The Gupkar Declaration 2.0 is the latest political flavour of Kashmir. It is being interpreted in 101 ways, may be more, but, if the issue at stake is to restore what is being said, honour and dignity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, where is the real narrative. It might be a very bold statement from the leaders of Kashmir, who have thrown their lot with an apparent devotion on tweets and social media with veteran Farooq Abdullah, it is yet to be understood that which way the movement will take in the coming weeks and months. Is it rejectionist in nature, or resurrection? In such political movements time frame is the only thing that cannot be defined, nor can these be left to the destiny of their own. It is not a game of astrology. It requires scientific data and the pursuits to reach an outcome. Every thing is under wraps of time and the nature of the struggle that the leaders would decide.
Let it rest here for the moment. There, however, should be a clarity, what do these signatories of the Gupkar declaration expect from the people. This is the generation that doesn’t read newspapers to read news of yesterday. It is social media generation. They want quick answers. And, there is another thing bothering them what should they be doing till the Gupkar declaration men and women achieve the promised “sacred goal” of restoring J&K pre-August 5, 2019 status. This requires immediate answers.
The boys and girls in schools of today, though learning through virtual class rooms , if they are lucky enough to have the reliable internet connectivity, would be waiting to know what the future holds for them. The Declaration, as such, has implied that they should not expect anything until the restoration of Article 370, 35A and the statehood, as it existed on August 4, 2019.
As far as the situation is concerned, the younger generation wants some thing real, not the concept. They have seen and heard about many concepts in the past more than three decades, and at the end of the day, they found themselves on the wrong side of history. The leadership must be having some idea about these young boys and girls for the political slogans alone don’t compensate for the class work, nor do these get jobs. The days when the jobs and land were available on mere word of mouth are long over. J&K is already grappling with the problem of regularising more than one lakh casual/ daily wagers. The number of the unemployed is swelling and has already burst the reservoirs of their patience.
The alternatives before them are very limited. With the joint families having fragmented into nucleus families, the agriculture land has been converted into buildings of various sizes and heights. The farming area is quite limited. The orchards cannot fill all the necessary economic gaps needed for the survival. In the name of industries, over the decades empty structures and, at best the tin units have been set up. The urban scene is worse. The skill development institutes have produced carpenters, plumbers and electricians. But they, too, are not finding the kind of work for which they were trained.
No politics works without economics, and no economy is secure without political stability. Neither is secure unless the generation has confidence in its future. There is no image of the bright future that they might have been looking for all these years. The mirror reflecting the realisation of their dreams is rusted.
Therefore, it is very, very important that the leadership, whether physically living in Gupkar or symbolic of the high-powered road of yesteryears, and may be future too, comes out with a roadmap in which everything is accommodated without disrupting anything that is required to live with dignity. The history bears testimony that how the promised dignity through political idealism, if at all that is the term to be used for what happened in the past decades, was subjugated to the compromises that shaped realism and finally led to the de-shaping of the whole thing.
This is the moment to seize the present and devise a future where there is promise and hope for one and all. The bigger problem is that there is not much time left to decide as the patience is already very thin. Before it runs out completely, pragmatism is the need of the hour.