`Dyslexia is disorder in brain that causes difficulty in determining the meaning of simple written sentence, though not because of any visual impairment. With summer uprising fading in intensity of rage and rancor , and lull of “normalcy” returning we are witnessing a band of persons gifted with writing or oratory skill afflicted with what we should call intellectual dyslexia.
The affliction did not allow them to process the information dispassionately and conclude the message in its purity. So even when they saw valley gloved in tyranny of the mighty and its innocence mowed, justice strangled and peaceful dissent crushed, they, after warming up to the phase of deceptive peace, strutted out, chin high up, to prosecute the victim, the subjugated.
Crushed to his haplessness and helplessness, he is mentally tortured to accept the “guilt”. The guilt of standing up for a just cause. For the “crime”of observing the protest calendar and, thus, crack the glossy “democratic” veneer of the ‘world’s largest democracy’ he is jeered. Stoned for his allegiance to the cause that saw his teenagers’ chest perforated with bullets. Condemned for the sincerity he demonstrated . Cursed for the commitment he unwaveringly stood for.
Till now we had seen power-lust ‘mainstreamists’, understandably so,deriving a perverted sense of pleasure on resistence being ‘humbled’ and hemorrhaged off its Intifada type resilience. Now they are joined by voices who, on umpteen occasions, vowed to have pledged their services for the Kashmiris’ RSD (Right of self determination) demand. Their musings and ‘bold’ assertions bring them the veneration of the outpourings of Home Ministry or of the state government.
‘At the end what did we achieve with blood letting and strikes for months’. That is the refrain lungs puffed up with. Exactly in the same vein and nearly in the same words CM Omar Obdullah mocked at the six month unprecedented agitation and the leadership that was at the forefront when ‘Go India, Go’ slogans reverberated the sky.
Machil fake encounter, that saw four innocent villagers murdered after being passed as militants to win promotions, buck and ‘gallantry’ awards, set the tempo of summer mass uprising. Youth, educated youth, who knew how much their future is at stake, naturally took to streets. The death of teenaged Tufail, followed by hundreds’ others, exposed the clogged conscience and insensitivity of the mighty . Of those who swear they uphold human dignity and believe in nonviolence. The question is should people of Kashmir have let bloodletting cycle pass unnoticed and freeze in indifference. They did what every human, under the circumstance when nemesis of death prowls on him, does. Scream for protection.Run for redemption. Through strikes. Massive demonstrations. Through modes of civil disobedience. Through shutter downs and closure of business and institutions.
Every phase of struggle in freedom movements, as history stands witness to, sets its own calendar of defiance. Scripts its own syllabus of sacrifices. There has not been a single revolution that has zero gestation period, pronounced the moment it conceived. In 2008 a little chink in the Establishmen armour saw people throng to streets in hundreds of thousands and surging in millions to Tral, Idghah and TRC. The open verdict from the peopls’ court , first time changed the discourse in Indian Media from proxy-war-cross border terrorism to as bold as advocating freedom for Kashmir’ (Indian journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha’s words). The shortlived ‘glasnost’ ( openness), lest world should crane its neck up in concern, was trampled under military jackboot. “Greeting” Kashmiris with sixty odd dead bodies and over five hundred disabled for life.
Elections that followed eclipsed the gains and naivity of Kashmiris exposed their Achille’s heel, nonetheless, they again posted their resolve telling in broad day light that nothing short of freedom they would accept. This time the Establishment retaliated with more lethal power. That resulted in remembering the year as ‘the year of teenage killing’. For months people defied the writ of government and it was the writ of old octogenarian that bazaars, government offices, banks and educational offices and transport honored in observance. Those who ridiculed Kasahmiris for screaming Aazadi till Cahraum (fourth day of demise) and then rolling back to routine have had but to acknowledge their resilience for the cause they cherish the most.
Every peaceful demonstration was crushed with brute force. Unlike 2008, every attempt of making a surge on roads and destination points was foiled. And the government, that flings its ‘representative character’ on its sleeves, subjected people to collective punishment through declared and undeclared curfews and other restrictions, even on hartal-free days. From 11 June to 6 November, the valley observed hartal for 117days and during the same period people have to undergo repressive curfew restrictions for 94 days. Even restrictions were placed on transportation of goods. So the space left in the resistance calendar to breathe convenience and ease was chocked by the establishment and its lackeys at Srinagar.
In saying ‘what did we achieve by blood letting and strikes’ we are shifting the blame from where, in all respects, it should stick. We are maligning the victim for his “sin” of using democratic non-violent means in pursuit of his demand to RSD.We zoom the power-intoxicated to the lilly-white status, where all honors and last laughs are copied for him. In this innovative “laundering” enterprise, we shape ourselves as the strongest vendor for, we ignore that victims, the teenaged youth, were unarmed. Innocents. This putting victim in the dock obsession does not end here. It leads us to smudge face of the movement right from 1931. What did we achieve by blood letting in 1931? What did we achive when Muslim United Front spearheaded bandook ki jung sandook sai? What did we achieve by blood letting when we welcomed militancy and Hurayat Conference acted like a Dowager Queen of the militant groups?
It is commitment for the cause on the touch stone of which sincerity of leaders and political groups can be judged.The ways adopted and the strategies devised might “fail” us to reap the desired harvest but that does not and should not delude us to blur the distinction between the two , one that believes in military might, other which has his moral high ground the strength. In 1987, for example, MUF fought elections. Establishment answered in rigging and locking leaders and activists in jails. MUF’s “strategy” in making up to assembly and, the “high value target”. Get pass a resolution on Kashmir, was foiled. By military force, again. That, as usual, saw people at receiving end. Undergoing all sufferings and atrocities. But nobody, in his senses, slammed MUF leadership for its “failure” in its ambitious plan. That too does, apply to 2010 uprising that shocked Indians and unnerved the rulers.
Movements launched do not work on the mechanics of “road clearance”. Nor they can claim of any redemption time-frame. They are there to make way through road-blocks. And reach to the maximum. There is always scope for improvement, improvisation too. But not for back-tracking or betraying. The five month long agitation though not forced Indians to quit, but it certainly made a further push to the gains of 2008. And on this incremental progress we have to march ahead and plan our future.
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