So ,to begin with, after 20 years some saner minds have started to realize of how “Hurriyat” is bringing death to Kashmir
Hartal*, freedom and future - Manzoor Anjum
By closing down all the schools, the leaders are pushing our next generation into an abyss of
Whatever is happening in Kashmir these days, people may have different explanations and descriptions for the same but fact of the matter is that whatever it is, it is intense. The fires that have engulfed the entire valley spread gradually. Life after life was lost and the fires of anger and pain continued intensifying.
If all the developments of the three weeks are looked at in a sequential manner, the results are shocking and surprising.
It seems there has been a pattern in whatever happened. To bring the situation to the boil, every killing took place at appropriate time; every protest was staged at appropriate time; every atrocity was committed at appropriate time and every demonstration was held at an appropriate time.
And this could have not happened without a proper planning. But how is it possible that two warring sides will have a joint strategy and planning. Then why this pattern, a question that may long for answers for times to come.
Fifteen precious lives were lost in two week’s time. Who is responsible – armed forces; government; those who instigated people or; peoples’ own anger and emotions? There are no answers and intention too is not to look for answers at this juncture. Important is to see what is happening next.
From three weeks life all over the Valley is paralysed. Sometimes it is the government curfew that cripples life, sometimes the civil curfew announced by separatists and imposed by stone pelters; Government relaxes curfew, stone pelters are again on the roads, protests are staged and thus again imposition of curfew and the deterioration continues unabated.
Both the factions of Hurriyat are eager to see the situation on boil. Both factions are in a race to take credit for protests and demonstrations. On the other hand, some angry youth are threatening leadership that if they call off strike, they (youth) would hoist Congress flag at Jama Masjid, Srinagar. Cowed down by such warnings, the leadership is trying to make it a ‘do or die’ situation. Dukhtran-e-Milat chief Asiya Andrabi threatens parents against sending their children to schools. Massrat Alam of Hurriyat (G) also tells people not to talk about education of children but to think of the children who have made sacrifices.
One wonders how could a nation, whose leaders are so averse to knowledge and education, dream of freedom. Knowledge is the power that makes humans distinguish between freedom and slavery – good and evil. Uneducated, illiterate and knowledge-less people can’t have any appreciation for freedom. They live in the abyss of ignorance where ideals like freedom, dignity and honour have no relevance.
And here are the leaders who deliberately and intentionally want to push our young generation into the abyss of ignorance and then have cheek to talk about freedom. If these leaders are barring Kashmiri children from seeking knowledge for some noble religious cause, let somebody tell them that it is the knowledge only that helps humans to recognize and accept Allah.
It is unfortunate that the leadership is listening to the voices which are too emotional, vocal and angry but fail to hear the voices of sanity and logic, which are in majority but not as vocal and loud as those of groups of emotional people.
Logic and reason fail to understand that how the unending strikes, that harm none but Kashmiris alone, would force India out of Kashmir. How long will the leadership go forcing the people to observe strikes and how long could people survive remaining confined to four walls of their homes.
Those who threaten to hoist Congress party flag on Jama Masjid (if the strike call is taken back) need to be told that it will make no difference which flag they hoist where. One can’t get freedom by hoisting flags of one colour and neither can one defeat the aspirations of people by hoisting flags of some other colour. What percentage of youth is on roads enforcing hartal and civil curfew? And are those who don’t join them not for resolution of Kashmir? No, they too are for it but the only difference is that the majority of the youth understand and appreciate that they can’t get freedom by pelting stones. They have to acquire knowledge and education so that they know what freedom means and then strive for that the way civilized people are supposed to do.
A few days back when curfew was relaxed in Srinagar areas, people thronged markets. Life seemed back on tracks with shops open and traffic plying on the roads. Suddenly groups of youth emerged on the scene. Stoned vehicles and shops and enforced strike. Does that mean whatever is happening is happening under pressure and people are not with the movement? No, that too is not true.
People have made huge sacrifices for resolution of Kashmir issue and therefore they can never be against the movement. But fact of the matter is that people are able to think more rationally and logically than the leadership. They understand that if the situation continues to be what it is today, the movement will die once for all. They know that freedom is not round the corner which could be reached out at by observing strikes for a few days. And also, the strikes can’t continue for months and years together. People know that to sustain freedom struggle it is a must that our children go to school and the situation remains normal. It is only in a normal situation that a nation evolves in a positive direction.
Unfortunately we have a crop of leadership here for whom their own relevance is more important than the broader struggle. To show that they matter and they are heard, this crop of leadership is hell bent upon breaking the back of the entire nation by imposing unabated restrictions. And interestingly this crop of leadership is helped in furthering their agenda by the government forces who too are obsessed with imposing restrictions.
On July 15, while on one hand the stone pelters were stoning vehicles in Srinagar to impose civil curfew, armed forces did the same to enforce their brand of restrictions. Armed forces are not allowing ailing people to reach hospitals and same is done by stone pelting youth. Neither government is having any sympathy for ordinary people and any respect for human rights nor these angry youth. Caught in a Catch-22 situation, the common people have become prisoners of the situation. They (people) have lost all hope in the government; in separatist leadership and also in these youth whom they, at one stage, viewed as messiahs.
The rich of the society have already send their children outside Kashmir for pursuance of education and those who hadn’t earlier are doing the same now. But the people who can’t afford to do so (and majority is of such people) are seeing themselves caught between devil and deep sea. The bleak future of their children stares right in their faces and they are watching helplessly.
When I was writing this column, Hurriyat (G) had issued a fresh calendar asking people to resume normal life on Saturday (July 17) but just till 2 p.m. For rest of the days, again programme of strikes, agitation, sit-in and protests has been given and coming Sunday has been exempted from strikes and protests and people have been asked to do shopping on that day.
It seems that those who have issued this calendar are in possession of some hidden treasure. They will protest for six days; not work and therefore not earn anything and still come out on the seventh day and do shopping. To do shopping, one needs money and to earn money, one needs to work. A worker does work for at least eight hours a day and then earns around two hundred bucks and in that money he can’t even buy sufficient vegetables for his family. Those who issue calendars seem unmindful of the armies of widows and orphans who have to struggle to earn a square-meal. And when they are forced to remain indoors for six days, wherefrom they will get money to shop on the seventh day?
I have no hesitation in saying that more than freedom it is every individual life that is important. We can have struggles, movements and revolutions only when we are alive but Hurriyat calendar seems taking the entire nation towards death. This calendar is a humiliation to the entire Kashmiri nation. This calendar can’t get freedom but just destruction.
The author is Editor of Daily Uqab and the article has been translated from Urdu. Source : DailyKashmirImages
*Hartal : Mass protest often involving a total shutdown of workplaces, offices, shops, courts of law as a form of civil disobedience.
**More & more Kashmiris are rising against the forced strikes by Hurriyat and other separatists.