Bridge the gap
Politics apart, Civil Society can build up a relationship of trust between people
ANALYSIS BY DR. MIRZA ASHRAF BEG
A credible civil society is the back bone for the progress of a nation. In a democratic system where political organizations have a mushroom growth you need a vibrant civil society for checks and balances. That is how developed countries have kept their sociopolitical system in order. Unfortunately in the developing world we have made a mess of everything with the result the role of civil society has totally disappeared. Because of the apparent glitter in politics Social issues are politicized and social workers become political functionaries for petty gains.
In the ongoing crisis in Kashmir it was shocking to hear during a discussion on a national TV channel that politicians in the state should rise to the occasion and stand between the stone pelters and the gun wielding security forces. Let us not forget to introspect where are the politicians without a security around them-- that speaks of their credibility. Despite that it has become a fashion for our politicians to come on these TV channels and a lucrative business for the media to highlight them. Though some of the politicians thought that they have become irrelevant but for the hypocrisy you could believe them. Every second man is a so called experts on Kashmir-problem beating about the bush. He does not have a word of condemnation for the atrocities on the innocents. Just a lip service and an academic discussion on the beauty of Kashmir! We need to understand It will be childish to focus only on the problems of Kashmir such as roti , kapda aur makan and forget the core issue and leave it in unaddressed.
The day President Clinton was in New Delhi and thirty six Sikhs of Chati Singh pora in Islamabad were brutally martyred I thought it my moral duty to visit the survivors--- some had been my classmates—Chatisinghpora is a neighboring village where on the hillocks of Brah I used to join my father for hunting ‘chakoor’ in my childhood so am well versed with the topography of the area. Hence despite forging the DNA none of the two communities could digest the theory that the four innocents of Islamabad killed and branded as militants were responsible for the assassination of Sikhs of Chatisinghpora. On our way to Chatisinghpora we stopped at Kihribal( the village that houses the remnants of sun temple) to pay our regards to Sikh community living there. It is a convention in our rural society to call every elder ‘uncle ji’ irrespective of his cast creed or color. I wished ‘Sat siryakal’ to Uncle lwab Singh and while embracing me he burst in to sobs questioning my delay for the visit. Uncle lwab Singh Ji reminded me of the days of partition of India when the Sikhs of Kihiribal too had packed their bag and baggage to migrate and were persuaded by Mirza Sahib a social worker of Islamabad to stay back and migrate only when the last Muslim in the neighborhood had laid down his life for their safety and security—that was Kashmiryat and that is how we have a well to do Sikh community in Kihribal today. That was possible only when we had a strong social system where the majority community felt morally bound to take care of other communities in the society. So political differences apart people of Islamabad have genuine expectations of reciprocity. Social relations and societal responsibilities are not unilateral. One can ask at a time when teen age school boys are martyred where are the champions of Kashmiryat who are said to have chosen safe heavens across Banihal tunnel. There are instances when Muslims have performed the last rites of Kashmiri Pundits who stayed back in the valley shouldering their dead for the last rituals on the pyre.
It is a shame that the present political anarchy has totally destroyed our social fabric and our civil society with the result there is a chaos and confusion in the state. We have weeks sitting indoors; we listen to gunshots from security forces and see blood of teenager’s spilt on the streets. We are scared to get hit by a stray stone and when the government asks for help from the civil society in an attempt to restore peace there is hardly anybody to represent or come forward---partly because you have massacred the civil society and the remnants left have lost faith in the administration. Important government functionaries are busy shoping in the malls of Abudhabi, Beharain and other lucrative pastures of middle east. Thus whatever unspoken trust was left is shaken due to the recent performance of the government that promised a demanding action against the perpetrators of the heinous acts of broad day murders of teen age boys at Islamabad, Sopore and Varmul. People thought like a juggler government will bring a rabbit out of her hat within twenty four hours. On the contrary she had to be contented with the transfers of a few cops under some unseen pressures from the heavens! That is why the management is missing and barbarism continues unabated chasing school going children till they get drowned in Jehlum on way to Muzafarabad.
Having said that nations that have fought autocracy have always passed through phases of depression whenever self intrests get a priority on national interests . Under such circumstances it is always the civil society that plays the role of a crusader and takes the nation ashore. While it is inherent in a democratic system that political organisations sprout from every nook and corner it is important for these political institutions to make an introspection of their performance and thereby asses which way the wind blows. At the end of the day a consensus is only possible through a meaningful,unbiased and time bound dialogue. Under the circumstances civil society cannot shirk its responsibilities and where ever there is a deadlock it has its role to play.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Jul 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 24 Jul 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 25 Jul 2010 00:00:00 IST
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