Kashmir is great: An Ode to Kashmir and a Lament

Subjugation, during the part of the history of a nation, never means that the nation is not great; defeat never suggests that a defeated nation cannot rise again and win the eventual decisive battle; helplessness of a people never indicates that they cannot be invigorated to change the course of history of their nation, and the forced separation of the parts of a nation never reflects that the parts can’t be reunited to create an invincible power. The story of my nation is somewhat like this, she is subjugated during the course of her current history, she seems defeated and helpless, and separation of her parts appears as the irreversible decision of her destiny. Nevertheless, she is not a decimated nation; she is a great nation, as great as any other nation can claim to be.

Bruised may be her body, mutilated may be her psyche, wounded may be her conscience, dilapidated may be her entire being and crushed may seem she but yet she is a glorious nation, she has withstood the hardships and vagaries of history and she has sustained the onslaughts which were designed to efface her existence from the larger world order. Yes, my Kashmir has faced all that which would have annihilated any other nation but she has withstood that and is bravely fighting her battle. So, my Kashmir is my pride, she gives real meaning to my existence and it is the belongingness to her that is the best thing ever happened to me and every other person who lives here. I am blessed that I belong to this piece of land called Kashmir.

Kashmir has a long, continuous and recorded history.This is the single fact which puts her on a higher plane in the comity of nations. There is no doubt that there have been those lows, periods of extreme despondency, in her history, as every great nation has and it is also a fact that her contemporary time is one of the lowest ebbs of her history, yet she is destined to rise again. It is a conglomerate of factors – natural and artificial, external and internal- which are responsible for this state of affairs for Kashmir but her resilience entitles her for a glorious future. Moreover, the present definitely is not what it ideally should have been but this is the way the human history moves, in all the periods of human history some nations and forces are put above others and the rest are placed in a subservient position. Also, an interesting fact about human history is that it is never static and permanent, it keeps on changing, it keeps on defying the status quo and it creates its own dynamism. So, a nation that is in a position of dominance in one period falls to a level of dependence in the subsequent periods and a nation which is subjugated for long time rises to the status of a global power eventually. Same naturally should be the story about Kashmir. Today the conditions seem permanent but they are temporary, they seem unchangeable but change will come eventually, and they seem so much rigid but there are the seeds of dynamism in that rigidity itself.

Furthermore, the history which makes the people of a nation to feel proud about it, failure to meet historical challenges by the same nation makes the people to behave differently. Many people under such circumstance become impetuous and impatient and they even start disassociating themselves with their nation. This precisely is the condition with people of Kashmir. The lows, in almost every aspect of present day life of Kashmir, are the reason that many people behave as if they do not belong to this nation. The unfortunate thing is that some people, and a good number of them, not only disassociate themselves from her but they move a step further to undermine the social and cultural ethos of this nation alongwith all other aspects of her life. There has always been a group of people in Kashmir who have collaborated with the outside people to turn the conditions from bad to worse. It is these people who are greatest threat to the existence and the honorable existence of Kashmir as a nation. 

There is great number of things about Kashmir for which we should feel proud of. Hence, when others and outsiders are promoting and spreading all bad things about this place and some of the natives accepting their versions as sacrosanct, there is no need to get disheartened, to lose hope and give up working to make things better. We have lot more good things and it is our responsibility to promote these and tell the outside world what Kashmir actually is all about. These good things include the men and materials of Kashmir and the characters of hospitality, care and concern that the people of this place posses towards their fellow beings all across the world with utmost humility and humanity. These things are trademarks of a great nation but tragically we are allowing others and the black sheep in our own ranks, to present us in bad colours. The disputed nature of this place aside, the place should have been displayed in her real colours to the outside world. There are conspiracies and more conspiracies which are hatched to serve the evil interests of the plotters and it is our responsibility to counter all those conspiracies.

When all other nations are boasting about their men, the men of this nation are by no means inferior. We have ample of men, belonging to every religion that is professed and practiced here, to feel proud about. It is these men who have decorated our history till eternity. These people have contributed enormously to make the world a better place for humans. It is not only in the past but during the current times there are many people who are renowned in the entire world for the contributions they are making. These people work in every branch of human life, and all over the world, whether it is science and technology, medicine, governance, politics or any other field. So there is no need to feel inferior to the other races and nations.

Another type of harm, and a great harm, that is done to this nation is by presenting her as a dependent nation. It is said that Kashmir has no economy and resources to sustain her. Some people even go to the extent of blaming Kashmir of mendicancy. The reality is that the state could have a stable and sustainable economy and has ample resource to make Kashmir self-reliant. Water undeniably is a resource which can go a long way in serving the interests of Kashmir but this resource has never been harnessed fully. The outside agencies due to our faulty policies get an opportunity to reap maximum and undue benefits from the water resources of Kashmir. There is another thing which can be used as a resource and a great resource and it actually is under the circumstances. That resource is the strategic position of this place. Yes, the geographic location is a great resource that Kashmir should harness in the modern globalized world in which everything is commoditized. It is Kashmir that provides security to three countries against each other and it is this fact which makes her entitled to receive adequate returns. There should be no shame in demanding adequate price for the services that the strategic location of this nation provides to these nations and that too when the service is the greatest of all the services, that is, national security.  Additionally when this strategic position puts some limitation on Kashmir to prevent her to optimally utilize the resources which she has, the same strategic location should give some advantages to her. Kashmir has still other resources, which could be planned and developed in such a way that supplement these resources to take this nation to the level of development which it fully deserves.  

Thus, my nation is a great nation, one of the greatest to be precise, the nation which has a glorious history, the magnificent written history which gives identity not only to Kashmir but also to the great nuclear and technological powers of India and Pakistan. There are countries and nations in the world, too great and advanced, which do not enjoy this continuity of history. The greatness of this nation also lies in the men that it has produced and is producing. The greatness lies in many other respects as well which make other nations great. The periods of highs and lows come to each nation but it is the great nations only which sustain the harsh periods and come out of them with flying colours. Kashmir has passed those harsh periods of the history and the current phase which is one of the harshest will also pass. 

At the end, history has put Kashmir in a terrible state but it is the same history which is bound to turn the tables and make her achieve the desired and due status. We must give up all the pessimism; we must raise the standards of our way of thinking and working. This nation deserves a crowning place in the history of the world, at least in the region of South Asia and she will surely reach to that status. The people who undermine and present this place in bad light should receive the slap of their lives.  Hence as per the words of Martin Luther King Junior, I have a Dream, yes; I have a dream for my Kashmir. 

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