Wake up now
Shed Egos, Be Pro-active and Talk
VIEWPOINT BY GOWHAR GEELANI
Kashmiri youth are on the streets of Valley expressing their anger against the status quo in unambiguous terms and crying for a just, long-lasting and durable resolution of Kashmir dispute. People are raising slogans in their mother-tongue; Kashmiri, official language of the state; Urdu and widely spoken language; English, but perhaps it is time they raise some slogans in Sanskrit and Hindi languages too because the policy makers, television anchors and 'experts' in New Delhi apparently do not yet 'understand' and 'know' what exactly Kashmiris want?
Ball is in Kashmir's Court!
But everyone in Kashmir knows what India's official stance regarding the future of strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir is? India has been making it abundantly clear to Kashmiri leaders on a number of occasions that the Kashmir problem can be resolved (read managed) only through a dialogue process, but any possible solution has to be within the ambit of Indian constitution. Though there may be some leaders in India who favour the theory 'inside the constitution; if possible, outside the constitution; if necessary'.
But has Kashmiri leadership made it clear to New Delhi what it wants and what is the agenda of talks, if held?
Many wonder on what specific agenda was the Hurriyat Chairman Mr. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq talking to the Indian Home Minister Mr. P Chidambaram through the so-called 'quiet diplomacy'? Were people of Kashmir taken into confidence before engaging in such clandestine parleys? Was the pro-freedom camp informed about it? What did he talk, why did he talk and on what conditions did he engage? These are all important questions that Mirwaiz Umar needs to answer. If accountability is demanded and answers expected from others, then Mirwaiz's personality too should not be above criticism.
Kashmiri nation is aware of its rights and duties but now it is time to grill and question all these leaders, who seem to be waking up from their deep slumber only when people are on the roads shouting slogans and getting killed and wounded in the process. Leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Sajad Lone; etc too tend to react like Indian policy makers and its powerful media. No goals can be achieved by publishing protest calendars in local newspapers, no dreams can be realised by 'performing' on Indian news channels and no matches can be won by speaking in crowded press conferences!
The natural question that may arise here is what else should these 'poor' leaders do when some of them are under house arrest, some detained and the movement of others restricted? The answer is simple. They should not remain reactive to situations.
Leaders need to be pro-active to make any positive contribution towards Kashmir and its hapless people. A leader is one who has the ability to take risks and resolve issues rather than create them! A leader is one who leads from the front. Leadership is all about shedding egos for the cause.
The time has come to forget about individual stardom and individuality. Mr. Farooq, Mr. Omar, Mr. Mufti, Ms. Mehbooba, Mr. Geelani, Mr. Umar, Mr. Yasin, Mr. Lone; etc, it is time to think about the nation called Kashmir, its people and the cause. Cause should be sacred and important, not individual. No one amongst you is bigger than the cause, and if someone thinks so, he or she will certainly land in the dustbin of history!
Is it time for all Kashmiri leaders to sit back and watch? Is the job done, are the files closed and matters resolved? Certainly not!
Where are the leaders of pro-independence, pro-self-rule, pro-autonomy, pro-Pakistan, pro-this and pro-that? Do they've any plan(s)? Are they prepared? Or are they content with their 'dream performances' on various Indian television channels and 'desirable' space in different newspapers, magazines and websites?
Learn Saying No!
When Indian media ditches and avoids many of them throughout the year, why can't they too say a clear 'NO' to them when their 20- second soundbites are so desperately sought after? When Indian media can black-out any Kashmiri leader for more than four-five year period for his 'undesirable' views, why should he come to their rescue in crunch time? Why are these leaders so desperate, people wonder!
Yes, we all know that the National Conference [NC] has passed a resolution about the 'restoration of Kashmir autonomy' in the J&K legislative assembly; yes, we all know the Peoples' Democratic Party [PDP] has documented its vision of Self-rule; yes, we all know Mr. Sajad Lone has his vision of 'Achievable Nationhood' compiled in a book form, but the big question remains: Is that enough? Certainly not!
What then should be enough? The very idea of satisfaction is the death of desire.
A lot is to be done and a lot can be done. First, let all leaders shed their personal egos and let someone take the initiative to reach out to others. Let others forgive and forget follies and mistakes committed by some. Let all of them sit together and brainstorm on the reference point on any dialogue with India. Because even if we keep on saying for decades that India is not sincere, dialogue remains the only viable option. Kashmiri leaders have to talk amongst themselves to agree on a Common Minimum Programme [CMP] and then select representatives who could talk to New Delhi on a specific agenda. This should not be a tough ask if all these leaders are willing to shed their 'inflated' egos!
But will they? That is a million dollar question?
(Gowhar Geelani is a Kashmiri journalist based in Bonn, Germany since 2006; where he works for Deutsche Welle [Voice of Germany] as Editor.)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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