political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”—-George Orwell
Anything can happen in this part of our planet. It all rests on the will of the gods who have besieged us. They can play us for their sport, ‘kiss’ us in eyes for their pleasure or calm us down for the upkeep of health hygiene. It is appetite for something newer that fuels them to stalk to innovative pastures. To play like ‘wanton boys’ is the curative therapy they have discovered against exhaustion. Busy they remain in whirling us from one lab to another. If they have resolved that despite our standing posture we should file past them as bleating four legged, so we have to. Predator and prey – both have to laugh at each other if that pulls pleasure from the galleries. Long live the gods, long live the ‘sportsmanship’!
Today we have only thanks to offer for ‘elevating’ us to the ‘monarchial status’. Are they kidding or are we dreaming? We, the Subjects, have been done the great favor. We are to commemorate, hence forth, martyrdom with autocracy. Thanks-giving for the Maharaja to have us ‘bathed’ in blood, in particular, on 13th July. No better way than to pay homage to him to observe his birth day as a holiday.
The proposed decision of the coalition government to observe the despotic Dogra ruler’s birth day as state holiday reflects the direction the government is heading to, the dominance of the BJP in the coalition and all- pervading impact of a fanatic ideology. It also shows how fast the PDP has drifted from its ideological moorings and core constituency, only to the advantage of its coalition partner. The parallel leadership planted (or rumored) in the party was—as the later events did prove—only to force Mehbooba Mufti to fall in line and do as directed. The fear of losing power fast-tracked her unconditional surrender. The rest, as they say, is history. She was made to climb a slippery pole where her every ‘forward’ step plummeted her down in the morass. Contented now, she and her party have burnt all boats to prevent return to ‘once upon a time’ their cherished slogan of ‘regional aspirations’. Anaesthetized they lay in perfect trap of the BJP. In this courtship many a shock therapy is bound to be inflicted on us. We know.
Such resolutions made and orders issued by rulers—in which PDP plays a collaborative role—amount to mocking at the sacrifices made by the people in their struggle against cruel dynastic rule of Dogras. It implies we have to honor the infamous ‘sale deed’ that scripted our retrogressive metamorphosis and degraded we Kashmiri Muslims down from human to the four legged nodding cattle stuff. The title deeds of our properties and land estates they held in their hands. Save bare skins we owed nothing. Even our hearths did not escape from being taxed. Masjids they converted into stables, people were flogged and taken on Baigar (forced labor). Nearly every patch of our habitation stands testimony to the brutalities practiced on us. Hari Singh inherited Dogra aristocratic feudal system with all its ugliness and anti-Muslim strands from his predecessors and enforced it with full force 13 July 1931, the day 22 Muslims were gunned down by his troops, and which stirred up the the resistance movement, shows how unpopular his rule was.
Like other Dogra rulers, Hari Singh too was communal and wanted to continue with all his repressive and authoritarian arrogance. Quit Kashmir Movement launched against him reveals the stink of his raj and resolve of the people to pull it down. And wait. How can we forget genocide and forced migration of Muslims his government enacted and supervised in Jammu, only to change the demography of the state. The fanatic in him drew to the killing field and himself tasted the blood of his Muslim subjects he was supposed to protect. As if that was not enough, the same Maharaja signs the Instrument of Accession, in utter disregard of the wishes and aspirations of the majority people.
Nowhere in the world autocratic rulers are saluted for their dehumanized demeanor unless a bunch of same stock holds or seizes power. That the state government is going to observe the birth anniversary of Hari Singh as state holiday signifies we are reverting to Dogra Raj, where not sovereignty of people but that of the king and his clan and coterie matters and holds its sway. By the way how can we ask people to honor the killer and the victim simultaneously? What sort of cocktail are they offering us to drink and then caper with joy. Greetings to the tyrant that roped us in slavery or tribute for the martyrs who braved bullets to tear apart the iron gates of servitude? How can the two incompatibles reconcile. But the kind of rule we are subjected to—in the garb of electoral democracy—here murder becomes respectable and victim the aggressor. That ‘power point presentation’ of the new Order we have to gallop down, merrily. The ribbons of ‘democracy’ always keep changing colors!