Like other world dignitaries, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of ‘democratic republic’ of India has too felicitated the president and people of South Sudan for becoming an independent country on 9th July 2011. Having embraced freedom after seeding from Muslim majority Sudan, the new born country has become 193rd member-state of the United Nations.
South Sudan is Christian dominated region and for the last two or three decades has risen in revolt against the rule of Sudan. The decades of turbulence had taken a heavy toll of life between the two communities. The united states and the European Countries –which hold fulcrum of power and dominance in the world-responded in imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions against the ‘repressive’ measures of Sudanese government. Not satisfied with these harsh ‘measures ‘ that led to Sudanese isolation, the power-intoxicated club declared president of Sudan Omar-al-Bashir a ‘war criminal’.
Wilting under the pressure , the Sudanese government agreed to hold a referendum . January 2011, the vote of independence was put to peoples’ yes or no judgment. It is in place to mention that in 2005 peace deal was signed between North and south Sudan in which Sudanese government accepted that question of independence would be referred to peoples’ verdict.
The referendum was carried out in a violence-free atmosphere knowing fully well that the South Sudan is seceding purely on religious lines, the Omer-al-bashir government exercised maximum restraint and did not allow the communal passion to trigger up. With smiling face and open-heartedly it surrendered before the peoples’ will. The respect to peoples’ decision was exemplary. Omar-al-Bashir , whom the Christian west continued to vilify and condemned as ‘fundamentalist’ was present in the celebration on 9th July.
Some six or seven years before East Timur, another Christian dominated region, that was ‘integral part’ of largest Muslim country of Indonesia, also separated from Indonesia through active support of the US and West. The people of Timur achieved the freedom through referendum. The world body did not buy the ‘integral part’ leitmotif Indonesia continued to Singh for the past three decades.
A few years back Kosovo, a Muslim majority nation occupied by the Serbia also made its tryst with independence. Though the Serbs tried to put pads to resolve of Kosovian people but hade to give in when world (read West) supported the freedom struggle of the people. The ‘velvet revolution’ of 1989 in Czechoslovakia, The balkanistan of the Erstwhile Yugoslavia, disintegration of the USSR and birth of nearly half a dozen of countries on the global map in the recent past is a testimony to the fact that borders are not divinely drawn and there is nothing sacrosanct in having them preserved for all times to come. They are man-made and in a state of flux, and, therefore, subject to change in the perception of the people regarding the integrity of the ‘Union’ or otherwise. At one time the Union Jack of the Erstwhile British empire commanded all the honors of inviolability and disrespect of it would have earned the prison sentence or the
banishment to far off place like KALA pani. The very fluttering of it implied sovereignty vested in His or Her Majesty of the King/Queen. Any voice in dissent would invoke treason charges. But as times changed and the subjugated people stood up in one voice, the empire lost its glitter and splendor fame and fear, hubris and machoism. Even the sub-continent India could not reconcile to the centuries old one state togetherness. And off the one we are having three independent countries, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh making their birth.
The lesson that can be drawn from the history and of the recent developments (birth of new nations) are that solutions to ethnic , religious and territorial disputes mostly lie in redrawing the existing borders. This is the democratic approach, more pragmatic and just . tethering and unwilling community to some nationalist peg and choking it from expressing its free-will reflects the imperialist mindset, a colonial hang over.
The duplicity of the world powers is glaringly stinking. Two standards are applied. One in Sudan and East Timor. Other in Kashmir, Palestine and Chechnya. The former are supported in their struggle of freedom, for the latter all excuses are invented to perpetuate their slavery. And sadistic pleasure is derived at their beings suppressed.
It is ironic that while Indian leadership is felicitating the south Sudan on its achieving independence , at home its approach stands in conflict with its democratic claim. What it showcases proudly elsewhere , Kashmir disrobes it out rightly. It is as if proverbial cat has gone to pilgrimage to Mecca after having engulfed 900 mice. Kashmiris in many ways outsmarts East Timur and South Sudan. Not only people of Kashmir have never reconciled to Indian rule there are security council resolutions which recognize Kashmiris right to self determination and which both India and Pakistan have admitted.
Then non-violent peaceful resistance that witnessed an upsurge of millions on the roads during the last three summers signified the mass-support of the movement. It is in this context that civil society in India (baring some of those drugged with Rambo Nationalism impulses) has come in support of the Kashmir and acknowledged the sanctity of the freedom struggle. Of late the Jang Group of Pakistan and Times of India have asked Delhi and Islamabad to leave Kashmir for Kashmiris. Arundhati Roy, has in 2008, asked India to give azadi to Kashmiris and seek azadi from them. And since then more voices are joining her. The world is changing and tectonic plates of Erstwhile federations and unions are shaking apart against fury of public sentiments. If republic of South Sudan today has become the reality , can Kashmir be far away. The way things are shaping up around, people of Kashmir have reasons to be optimistic.