Indian PM’s statements in Jammu and recently in New Delhi about sidelining the Kashmir “separatists” and not allowing them any “space” or using “veto” against the political road map are absolutely ludicrous. One doesn’t know what planet the Prime minister is living on, or what his level of awareness is. But it seems certain that he is not fooling anyone, but himself and his own nation. He sounds out of touch with reality and contradictory in his rambling press conferences.
If he were in touch with reality or true to his own conscience, he would know that the so called “separatists “ of Kashmir, not the Indian cronies, absolutely rule the hearts and minds of 13 million Kashmiris. It is a fact, and every person of sound mind and even rudimentary knowledge of Kashmir politics knows it. It is a fact that Syed Ali Geelani, the leader who has spent more years in Indian prisons than outside the prisons, commands the hearts and minds of Kashmiri masses and intellectuals than the entire Indian leadership and their quislings in Kashmir put together. It is also a fact that Muhammad Yasin Malik and Shabir Ahmed Shah have infinitely more sway on the Kashmiri public opinion than any Indian Prime minister can ever dream of. That includes the oblivious Prime minister.
Does the honorable Prime minister not know that Kashmir shuts down in revulsion and rebuke to Indian leaders when they set foot in Kashmir? Does the PM not sense the mood of disgust and damnation against Indian authorities, each time an innocent Kashmiri is murdered by the Indian security forces, or a Kashmiri woman brutally gang raped by the PM’ security forces? How can the PM be so oblivious to the ground realities that have prevailed in Kashmir before and during his rule in Kashmir? Why after all are there over six hundred thousand soldiers in a small valley, watching over eight million unarmed civilians? Has it ever occurred to the Sikh Prime minister of Hindu India that what Indian troops did to his Sikhs in Punjab, including the total destruction and desecration of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, may be doing the very same thing to Muslims in Kashmir, including the holy shrines of Hazratbal and Jamia Masjid in Srinagar?
Surely Mr. Singh must know that by burying its head in sand India is not going to solve the Kashmir problem. 64 years of such unrealistic attitude have lead to a failed military/police state in Kashmiri. The state is despised because of the two political and administrative entities in cahoots–one corrupting and the other corrupted have denied freedoms and debased the society. I am not talking about India and Pakistan. No, I am talking about the Indian administration as the corrupter and their Kashmiri quislings as the corrupted. What is the outcome of the six decades of neocolonial experiment? There is nothing positive to show. All there is to show is a humanitarian catastrophe, whether the rest of the world pays attention or not. A catastrophe whether publicized or concealed by criminal neglect remains a catastrophe all the same. It remains a shame on the collective conscience of those who know it and choose to do nothing about it.
Over a hundred thousand Kashmiris have so far been murdered in numerous massacres, hundreds of thousands have been tortured and almost every one of the eight million Kashmiris abused at one time or the other since the beginning of the new phase of revolution in 1990. That is the achievement and that is the abysmal record of the post-Gandhian India in the Occupied Kashmir; thanks to the brutal occupation regime.
If all the previous Indian leaders, who had some stature, could not assuage the pain and anguish, how can the newer, more mediocre leaders (Mr. Singh included), expect to soothe the pain and tame the spirit of martyrdom and contain the passion for freedom among the youth of Kashmir? With each passing day and with each Kashmiri youth cut by a killer soldier, the memory of the pain gets more deeply and indelibly etched. The tale of freedom struggle is thus being written in blood of the martyrs and so it renders permanency and continuity to the pages of our modern history. This time around, unlike 1940s and 1950’s Kashmiris, not Indians, are writing their own story, their own saga and their own history; in real time and with real red blood.
Indians will never again be able to weave a tale of lies, deception and incrimination for the babies of today and the youth of tomorrow. The youth of today are drawing the outlines with their blood and our own historians are rendering them in to true and coherent tales of heroism and bravery. No rhetoric and no ranting of the Indian leaders can recast that history in the image they would wish to portray it. It is too tall an order for any power, let alone those cowards whose hands are soaked with the blood of 130,000 and the grief of 13 million innocent civilians, to rewrite the stories of this epoch struggle.
In these troubled times, with perpetual national grief at the ongoing loss of our loved ones, Kashmiris do need and do seek social, spiritual and emotional refuge. But they are seeking it with their own leaders and their own healers; not with the wheelers and dealers of human merchandize, which the Indian rulers and their Kashmiri puppets really are. Besides, the PMs Words are not worth a dime to the impoverished masses whose national wealth is being looted by the Indians. The siphoning off of huge amount of electricity from hydroelectric projects, the theft of lumber and deforestations of vast swaths of pine forests and the swindling of large amounts in the fruit business by profiteers in Delhi, just to name a few, are done under the watchful eye of the Indian authorities. No Prime minister has ever done anything about it. Perpetrators of hundreds of thousands of cases of abuse, murder and massacre have gone unpunished with not even a tap on the wrists of the security forces. And the PM keeps repeating his mantra of ‘zero tolerance’. Why should anyone pay heed to what he says? Why when his troops are committing genocide while at the same time he is making lofty claims of ‘zero tolerance’?
Indians must know that times are changing fast and changing unpredictably. They must wake up and realize that Kashmir may be next after the Middle East. After all, Kashmiris have been fighting as long as the Palestinians, and certainly much longer than other Arab countries to gain freedom and democracy. Kashmiris have never begged for “space”. They are demanding their own land and their own country back. They are not seeking anything that is Indian. They are seeking what Indians stole from them in 1947 and continue to steal till this day—their sovereignty and their resources.
No power can sideline or marginalize the Kashmiris from their national interests. They are and have always been at the center stage of their struggle. Indians merely inserted themselves in to Kashmiri business as unwanted rogues. They never belonged there. They have never achieved legitimacy and remain pariahs as always in Kashmir. Kashmiris have given enormous sacrifices to remain in the driver’s seat as arbiters of their own destiny. They are not waiting for Mr. Singh’s approval.
Revolution has been brewing for a long time and the final days of occupation are fast approaching. Sooner or later Indians will have to prepare to dismantle their fortifications and go home. That is the space Mr. Singh must start talking about. Kashmiris are not going anywhere. Indians have to go somewhere–which is, back to India, where bandhe mataram is honored. Kashmir is not one such place.