The Question Stays!
Mind Memory and Martyrdom
13TH JULY,1931;KASHMIR’S SUPPRESSED SOUL FINDS EXPRESSION!BUT WAS THAT EXPRESSION ALLOWED TO TURN INTO A REALITY OR ELSE THE LID WAS PRESSED BACK ON THE STEAMING SOULS. DR. JAVID IQBAL VISITS THE PAST ONLY TO TELL US THAT PRESENT IS PERHAPS NO DIFFERENT
13th July- the day that it was. The moment which does come, but only at its appointed time; when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds expression. This is the moment when the historical process running over a period of time - it could be centuries - takes a decisive turn to run a fresh course; an eventful one. More often than not, the pages of history which narrate the event are written in red letters, some sacred blood gets shed.Across nations and oceans, the moment has been recorded. The recording may show different denominators, but it has a common theme. The theme is refusal of the masses to take anymore, what they have been subjected to over centuries. The refusal, the rejection to accept an order of events established by regimes which carry an agenda of suppression by ways and means in their command assumes the form of a cry-loud and clear-thus far and no further! The cry was heard in France in 1789 when the masses raided the palace in the suburbs of Paris-Bastille. It had Marie Antonnie, the consort of Louis IXth-Emperor of France ask her maids, what was the cry about? Told that people don’t have bread, she said what has been recorded as “why don’t they take cakes”!
13th July 1931! In a gathering in Khanqah-i-Moula located in downtown Srinagar, people had gathered to protest what they had been subjected to over centuries of suppressive rule by one alien regime after another. The protest was running a course mild in tone and tenor. The main speakers were guarded in their expression, lest the powers that be react as was their wont-using the sword of suppression. Suddenly a man got up-unknown and unrecognized until that appointed moment and took the stage. There was not a word of guarded tone in what he said and the manner in which he said it. The cry seemed to rent the skies-it was loud; it was clear and in highly expressive tones. In that moment the man unknown had thrown a challenge-a historical challenge-past is past and from now onwards, whatever you might attempt to do will be resisted. The moment had come, the unknown became a celebrity, even though it could not be known wherefrom he had emerged!
Abdul Qadeer! That is the name by which he is known and remembered. Eighty years down the historical process, he remains an enigma. It is being said he was from North Western Frontier Province [NWFP] the butler of a British visitor in the vale. Nay, say some, he was the son of the soil, the one who has relations here. Whosoever he was, he might continue to interest the historian, the analyst, the masses remember him for what he did, irrespective of his origins. He came like the lashing wind, the tornado to wash away the accumulated dirt of centuries, gathered by inactivity to change events. Events that do not change unless and until there is a willingness to change attitudes, unless there is a willingness to force the pace of events for a decisive historical turn. Qadeer did what had not been attempted until then!
Regime! It reacted as they always do. Judicial trial tailor made to suit the regime followed the arrest of the one who had dared to take the bull by the horns. The open trial was changed to an in-camera one, the protests continued as the trial was shifted to premises within the jail. The protesting crowds got closer to its walls. The regime panicked, the panic resulted in harsh response as it always does-taking human lives in order to scare others. One fell after another, until the count got to 22. Whatever the toll, the statement had been made by those who fell. From that day onwards though the sword of suppression struck scores in subsequent years, the suppressive regimes did not have the calm they desire-the calm akin to silence of the graveyard!
13th July 1931 continues to pose questions, eighty years down the historical process-the question of total liberation? In 1917, the cry of liberation was heard in Moscow, as the Czars-the suppressive rulers who had not only subjugated their own people but millions in Central Asia, were challenged. The Bolsheviks-the political force that overthrew the Czarist regime did not unfasten the chain of suppression in Central Asia in the process of selective liberation that has been attempted by other nations too. How does a liberator become a suppresser needs a deeper historical study than has been attempted so far. The process of selective liberation has been followed elsewhere, in other regions of Europe, in other continents. In Europe, it was witnessed in the break-up of Yugoslavia. While as Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia got liberated, in Bosnia-Herzegovina there was stalling in granting total liberation. It was subjected to ifs and buts, the population mix made it conditional. Kosovo persists in posing a question; the Serbian wouldn’t concede to this enclave what they chose for their people. This brings us to the core; Kashmir eighty years down the line continues to pose a question? The question that needs to be addressed if an ultimate tribute is to be paid to the ones who laid down their lives, in order to make it a moment of reckoning!
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
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Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
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