Sadder And Wiser?

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It is probably for the second time in recent years that Syed Ali Shah Geelani has publicly said that Kashmir does not have the resources to wage an armed struggle. The temptation to treat his words as better-late-than-never wisdom must be arrested forthwith, for, the remarks are an assertion of a cover-up rather than a conceding of self-evident truths as valid today as twenty years ago. Even if this is a realisation – and there would be compelling reasons not to describe it as a realisation – it has dawned on the Hurriyat (G) chairman much too late for the over one hundred thousand Kashmiris sent to untimely graves by contrivances of Himalayan dimensions. For sickening, despairing moments one tends to believe that the Kashmiri leadership actually expected the US, which was already sitting pretty in the neighbourhood, to para-drop its Marines here once the bloodbath, for which the Valley had been furiously primed in the preceding years, came into effect. In those dizzy days, made dizzier by the US corporate media, there certainly must have been turgid talk of the world powers sending in an equivalent of the 7th Fleet up the Bay of Bengal and thrusting a massive Naval Task Force up the Arabian Sea to prize open the Indian grip on Kashmir. In this scenario, Pakistan’s mountain and armoured divisions dashing across the LoC to the assistance of their brothers-in-faith could not brook even the slightest of doubt. Particularly when jihad and the US had a firm foothold and base in the neighbouring country, and the capitalist-backed rout of the infidel Soviets in Afghanistan had brought God’s Caliphate tantalisingly close.  

A sadder and wiser leadership would still have been of benefit to Kashmiris, even at this late date, but, sadly, Mr. Geelani and his ilk are neither. The random morsels of wisdom Mr. Geelani tosses at Kashmiris now and then – that Kashmir does not have the resources for an armed struggle, or that the world has not come to the support of the Kashmiri armed struggle –  is yet another construct and device, driven not by stark reality but exigency. That it should have been made at all is a tribute to the Kashmiri herd instinct which is expected to lap it up with the same gusto and certitude as slogans that they would ride to freedom with the Qur’an in one hand and the Kalashnikov in the other.  And if in the meantime, the oft-repeated hypnotic chant of God being on the side of Truth is kept in temporary suspension, no one would be the wiser – certainly not the Kashmiris.  Not even when having been tirelessly plied with stirring speeches of Badr and Karbala, not to speak of Salahuddin Ayubi and Muhammad Bin Qasim. It is a mystery how Mr. Geelani, who has been unrelenting in extolling the lofty values of valour, resolve, fortitude and sacrifice, should suddenly think of something as base and pedestrian as “resources” to wage an armed struggle. Or the need of the world to support the Kashmiri armed struggle.  Whatever happened to the notion of reliance on the one and only God being the necessary and sufficient condition for victory?    

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