Why Are We Fed Up Of Hurriyat’s Failures

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Hurriyat leaders have failed time and again and most Kashmiris know that. Yet, nobody is willing to admit it. Their persuasion to resolve the prolonged Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of Kashmiris may be genuine, but Hurriyat leaders have utterly failed to meet expectations.

In November 2015, Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani in an interview to local daily Rising Kashmir said that the people of Kashmir have failed the leadership, while the leadership has not let them down. Geelani was referring to the people who, despite the boycott calls from the Hurriyat leadership, participated in large numbers in the 2014 Assembly election.

Then came 2016, and the same Kashmiris who were looked down upon by the Hurriyat leaders, made incomparable sacrifices. Since July 8 – in the unrest that followed the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani – 115 people have died, 15,000 injured, 22 maimed, 505 women molested, 65,000 houses, shops and other businesses damaged, 37 schools arsoned, 9,700 people arrested and 608 Kashmiris detained under the Public Safety Act.

The people of Kashmir have once again been left disillusioned by the politics of Hurriyat leaders.

After five months, those on the streets of Kashmir are posing one question to the Hurriyat leadership: What have you achieved?

 

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This is not the first time the Hurriyat leadership has proved to be a sheer disappointment. Over the years, Kashmiris have made enough sacrifices to provide a platform to the Hurriyat leaders to pursue their agenda, only to be let down.

After failing to yield any favourable results following the agitations of 2008 and 2010, the Hurriyat leadership came under severe criticism for their lack of strategy; yet, in the 2016 uprising, most Kashmiris put their weight behind the leadership in the hope that the Hurriyat would be able to deliver on the ground.

The 2016 uprising resonated with the world forum solely because of the resilience of the Kashmiri people. The atrocities committed by the government forces were covered by most international media outlets and there was a ripple of concern in New Delhi to undertake undesirable steps to restore peace to the Valley.

However, the absence of a proactive strategy by the Hurriyat ensured the situation was bypassed without troubling the power corridors at the Centre.

Today, we are back to ground zero. The momentum has been lost. The international media has vanished. Kashmiris are fed up of the incessant hartal calls and cursing Hurriyat leaders for having wasted their precious lives.

 

Today, we are back to ground zero. The momentum has been lost. The international media has vanished. Kashmiris are fed up of the incessant hartal calls and cursing Hurriyat leaders for having wasted their precious lives.

On November 12, former Hurriyat chairman Abdul Ghani Bhat struck the first discordant note against the Hurriyat leaders’ response to the current unrest: “Our leaders are like the blind rider on a lame horse. The horse cannot run and they (the Hurriyat) don’t know where to take it.”

The first time the Hurriyat exhibited signs of failure was on November 6, when they called up stakeholders to discuss the future course of protests. It was beyond the comprehension of a lay Kashmiri as to what urged the Hurriyat leaders to seek advice from the business fraternity, lawyers and the civil society after observing a shutdown for four months.

The move indicated that they were never sure what to do with this uprising and merely floated with the tide.

Yes, leaders need suggestions, but when it comes to defining the future course of a movement, the onus lies on the leadership to rise to the occasion and make key decisions. Unfortunately, Hurriyat leaders seem to lack this zeal for decision making.

On December 6, in the middle of the weekly protest, the Hurriyat invited tourists and yatris to visit Kashmir and enjoy the hospitality and the beauty of the paradise on earth. This was the final nail in the coffin. It was a clear message to the people of Kashmir that the Hurriyat is now no longer interested in continuing with the protests and, instead, keen on wrapping up the schedule.

There is no doubt unprecedented support for the Hurriyat in Kashmir, but at the same time, their repeated failures and dubious strategies have created a sense of cynicism in the minds of the people as to whether they have the ability to propagate Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

 

There is no doubt unprecedented support for the Hurriyat in Kashmir, but at the same time, their repeated failures and dubious strategies have created a sense of cynicism in the minds of the people as to whether they have the ability to propagate Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

 

It may sound good to our ears that Kashmiris have achieved moral victory, and succeeded in highlighting the Kashmir issue on the international forum. But the reality is that New Delhi is having the last laugh. Despite Kashmir witnessing the longest spell of hartals stretching over four months, the Modi government has not budged an inch from its guarded position and maintains that Hurriyat leaders are no party to the Kashmir dispute.

It is high time the Hurriyat leaders introspect rather than seek unparalleled sacrifice from the Kashmiri people. Your failures must not end our lives. 
 

 

The Article First Appeared In Daily O

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