These thoughts are occasioned by the column by Ajaz-ul-Haque titled "We the savages" (Write Hand June 25 Greater Kashmir).
The condemnation of savage and fatal lynching of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mohammed Ayub Pandit—within precincts that were home to him—is extraordinarily inspiring and ennobling. Indeed, the outrage expressed by the Daily at the "tyranny of the oppressed" reminds one inevitably of Gandhi's castigation of the Chauri Chaura arson by an oppressed mob which burnt many Indian policemen to cinders.
The thoughts expressed in the said column are remarkable for another reason. The Daily does not succumb to the temptation—one that could have been easily excused—to explain or justify the lynching of Ayub by pointing to the numerous "nationalist" lynchings that continue to deface the Republic. The Daily's refusal to fall to those standards which are everyday rationalized, overtly or covertly, by powers-that-be strikes a moral chord that justly places Kashmiri standards above those that now prevail in many parts of India. For doing so, I am personally deeply moved and thankful. It is not to be expected that the humanist leadership shown by Greater Kashmir may encourage scions of the rightwing similarly to express open and unequivocal condemnation of the targeted lynchings effected by self-styled but silently endorsed vigilantes of the ruling political hue.
A sad thought in retrospect, however, may be in place. Had the same courage been in evidence during the brutal pogrom of 1990, the fate of the state may have been infinitely different and better than it tragically is today. Caveat: this writer was not in the valley or the state when those thoughtlessly brutal killings took place; nor have I researched enough to know whether or not the local print media during those times stood upto the savagery of that time.
On my part as a citizen I may allow myself the indulgence to say to my Kashmiri brethren what I have often and on record said to the Maoists who claim equally to be struggling on behalf of the forgotten Indian: no form of violent protest or praxis has the least future any more. Apart from being anti-humanist in itself, violence only alienates democratic opinion of which people's movements must always have great need, but, more ominously, provides justification for state violence which is thus given the opportunity to be on high "nationalist" ground, and which people's violence cannot match. The thoughts expressed by Ajaz-ul-Haque in the column must therefore be read in a much wider context ass well—context that bears on the prospects which confront the Valley dweller.
Nor must the state continue to believe that widely-held democratic beliefs can be extinguished by a persistent use of main force. Indeed, in condemning the lynching fatality of Ayub, the Daily has shamed the shallow perorations of t he "nationalist" narrative generally and about Kashmir particularly. Unknown to itself, it may also have triggered an important rethink in sections of the support base among citizens which crassly tends to tom tom state propaganda about Kashmir and Kashmiris.