Even a person oblivious to history can tell us that, considering the expansive reach of the British Empire from South America to South-east Asia and everywhere in between, decolonization had become inevitable for them, post World War II. In many cases, freedom was granted and not acquired by the ruled nations. The British left India in a hurry, in 1947, well before the drafted plan of 1948, and the world witnessed two nations rise.
It was left to the rulers of the princely states to decide their annexation to one country or the other. States got organized and reorganized based on their proximity in geography, culture, language and ethnicity.
Yet, some were annexed through force, while others, through the proper course of a referendum. It is understandable that everything might have not settled fairly in the chaotic environment that prevailed then. A lot of compromises were made for choices that seem brutal today, to welcome the life ahead. Peace was essential and the essential doesnt change.
But, choice isnt always a choice. We dont choose our family and time of living, but, we can always choose to better the circumstances circumambulating us.
While studying India’s struggle for independence we get to read about social reform, economic and agrarian movements, along with the fight against British rule. Enactment of widow remarriage, abolition of Sati, right of women to inherit property, laws on eradication of social evils, the introduction of rail-road network, the telegraph and postal systems, and the modern industry had profoundly improved Indias story.
Contrary to this, our (Kashmiris) affairs were thrown to the dogs. The heart-wrenching episodes of loot, rape, the Jammu genocide, Kunan Poshpora, mass graves, desecrated houses, mutilated bodies, fake encounters, custodial killings for promotions, may make this conflict unforgettable even 100 years down the line.
The Abdullahs, who plunged us into this proxy war, were far from sure to achieve freedom. But they kept switching from Azadi to autonomy to nationalism, in order to remain in power (1947 to 2002 and 2009-15). They have done to Kashmir what Pharaohs did to Egypt, perpetrating a killing spree with Ikhwan culture and further maintaining it through the proposal approving of blinding pellets and PAVA shells.
The 7-year-long ban on the employment of the educated on one hand and the secret patronage to the stone pelters on the other hand, kept the issue burning. Our economy was shut by spoiling the household industries. Native TV serials gave vivid descriptions of the plight of artisans of crafts such as, carpet weaving, wood-work and papier mâché.
Narendra Modi, the portrayed villain of our story, appeared first on the scene when the Gujarat riots took place in 2002, but only after the Abdullahs had completed more than half a century of ruthless innings here.
The facebook militants of this era are young and immature, and hence far from the complicated history of Kashmir. Their demeanour online, reminds me of something that Sigmund Freud had once said, If youth knew if age could.
They also bring me to remember these beautifully poignant quotes, as well,
What cannot be measured cannot be managed Peter Drucker.
What cannot be said, will be wept Sappho.
It is interesting to see that intellectual discourses in the world today, the theory encompassing human beings, humanity, and human rights, has gradually superseded all other shibboleths, no matter how much more appealing.
The mad pursuit of death and destruction, driven by the most outdated ideology of nationalism is hurling us into a virtual state of extinction. Who shall we make a plea to? The ailing state of Pakistan, which is struggling to exist, or to the OIC which is reduced to a mere acronym for Oh, I see.
We are now, dependent on the mercy of the Master, living by his will. With Buddhist Ladakh and Shaivite Jammu, already having traced their ancestries to nearby Indian states, two thirds of the regional referendum stands done. We (Kashmir) are an insignificant fraction, spoiled for very long. We cannot garner the self-pity to ask him to grant us freedom, the way it had been granted by the British.