Isolation won’t do
Have we found the unchangeable in folding Harud?
ANALYSIS BY PROF (DR.) RATTAN LAL HANGLOO
THE region of Kashmir has always been prone to external influences and internal pressures from the very inception. These influences have both made and marred the personality of the region from time to time. At each turning point the Kashmir’s intellectuals through their poetry, storytelling, art forms, oral narrations, even bandapather (rural theater) and other traditional mediums have expressed their opinion and facilitated the termination of the crisis by opening new intervals of peace and prosperity.
When Shaivites and Buddhists fought for their religious-political domination the Trika philosophy was born out of the interaction between the KashmirIs and outsiders and peace was initiated. When Dammaras plundered the valley because their political aspirations were not fulfilled, the text of Nilmata Purana evolved because of the tradition that was in circulation in rest of India to sort-out the societal tensions. When Harsha the local ruler committed atrocities on KashmirIs including destroying places of worship, Kalhana critically wrote Rajatarangini to express his protest and the art of history writing was born because he was influenced by the tradition of tawarikh that was progressing in West Asia and Central Asia. Bilhana choose to isolate himself and left for Banaras as a mark of protest, never returned died unheard. When the anarchic state passed into the hands of Turks and civil wars commenced in Sultanate period, Lal Ded and Nund Rishi (Sheikh Noor –ud- din) harmonized the warring social forces through their literary and spiritual productions and Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin reconstructed Kashmir a new by patronizing interaction in various fields including art and culture out side the region. When Chak rule was imposed Gani KashmirIs ’s writings were rewarded even by Iranian Kings When Mughals took over Kashmir the Kashmir’s intellectual tradition grew and benefited immensely by interacting with non- Kashmiri traditions. When Afghans, Sikhs and the worst of all Dogra’s subjected Kashmir to their atrocities, Volumes of literature grew as social production and expressed not only protest but also opened up new vistas for shaping the region’s future course in which the efforts of Muhammad ud din Fauq among others and Sheik Muhammad Abdullah played significant role that can not be wiped out from pages of history by any tsunami. Their attitude was influenced by their interaction with the wider world. But in current crisis ridden Kashmir when the much needed literary and cultural festival Harud was shelved varied opinions were expressed by KashmirIs and non KashmirIs in and out side south Asia.
Those who found wisdom in disallowing the Harud festival should remember that Kashmiri mind is spread far and wide over the world and as Kashmiris are integral part of the wider world with out surrendering their special cultural affinities, instincts, teachings and beliefs of their respective faiths. They should have thought it desirable to entertain the fact that there is no doctrine, no opinion by whomsoever taught or held that was going to be binding in any way on any member of Kashmiri society, none which any member was not free to accept or reject. An expression of this cultural event like Harud would have offered ideas which render life intelligible in Kashmir in this hour of crisis. It would have restored some Kashmiris the science of spirit and perhaps opened a fuller and more radiant existence. Professor Nyla Ali Khan very rightly remarks, “ Kashmiris of various hues and shades, either haven’t had the gumption to tell their stories, or haven’t found people willing to listen to their stories without prejudging them.” Kashmir has always kept its doors open to right people and has invariably welcomed the new ideas but this time we have nourished our illusions by disallowing Harud to take place. Harud would have helped us to know fully what we know. By inhibiting such interactive occasions what happens to average Kashmiri is that he becomes involved in the objects of perception. The moment we come to such preconceived judgments about the objects like Harud by its opponents we become entangled psychologically and fail to assess the situation, not formatting opinions, neither attracted nor repelled.
In present circumstances, by disallowing Harud to take place we might feel self –righteous and believe that we are asserting rights and norms and registering our disinclination for it but actually we are only building up this separate personality and remaining unaware of the other view. We can be aware of pleasant and unpleasant only when we allow the interaction to take place. Today the general global mind set reflects the concerns of world with goals, achievements and quantifying aspects of people’s life, it is in this scenario that we have to seriously consider what would be beneficial to Kashmir and Kashmiris. “After all, there is no monolithic political and socio cultural discourse on Kashmir that can claim to have absolute legitimacy as stated by Prof. Nyla Ali Khan” As Kashmiris we are occupying the centrality in the global cultural topography so we can not take inspiration from the thought that our regions progress is inevitable eventually for all of us who quietly, diligently opposing Literary festival and denying an interactive space to those in dark interiors of Kashmir busy with greater and lesser struggles every moment with lot of pain.
By imposing isolation we can not make conditions to proceed from world of illusion to the world of truth. We must listen and reflect because our achievement begins at desire. Let us realize deep in our heart that cultivating isolation is an anathema to real progress and history is not the synonym for stagnation.
(Professor (Dr.) Rattan Lal Hangloo (Originally from Hangalgund Kokernag Kashmir) is former Head, Department of History, School of Social Sciences)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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