Our habit of ascribing every tragedy to the political uncertainty we face has not gone and shows no signs of going. Wherever we suffer and whatever the loss, we craft excuses effortlessly. We think we wouldn't have been in trouble. It's only because of unkept promises and unattended United Nations resolutions. Our healthcare, education, agriculture has not developed. Simply because we are an `occupied people'.
Last week it plumbed to a depth not worth even to be called abysmal. Asked as to why do babies die in GB Pant hospital, Syed Ali Shan Geelani – without losing a minute – finished the whole story through the `unsolved Kashmir problem'. `It's genocide'. We are then deprived of a generation to follow. Next may come a statement like this. `Actually agencies want to see a demographic change. They want to render Kashmiris non-existent. And what crueler a way than to kill babies in incubators'. The thinking is not just fossilized, but dangerous too. This way we free ourselves of all responsibilities. Fixing the culpability unthinkably on India and Indian agencies makes us lifelong victims whose only job is to lament and protest. If we don't excel in academics, in sports, in all other spheres of life, we don't have to introspect. After all we haven't done it ourselves as the occupation has been thrust on us. We think had India honored UN resolutions, GB Panth wouldn't have happened. Funny! The problem which can arise anywhere in the world (irrespective of whether the region is free or occupied) has got very little to do with the overall political dispute Kashmir is experiencing for more than six decades now. Instead of seeing the magnitude of the mess (partly invited partly imposed) and suggesting means to tackle it, our leaders keep trumpeting the same old tone of `aggression' `occupation' and `colonisation'. And in this list Geelani figures first.
We must not forget we too share our part of shame and guilt of that `genocide' we cry so loud about. There is no doubt that we have been subjected to a pain indescribable, we have faced the worst of tragedies, but contributions have come from all directions. Here also we can't wash our hands off. We too are stained. If our land is drenched in blood, we too have shed a part of it. Instead of seeing where we went wrong and why, we single-mindedly divert the whole plot to somewhere we feel we are absolved.
Our problems are practical. They demand practical solutions. Whether we are free or enslaved, we will have the same set of duties to perform. India or no India, our responsibilities towards ourselves won't change.