BY RAJA MUNEEB
Racine, a social scientist argues;
Political history of Asia in last fifty years has been marked by the identity factor along with the religious, ethno-linguistic, caste based and other forms of social diversity.
Identity in a conservative society forms the basis of the life cycle of common man. Social conformity glues the value system that decides the behaviour of individual at large.
The Kashmir Problem, till date stands analysed through myriad of prisms and causes whether political, historical etc. by intellectuals across spectrum.
However, till date the socio-demographic and socio-psychological dimension of the problem has remained a unvisited territory, which demands deeper analysis and research, especially from a perspective of a nationalist patriotic Kashmiris, who have been marginalised over the years by the ecosystem of terrorism; not numerically but at social and community levels.
In order to understand the assertion we need to go back to history to observe the social composition of the Kashmiri society and too specifically the social temperament.
Historically, Kashmiris have embraced Shavism, Reshism and Sufism, which have formed the basis of spirituality of the majority here over centuries.
This specific form of mysticism have carved a unique temperament of common Kashmiri, with humbleness, empathy and love for all narrative that defined the social conduct and discourse over centuries together.
It is this Kashmir that annexed with Union of India in 1947 through Instrument of Accession, despite having majority of Hindu population and not with Pakistan, created on the basis of Islam. It is this Kashmir that have opposed and fought the tribal insurgents send by Jinnah to annex Kashmir with muscle power, as religious schism could not appeal them.
So, the question arises what happened with this society, over last few decades that it has witnessed large scale conflict and giant of terrorism engulfing it from all sides.
The answer to this riddle lies within the forces whether internal and external that have operated from all sides over region especially post Rajiv-Farooq Accord, elections of 1987 and violence post 1989.
Pre-1989 Kashmir was a different story altogether, any middle aged common man of Kashmir narrates his youth and the peace they grow up. Cinema and Hindi films was a common feature in every young Kashmiris life.
The religious education and knowledge would pass through the well established institution of Peer-Mureed, who were genuine seers and Sufis; who would transform a person into an empathetic person and refine his mind and soul rather indoctrinating his mind, as is done by present madrass and FAT schools operated by Jamaat Islami.
I have narrated the above story, so as to contextualise my pain, agony and journey as a Kashmiri Nationalistic and Patriotic Muslim. Lot of water has flown down the river over last three decades. Every kind of story, articles, media reports and books have been written to narrate the conflict of Kashmir.
But unfortunately no one till date has projected the forced silence of nationalistic Kashmiris. Even mainstream media have always highlighted the rights and stories of people affected at the hands of forces.
But the killings, abuses, torture, mental agony, forced financial donations and other brutalities of Kashmiri nationalists, at the hands of terrorists have never seen the headlines of mainstream media.
Numerically the pro-Indian Kashmiris have not seen a drop even at the peak of the terrorism, but what we have lost is the social dominance and social space to speak the loyalty towards your own country within your own social circle. The loss of social space is a worst disservice the antinational elements especially the Jamaat-i-Islami has done towards our nation.
It has primarily happened because of the manufacturing of the narrative by the jammat leaders and their operators in failed state of Pakistan that a good Kashmiri Muslim can not be an Indian and the support even at personal emotional level towards India or Indian institutions tantamount to blasphemy against your own religion and issued fatwas declaring them as kafir, murtad or takfir (apostate) inviting punishment of death. Thousands of nationalists Kashmiris have been killed just on this basis by Pak sponsored terrorism.
This wanton killing policy with religious sanctity of the nationalist Kashmiris was a major deathblow to the social legitimacy and led to their marginalisation at social and community levels. As the Oscar Wilde has rightly said in the famous book ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ that “the terror of society, which is the basis of morals and the terror of God, which is secret of religion –these are two things that govern us”
In the era of liberalisation and freedom of expression, such kind of oppression within your own land hardly finds a space or intellectual debate. The freedom of expression of a nationalistic Kashmiri is as much sacrosanct as any body else. But he has finds himself suffocated whether at a informal social function or in a large intellectual space.
In a discussion with a Jamaati about the ostracisation and fatwa of apostasy against the pro Indian Kashmiris, how come you answer 20 crore Indian Muslims, who live within mainland India. In a hypocritical tone and expression, he asserted we know we will not get freedom but what we have achieved till date is not less than freedom.
A common illiterate jamaati is given more respect than an educated and intellectual nationalistic pro India. A pro Indian for fear of life doesn’t express himself and hardly finds any social constituency. We in contrast run the parallel govt here at local level.
We have schools, madrass, bannat, palatial mosques on land and prime properties, govt jobs and we have intruded in education system of state. We have doctors, engineers and bureaucrats. We arbitrate local issues like court and our undercurrent is more powerful than you.
Such is the state of mind and hypocrisy under the nose of the administration. Alas! I found myself dumb and a pure loser.
This aspect of the Kashmir problem is the most neglected and ignored part of the problem and needs immediate attention and redressal. If we are not able to protect a common nationalistic person to express himself about his ideas, feelings, emotions and love for the state of India or its institutions in a informal discussion at a shop with fellow villagers in a remote Kashmiri villages, having such a mammoth defence expenditure bill and so many institutions at disposal; then we need to rethink our modern Kashmir policy.
We as nationalistic patriotic Kashmiri Muslims have not been intimidated by the false and fabricated narrative of Pak sponsored terrorism against us, but we need to regain our lost social space at larger community level. I, as a nationalistic person shall have the freedom to support Indian national cricket team like others have.
I shall not be ostracised just because I sing Sare jahan acha hindustan hamaraa. I shall earn social respect and dignity, if I make India proud, in any sphere of life. I shall have the same freedom of expression as per the constitution as others possess.
The day the constitution and institutions of my country including the Judicial System protects my constitutional rights as a common nationalist Kashmiri, that day the integration will be complete. The cause of India has find innumerable people dying here and their sacrifices for the nation shall not go in vain.
The soul of these patriots will find peace if the lost social space and protection as well as dignity and self-esteem of nationalist Kashmiri is regained back. Which we firmly believe will be in the times to come.
The abrogation of article 370 started a new beginning of national integration be it physical, constitutional, intellectual and emotional. The psyche of the anti-nationals have suffered death blow with it, and have started understanding that institutions of state can no more be hijacked for their ulterior motives.
The state of India being generous and upholding democratic ideals can not be expected to let it’s institutions be contaminated with radical ideology that is antithesis of humanity. The country can not afford to fund the murders of her own sons and daughters with hard earned money of tax payers getting siphoned off and financing the terror.
We need to put stop to horrible policy that incentivised anti national mindset and disreputed those who stood for their beloved country in thick and thin paying huge cost not only many of them sacrificing their lives but almost every one having sacrificed the normal socail spaces that society denied them getting swayed by the enemy propaganda.
Our governing institutions can no more ignore the aspirations of 1.3 billion people who rally under one flag that represents them all without any barrier of caste and creed. Only this policy shall work in Kashmir now.
Raja Muneeb is a Columnist
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.