Existentialism is a philosophical concept invariably seeking and stressing the assertion of subjectivity and egoistic individualism of a man in life. So subjectivity is the essence of existentialism. Subjectivity, if subservient to the Absolute Ego of God Almighty, is synonymous with ‘khudi’. Intuitionalism, the underlying principle of mysticism and sufism, is quintessentially a part of existentialism. So existentialism, the doctrine determining the dynamics of a mystic or a political movement, should be construed as a fountainhead of consciousness, which entails recognition of freedom and responsibility as indispensable part of subjective assertion. Thus existentialism, as a vibrant doctrine of life, forms the cornerstone of the resistance movement in Kashmir. Existentialism, as a driving canon and lustrous lemma, will always remain juxtaposed to our resistance manoeuvre. And subjectivity in self-assertion and objectivity in appraisal and analysis will be concomitant. Necessitarian quietism helps in attaining perfection in mystic introspection and meditation. However, in resistance politics, it turns out to be a quietus which benumbs the revolutionary ideas and emotions and paralyses the resolve to resist anything undesirable.
The doctrine of existentialism will continue to invigorate the resistance movement of Kashmir. In resistance politics it is the indefatigable will and resolve of an ideologue which perpetually revitalizes his sentiments and emotions and imbues and inspires him with hope and confidence to march towards the cherished goal of Azadi. Doctrinist Maqbool Butt, the resistance icon, was a proficient journalist and political genius overwhelmed by exuberant and ebullient love for resistance struggle. Maqbool, as an adept and ideal militant strategist, could, through emphasis on the doctrine of existentialism, instil self-confidence and optimism into the hearts of his compatriots. His leadership charisma, flair and finesse taught him to adopt all the viable modes of political manoeuvre and guerrilla tack and knack to facilitate rejuvenation, reinvigoration and reanimation of freedom aspirations and emotions of Kashmiris. Failure of Operation Gibraltar and subsequent inconclusive Indo-Pak Sept. 1965 war proved an eye-opener for Maqbool Butt, who, as highly indoctrinated freedom ideologue, propounded the theory of a sustained indigenous and endogenous guerrilla warfare in Kashmir. So it was paradigm shift in the conventional mode of peaceful democratic resistance.
Adversaries who could not comprehend his philosophy of armed resistance would jeer, sneer and scoff at his militant demeanour. Escapism and defeatist mindset of his adversaries could not deter him from darting into Kashmir in June 1966 along with his equally resolute companions maj. Amanullah and Aurangzeb (alias Tahir). At Nadihal, Baramullah, there was an encounter with Indian security personnel; Aurangzeb died as a martyr and Maqbool was arrested and lodged in Srinagar central jail where ‘special court’, on Aug. 17-1968, passed a death sentence against him. However, his militant dexterity and adroitness facilitated his escape from the prison on Dec. 9-1968; and, after traversing the inhospitable mountains for 16 days, he along with his two colleagues reached Muzaffarabad on Dec. 25, 1968 to embark on a hazardous task to emphasize his style of struggle with added resolve.
Shimla agreement of 1972 which debarred Pakistan from providing any material help to freedom zealots of Kashmir and also the Indira-Abdullah accord of 1974 which symbolized Sheikh Abdullah’s cynicism and abject capitulation forced Maqbool Butt to re-assert with his existential militant doctrine. Thus Maqbool’s doctrine of existentialism and propensity for patriotic initiative made him feel restless. So he, while rejecting these ignominious agreements re-entered Kashmir valley in May 1976 to reorganize the revolutionary cadres here for a sustained armed struggle. He was again arrested and lodged in Tihar jail where he, after having faced every sort of ordeal, for long eight years, had to face gallows on Feb. 11, 1984 to become the proud protomartyr of Kashmir.
The dictatorial and peremptory fixation of Delhi imperialists facilitated politically-motivated custodial killing of Maqbool Butt. This brash authoritarian and totalitarian tyrannical act invited the wrath and reprisal of Kashmiri youth who launched armed insurgency on July 31-1988 just to requite for the heinous act of murder. Afzal Guru’s hanging on Feb. 9-2013 is one more instance of custodial killing, which aggravated the situation in Kashmir. Delhi chauvinists who are inured to anti-Kashmir policy and programme did not bother to evaluate the judicious and sound opinion of those who asked them to be circumspect, discreet and nonchalant while dealing with Guru’s case. The present topsy-turvy situation here is a making of these arrogant Delhi hawks. Guru’s custodial killing sentimentalized Kashmir politics. Kashmir—due to political cataclysm and upheaval, was teetering on the brink when on March 12-2013 the news of Delhi’s refusal to transfer Afzal Guru’s corpse to Kashmir got splattered over the front pages of daily papers. And on March 13-2013 police chief blustered, sputtered and spluttered against the resistance leaders using frenzied verbiage and domineering jargon in the Srinagar dailies. It was the sabre-rattling of obtruding police chief which literally precipitated the fluid situation into a doom at Bemina at 11 a.m., i.e. barely four hours after the release of dailies of March 13 – 2013. Remember that reckless courage is often self-defeating.
It is true that Syed Salah-ud-deen’s patriotic doctrine of existentialism did create a flutter on March 13 – 2013; however, it is equally true that independent guerrilla initiative of a Kashmiri doctrinist will always add to the vulnerability of South Asia. Syed Salah-ud-din, like his predecessor guerrilla doctrinist Maqbool Butt, is answerable to none but his own prerogative as an assertive freedom ideologue. In such a precarious situation, therefore, should the rulers of Delhi and Islamabad act as pawns, dummies and figureheads or that they—while displaying prudence, stoicism, equanimity and political acumen—create an atmosphere of compulsive entente and congeniality for peaceful and amicable settlement of Kashmir issue? And remember that modus vivendi acts only as a palliative which lessens the pain of ailment; it does not act as a panacea and elixir which remedies the ailment for good. Dialogue is the only credible option which can ward off the threat of unpredictability. This is what you should approve of, unless you feel contented with a course of brinkmanship to see that the process of rapprochement remains in tatters.
Pt. Nehru’s pledge and promise regarding a referendum and plebiscite in Kashmir and UN resolutions on Kashmir have, in fact, sanctified our struggle for right to self-determination. Expansionistic designs of Delhi imperialists enticed them to blatantly renege on their commitment and strangulate Kashmiris through totalitarianism. You cannot bully and coerce Kashmiris into complaisance and acquiescence. Kashmiris—without swerving, sheering, veering and vacillating—will continue to exhibit resilience in resistance. God Almighty will not leave us in the lurch. Our doctrine of existentialism, monotheistic introversion and indomitable volition and valour will inevitably make us emerge victorious in the protracted struggle for Azadi; Insh-e-Allah. No power on earth can force us to abnegate, relinquish and waive our right to self-determination. We have reposed our trust in omnipotent Allah Almighty.
Author is Chief-patron Jammu Kashmir Mahaz-e-Azadi