When needle and thread plays scissors …!
“So if you want Azadi, join us for we are the ones who are going to lead you there. We are the ‘real representatives’ of the people’s aspirations, their dreams, and also the martyrs’ blood.” This is the message from yet another political formation in the separatists’ camp. But then this is what every single group out there claims – “we are the real representatives of people’s sacrifices”. So, what is, after all, new in the new group, the third faction of Hurriyat Conference which calls itself HCJK? Frankly speaking, one is hard at understanding if there is anything one could talk about while writing about the new faction or for that matter even about the older avatars of the separatist amalgam, which seems to have taken the habit of giving birth to an identical surrogate every ten years!
Notwithstanding how the new formation is going to justify its existence or the older ones are going to articulate regular splits, fact of the matter remains that, the separatists leadership in Kashmir have lost it yet again. They do not have it in them to lead ‘us’ anywhere. The simple for this belief is pretty simple — that those who can’t put their own act together, who cannot deal with their individual egos, can’t be expected to lead towards bigger goals. Despite all the loud talk of forging unity among their disarrayed ranks, the unfortunate reality is that the very same people who were in the forefront of the so-called unification efforts, who had for long told people that they have come with “suie and dhaaga’ (needle and thread) to sew together the disjointed and incoherent parts into a single, strong, unified platform, are culpable of having broken apart from the ‘mother station’ to create yet another satellite of their own.
Without going into passing moral or emotional judgments on who is right and who wrong, or who actually is the ‘real representative’ of whose aspirations, one could say it without much fear of contradiction that if anything the current breed of leaders represent, it is their own narrow and selfish interests – nothing less nothing more! They may take moral high ground to talk about bigger ideals, but one has every reason to doubt if anyone is really amused by their gimmicks anymore.
Thanks to the discussions on the social networking sites which have evolved to offer as alternative and relatively safe platform for somewhat nuanced discourse on Kashmir, there is a perceptible urge about the need for the leaders to feel and understand the general pulse and accordingly reframe their long-term strategy and short-term tactics. Ideally speaking, it would be proper to bring different groups and organisations closer rather than working on the unity of the leadership. But that has to be true with a situation wherein differences are based on ideology. Here the problems related to disunity are not due to the ‘clash of ideology’; it is because of the ‘clash of personalities’, it is about the clash of egos; it is about the clash of interests – political and material both.
If one has to describe the ideological basis of the different political outfits within the separatist fold, there seems to be a near unanimity on the basic issues — the differences are not fundamental but of nuance. The separatist groups can largely be categorized into two – those who stand for Independent Kashmir, and those who are for Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan, although both these groups believe that the UN resolutions provide the basis for the resolution of the dispute. In any resistance or freedom movement, ideology is the main reason for the existence and functioning of any group and of course the individual organizers or leaders. Therefore, one is right in asking if there are two or at the most three ideologies in circulation in the separatist camp here, what is the reason for the presence of scores of separatist political groups to represent these couple of ideologies?
Most of the groups we see shooting paper missiles almost on daily basis are splinter groups separated from their parent organisations and have multiplied in number over the years. This has not only given rise to the culture of ‘my way the highway’ kind of political thought and action but has also led to a greater chaos and confusion in the “movement”. If a bunch of people cannot stay together owing to their ego- and personality-clashes, how is it possible to expect that these very people can carry the cause of resistance along with the masses to its logical conclusion?
Looking at the self-serving attitude of the leadership here, its adversaries are tempted to call the “movement” a pursuit of “shallow slogans”. However, the assertion of sacrifice and grit that represents the dreams and aspirations of the people cannot be shallow. It is not the slogan that is shallow but the leaders behind the slogans are certainly shallow. People may desire genuinely for a unified struggle, but that will remain a pipedream unless and until the present lot of leadership is not able to rise above its pettiness, inflated egos and vested interest. However, the question is: can they? Of course they can. But then the very next question begging answer is: will they? Well, here one has lot of doubts.
Power is not only what you have but what your adversary thinks you have. Here, the adversary has a reason to be very complacent for he has grown way beyond that thinking and anticipation stage. He is no longer required to ‘think’ what the ‘other side’ has for he ‘knows’ it very well what it has. Power to change anything they don’t possess. But disunited they certainly are. Or, simply put, ‘they don’t have power to change anything simply because they are disunited’. Isn’t it common sense that power and disunity are antithesis!