‘Mainstream’ complicity

A mere condemnation does not absolve you of all your responsibilities

COMMENT

HASSAN ZAINAGAIRI

 Two more students in their full bloom were snuffed out. Another scarlet leaf was added to the gory pages of history of J&K. Again some old rhetoric to cool fraying tempers. Same deceptive tactics and concoctions to shield the killers.
 For how long can our youths be snatched away from our bosoms and fed to the cannons of macho pride and obstinacy? How long phantom nationalism will venerate territory more than the people. How long human values, dignity and honor will get trampled under the jackboots of arrogance and fire-power? How long arms of law and justice delivery system will be crippled from grabbing the necks of murderers?
 Are the ‘national interests’ more prized than basics of humanity. And what defines these interests? Right to life is an inviolable right guaranteed by constitution. Liberal democracies predicate their authority on safeguarding this fundamental right. If this right is done away with, the old imperialistic order gets replaced. Metaphoric beauties and eye-catching terminology cannot deceive people. They are only false constructs to camouflage the real content. And that is where the buck stops.
 Only five days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the queen of Congress visited Kashmir to flag off rail link and, in subsequence, integrate Kashmir to rest of India, the gruesome tragedies happened.
 This time Irfan Ahmad Ganaie of Markundal and Tariq Ahmad Laharwal of Kundbal (Mansbal) were to propitiate the goddess of Nationalism. Irfan a budding mind of 12th class standard was a topper in his Higher Secondary School Naidkhai. He used to deliver speeches and participated in debates and seminars and won prizes. He was preparing for a farewell programme on superannuation of his favorite teacher but as his mother says army killed him before he could perform and thus missed the promised prize he was sure to get. Tariq Ahmad was studying in BA 2nd year and because of poverty was doing part-time job at Jamkash Motors. He was scheduled to get engaged to his widowed sister-in-law a day before he fell to  bullets. While Irfan was killed outside his home, Tariq was murdered at Sumbal Hajin where he had gone to attend marriage ceremony and was killed when men in uniform fired on people protesting murder of Irfan.
 ‘I would have no regrets’, the wailing mother of Irfan asks, ‘if Irfan would have been a militant’. ‘But’, the shell shocked mother cries, ‘Irfan was innocent unarmed boy busy in his studies … the cruel hands snatched him from me’. So do grieve the family of Tariq: ‘Now there are only orphans in the family … army killed our only bread earner’.
 Why have the ‘security forces’ personnel that scant regard for life and dignity of Kashmiris and why they feel emboldened in taking away the life. Simply because the political class, media and civil society in India have completely immunized themselves from sufferings of Kashmiris. Media is the biggest culprit that creates a narrative where victim becomes tormentor and tyrant the victim. Then AFSPA shield clinches the issue of prosecution and accountability. In his visit Manmohan far from applying balms on the wounds of Kashmiris and create conducive atmosphere for peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute ‘vowed to improve security situation’. And as the two tragic incidents reflect his ‘vow’ has been translated into action in its own way. The resultant inquiries ordered are mere eye-wash to silence public rage and hoodwink international community.
 Following the killings we have witnessed a galore of condemnation and regrets hogging headlines. Not only from Hurriyat camp, pro-Darbar political parties as well. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in his reaction said ‘those who dare to challenge this right (right to life), by omission or commission, are made to pay a price, the kind that serves as a cautionary example to other’. Words hollow of resolve and nothing else. How many, one can ask, guilty have been punished by the Establishment so far? Just cite one case. Mustafa Kamal calls army as an ‘unnecessary irritant’. Dr. Mehboob Beg says  incidents like these happen because army believes ‘they can get away with such things’. Mufti Syed holds ‘culture of impunity’ responsible for these killings. Mehbooba says ‘army was never held accountable for such incidents’. Agreed, but the question is all these bashings and loud talks by pro-Darbar forces smacks of crass hypocrisy when they are part of the system. And have pooled in all their resources and energies to strengthen it and provide a democratic fig leaf to it. Does not Omar Abdullah head Unified Head Quarters. Before that Mufti, Azad and Farooq headed the same. How they can absolve themselves from their complicity in the suppression and killing of Kashmiris. They can’t wear Hurriyat mask to condemn army and at the sane time allow themselves as cushions to strengthen the system.
 By resorting to such double speak Pro-Darbar voices are giving the impression that they are on the side of the people. But none of them can dare to venture on streets to join people. That shows what they are up to and how alienated they are from people in thought and sentiments.
zainagiree@yahoo.co.in  

Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST




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