Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Rudderless Kashmiris, both Pandits and Muslims

Dr Ramesh Raina

Hurriyat leadership stands badly exposed.Terror funding squeezed.Stones have replaced gun as an instrument of terror.Baptism of local youth into terrorism at an all time low.Pakistan facing stiff resistance in Kashmir.With the liquidation of leaders of major Separatist Tanzeems,selling of Azadi dreams or Pakistan or Islamic Kashmir seems to be a far cry.No public response to hartals,shut downs and Agitation.In addition the grip of mainstream Politics in Kashmir is slipping and politicians are losing ground because of credibility issues.This is the present day reality,even though there is an upward trend in terror related incidents .These are the hard realities not lost on the people.With no credible separatist leadership at the helm,no trust worthy politician to speak on behalf of the people,is a text book case of disillusionment.

To increase the pace of expectations ,a coalition of militant and terrorist Tanzeems was formed in early Ninety’s named All Party Hurriat conference(APHC).Acting as a proxy for Pakistan,It was a watershed moment in the history of violent struggle for Azadi Apart from lending leadership,it became overground face of underground who used grievances as a weapon to increase its area of influence and support.Their initial connect with the people and increasing graph encouraged them to come out with a calendar of Hartals and shut downs.It saw a growing intimidation in the people who hesitated to cooperate with the Security forces.The story that developed thereafter is that euphoria with which it came evaporated soon and earned the epithet of All Party Hartal Conference.With the revelation of NIA(National Investigating Agency)that the separatist Hurriyat,Pro-Pakistan miltants and some opportunistic leaders living a luxurious life off the crumbs doled out by the intelligence Agencies of India and Pakistan(AS Dulat The Spy chronicles),people woke up to the realities resulting in total mistrust in them.A great let down indeed.

In an illusionary pursuit of Jihad,Kashmir has lurched like a rudderless ship from azadi to Pakistan to holy crusade forcing it thus to be at war with itself.knowingly or unknowillingly became pawns in the hands of Pakistan’s anaemic agenda destined to spill the blood of innocent Kashmiris.It is a different matter that in the quest of this illusive utopia,the blood of innocent has gone waste.The fact of the matter is that this leaderless and fractured Azadi movement proved to be a big bubble only to get burst midway.The headless movement soon lost the direction hence earned public distrust.To place the predicament of residual Azadi warriors in the proper perspective,it is natural to believe that the whole crusade is passing through a crisis of credibility and legitimacy.This disarray in their left over rank and file has only exposed them to public mockery.A bad politics indeed. A brief look at the worst combination reveals that the dreams of freedom lay shattered and now a burden of the history.This leads one to ponder about what have Kashmiris gained.
There is other side to the story no different from the above one and that is the musical chairs played by Kashmiri Pandits.It Is easy to explain the phenomenon in the light of them sharing the same gene pool.It reminds one of an incident,when a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits was given an audience with the President of India in early Ninety’s.The team was composed,the presentation was ready but before meeting the question of who hands over the memorandum to the President arose and it remained unresolved till the intimation from Rashtrapati Bhawam that the time of appointment had elapsed.A corollary of this incident is about the boycott of Shivratri Milan invitation extended to displaced KP’s by the Govt.of J&K in early 2000.The boycott didn’t have a valid reason except the perennial bickering of leaders of two major Delhi based KP organizations.With this boycott,Kashmir House the venue of Milan bore a deserted look.It resulted in the loss of face for the whole Community which even didn’t go well with the powers that be.Based on such incidents,there is a long chain to describe the evolution of KP politics which is not only fractured but disjointed.This reminds one of yet another distasteful episode of boycott at the behest of same people to the invitation at India International Centre probably on November 15,2006 extended to KP’s by Ministry of Minority affairs than headed by Late.AR Antulay.The big meeting convened as it was to ameliorate the sufferings of contractual migrant teachers and the community as a whole.The meeting was attended by almost all the central Govt.department officials and also representatives of State Govt.It is a different matter that the boycott call was withdrawn by the personal intervention of the Minister himself.Such incidents have irked them,a reason that even after spending 30 years in Exile,KP’s have yet to find the direction.
Set against this backdrop multiple faultlines came to the fore.These faultlines have come to shape political fabric of the community that got woven during exile.Suffering from.its consequences, one upmanship games and personality clashes among various organizations became a regular feature.Taking advantage of the vacuum neo activists emerged on the scene who adopted gimmickry and mockery as its forte.Conscious of prevailing disorder in the Pandit society,chose to pursue muslim appeasement politics as the core of its activism.It is a different matter that It came to be recognized as hindu arm of Separtist Tanzeem,people denounced this class as anti-Pandit because it started itching the society badly .

Disappointed with the progressive infusion of dysfunctional culture in activism,decline in societal interest became more pronounced.The resultant damage inflicted a severe blow to the hopes and expectations of the people.It led to the erosion in the spirit of community life.The silent majority though watched the happenings in disbelief yet responded by cracking jokes and making fun of them.The social networking sites in this regard too are preyed to legitimize their wrongs.

However a sea change has occurred in Kashmir’s public perceptions,both hindus and muslims see their warriors with contempt unlike hero worshipping of the yore.They have been pushed to the wall with empty rants and no body to listen or follow.In conclusion it reminds me of a famous dialogue of actor Asrani in Film Sholay to the six cops standing behind him “Adhe dayen Adhe bayen baki mere saath“ without realizing he was left alone.

(Author is a Social activist and Doctor by profession)Feedback:[email protected]

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