It's been a story of deceit and perfidy. With lords in New Delhi doing the trick, Kashmir has always been the receiver. What has happened Delhi scripted it all. It can aptly be called the disaster of “triumph”It drew all moral strength out of the people who called the shots. It was all a camouflage. They played hide and seek. They blew hot and cold in the same breath thereby redefining statecraft and giving politics a meaning it deserved.
First making people of Kashmir and world believe its democratic credentials and have faith on its plebiscite pledge. Then with this innocuous portrait it strutted with its neck high. Only to consolidate its military gains and look to “exit strategy”of reneging from its commitment. And waiting for time to come to its rescue to heal the gushing wounds of betrayal it inflicted on credulous Kashmiris.
But sixty years down the line people of this persecuted land have refused to concede to Indian plea that Kashmir is an “integral part”of India. To give a lie to this claim they have, from time to time, risen in defiance. From 1989, the blood-stained struggle, that enjoyed mass support and engulfed nearly one lakh people, has unveiled the faces. And demystified the mantra of “secular democracy”It is plain now. Unmistakably clear. What lies behind the slogans and tall claims.
Garroting unwilling people and keeping them in perpetual bind might provoke you to puff with pride. But when cooled in emotions and purged of virulent nationalism, the “victory”would herald-and, indeed, it may prove-a blue print of miseries and humiliations. Territories grabbed bring with it fits of delirium. Just like “forced wedlocks”soars high the adrenalin. Till sanity is back at the driving seat, much damage is done. Bullying a community to submission appeases aggressor temporally. But shatters him from within permanently as his being guilty conscious. It, thus, makes the repressor lose the battle on moral plank. The one that differentiates human from animal. So muscle flexing (sheer force) is not a virtue, it is a vice. Pushing “jackboots”to mow down the language of reason and people's voice is admission of guilt. Surrender to “extremism”and jingoism.
Which is more painful? The agony of being subjugated. Or, the ecstasy of perpetrating repression. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian nation, has shown that defiance of people through non-cooperation__as he did spearhead against British imperialism __ is a deadly weapon that blunts the sword of aggression, culls the manipulated perception and smears the arrogant face. Boycott of independent day or republic day celebrations and other postures of defiance and indifference are a “weapon”Kashmiris have been embracing fidelity with.
The lines of demarcation are drawn. Delhi ferociously adamant in imposing its sovereignty over Kashmir. People resolutely committed in drilling holes in Indian claim. The grief is fathomless for Delhi when people choose to remain indoor and abstain from celebrating joy Indians revel in. it is deserted streets and roads that “greet”the occasion. The tricolor flies only atop government buildings, security forces camps, bunkers, pill-boxes and official vehicles. In a sense Indian-ness shrinks to some hundred square meters in District Head Quarters of Kashmir where parades are held and Indian flag is unfurled. The show of a few hundred souls, mainly of govt. officials, forces personnel and pro-Indian politicians, make the occasion “memorable”and “marvelous”In what way? In favor of accession or against?
The hubris-driven attitude of the law-enforcement agencies, reflected through road-side frisking, surprise checks, cordon and search, otherwise a routine exercise ever since mass upsurge of anger of 1989, gears in intensity. Besieged towns and cities present scenes of curfew. Is it in honor of 15th August or 26th January? Or, glorification of humiliation?
Regardless of claims Delhi and its toadies make, with Kashmir maintaining 'septic distance' from such celebrations, the relationship between Delhi and Srinagar assumes the characteristic of a conqueror and a conquered. From people's court the verdict is pronounced loud and clear. The fringe elements drifting from Kashmir mainstream flow of sentiments always play safe, dove-tailing with the king who rules. However, just like a few swallows do not herald a spring, a voice in dissent of a few can't make “starved”malls and markets buzz with activity. Won't make “reluctant”winds flutter tricolor. Nor force streets and roads break their “fast”of defiance. Trauma of pain we continue to undergo. But this time Delhi too is made to taste the same. But in a peaceful and non-violent way. We neither bleed, nor speak language of force. But take revenge, you may call in “Gandhian way”of the atrocities inflicted on us. Of the betrayals committed and pledges dishonored.
Whatever beams from Red Fort, people of this land put their tentacles down. Their immune system is insulated against anything mentioned in their name. Are rulers in Delhi masochists? Do they enjoy pain of being grilled in conscience everywhere their feet lay at? Do they derive pleasure in humiliation?
Should Mahatma Gandhi rise from his Samadhi in Delhi and witness people “celebrating”India in this “non-violent”way of defiance, which camp he would get himself identified for? For whom he would pronounce: “Satyameva jayate”(truth alone triumphs)? Delhi or Srinagar.