While fighting oppression nations have depicted diverse traits. We are familiar with the attitude of Jews once they were asked by Moses to join him in fighting for Palestine. Their response was that those with whom you are asking us to fight are very strong. It is better for you to go and fight on your own along with the Almighty. As compared to this, companions of the Prophet (SAW) displayed altogether different attitude. When the battle of ditch (khandak) was getting prolonged with no hope of any respite everyone within Medina was getting restive. Companions were coming with different suggestions.
One of the suggestions was for a compromise for lifting of siege in lieu of sharing one third agriculture produce of Medina with invaders. When the Prophet (SAW) sought views of Ansar on the suggestion their response was unlike of Jews. They told him we never compromised even when we were infidels. Now we are Muslims and also blessed with your presence among us it does not behove us to go for a compromise. We will fight. The Prophet (SAW) emboldened by the determination of the Ansar decided to continue with fighting. After sometime the invaders were over taken by war fatigue, they decided to abandon the siege of Medina.
When we analyse Kashmiri behaviour in similar situations we find elderly and elite behaving like Jews. Yeteh paneh dheteh deenas thazar Nate souztan Sheray Jabbar (Come on your own to elevate your faith/or send Ali, the lion of Allah to do the same). The young ones on the other hand seem to have imbibed the spirit of Ansar.
This probably is the resilience gifted by God in response to the prayer of Iqbal, "jawanun ko peerun ka ustad kar". It is not a co-incidence that every peer irrespective of his standing is guided by youth at this juncture. Elders have dreams bereft of resilience, indispensable for realisation of the goals. In order to exonerate themselves from the guilt of being non-resilient they need an escape goat and the escape goat they often find among their leaders.
Every mass mobilisation of modern times reaches to a stage when reign of terror and tyranny is let loose upon it by the oppressive power. Leaders get detained, workers get imprisoned and masses are deprived of information through censorship. It is a juncture when the community as a whole has to find means of sustaining resistance. Community takes care of the struggle as well as those who become victims of oppression. Unlike the resilient Ansar, Kashmiri elite are easily overtaken by scepticism, be it during militancy or mass uprisings.
They however abhor any idea of reconciliation with the subjugation. The paradox becomes a handy tool for pleaders of status quo to malign the leadership. Presently Kashmir is passing through a similar situation. Syed Ali Shah Geelani completes six years of house arrest while Masarat Alam has remained in detention for the same period. Mirwaiz and Yasin Malik too remained in police custody for several months. Same remains the fate of the leadership at local and regional level. Ordinary masses initiated present phase of resistance on their own. They continue to sacrifice and remain determined to sustain it. They somehow manage their basic necessities and remain contended with what they have.
Beneficiaries of status quo on the other hand want the leadership to rescue the crumbled system in the garb of articulating the resistance. Since leadership has remained unresponsive to their covert mechanisations they are on a maligning spree. On their own they are not ready to suggest alternatives knowing well that such an exercise is not easy given the fact that the space for dissent has been completely choked in Kashmir. Right to life remains an illusion in view of frequent extrajudicial killings. Personal liberty of Kashmiris is targeted through preventive detention laws like PSA. Right to privacy is vulnerable to search operations. Freedom of movement is often restricted by curfew and house arrests. Right to freedom of assembly is taken away through imposition of section 144. Freedom of expression and press is directly targeted through blatant ban on newspapers and internet. A facebook post gets criminalised as sedition and a Kashmiri student has been detained for it in Jharkhand. Another Kashmiri student has been expelled from Aligarh Muslim University for the same reason. Holding a seminar at JNU led to state repression against the organisers as well as Kashmiri students.
Instead of taking on the system for choking the space and suggesting alternative modes of resistance our pen-wielding sermonizers have made it a pastime to malign every form of dissent. For years they have been demeaning insurgency for involving loss of life. Now hartals do not find their favour on account of economic costs. Historical experience suggests that goals can't be achieved otherwise. When leadership calls for election boycott they find fault with this approach as well. It was the BJP phobia concocted by them that made people to vote. BJP came to power despite voting. Thank God leadership stood by its boycott stand otherwise ascendance of BJP to power would have been attributed to it. At present sermons for abdication of resistance comes with a similar articulation, overstretched people can defy the leadership, and defiance will dent its credibility'. The argument stands exposed on account of previous experience. Leadership didn't budge on election boycott nor did concede on four points of Musharraf. Did it dilute its political clout? Leaders are supposed to lead not to yield.
Mobilisation within and conducive geopolitical atmosphere are indispensable for ultimate solution. Mobilisation of masses remains within the competence of leadership. Creation of a favourable geopolitical opinion demands concerted efforts from within and across. Sermonising writers can contribute positively if they care of this domain rather than finding escape goats within leadership. Revolutionised information technology has made it possible. Alternative course available for critics is to come up with alternative strategy and address masses directly. May be this elevates them to the position of decision makers and enables them to comprehend operational dynamics of the resistance.