The speed, if not controlled, will sure harm us
NAYEEMA AHMAD MAHJOOR
The community that takes pride in breaking its own laws, dismantling its own bridges, demolishing its own institutions and burnings its own schools can be called politically immature and can be certified as being a "sick society". We went through this traumatic phase in the early 90s. It gave a bad name to the "Kashmir issue" and also ruined the community socially, mentally and politically. The scars are still visible in every aspect of our life and will remain embedded into our soul for so many decades to come. We cannot turn the clock to undo it but we can ponder over whether what we are doing now, does it amount to the same thing in a different form. That needs a lot of introspection, discourse and deliberations among ourselves only. We do not need "outsiders" to make us sit together in order to identify our inherent inhibitions, issues or actions; it is high time to let go of our false ego or ideology for the time being and at least give a chance to each other to look deeper into our community united.
At present, the situation in the valley looks calm and society is moving in fast speed to make up for the years lost during turmoil. The "moving forward" or "changing mindset" is not bad but the speed at which we are moving forward can be too dangerous and fatal to the whole community. It is our birth right to rebuild our lives, reconstruct our institutions and re-start our infrastructure. It is also our responsibility to do this job in a very systematic and balanced way. However, the means by which or the speed at which it is being done is beyond anybody's comprehension because it has been creating more chaos and confusion in the society. There is mad race of competition on buying and selling at every shop, office and big malls which have defaced the geography of the historical Srinagar.
Kashmiri society is marching without a sense of time, phase or system with only and one motive: to become rich overnight. Those economies which tried to transform overnight have usually ended up in disaster. This is because there is no point in having false growth. Buying cars or building houses on bank loans is in fact a "borrowed economy" with long term implications on the nation as a whole. An example of Greece makes it more clear.
At one stage of the "freedom movement", the community was labelled as law breakers and we took delight in it. Now, we should certainly take delight in re-making laws but not at the expanse of losing our societal and traditional values. We should make sure the laws we make, the industries we build, the education we impart or the entertainment we like, do fit our soil and are compatible with its psyche.
On the surface, the society looks vibrant with so many activities going on throughout the valley: seminars on Kashmiriyat in Kashmir University, foreign delegations visiting the mesmerising Dal Lake, Parliamentarians in Shopian or environmental discourses in SKICC, these are signs of an alive society. However, can anybody vouch that this vibrancy is leading us towards peace and prosperity without losing our social and economic balance? Honestly, this development without proper check and balance gives me creeps and there seems every reason to believe that it might lead us nowhere.
Look back at Western countries that had seen the worst nightmare during the Second World War when the whole continent was reduced to debris, the infrastructure was damaged, institutions were in shambles. The process of restructuring started with lot of pace, and within a few decades the countries of Europe had become advanced economies with some of the best institutions of the world. Europe is now a highly developed continent with the latest technology and infrastructure. What it lacks at the moment is the comfort of community, home and family life. It paid too much attention to physical and economic development ignoring the basic unit of life, i.e. the home. The consequences are visible; the speed of development has damaged it mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The glimpses of cultured, traditional and value based society of Europe can be found in the novels of Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. That is why the intellectual classes of Europe are yearning for "home". The unchecked and blind growth and prosperity has ruined and damaged the essence of home, family and community.
Power, development and economic prosperity is a birth right of every citizen and every nation. However, if it is not measured against time, space and speed, it can cause more harm than benefit. Kashmir cannot be an exception to this rule; development needs proper check and balance, and it should bring peace and comfort to, not add to the discomforts of, the common man. The community needs to slow down and look deep to find out if it is marching in a proper way; otherwise it is at risk of losing its character, identity and dignity.
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Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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