Quit Kashmir To Quiet Kashmir10 December 2010
Srinagar: The transition from ‘Quit Kashmir’ to the present phase of quiet Kashmir is quite a mind-boggling journey. What was considered to be so near painfully proved to be too far. Once again Kashmiri nation failed to break the jinx. Resistance in Kashmir has a long and chequered history. Since 2008 it has fallen into a trap of a set pattern. Uprising of few months is followed by a period of a superficial calm, as if nothing had happened in the turbulent preceding months. Within a gap of few months an act of suppression triggers the uprising again. After the failure of every uprising a blame game gets initiated, people castigate leaders for squandering the opportunity. And leaders accuse people for lack of commitment. Who is to be blamed for the repeated failures, pro freedom leadership or people on the large? It is such a messy and complicated situation wherein no single factor can be held responsible for the miscarriage. Some truths about Kashmir are very well known and are ingrained in Kashmiri psychology. In order to keep the record straight these are worth repeating. Even the worst critic of Azadi is forced to acknowledge that sentiment of Azadi is widespread in Jammu and Kashmir. In the modern history of resistance in Kashmir, generations since 1931 continue to make huge sacrifices while chasing the dream of Azadi. Subverting the urge for Azadi temporarily may be possible. However to wipe out the sentiment forever is simply impossible. India has tried and continues to do so but in vain. After the summer uprising, some so called security analysts may like to construe eerie calm as return of peace. In reality it is a stalemate: India has failed to subjugate Kashmir fully; similarly people of Kashmir again have not been able to win the freedom. Complete subjugation is out of question, a fresh uprising is most likely. It is not the question of how and why but when? But will the future uprising (s) be different from the present and the previous ones? Will Kashmir be able to reach its cherished destination anytime in future? Or else it will be failure again and again; it depends upon our collective attitude. Are we ready to learn from our mistakes and also to make amends? Summer unrest without any doubt has proved the vitality of the sentiment; it is also true that the new generation is fully committed with the cause of Azadi. The sacrifices of young and innocent have rejuvenated the sagging hopes. It is also true that Kashmir dispute again reverberated on the international scene. After a long time conflict on Kashmir grabbed the attention of the international headlines, more and more people have become aware of the Kashmir problem. Even a section of Indian public, if not sympathetic yet with the Kashmiri cause, is uncomfortable with the gross human right violations being perpetrated with indemnity by Indian forces in Kashmir. By all standards it is an achievement, if the Indian public is toady ready to condemn the human right violations, tomorrow they may even force Indian government to revisit its morally unjustifiable position on Kashmir. In spite of these achievements, the summer unrest does not qualify to be an organized response. It was an uprising but chaotic one, rudderless and at times leaderless. Despite many claimants nobody organized it. As a matter of fact even the proponents of Quit Kashmir’ were amazed for the response, resistance could generate from the ground. It is human to jump to conclusions. A section of the society is inclined to castigate the five-month long period of suppression, sacrifices and turmoil as complete wastage of effort. On the opposite the advocates of ‘Quit Kashmir’ have the penchant to declare a victory, where their exist none. If lessons are learnt hard, nothing will go waste. It’s a continuum; sacrifices rendered up till now will turn out to be a good investment, for the well earned Azadi. And God forbid if egoistic leaders are unable to reform individually and also learn from the past mistakes even after tens of thousands Kashmiri sacrificing, Kashmir can never win the freedom. First of all, ‘Quit Kashmir’ was not a well thought out properly organized resistance movement? Objectives of ‘Quit Kashmir’ were highly ambitious, and in the long run resistance itself has proved to be unsustainable. Casualty driven indefinite policy of hartals cannot force India to ‘Quit’ Kashmir, it should have been known to the crazy characters who devised the so called calendar policy. Even at the height of unrest, sate was convinced that the Quit Kashmir’ campaign sooner or latter will ultimately fizzle out, therefore administration was just buying time. Why unimaginative leadership is still unable to understand, a continued hartal for ten years is not going to harm Indian economic interests in any manner. On the opposite shutting life for the good we only destroyed our economy as well as the education of our children. The Hurriyat (G) leadership has developed a bizarre hostage mentality. Whenever questioned about the efficacy of prolonged shutdowns, in order to shut-up their critics their standard response is to ask for the alternatives to the Hartals. At the first place why the critics should be asked for the alternatives? Hurriyat (G) has to convince the masses about the efficacy of the methodologies it adopts to carry-on the resistance. The hartals have not yielded the desired results in anyway. It is the responsibility of the pro-freedom leadership to devise the alternative mechanisms to make it difficult for India to maintain its hold on Kashmir, endlessly. Passive hartals without people’s mobilization, and bereft of any significant organization on ground will never force India to leave Kashmir. Only an active non-cooperation peaceful prolonged resistance can loosen India’s grip on Kashmir. Non-cooperation movement is not an emotional response. It is a way of life based upon an ideology. Guided by the principle of truth and justice and backed by political mobilization and solidarity, a non-cooperation resistance eventually triumphs over the oppression. However India’s successful social engineering project has destroyed the political unity of Jammu and Kashmir. Conjoined with the social engineering the inherent materialistic lust of Kashmiri people has made easy for India to strengthen its stranglehold on Kashmir. Therefore the challenges for the resistance are manifold. In order to launch a resistance based upon non-cooperation, pro freedom leadership will not only have to rebuild the political unity but also to resurrect moral fabric of the society. By any stretch of imagination it is a tall order. More than the mechanics it is also important to understand the ambit of possibilities and geo-politics of the time. Kashmir freedom movement as an extension of Pakistan and instrument of its foreign policy to settle scores with India will never succeed in attaining its objectives. Unless a mature indigenous leadership which is not on the payroll of either Islamabad or New Delhi emerges, dispute resolution on Kashmir is simply not possible. Kashmiri leadership will have to act as a bridge between India and Pakistan. While working for an amicable conflict resolution the interests of all three, Kashmir India and Pakistan are to be safeguarded; otherwise a solution simply is not possible. Dismemberment of India is not Kashmiri objective, but Kashmir also has to recover its lost space and glory. At the same time Pakistan too has legitimate interests; those have to be factored in while working for a dispute resolution.