That Fidel Castro, during that incredible guerrilla journey through the rugged terrain of Sierre Maestra, was carrying Rousseau’s Social Contract in his back pocket could be one of those myths, which the legend of revolution might have sparked off. The myth implies two things. That Castro was yet not a Marxist; he was an eclectic when he began the long march with a bunch of young radicals, including a doc called Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. And that, any text can acquire different meanings in different terrains, even when it is not of any so-called ground-breaking significance.
The various ‘research’ studies undertaken by foreign scholars about things related to Kashmir are a case in point. Their mission to unravel many a truth has gathered an argumentative storm. The elements of faith, as well as tolerance, are surely involved in this debate. Faith demands outright rejection of anything that challenges its veracity. Tolerance teaches us to allow it to stand the test of time, and get validation of being supreme and flawless, subsequently buttressing the same as never before.
However, discerning the issue from a rational angle blasts a chain of drivel. These revered scholars want the wounded valley to stand out as a historical cynosure on the global map, attracting people from far and wide, boosting up its economy and development. A utopian watershed for Kashmir! Perhaps.
A ballpark of hypotheses can barely alter the status quo and that too when the researchers’ bank on their ‘memories’ which sound no less than a sequence of deja vus. Suspecting their intentions is absurd and acknowledging their research acumen and accuracy will be slightly preposterous. For instance, talking of Jesus and his lineage, and then clubbing the same to an American thriller Ghosts (as done by one Suzzanne Olisson from the US in 2002) in defense of any purported project-efficacy smacks of juvenile approach.
What if it is proved that the DNA of Rozabal matches that of Murree, and that Haroon is buried at Harwan or Solomon at Takht-i-Sulaiman? Are we going to be a cynosure of all eyes, a tourist attraction and a pilgrim’s favourite? Then, will our streets be lookalikes of Madison Avenue et al, and dogs start behaving the way they do in Los Angeles during the dark? Will people look chic and suave; pockets be full; and taps would furnish mineral water, if not coke and Pepsi?
Seems the white man will teach us a lot. He will initiate by showing us ways and means of survival in terror-struck, poverty-ridden and war-ravaged countries. He will get on by offering basic amenities, then talk of developing infrastructure and step ahead, rewrite our textbooks, confuse our youth and pollute our history beyond retrieval, and finally shower us with smartphones and bombs (food packets attached).
The fact is that the average life history of a white man’s adventures in alien lands is no different. History bears witness that the so-called Age of Enlightenment was in actuality the age of disguised subjugation. Scientific rationalism had no solution for human ailments. Having destroyed the power of the Church and acting upon his reason and circumstances dictated; and feeling accountable to nothing and nobody, the white man set out with organisation and technology to dominate the entire world. The period called by western historians as the ‘Age of Exploration’ is replete with atrocities and genocides that have no parallel in previous civilisations. Unscrupulousness, greed and lust for power have ruled the world for the benefit of the west. Who can rebut that while slogans of liberty, fraternity and equality were ringing in Paris, the French forces were busy crushing the independence of Africa and South East Asia? Who isn’t aware that China and India were subjugated and enslaved during the acclaimed ‘golden period’ of democracy in England and America?
Through the agency of education and mass media, the assassination of mind and thought to eliminate the local cultures and superimpose its own system has been a hallmark of the west. The underlying tradition is still rooted in its struggle for the survival of the whites and the extermination of the ‘inferior races’. The Palestinian Arabs can be equated to American Indians who were perceived as a political threat to the white settlers and therefore completely exterminated. This philosophy is, in fact, exposition of Darwinian Collectivism and people like Suzanne are by coincidence inherent carriers of this thinking. Such people are inculpable for they are only playing the genes, bragging of hollow Coca-colisation and MacDonaldisation of lifestyle, blah-blah.
We are accused of “West Bashing”. Skepticism has been tagged to us and we cannot escape the stigma even if we talk plain and bare history.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.