Of Democracy and Resistance in Kashmir

The solution lies in a tripartite dialogue or in implementation of UN-Resolutions

In 1947, with the passing of the Independence act by the British,two separate countries become a political reality in South Asia. Here were princely states and Kashmir being one among them witnessed terrific political changes. No one may have ever thought that Partition would divide Kashmir too. Two countries got what they were fighting for—Freedom—and in this  rush  Kashmir was enslaved. Rest is history. Deceit, flawed Democracy, Authoritarianism, Broken Promises and what not Delhi did to curb the legitimate political right (Referendum) of the people of Kashmir.  But a volcano burst in 1990s and armed struggle became the order of the day. So called democracy of the last forty years got submerged beneath the Jhelum and Chenab.

‘Gun’, is a symbol of destruction was understood even to rebels, but they were left with no other choice, reasons known to all. Delhi was the epicenter of power from where the rulers of Kashmir were installed and thrown out (as BJP did with PDP recently). Democracy in Kashmir is a tool for the colonizer to cover her black face. ‘Democracy’ that prevails in Kashmir is opposite to what it implies in the rest of the world. Youngsters joined military ranks, remained active for months/years, and ultimately were killed in counter-operations. The State narrative of peace prevailed after they crushed Kashmir by an  iron hand. The process continues without any break even after decades. Earlier, it was state narratives of unemployment, personal and domestic issues;reasons behind this inclination of gun. However, Scholars, Doctors and other well-read people buried this narrative by their blood.

In fact the present generation has proved all opinions wrong; as the youngsters who join the ranks are from well-off families. Research scholars and youngsters expected to have a bright academic career are choosing Gun, reasons known; the arrogance of colonizer not to accept the ground realities. The policies that promoted ‘Gun’ in Kashmir are still in operation. Resultantly, 2018 Kashmir is no ways different from 1947, 1990s. The ongoing movement that was once led by Muslim Conference, Awami Action Committee, Plebiscite Front, and Alfateh is now in the hands of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and many more such organizations and of course armed resistance is a very well part of it. Thus ignoring the role of the post Burhan intifada would be the mistake. The 2016 uprising that was triggered by Burhan Wani’s martyrdom abruptly brought considerable unexpected changes.Omer Abdullah was perhaps not wrong when he tweeted, “Dead Burhan would be more dangerous than Live Burhan”.  And the scenario that emerged in post existing situation vindicates his opinion. Killing of Burhan Wani has literally revived the movement of self-determination in Kashmir.Burhan MuzaffarWani turned out the poster boy whose death has  not only catalyzed armed rebellion, but also heightened the demand for ‘Azadi’.Previously, some localized areas were vibrant about pro- freedom-movement, but at present, this wave has evidently spread far and wide. There is no place in Kashmir,where people do not take on the streets day in and day out.No part is left in Kashmir, where pro-freedom slogans do not reverberate.

For the last two and a half years, Kashmir is witnessing unusual trends – indicative of a complete lack of fear. Earlier, when there would be encounter, people used to take  prone-position in their respective homes or flew to another neighborhood village. Even due to fear of torture and insecurity people would not come out of their houses. Though funeral prayers of slain militants were attended by huge number of people, but were afraid of the state. Contrastingly, people are now flooding encounters sites fearlessly. Knowing they would be killed in the firing, yet they do not desist. Despite army chief’s warning, people express solidarity with the rebels, which is unignorable. In fact, going near the encounter sites and helping the rebels to break the cordon is a strong message for the Indian establishment; that they intentionally prefer not to hear. It also shows the intensity of anger for India and its stooges in Kashmir. Most importantly, it also indicates the death of Indian narrative in Kashmir.

Unlike the past, the massive turnouts at militants’ funeral prayers are seen on a routine basis. In addition to multiple prayers, prayers in absentia are held even in schools, colleges, and universities. Wrapper-lined baskets carrying candies would be used in wedding, but now people used to mourn death of the rebels and unarmed civilians.Even parents feel proud of their wards to be part of the armed movement. Every other day, encounter breaks out in one or other place, militants get killed; moment is enjoyed by forces. The tall claims of militancy -eradication are made by both forces; nonetheless at end of the day, new ones appear on social media with guns and join the rebel ranks–Signaling! we are part of  the armed struggle. All these events are a revelation to which New-Delhi closes its eyes and keeps harping on the same string.

Student activism has once again renewed with students ready to desert classrooms to raise voice against the status quo. Additionally, sentiments are heightened to the extent that young people are whistling Pakistani and Azad Kashmir’s national anthem; followed by the unfurling of their flags before commencement of local cricket or other games.Reportedly, many youth were charged for the act; however, new videos continue to surface on social media and this is usual now.

All this is happening despite the hawkish approach of Indian government. In the last couple of years, brutality and barbarism at the hands of Indian forces has crushed all the boundaries; still Kashmiri is as resilient as ever. In the name of CASO, ransacking of houses, vandalism and killings of Kashmiri people has become norm. What could be more barbaric than purposefully, mowing down the unarmed civilians by army vehicles? But, all this is proving too ineffective to change the perspective  of  Kashmiris.

History of 70 years is witness to the fact that exercising ‘militarily might’ in Kashmir only had intensifying rather than moderating impact. Strategy to crush the people is no longer workable in the place like Kashmir; where people are ready to sacrifice everything, even life for the cause. Meanwhile,more horrifying procedure of suppression i.e., ‘Killing’ also has lost its scaring influence as people are used to it now. Imagine how Killings can subdue those who receive body bags, even on day of rejoicing-‘Eid’.

Some sane voices write on a regular basis and even vocally evince; that ‘Muscular and Militarily approach’ is nothing but adding fuel to the fire, yet attitude of New-Delhi is not varying. Only what we get to know is that; Police gets a fresh consignment of pellet, Black Cats and Commandos has been dispatched to tackle militants and ‘All-Out operation’ will continue etc. Instead of reading ‘writing on the wall’ New-Delhi, has buried its head in the sand about Kashmir problem, which is helpful to none.

What sort of humiliation Delhi must face than being censured for human rights violations in Kashmir, every time? Is not the denial of the UNHRC investigation in its ‘integral part’, abasement for a country pretending to be largest democracy? What could be much more disgraceful for a country than implementing governor rule for the eighth time in the part that they their so-called‘Integral’? How could anyone justify ‘forcing the people to cast votes’ in (so-called) democratic set-up? How any country- terming elections as referendum could rule the state after witnessing 5% polling in much significant parliament elections?

Denying the fact does not change it and it is absolute fact that ‘Kashmir’ is disputed territory. Pretending that there is no Kashmir-dispute, Killing people, Chocking voices, using repression, intimidating etc. and making tall claims have not altered and could not alter this fact. ‘Kashmir is an issue and it needs timely solution, which lies either in meaningful tripartite dialogue or in implementation of UN-Resolutions. But when is the only question?

Writer , *Zeeshan Rasool Khan , writes on current socio-political issues, tweets @zeeshan_rk  and can be mailed at mohdzeeshan605@gmail.com

http://kashmirwatch.com/of-democracy-and-resistance-in-kashmir/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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