Uprising 2010: Gains manifold

 In the recent past some misleading write-ups have been appearing in the media. And some of the leaders have been pronouncing their return through venting out a stream of venom. Till now cocooned in the shell of indifference.

            People are punished for their contributions and their commitment they showed in 2010. The summer Intifadah is portrayed negatively as if it was a political suicide people committed. ‘Drunk mad’ they are humiliated upon. Thus in a subtle way they are trying to erode the confidence of the people and drown them into whirling vortex of disillusion and despair.

            True the mass agitation did not force India to quit, nonetheless it, in many a way, unhinged the Establishment and inflicted a deep cut in its pride, “we the democrat”. Despite the distortions made to malign the movement, the gains gained are certainly a boast to the way forward.

            Since 2008 we have seen three consecutive mass agitations. Looking at surface level all have “failed”. But in a deeper sense we have been successful in making some encouraging strides. The year 2008 proved a watershed in the history of Kashmir. It changed the discourse in Indian media. Till then to every event and every development, its non-violent peaceful manifestation notwithstanding, was reported, and fed to Indian masses, as an activity of cross border terrorism or a proxy agenda. Summer surge of millions on roads and at rallies demolished the narrative and some voices from Indian media, first time, openly advocated freedom for Kashmir. Summer 2010 movement witnessed, not only, further consolidation in the changed discourse, it extended its “incursion”. It won to its “territory” the new “converts”. The killing spree of our teenagers and extensive use of lethal force on unarmed peaceful protestors shook terribly the conscience of Indian masses. Educated young generation felt ashamed of such ‘colonial’ methods and some groups visited Kashmir to ‘express their consolidation’. The impact of the all-hands-up sky renting reverberations was forcing Indians to acknowledge, as one Indian writer put it: ‘Entire valley is resounding with call for Azadi. This is the reality and no amount of screaming in capital can disguise the reality? First time a parliamentary groups, of various shades of opinions and party interests, was constituted. The group visited Kashmir and observed and admitted the indigenous character of the movement. Smitten in conscience at t6he brutal response to the movement and impressed by non-violent nature of the movement the group later factored into constituting of non-UPA, non-NDA Kashmir committee including members of Indian civil society. They made it public that they will start public awareness about Kashmir problem throughout India. The Intifadah impact has to be looked from another angle. It caused frustration to extremists in India. They fear the public opinion has begun to see Kashmir sympathetically. Hackling and roughing up of Kashmiri leaders in metropolitan cities of India and preventing them to reach to India masses reflects the fear of the impact.

            A Survey was recently conducted jointly by Times of India and Jang group of Pakistan under the aman ki aasha campaign. It shows the echo of Kashmir that rose up in 2010. Seventy percent of the people of   Pakistan and eighty seven percent of India have maintained that two countries can not improve their relations without resolving Kashmir. That thanks to uprising, shows how ‘blood-letting’ is weaning away masses in India from ‘integral part’ rhetoric played by rulers.

            Till now ‘some handful of anti-national elements’ or ‘Pakistan agents’ the “mudding water” excuse for India to keep its stranglehold on Kashmir. Now when threatening like even if the ‘fourth generation of Kashmir gets wiped out, still they wont be given Azadi’, (BJP leader Ashok Khujuria) are snarled out, that fig-leaf of eccuseb, it implies, the uprising 2010 has blown to smirthenes. Frustrated by the massive demonstrations, the high profile BJP led Advani, on 28 August, 2010, called for suppression of movement with ‘iron hand’. But in the same breath from him poured out the ground reality. ‘it is because of Indian army Kashmir is with us’. It is difficult, nay impossible for India to stand on moral high position. It has either to give Kashmiris what they want, or to live with, as BJPs bullying shows, its imperialist image while governing Kashmir.

            The spill over of the resolve of the Kashmiris and their powerful protests did reach far and wide. Writing in Guardian, D. Boga writes on the character and impact of the uprising: ‘From being a pan-Islamic movement sponsored by Pakistan in 1989, it has now transformed into a non-violent indigenous people’s movement. But the response of the state has not altered since 1990.  Kashmiris expressed themselves against what they view as an ‘illegal military occupation’ by India through peaceful protests, civil strikes, sit-ins, internet and graffiti campaigns, rallies and demonstrations. Despite the fear of arrest, young people have used the internet to post blogs, photographs of human rights violations and videos of killings, while the government gagged the press for weaks’. (Enough to open the eyes of those from us who are spewing venom on all the leadership for its ‘hartal politics’). Prospects of burgeoning economy of India and its diplomacy have shielded India from criticism by the global community, but is finding it difficult to defend its position what world witnessed in 2010.

            Following the uprising, recently United Nations approved a resolution seeking world attention on right to self determination of people of Kashmir and Palestine. It is, in itself a significant development which does indicate keener interest of the world body towards   our sufferings. United Nations special Rapporteur is visiting Kashmir to assess conditions of human rights defenders who too have had to face the brunt of authorities.

            Many countries voiced their voices in favor of the system of justice for Kashmiri people. In India’s diplomatic relations with China and Iran. Kashmir attained centrality. Apart from its stand on stapled visa, china refused hospitality to a high profile military commander posted in Kashmir. Iranian spiritual leader Ayatullah Khomeini reacted strongly on the atrocities inflicted on people of Kashmir and equated Indian state’s response to the repression of Palestines by Israel.

            So, year 2010 marked a bench mark in contemporary history of Kashmir. In terms of media coverage, resonances, moral shocks, world concern, the recent uprisings, in particular   of 2010, have been a boon to the freedom movement. The pain of loss of our dear ones pain of innumerable many disabled, tortured, orphaned and widowed is too huge and    unbearable to let us breathe at ease and romance with ‘normalcy’. But the repression unleashed also weighed heavily on conscience of Indians. Lok Jan Shakti party supremo Ram villas Paswan who was one of the member of parliamentary delegation that visited Kashmir in December last year screamed aloud: ‘Had only one single innocent been killed in any other state of India, the whole of India would have jolted up’. ‘From caged life’, the group said, ‘Kashmiris want freedom’.

            If today Indian public in response to the call of their conscience rose to condemn human rights violations – and a sizable section of them are vehement supporters and advocates of our freedom – it can well be expected that tomorrow, as the pressure mounts up, even Indian  government can be forced to give up its rigidity and revisit its morally unjustifiable position on Kashmir. The need of the hour is to move ahead and      capitalize on the favorable atmosphere building up. The scenario is fast changing. And Kashmir is making Indians to look at it from humanitarian angle rather than from mirror of Pakistan.

            How unfortunate it is that while Booker Prize Winner Arun Dhati Roy is facing sedition charges for her unrelenting support for the cause of justice, human dignity and values that freedom movement epitomizes and salutes for their undaunted courage and contributions they made during the Intifadah, here some people are deriving pleasure in playing blame game and giving a distorted picture of the movement and trying to dampen the spirits of the people. That exposes their Azadi credentials and the side of the fence they have stretched their kegs to.

                        Main poochta hoon Muslim ashiq mizaj sai

                         Ulfat baton sai hai toa Brahman sai bair kya

            The author can be mailed at zainagiree@yahoo.co.in