmir? Of course the bigis being said, have taken ership cannot gest impediment is India herself. The way New and Kashmir Accord, to earn a seat in power. of Pakistan can enrich the politics of Kashmir, it in their hands comes from the Never. It actually means how to ensure the instead of complicating it. It can also save us a be simply Delhi has been behaving in Kashmir, right from safety of the political urge of people in spite division that has already done good amount of wished away. the days of Nehru, singularly suffices in making consistent failure of leadership; Unfortunatethe politics of Kashmir hollow. Not just hollow, of the paradoxes in its path. How the people’s damage. politics makes consistent gains over a period of Further, the option of merger with Pakistan can ly, some of but afterwards stuffed with all the hideous elebut it is unwise to accrue from it time, without inviting fate. The cost-of-confronbe broadened to become a question of our relathe leaders ments. It is not only the State-of-India, but the the dispensability of leadership. themselves very Politics-of-India that comes in the way of tation and timely purpose of a public mobilizationship with the Muslim world. Two-Nation tion, are two important areas of deliberation in theory had a context and a timing; it propped contribute to Kashmir. That is one side of it. this dispensThe other side belongs to Kashmir. But this regard. Similarly, the subjects of electoral up in presence of a particular kind of politics ing-of-leaderbefore it is discussed, a caveat. By saying that politics and the safeguard of our resources may hough every ship. In order Kashmir too has a share in making its own need a meaningful and perpetual inclusion in and leadership. Whatever its historical and intellectual content be, there was a negativity stationed well at its centre. It was grounded in thing still stays to present politics a problem, the responsibility of India the Resistance politics. the difficulty doesn’t lessen. It is not an act of balancing. There is another area of engagement with suspicion, denial, and rejection of histories and at its place, but of situation India’s responsibility is complete in its place. India. It’s the people of this vast land who have communities. Any reference to that is always other side and create divisions and the calm-of-placement before India The a separate that belongs to Kashmir is actu- been fed on vicious notions of religionruns bound toof hatred from either invite the conthey are ally subject. So every idea of justice nationalism. The disastrous contestation tingents side to tighten deep into past in the language of religion, and up the girdles, and descend down to the battle giving an demands that India’s culpability be considered is definitely gone. stretches into future as the rhetoric of a nationground. Compared to this the question of how impression as full and final.
In the life of movements certain moments decisively test the responsibility and wisdom of leaders; of people as well.