Together we can
In this hour of crisis, let each one of us realize the duty
WORDS WITHIN BY FIRDOUS SYED
Nature has blessed a human being with some unique qualities. For a determined human society every destiny is achievable. What makes the difference is the perseverance or absence of it, which makes an idea viable or unviable. Freedom movement though a transitory phase is most difficult a task. State with all [rich] resources and lethal forces at its disposal tries to disperse, diverge and finally destroy will and unity of the purpose of a struggling people. Yet it fails to wean away people from their cherished goal, eventually struggle triumphs and people wins the freedom. If achieving freedom despite all the hazards is not unviable, how come maintaining freedom will be?
Challenge is not achieving freedom and preserving the independent character. The real problem is poor understanding of the problems confronting us. In our understanding freedom movement is a reactionary response, an emotional outbreak to the ongoing repression. Moreover an end in itself, like waging of a magic wand by simply achieving freedom, all the ills shall disappear?
Accordingly, disconnect between freedom struggle is quite apparent. On the other hand, if freedom struggle is ingrained in a nation building effort, not only freedom is achievable, preserving and safeguarding the independent status in the community of nations becomes much easier a task to accomplish.
The present phase of uprising is about to enter into fifth month. And if political stalemate continues, nobody will be in a position to predict till how long the crisis will persist? People in search of their destiny have made unparalleled sacrifices, in last two decades tens of thousands have died; our education is at stake and social fabric tarnished beyond repair. Owing to unrest and political uncertainty our economy continues to suffer. Collective sacrifices of courageous people are truly inspiring, which will for sure be written in golden letters in the annals of history.
Yet nothing new or unusual, Azadi doesn’t come cheap. All the struggling people have won freedom at a very heavy price. And it’s not over yet; Kashmir is still to regain its past glory. Therefore heroic journey of blood and sweat may continue for some more time to come. Every Kashmiri whether rich or poor, villager or city dweller, employ or businessman has suffered. What is more, vulnerable sections of the society have additionally borne the brunt of the upheaval. Despite leaders customarily asking people to coordinate relief activities, it’s the greatest drawback of the resistance that it has failed to create a well-organized social security net.
Is this society so poverty ridden that it couldn’t come to the rescue of economically challenged? Problem is not with resources; comparatively this is a rich society. Scaristy is not of finances; society seems to be bereft of organization. Individualistic behavior and numbness further complicate the problem. How much it will take if all economically distressed are to be taken care of, reasonably? Billions of rupees? Not billions, a billion a year will suffice the needs of the poor, obviously not enough to make them rich, it will keep them going. Lo and behold, this society is quite competent of generating indigenously more than hundred crores per annum. What is required to undertake this task, little bit of imagination and some sense of belonging with the people and the cause.
In the absence of any scientifically conducted field surveys and unavailability of proper data, it is difficult to arrive at firm answers to many of our social problems; one can only rely on informed conjectures. According to some projections present population of valley hover around sixty lakhs. Though there are many figures in circulation, the baseline estimates of population Below Poverty Line BPL in the valley is approximately 7/8 percent, which makes around 4/5 lakhs. If one adds to this figure of about 2 lakh victims of repression, the total number of economically challenged population in the valley according to this estimate will not be exceeding 6/7 lakhs. The average strength of a household if taken as six members per family, the number comes to around 100,000 families, dependent upon the society. These families are not completely broke, in a normal situation with great hardships, they are able meet the two ends. In abnormal conditions like present one the dependency of these families on the society multiplies manifold.
Azadi is cherished but a collective dream, rich will have to share the burden of poor. Well-off cannot continue to carry-on (comfortably), while poor suffer endlessly. This will be travesty of justice, some to suffer more than the rest.
Unless hardships of the sufferings masses are not minimized, if not completely eradicated, through a collective effort, struggle cannot sustain itself, till the time it reaches its logical conclusion. The biggest challenge for the proponents of the struggle should be to provide some succor to the section of population suffering due to the present unrest; these were already struggling against the bondage of poverty.
Contingencies are always worked for emergency situations; it is not a difficult task for the 90 percent of the population to carry-along 10 percent poor. Applying 6 members per family rule, Kashmir might be having 10 lakh households. One lakh BPL deducted from the 10 lakh means roughly 900,000 earning hands who can contribute in some way or other. One thousand per annum, 83 per month and 2 rupees 77 paisa per day per family is not a big deal, if we are really moved by the longings of Azadi? This alone comes to ninety crores, agreed everybody will no be paying but numerous others have the potential to pay more than 10 thousands. According to some conservative calculations Kashmiri’s spent more than 600 crores per year on their marriages, moved by the burning desire to achieve Azdi it should not be difficult to save 10 percent (60 crores) and devote to the cause of Azadi. These enormous funds will be more than enough to cater everybody’s genuine needs and also to carry forward resistance.
Internal mobilization of the resources to run the movement will truly restore the indigenous character of the resistance. Briefcases laden with foreign founds also comes along with brief. Resistance not dependent on the foreign funds can chart out its own course of action, best suitable to the interests of people of Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover a paltry sum of one thousand rupees will provide ownership of the movement to every Kashmiri individual, making it truly a mass based political action. If mobilization of the internal resources is so leaner a job, so far why we have failed to carry out this task?
It’s a cliché still worth repeating here, states are sovereign freedom movement creates a sovereign space. The pro-freedom leadership has totally failed to create a sovereign space. People accuse leaders that they cannot be trusted with any public fund. Conversely leaders berate, driven by greed people have become utterly self-centered. What seems to be a dichotomy, in real sense there is no contradiction. Leaders have risen from this society only, people and leaders are the two-faces of the same coin. Resource mobilization is a handy example. It reflects the absence of structures in the freedom struggle. Ill-structured freedom movement cannot win the freedom. Furthermore for a disorganized society it is more of a difficult task to preserve its freedom.
Voluntary contribution of three rupees a day, thousand per annum, when a packet of potato chips cost Rs10 and pack of cigarettes cost Rs20, is truly an ordinary donation. However management of thousand rupees, its proper and honest distribution, is an act of nation building. It involves, fight against materialism, greed, temptations and individualism. It means invoking sense of responsibility, solidarity; need to maintain public trust and building institutions.
So a nation building implies, a process of spiritual, social and political revolution going-on in tandem at the same time. Whosoever is convinced that persevering Azadi is unviable is deterred by the challenge of spiritual, social and political revolution. Bereft of spirituality politics always becomes a diabolic activity. Freedom movement is not act of politics, it means supreme spiritual pursuit.
(Feedback at firdoussyed@yahoocom)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 2 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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