You say ‘it is wrong to attribute the growing number of Yatris to political gain being played by government of India or the Sang parivar’. When GOI and Sang parivar uses the Yatra in pursuance of playing these political games , how can people of Kashmir who are to be at the receiving end of these political machinations remain insensitive. Go through this. During the land transfer row in 2008 the Indian government owned press information bureau (PIB) carried an article on its website. The article lends credence to the statement of Geelani you quoted in your article. It also exposes the motive behind the 50-times increase in number of pilgrims, from 12,000 in 1989 to 6,50,000 in 2012. And how Delhi publicize the pilgrimage as a patriotic duty.
‘The yearning for Moksha (salvation) can move the devotees to the challenging heights of Kashmir . This will also be a befitting gesture of solidarity with our valiant soldiers, who have been fighting the enemy to defend our borders’, read the article.
This is the ‘proper perspective’ we see and must see, the growing caravans of Yatrees flooding Kashmir. We need not to manufacture ‘conspiracy’ when the witche’s brew is that revealing.
It is a pleasant revelation for us that outflow of Kashmiris from valley is far more greater than inflow. That a few well-off families from Kashmir have set us ‘second homes’ outside Kashmir in Jammu and in India and a few thousands of students and traders have fanned out in pursuit of studies and business outside state, nonetheless, this outflow from valley is not threatening. Compared to unstoppable, ever-increasing and now nearly all season influx of non-state subjects (in local parlance Biharees), touching ten to fifteen lakh, and their reach to all parts of Kashmir, Kashmiris footprints on Indian streets are significantly invisible.
You have been kind to disclose that our economy gets a boast because of the Yatrees. Prior to SASB’s control of Yatra, a few thousand Yatrees paid obeisance at the holy cave. But never once, people of Kashmir demanded their surge for economical reasons. In fact, even at this time when near seven lakh record Yatris came Kashmir they contributed pretty less to enhance our income. The reason is everything, from travel to boarding, langar etc. is managed by the Board. In reality it is the SASB which emerges as Shylock and fills its coffers out of this religious exploitation.
Well if Kashmiri youth ‘do not see much future for themselves in the valley’ does blame rest on our shoulders or it speaks of the neo-colonial approach of Delhi towards Kashmir which has long term goal in making Kashmiris subservient on India, practically on everything. Not in other countries Kashmiris are suspected or attract a negative coverage, it is in India they are treated as second citizens and subjected to media trial. You know the reason, Kashmiris have committed a sin in exposing the democratic claim of Nation India.
If Indian government, as you lay stress on, ‘does not need the Amarnath Yatra as an excuse to strengthen India’s claim over Kashmir’, why should it attach patriotic strings to the Yatra? Yes, we know ‘India’ has much more sophisticated weapons in its armory’ to rope Kashmiris In its fold. And these range from turning Kashmir into garrison, with its seven lakh troops jamming the gills of expression and their frolicking on the beaches of AFSPA-won territory. They have huge number of unnamed graves, as State Human Rights Commission have just revealed in its probe, to frighten the Kashmiris into submission. Their armory possesses, we know, a bunch of political lackeys. To showcase democratic face of India in Kashmir. They have fashioned Kuka Parray’s and Mum Kana’s from this weaponry. This claim forces India to introduce a one-eyed, one-eared democracy to claim the territory. It is outsourcing project democracy through its puppets it baptized. That is why pro-freedom camp, in particular Geelani are not allowed a political space to fight India politically and democratically.
Madhu Jee advises Geelani ‘to refashion Kashmiris politics in tune with the aspirations of Kashmiri youth’. Of course. And the ‘Old Man of the Sea‘ is doing that exactly. Just visit academic institutions, school colleges, universities. Visit social networking sites. And see how their hearts beat. You will have in Geelani sentiments of the youth (the educated youth of Kashmir) personified, the resistance personified. Any doubt. Just unfetter the octogenarian frail leader, surviving on one fourth of his lone kidney, and face him politically. What does it imply and convey, when Indians are not lifting the siege around his house even on Friday? (Indians, because everything here is monitored and controlled by Delhi. The power-lust privileged class behave more as a ventriloquists speaking for Delhi than representatives of Kashmir. They represent India in Kashmir, not Kashmir in India).
You ask Geelani to ‘fight jointly’. Yes, not only cleaning of rivers and other issues related to environment and Yatra. All issues that are related to human dignity, liberty and rule of law. The right of self determination supersedes all. Join us in forcing India to shun rigidity and accede the right it pledged to fulfill. But unfortunately as the track record shows, JK never occupied a mental space of Indian intellectuals. For a change it has to anesthetize the nationalist demon within it. Hope Madhu Jee will emerge a trend setter.
Mail at email@example.com