Beginnings and Endings

The present state of affairs weighs heavily against us

Inksight

MEHMOOD UR RASHID

After a tiring discussion on Kashmir, about Kashmir, and around Kashmir, we usually conclude by saying – nothing is going to change. What does that mean? Is nothing really going to move from its place or is it just a note of exhaustion! Have we given up on imagination or has darkness truly taken us over for good! May be we do take this belief in the impossibility of change seriously, but then there is a contrast. Suddenly something happens and we all start whispering to each other – the moment for change has come. Talks, visits, conferences and proposals… everything appears like a real possibility to get us going.
Between this settled despair and occasional bursts of euphoria, Kashmir trudges along, nevertheless. Living in its own fashion and dying in its own ways. When the despair sets in we shut our minds, accepting it as our fate. And when an occasional glimmer of hope sneaks in we are excited, but minds still remain closed.
As to an individual, so is the case with collectivity. Life is a ceaseless movement between hope and hopelessness. And it is on the extremes that our capacities to think and act are put to test. The seemingly unending darkness becomes interminable when our ways of thinking and doing make it so. The occasional bursts of enthusiasm leave us finally disappointed because that is how we take them.
The outcome of all this is that we linger in a condition where the recovery of the belief that every individual has something in him that can contribute to a change. Both our responses reflect that we have given up on us being capable of, to whatever degree, becoming the agency of change. Each one of us is a story of the absence of belief. But where is that belief going to come from. It is a common reading of nations and times that only some individuals are gifted with self-belief that remains indomitable even in the darkest moment. Once those individuals operate in their respective spheres and a critical mass becomes available to finally operate in a society more people join in, making the moment towards change look evidently possible.  
Now look at what it is right now. We all know that our system of education has become ruthlessly exploitative, or pathetically dysfunctional. In the government sector we have schools, but hardly any education. The government schools and colleges fetch just two things, salary to employees and degrees to students. Knowledge is not in the scheme of things.  We know it for ages, but  that is how it is. Which two countries have to decide it for us that we need to improve our standards of education! Who stops us from thinking about alternatives! Tragically, the only alternative we have so long been able to produce is the private tuitions, commonly called coaching. How that has ruined us is indescribable.
Take corruption. There are no UN Resolutions that make it a dispute as to end corruption or not. Those in power, who could really weed it out, have openly accepted it as a fiat accompli. No surprises, we all have accepted it as routine.
Healthcare is another hot topic. As if this sector alone is stinking. Is there a part in the whole body that is not rotten! Who stops our hospitals from functioning efficiently! We are the doctors, we are the patients and we are the attendants…..who comes in our way to act like good doctors, good patients, and good attendants. None, except us. No security agency working in Kashmir has anything  to with that.
Now take the politics. If Mirwaiz goes to Pakistan we know nothing is to change. But if Geelani Sahab stays back is that going to bring us a change! If NC is in power we hear a lot about Autonomy, but is that coming, anyway. And if PDP was to occupy the seat, would Self-Rule happen. Leave aside who rules us, the problem is even deeper. We vote in elections and nothing changes, we don’t and it remains the same. A circular logic has set in everything that we do or think. Someone has to get us out of that damningly disastrous logic.
For that new beginnings have to be made, accompanied by some endings. We can’t wait for certain things to happen to do certain other things. Likewise we cannot forget certain things because we need a break for certain other things. Minds must get started to question the premises and conclusions that determine our politics. If nothing that we have works, it doesn’t mean nothing works. It means that we are short of things that work. We need to part ways from the things that don’t work – endings – and look for the things that might work –beginnings.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 20 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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