By: Adv Abdul Maajid Banday
A few days before I was trolled on facebook for a post against the JRLs protest call, whereby, I wrote, “I protest against this protest.” There is a little space and time to put ones idea into a small space of a facebook post. Therefore, this post generated many questions than giving answers to the few.
I was trolled and abused for being an agent. Some of my friends suggested me to put up some alternatives as well. So here am I.
Before I go into the details of this topic, I feel it a right occassion to write about my idea of Kashmir freedom struggle. I am a freedom lover just like any other ordinary Kashmiri. I do believe our aspirations are genuine and need to be addressed by respective Govts. Rather than making J & K a big human labortary that ever exists on this planet, we need a system where we can live without fear.
The armed struggle errupted in Kashmir in the year 1989. Since then we have been observing hartals frequently. The years 2008, 2010 and 2016 witnessed a half yearly long protests each. Normally, in Kashmir we do observe at least 7- 10 days in a month on an average with strike calls. In total, I suppose, there would be around 3- 4 years of total hartals during the past thirty one year period of armed struggle.
Since, we have been observing hartals religiously right from the day one. Let us sit together and discuss what we have achieved out of it so for. If we have progressed, let us continue it, otherwise, we need to revisit this policy with some other strategies that will not prove counter- productive anymore.
I firmly believe that there are many people in Kashmir who treat hartals as a useless exercise but a fear of known and unknown gun silences/ chokes every sane voice here. Moreover, I am as much Kashmiri as everyone here and am within my rights to speak out my heart about an issue that effects a population of millions of people including me.
Hartal, its merits and demerits include;
Hartal or Protest: It is a legitimate mode of resistance against tyranny, oppression, lawlesness and for ones rights.
The merits include;
(1) To show our resentment and resistance against Indian state.(2) To signal international community about our displeasure of Indian occupation in India.(3) It shows the muscle power of resistance leadership.(4) It show solidarity with any situation and killings etc.(5) To show that we are united on a single cause. (6) To share the grief and burden of those who get effected by the ongoing turmoil in one or the other way.
Similarly, the demerits include;
(1) Our education suffers a lot.(2) Our economy is crushed.(3) There is an utter chias and uncertainity in society.(4) People associated with menial jobs suffer a lot.(5) People associated with perishable fruit and vegetable business etc incur huge losses.(6) Transport business gets a major jolt.(7) It becomes uneasy for patients to move from one place to another.
No sane and modern society on earth can live isolated on this planet. Similarly, no society can live under a constant pressure, depression, oppression, tyranny and occupation. A true and well ordered and civilized society needs an order to run day to day activities. Unfortunately, we are living in a state which is crushing our voices, killing, miaming and blinding us, so we go by the saying, where oppression is a rule, resistance is a law- but the way we choose is a destructive form of resistance.
A constructive form of resistance or the possible alternatives of hartal/ Protest politics may include;
(1) Observing any day of remembrance of a martyr as the day of awareness of the resistance movement in schools, colleges, Govt. departments, private offices and homes etc.(2) Keeping a day in a month to look into the problems of destitute, poor and orphan lot of our society.(3) Keeping a specific day in a month to spread the word regarding freedom movement.(4) Keeping schools open on all working days, defying some unwanted Govt. holidays as well, if possible, and letting transport and shops open round the month.(5) Observing an hour or a day in a month to hold a march along with the Kashmiri diaspora at a time in Kashmir and in other parts of the world.(6) Observe a candle march one hour a month in solidarity with our martyrs.(7) Establishment of Bait-ul- Malls to help poor, needy and destitute lot of our society.
In addition to all above,
(8) Send intelligent brains to the world class universities to research on various aspects of Kashmir issue to make our struggle much logical, relevant and academic to face challenges of the global world.(9) Introduction of new schools, colleges, universities as a long term strategy to generate revenue within the state and minimise our dependance on Indian states.(10) Establishing a Govt- in- exile that will represent our cause at International level with full force. This will serve as a counter to the representative character of puppet Govts in Kashmir.
This list is not exhauative.
Indian state knows very well that their writ lacks its force at Jawaher Tunnel. They rule us at the barrel of the gun. So there is no need to go for hartal politics and self destruction for a thing that already stands its firm ground. Moreover, international community has its priorities related to the mighty Indian state. Additionally, they are least bothered about Kashmir issue for the reasons that needs a seperate write up. Hopefully, I will be writing on it sometime very soon.
Where, hartal, protest and chalo politics has proved a destructive mode of resistance so for, the possible alternatives carry a constructive message. This will give a sense of belonging to every single Kashmiri. It will add to the society and within a short span of time we will find a transformed society based on true values and morals. If Kashmiris are ready to go for it, it will convey a strong message. Otherwise, it only gives a message of destruction, wastage of resources and makes us a laughing stock before the world community. Moreover, if Kashmiris are not willing to go for the constructive mode of resistance it means we possess escapist mentality, lack a sense of short- term and long- term strategies and are emotional driven only.
Let sense prevail.
PS: Please read this post in its totality and do not pick and choose words and lines in between. I am also ready to get an “agent” tag again and again but will not shy away from calling spade a spade.