Evolution to Revolution in Kashmir: Not if, but When!

Some tyrannies in Middle East have crumbled; others are in the process of crumbling. Egyptian Mubarak bit dust, and Tunisian tyrant, Ben Ali took to his heels, Libyan mad man, Gaddafi is losing it and Yemeni strong man, Saleh is gasping for fresh air. The era of impugned oppression and subjugation by tyrants has run its ugly course. Three to four decades of suffering was much too much and much too long for the people to endure. They could take it no more, and they are ready for a respite and may be for a permanent riddance from that scourge.

It took decades for the spirit of revulsion and revolution to brew and breed, but it hardly took a few days for the uprising to gain momentum. The final episodes in Tunisia and Egypt that wrote the epitaph for the tyrants were fast and furious. There was no stopping them. Only a few months ago most could not believe even in their wildest imagination that something of this magnitude could take place in Muslim Arab dictatorships. But, it did happen and we are witness to it.

Ironically, many in the world who supported freedoms for some did not wish the Arabs or Muslims to overthrow their oppressive regimes. They were in the opposite camp, some actively arming and abetting state oppression. They were achieving double whammies—vilifying Muslims as violent antidemocratic forces undeserving of freedoms, while in the same breath supporting the tyrants. But, Arab Muslims are losing fear and regaining hope.  Many in the West and some in the east, such as India have started squirming with discomfort at the wave of freedom sweeping across the Muslim lands. They sense a looming threat to their hegemony in the Middle East and South Asia, such as Kashmir.

And speaking about Kashmir, there naturally is much deeper and much more intense sense of revulsion and rejection against their oppressors. For one, the Indians have not only tortured, maimed, murdered and gang raped their subjects, they also have repeatedly desecrated their religious symbols. Arab dictators did not have to do some of those vile things to their subjects because they shared the same religious sanctities. They shared the same culture and the same language; they did not have to force a hostile culture down the throats of their subjects to efface their local culture.  On the contrary, the Indians are seen by the Kashmiris for what they truly are—foreign invaders, occupiers and tyrants who stand for nothing the Kashmiris stand for. Indian is anathema to Kashmiri. India is the aggressor and occupier. Kashmir is the aggressed and occupied. Kashmiris demand decolonization; Indians insist on continued colonization. To the Kashmiris, Indians might as well be from a different planet, for all they care.  The truth of the matter is that, no matter what the Indians do, they will never have acceptability in Kashmir. They will never blend in to the Kashmiri society. They will always remain separate and apart–loathed as aggressive foreign invaders, geographical proximity notwithstanding.

Arab world had mighty Western powers countenancing their tyranny. Those tyrants took comfort in that. But, that in the final analysis did not prevent collapse of the tyrants. Popular revolutions toppled them like house of cards. This same fate is awaiting Indian regime in Kashmir. Democracy within is India’s business and it is welcome. But dictatorship in Kashmir is Kashmiri’s business. Kashmiris abhor it and they will continue to wage an incessant struggle to seek an end to occupation, regardless of the sacrifices it will take.

We hope that Kashmir will not be the last of the nations to see the blessings of freedom, but if that be the will of the Lord, we pray that Kashmir have the distinction and the honor to be the steeple of the house of freedom of all nations and the minaret of the sacred house in which all men and women may worship no man and no nation, but only the Creator of all men and women of the world—a world in which all men and women will have equal access to life, limb and liberty. That is the revolution that 13 million Kashmiris are striving and aspiring for; and that is the revolution thousands of our loved ones have died for. Paradise is meant to be peaceful and no blood is to be spilled in it, but Indian regime has sought to desecrate it by promoting tumult and spilling blood in the paradise.

Our martyrs have prewritten their epitaphs with their sacred blood all over the lush green valleys and snowcapped mountaintops as a testimony to their sacred struggle for liberation. We salute their sacrifices and pledge to honor them by rededicating our generations to that same cause.