“Freedom”, as the great George Orwell puts it so elegantly, “is freedom to say two and two make four, all else follows.” First allow Kashmiris to say what they want to say. Then have courage to listen them. You have caged them and created what you call peace through military might. There you talk of freedom of expression, of political dissent, of tolerance, of peaceful assembly, of public demonstration, of rule of law and supremacy of judiciary. You talk of freedom of electing governments and freedom of boycotting elections. Here in Kashmir this all loud talk, this all chest-swelling pride of being a ‘largest democracy’, benefiting your own stooges and your political lackeys. So the freedom in this democratic setup is tailored to the ambitions of the powerful. It is not people-oriented, it is state-monopolized. A hoax. An institutionalized practice to camouflage the pre-determined results and raise a nodding bunch of political lambs so as to make them gyrate their hips to please their masters in Delhi . You just want ballot exercise simply because it serves a cover in imposing and legitimizing the alien occupation Kashmiris are up against. That is why you practice both stick and carrot policy to give legitimacy to the electoral farce.
Wajahat contended that people of Kashmir were demanding the greater democracy as part of the movement which is taking India ahead of the world: ‘If you demand greater democracy, you are not demanding anything anti-national. You are demanding to be a part of the movement which is taking India ahead of the whole world and India can be proud of its citizens’, the man wearing Indianness on his sleeves tries to snare freedom-loving and sacrifice giving people of Kashmir into web of deceit.
The statement reflects a putrid mentality of a man who though is well aware of the aspirations of the people of Kashmir yet to register his more loyal than the king image deliberately fudges the fact and hides the realities related to genesis of Kashmir issue. He maintains a culpable silence on various resolutions Security Council passed regarding plebiscite which India accepted. And the Human Rights violation the state India perpetrated on unarmed civilians.
Kashmir is not just another state of India . It has never been a part of British India . It has always enjoyed its separate status as an independent country. Its disputable status has been accepted by United Nations. Which other state in India has this kind of international character?
The ‘greater democracy’ Kashmiris are demanding, and the Wajahat seems to be the advocate of, has all its contours drawn in the six-decade long freedom struggle. The gore and mayhem, the traumatic experience, the extra-judicial killings, gang rape, un-named graves, torture, imprisonment did not dent the resolve of Kashmiris for right to self determination.
‘Greater democracy’ does not recognize lodging pro-movement leaders and political activists behind the bars and denying them access to people, while at the same time bringing pro-Indian groups in political arena and stage a farce called elections and mislead the international community.
As Kashmiris have shown through unprecedented peaceful demonstrations and Great Uprising in 2008, 09, 10, their A’azadi demand stands for becoming the masters of their own destiny.
They ask, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘as I would not be a slave, so I 2ould not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy’. You cannot coral a community in your nationhood loop by military muscle and AFSPA regime.
Even impoverished nations prefer their liberty to poverty. Kashmiris have left no one in doubt what they demand and aspire for.
Call us ‘anti-national’ or ‘separatists’, Kashmiris don’t want to become a part of movement where ‘largest democracy’ reneges on its pledge of plebiscite. How ironic, rather to be on the side of truth and summon courage in asking Delhi wash off the stain of breaking this pledge from its democratic robes. Wajahat shamelessly asks Kashmiris to give up their principled and just stand. And forget huge sufferings Kashmiris offered during the past many decades.
The strong reaction to Wajahats remarks by Kashmiri youth studying in various educational institutions in Delhi and who attended the convention should make him see reason Kashmiris are not going to forget the sacrifices rendered in pursuit of their cherished aim. ‘Nothing short of right to self determination will satisfy the Kasahmiri youth’, the students reacted there and then deflated Wajahat’s Azadi balloon and left him and his masters soiled and smudged in shame.
Even if India assumes leadership of the entire world Kashmir will haunt her. It is not struggle of Roti, Kapda and Makaan, it is purely a movement for right to self determination. And yes, let India hold its riches to her bosom but let her set Kashmiris free.