Enough is enough; Kashmiris want their right to self determination
By Ayesha T Villalobos
It is sufficient to mention that Kashmir’s protest against India’s atrocities for self-determination is timely and long overdue, while it is complex to locate the origins of Kashmir in those events from the time of the Raj and how it came into existence and how Kashmir were transformed by these events of the late 19th century . From that event emanated a series of bloody era, perpetual uncertainty and suffering among the people of Kashmir. India who occupied the centre was in a privilege position vis-a-vis the source of all power and authority, dominated the social and economic life of the inhabitants. They have power over the whole scenario, denying the meaningfulness of the human existence. It has to be understood that the present Kashmir were a scene of gloominess realm rather than a paradise, an India’s manipulation for its own purpose.
As the people of Kashmir celebrates 5th February 2011, as Solidarity day citizen of Kashmir have made the obvious, the challenges of the present are intertwined with history, the relationship of the past to our times, a time of serious economic crisis, bloodbath, human rights violations, making the call for heroism and patriotism, the merging of the past and its significance to present conditions ever more undeniable.
I have never felt so oblige, to write an essay with a feeling that something is not fairly right in the current situation , I opted to write not on a chronological approach which various historical research usually undertake, rather I will present the reader the Kashmir that reflected my engagement with the oppress youth from Indian Held Kashmir as it happened and how these events and the personalities associated with them have animated intellectual life and politics, I will raise the peasant, mothers, fathers, children and adult, Road workers, farmers and martyrs to the dignity of history. I will shun all exegesis of the Law, I will depict them as real people who feel the pain and sadness, and the martyrs as real people not Angels because angels cannot be depicted because they are unseen. I will show pictures and landscapes of Kashmir, those woods, the rivers, set out glimpse at them and you can only judge how marvellous, breathtaking, mesmerising the Valley that is also known as the paradise on Earth. But weeping, wailing, torment, mourning, miseries and death marked the victory and cursed of material concerns, material progress, material values, the ugliness, and the lower classes as such only are repugnant to Indian society amidst the socio-political chaos. The art of democracy, permeated by deliberate brand of brutalistic tyranny current on the ground scenario of Kashmir.
The landscape now are saturated with a feeling of fecundity, the riverbank are seen languid, dreamy, semi-vacant state that precedes sleep, weigh down by some somnolence and mourning as if about to be absorbed by the soil. Evoking the pessimism of a man’s fallen –state. A feeling as profound as to preclude all faith in social, political and economic progress and ordained to regard all temporal leaders and theories and organizations especially government as irrelevant at best and lethally tragic at worst, offering a vision of the things that torment them- the heart of darkness. The present Kashmir is experiencing a period when all allusions had been abandoned and the air was change by the tumult of human annihilation, ethnic cleansing and brutality. Dis-orientation, alienation, fragmentation, despair, these are for the people – the by-products of sweeping attempt at “might makes right “ .The emotions on people’s faces could be felt, by even, that of someone with a tormented mind.
Kashmir a body composed of other and smaller bodies, separated and in opposition to one another which oppress and despise each other and are in continuous state of war. The degree of neglect and cruelty on obvious facts. There is no coherent strategic lighting; road systems are almost totally undeveloped. Rutted jumpy roads slowed down travellers. This lack of basic services and protections drowned people deep into despair. There was no systematic attempt at education by the government, no encouragement of agricultural reforms and few innovations in industrial methods. India’s intervention in the area was largely aimed at protecting their existing privileges not at reform and welfare of its citizen. Whatever prosperity existed was concentrated solely on imposing brutality and destruction. Poverty was dire and strife continues the quality of land none too bountiful grew worse with each passing day.
Yet despite, all the aggressiveness fidelity some are just attracted to silence, which seems caught in the lull between distant beats of heart, slowed down by deep slumber in the dark – the deepest dark of all –death. Some just “live off life” while some “live off death” standing, pretending to be less aware. But they are all bonded by resistance against the obligation to signify to anything other than their own presence, as if they are swallowed up by the muteness of hopelessness in the presence of cruelty that rules and destroy them, the crushing load of heartaches, and the burden of moral and social miseries. The distrust and resistance to their sad world. But the enigmas of human will, the sheer physical and emotional drive, the intensity to break loss from the shackles, the depth of pain at the glance of death.
For the people of the valley what matters more to them, a landscape of the Earth is the prime depository and the source of nature’s inexhaustible and indivisible energy. All physical manifestations of the same power of life, and it should be lived, with the same majestic breadth.
