The crisis within
DOES JAMA'AT REALLY FACE IDENTITY CRISIS, COMMENTS HASSAN ZAINAGAIREE
‘Existential crisis’; ‘identity crisis’; ‘long hibernation’; ‘attention grabbing effort’; ‘party’s renewed bid for its lost political space’…. This is the idiom and narrative Jamat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir is debated through at present. This approach showcases Jama'at just another political organization that has “failed” to adapt itself to the changing circumstances and therefore, it has not remained a political force to reckon with. The judgment passed on reveals Jama'at party subservient to the fickle behavior of people, which unable to put its hands on the pulse of the people got stuck in the limbo and went into ‘long hibernation’. Woke up only to find its political space squeezed. In is now in the throes of ‘crisis’. Not only of its ‘identity’, even existence.
Moored to Islamic ideology and given to itself the existential aim of striving to organize people in a well-knit cadre-based organization for the establishment of an Islamic order (Iqamat-e-deen), Jamat’s identity is all-identifiable and, of course, immune from crisis. Ever since it was born Jama'at has not compromised on this identity. Neither any coercion nor inducement forced Jama’at to make any dilution in its cherished goal. Rising above parochial tendencies communal prejudices and sectarian bias it kept its organizational strength fully focused on the very fundamentals of Islam that stand for oneness of God and sameness of human being. Sate’s repressive arm did tear apart its organizational fabric but no sooner it limped back into its organizational fold the same identity it embraced. Without dampening its sprits, without being smitten with remorse. So there is no question of Jama'at facing ‘identity crisis’ on its ideological plank. Unlike secular nationalist and racialist parties, Islamic parties do not tailor their ideologies to the sweet wishes of people. For them ideologies are sacrosanct and inviolable. Such parties lose their existence only when they lose the ideology. And we have to remember that Jama'at is not the creation of Kashmir issue as it precedes it.
Jama'at is a socio-political and religious organization. It believes in Islam being a ‘comprehensive code of conduct’. It strives to mould the society in accordance with the teachings and injunctions of Islam. Its contribution in education and host of other spheres is by no means insignificant. So even if this grand organization has, according to some adventurous analysts, ‘lost its political space’ its social, religious and welfare activities are of such a magnitude and so vital that they give Jama'at its distinguished character and identity.
Perhaps conclusion jumped to stems from Jamat-Geelani pact (August 2004) ‘allowing’ Syed Ali Shah Geelani to float its separate party for affectively taking steps in the direction of resolving Kashmir dispute in a ‘peaceful manner’. The agreement kept intact Geelani’s rukniyat (basic membership) of Jamat. Jamat agreed to be the constituent unit of Geelani-led Hurayat Conference, with its political branch representative represantating Jamat in it (Hurayat (G)). Geelani also garnered Jama'at support for his newly floated party, Tehreek-e-Hurayat.
There is room for berating both. Geelani for forcing Jama'at leadership to concede his demand and the latter for ultimately giving in. Allowing Geelani to establish its own ‘separate’ party, keeping intact his basic membership of Jamat, was a flagrant violation of Jama'at constitution which on no account can be justified. But at this stage it would be immature on part of Jama'at to take any ‘disciplinary action’ against Geelani. It would hit Jamat more than Geelani. Jamat must abide by what it negotiated in writing.
For Geelani it was Kashmir cause to sacrifice everything for. For Jama'at it was question of survival. To have a breathing space. And rise up again. Bruised and tormented, suppressed and repressed yet none from its loyalist cadre smudged the face of Jamat in posting the disclaimer of Izhar-e-la-taluqee (disassociation) from either, on Islamic ideology and Kashmir issue. Although neither Geelani got Jamatised (in constitutional sense), nor Jama'at agreed on getting Geelanised, and the pact concluded does testiy that, nonetheless, courting togetherness of both in a new emerging situation and pooling their energies together to make Geelani-led pro-resistance camp a vibrant dynamic force does reveal that Jama'at despite being at the receiving end of the Indian might chose (and with full consciousness and all sincerity) to swim with the man whose contribution for the movement won him iconic status in resistance camp. This relationship though achieved at the cost of Jama'at discipline overcame the hiccups that undivided Hurayat Conference suffered from. There was no ambiguity in the grouping Jama'at aligned with in regard of the direction of the movement. If Geelani stood his ground when multiple of forces joined together to dilute character of the movement, Jama'at didn’t switch its loyalty to what they call ‘moderates’ or ‘secularists’. It didn’t bewitch to Mushraff’s 4-point formula that virtually asked Kashmiris to fold the flag of resistance and reconcile to trans-border trade of Aaloo-Peyaz and exchange of cultural and sports groups. If Geelani did not go groveling at Delhi darbar without first making it accept the disputability of the Kashmir issue or getting a bare minimum like release of political prisoners and repeal of AFSPA (to create conductive atmosphere for talks) Jama'at did not go ecstatic for a handshake and for a photo session opportunity. ‘Quit-dial-ogue’ therapy Jama'at was as averse as was Geelani. In this context one does not know under what dizzy-spells Sharyat was when he bracketed Jamat with flunkies of New Delhi.
It is true that Jama'at pro-active role on Kashmir is not of the same measure and of same intensity as that of Geelani’s party (obviously because it has many other activities apart from Kashmir to focus its attention on) but the very fact of its being the constituent unit of Hurayat (G) and the biggest and largest one, and that at crucial junctures and decisive moments it blended in thought and action with Geelani makes Jama'at to walk with pride. So where is the question of its ebbing in credibility and shrinking of its political space. It has not put the Kashmir at the back-burner. It has endured the martyrdom of nearly two thousand and five hundred of its members and thousands others associated with it for the “sin” of demanding right to self-determination.
Expressing displeasure at Islamabad for not including Jama'at in the list of invites to Pakistan might not jell with stature of an Islamic movement that Jama'at represents, that, however, does not mean that Jama'at has got hemorrhaged of its influence.
The stature and status of organizations do not depend on ceremonial participations. It is political habitation at grassroots level that gives credibility to parties. Invitations never make dwarfs magnified. Had it been Mushraff and Delhi would have since long settled on ‘making borders irrelevant’ solution of Kashmir dispute.
Tail-piece: - Jama'at’s outpouring in media, its decision of boycotting, Geelani-led Hurayat Conference and suspension of Geelani from Jama'at membership is shorn of political sagacity, maturity and propriety. It has done more harm to Jama'at than the controversial book of Sharayati Jama'at thought was written to malign it and distort its image. It is time Jama'at reviews its decision. It must remember in shared space lies their future, their strength. Denting of one, both get dented. Fall of one is fall of both. They wed in ideology. It is time they get wedded in minds.
(The author can be reached at email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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