Let's Do Some Soul Searching

World history has many instances of occupational armies providing largesse to local agents and oppressed to subvert economy, culture and heritage of the oppressed people. That is why when sections of Indian civil society beat the drum of democracy, Kashmiris call it mere romanticism. Democracy may be in India but beyond Lakhanpore there is no trace of it.

General V.K. Singh’s revelation proves that India has not allowed her democratic institutions grow in Kashmir. Some times a policeman removed Sheikh Abdullah from power and put him behind bars, and at other times no fewer than thirty assembly seats were filled unopposed. Some times Farooq Abdullah was removed under a conspiracy and at other times in 1988 MUF was humiliated. In final analysis, Kashmiris were convinced that economic backwardness, oppression, incarceration and tyranny were the gifts of Indian democracy.

But the question is why we should not make some introspection. Can we challenge Indian institutions without making an introspection of our own doings? We took up gun in 1989 without a proper plan and without a definite programme. The then Jamat-e- Islami chief Sadu’d-Din had clearly rejected General Ziaul Haq’s proposal of armed resistance. I too had opposed because international conditions and Pakistan’s internal situation did facilitate it. With the unleashing of the gun in 1988, a great movement came to fore. Unfortunately occupational forces on both sides created no fewer than 150 armed groups and anybody speaking for the nation was tortured and killed.

We stoked the flames of civil war and contrived the liquidation of our youth in the name of freedom or accession. Groups favouring accession to Pakistan embarked on killing other groups with same programme. Many outstanding intellectuals wear killed including a venerable person like Maulvi Muhammad Farooq. Men like Dr. Guru, Mushiru’l-Huq, Qazi   Nisar, Adul Ghani Lone, Dr. Ghulam Qadir Wani and Dr. Jalalu’d-Din and others were done away. Indian forces captured arms and ammunition to the tune of 95 thousand AK rifles, 3500 machine guns, and thousands of tons of ammunition either by killing the militants or from surrendered militants.

The surrendered militants thought of fighting the freedom war through slogans and in this way the All Party Hurriyat came into existence. Unfortunately the Hurriyat, too, had no concrete and definite plan for continuing the struggle. Instead of crushing the occupational forces, the two groups are eager to establish their respective supremacy. The groups of Shabir Shah and Naeem Khan changed their affiliations between the two groups, and these days they have distanced from both.

History tells us that oppressed nations when engaged in freedom struggle have a well-thought out plan of action and are disciplined through solid ideological frame. They broach no confusion about their struggle and if there is more than one organization with same objective, these forge strong unity. They need advisory committees comprising intellectuals, scholars, astute politicians and seasoned lawyers who help make long term plans. 

In 2010, the martyrdom of Tufail Matto activated the resistance forces. About 117 lives were lost in that year’s disturbances. 2011 and 2012 were somewhat peaceful and resistance forces passed into limbo. 

In the process Kashmir became a consumer state. All goods come from India as we produce nothing. Calls for strike are a loss to us the Kashmiris only, and to none else. Educational institutions are shut down for students. We don’t have super specialty educational institutions in the State, and we are lacking in professional advanced institutions. Thousands of Kashmiri students having sought admission in India are getting dissolved in wider Indian cultural milieu. Most of them do not return to Kashmir. Shops and small scale industrial units remain closed and they have to pay the interest of the bank loans.  It causes great financial loss to them. Artisans are deprived of their daily earning owing to strike calls. Our strike calls have been going on for last two decades and half but to the occupational forces this makes not an iota of impact. It has to be remembered that civil disobedience is an art and a concerted movement. If it is carried along right direction, it can disintegrate even the mighty powers. But the very foundation of our movement is faulty and the entire structure raised on it is faulty. We are torn by ego. We have seen with our own eyes youngsters shedding their blood, and we have seen our women molested and yet we stick to ego refusing to opt for unity and concreted effort. We have forgotten the Quranic injunction:

“That the communities that do not rise to change their condition can never find their condition changed.”

Hashim Qureshi
Chairman: JK Democratic Liberation Party
[email protected]

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