The people have to contend with a rebellious attitude of the atrocities and brutality. Islam is more than a religion in Kashmir it is the major force in society. Indeed the only force most people recognized. Islam ideally has provided the social organization and intellectual drive that motivates the citizenry. People are victims of top-heavy beurouecracies and political terrorism, suppression, of vital information, imposition of curfews everywhere. Indian authorities rendered it socially impotent and indeed blind to the misery of the people. In short Kashmir economic status is stagnant, if not decadent social organism. It is apt to surmise that India wasted her energies and resources in a fruitless but bloody attempt to become a regional hegemony, to maintain possession of Indian Held Kashmir which only productive for India’s induced cruelty to throw away on the preposterous dream of holding on Kashmir. Hopes are becoming bleak each passing day as the inner lives of its inhabitants are in constant peril. The paradise has turned into an emptiness and low-lines of featureless horizons.
If witches, demons and their relatives indeed really exist, they take shape in the Indian forces of unreasoning madness, stupidity, biases and prejudices that threaten the order of the sensible rational world employing themselves immeasurable chaos to feed their lustful desire of power thereby, coming into a pact with the devil. But finally, young people are aggressive and resolute in keeping the spirit of freedom struggle alive, an energetic class of citizen that contribute a lot in maintaining the revolutionary yeast to the social brew. Their fervent sense of humanity and their passion for reason revealed the concern they felt for their land and their fellowmen. The upsurge of the struggle, present the appearance of a life’s density, the density that fuels to the brim and offers them a solid impenetrable front.
Nothing strikes the Kashmiri psyche stronger than the idea of resistance, which other might consider it , as stupid and insensible but to the people of the valley these are the outcome of their desire to fight India’s evil design whose occupation is slaughter, whose doctrine is hatred and whose treaty is obscurity. Change is imminent, the road to freedom is laden with risks, but how one can live with the sad fact that many are suffering, their lamentations were loud it reverberates towards heaven, young and old are maltreated like criminals if not like animals. They prefer to face death to offer their life in order to liberate so many of their countrymen from this carnage, that they have the moral responsibilities that the current plight, the future and freedom vibrates in their senses to bring about change and redemption in their homeland, to end the sorrows, the melancholy, indefinable loneliness that strangle the soul, deep misery, horrible nightmares, and the agony of death.
They believe that He who does not struggle against oppression in this world is unworthy to savour the taste of freedom, that the provenance of evil should be annihilated and that the freedom struggle must be founded through mans collective capability grounded in the ideology of creating a responsible society. Heroism is not the concern, but the conditions that compel, while there are forces that are perplex, heightened and twisting the present chaos toward their self –serving interests , the majority of Kashmiris are resolute in their collective commitment , and that is to sacrifice for the common good .
Kashmiris are under great emotional, physical and psychological turmoil got caught in this political quagmire of bloody ”power play “ where they have to make an agonizing and inevitable decision , to resists , is a struggle for freedom , freedom against the yoke of oppression who damaged their culture and have afflicted them with discomfort .Bravery and cowardice are two different things, also what is valiant and what is not, to welcome death that others may live is the noblest end, but for one who chooses to remain silent amidst the cruelty so that their loved ones may live could be dignified too , but what would transpire in the end ? A far worse suffering. They are calling for actions, for liberation to prevent themselves to be cast down further under the dust of this genocide. To the Kashmiris their homeland remains their common cause and that in the end, reality being permanent, is greater than ambiguity or fiction, which can disappear in a flash. Progress will outshine beauty, awareness will surpass wonder, and cyberspace will modify historic calculations , even laughter may be “ packed in a sachet” , spiritual experience can be found in a pharmacy in the form of “ecstasy “ capsule , saintly scenery inside the hotel lobby and human memory is at the mercy of computer search engines . Would the Valley of Kashmir become only a memory? The Paradise on earth a thing of the past? Would the happiness, laughter’s, sorrows and melancholia of the Kashmiris become obsolete and buried in oblivion?
Wave of protest from the Valley reverberated internationally inspired by various freedom movements in this diabolical times, cases of extra-judicial killings are ever increasing but “defeat” is not the word, but Hope, Freedom, Victory will be like a burning gleam of sunlight that will penetrate the lifeless crack of dawn as a signal of freedom struggle towards freedom and not sorrow. Kashmiris are people who loathe life that is devoid of freedom; they possess a character of the brave which prompted them to organize not for defeat but for struggle even for bloodbath, as a defender of their freedom. An irresistible force is now equipped to collide against the aggressor with a determined defence.
Ayesha (Sylvia) Villalobos is a scholar and a political activist from Phillipines. She is a student of InternationalRelations with extensive research in Muslim world. She has her heart vibrating for Muslim unity and creation of a Muslim Common Market that she refers to as ‘Ummah.’ For the past sometime, she has been writing for Opinion Maker.