Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

2/3/09

Fragmented voices of Kashmir

It is very disheartening to see so many different voices of freedom in Kashmir seeming to convey the same message and yet frgamented in their choice of path to reach that goal. Take Hurriyat for instance. I believe they have very noble intentions and yet because of internal disagreements within the constituents, they are a fragmented party with different ideologies trying to compete with each other to gain an upper hand. I also believe that all different organisations who think they best represent the aspirations of the people of Kashmir should learn to get along. This, they can achieve by learning how other parties function in different parts of the world. Inspite of all the bad things that can be said about American democracy, we can all learn a thing or two from them about unity, loyalty and sacrificing personal ambitions for the greater good.

The most publicized presidential campaign in history taught us something about how the political parties work in the US. There are so many different ideologies and different political views represented in each of the two parties that rule America. Yet, members and leaders of both parties learn to get along and sacrifice their own political ambitions for the furture of their respective parties. Take for instance Hillary Clinton who spared no effort in painting Obama as a muslim closet-terrorist, and yet after she lost to Obama in her bid to lead the Democrat party, she conceded and offered him her full backing and support. She even advised her supporter to do the same. Contrast this with how politicians work in Kashmir. Had the same thing happened in Kashmir and Hillary were a Kashmiri politician with ambitions to lead a party, and had lost in a similar fashion, not only would she have showered her opponent with the choicest insults, she would have split the pary, rebelled, and formed her own faction of the party called Decomcrats(H) - in typical Kashmiri style. Everyone of us knows this is true with the obvious example of Hurriyat (G) and Hurriyat (M). Only time will tell whether we will have other Hurriyat factions in the future with yet more suffixes attached to them so we can tell them apart.

What I do not understand is why we need multitudes of different parties with as many different ideologies when each and every one seems to be working towards the same goal? Why not just have an election, a debate and let members of each little party choose who is the best person to lead the movement. After this election, all opposition leaders who lost should keep their views to themselves and support the leader who is chosen.

Here are some synonyms of unity: consensus; solidarity; unification; agreement and alliance. All these words seem like alien while describing the different organizations vying for the support of the people of Kashmir, even though in reality each has a small segment of population backing them up. It seems we never learnt from childhood fables about the bunch of sticks which are harder to break when you tie them togther.

More edits later ...keep checking back

17 comments:

  1. Unity is key to success. Lets strive to unite our pro- Freedom leadership under one banner and lets weed out unscruplous elements from within the ranks of our leadership. People like Sajad Lone, Bilal Lone and Professor Ghani shall be asked to sit out. Jamaat Islami also needs to clarify its position.

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  2. @kashmir center
    my point is that let all people who think they represent freedom aspirations contest to lead the hurriyat. This includes the ones that you called unscrupulous elements. First and foremost they have to invite all kashmiris to become hurriyat members. Then all members get to choose who leads the party for a term of four years. If most members of hurriyat choose Geelani then everybody should give him their unflinching support, whereas if most members chose Mirwaiz, or any other able person, everybody should support the leader without question.

    In fighting, bickering and name calling has to stop.

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  3. @koshur
    Good suggestion. Lets collectively refine the draft of strategy for unity and future course of action and present that before our nation. I want to dedicate my email address for bloggers and non-bloggers to suggest the proposals, amendments and observa tions in this regard. Then once we come to some consesus, all of us shall publish the draft in our blogs, mail it to hurriyat leaders and circulate it in the newsprint. If you and other bloggers agree with my point of veiw, then lets take the initiative and proceed further.

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  4. @kashmir center
    my full support and cooperation for you.

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  5. I would say that the diverse leaders of pro freedom movement should come up with a common minimum agenda and then stick to it till we get rid of India.Major Huriyat leaders can definitely come up with CMA (common minimum agenda) and have one spokesperson. Huiryat also needs to expand the network to far and near villages of Kashmir. Explain to people what azadi means and focus on keeping the siprits of People high. I am not sure how many of us would volunteer to be part of this network...Huriyat can do nothing if people like us do not join them and change their attitude, come up with new ideas, ....we can really bring about change.....don't know if my dream to return to kashmir and lead the freedom struggle from some quarter or aspect will become a reality in future.......i wish it would.........

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  6. @ Koshur

    For a long time, I thought about bidding good bye to my blogging - it had started to be too emotionally draining. But, the keyboard had the better of me and I do post now and then, here and there.

    APHC - I am not sure why any one of you is even alright with the suggestion of this organisation. 1989-2009, 20 years are enough to tell anyone who is worth what. Sheikh Abdullah - controversies aside - spend this much time in prison because he hoped for a better Kashmir (and please this was an example, let's not bicker about him - I respect him (and before anyone calls me a stooge - have a look at my blog) - our leaders spent this time building their persons. Revolutions do not come by re-powering the failures, it comes by creating new successes. I know what I am thinking is very far off possibility - but only in this regard am I a optimist. Kashmir needs new people to lead, not old wine in new bottles. What I have been thinking about, is that we need to come up with symbols first to define our oneness, that would include a Flag, an Anthem and a Day to feel one. Imagery and symbols are very essential - sadly - and more sadly so because APHC with all its finances- was able to come up with none.

    Let us start by having symbols that signify 'us.'

    Ajaz, CMPs are talk of established parties, of parties which sway people - APHC needs to be shut down to save Kashmir.

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  7. @K
    I doubt anyone will call you a stooge. You were still a freedom activist back when I was writing about how autonomy is a good idea. I am sure your blogs must have educated and inspired many Kashmiris, just as they did to me. I am glad you decided to continue blogging and not bidding goodbye.

    Back to business...
    What you suggested is great but with PSA and POTA there are seldom more young or new faces willing to take over the mantle. I think we have to make good of what we have in terms of Hurriyat and just inform them the wishes of the people.

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  8. @K

    symbols, flag, national anthem...fantastic ideas

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  9. @K
    I cannot understand, why they named it All Parties Hurriyat Conference. It should have been just Hurriyat Conference. All parties should have been one party. It makes me disgusted when I find too many different chairmen giving press conferences and press notes. We need one leader at a time just like Mandela, Gandhi, Jinnah and Mujeeb-ur-Rehman. I personally feel Mirwaiz should only concentrate on the job for which he was appointed i.e., Mirwaizi and nothing more than that. As long as their is conflict of interest between Geelani and Mirwaiz, unity will be impossible. Then we have new breed of budding leaders. Why not to choose someone from them as second incharge. As far as national symbols are concerned, a great idea. We should also have a government in exile with our own president and P.M. Then we should also be having a national solidarity week every year. We should hoist our flag everywhere and have big assemblies at Mazar-i- Shuda during the solidarity week just to remind us about the Martyrs.
    More next time.

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  10. @Kashmir centre
    I agree. It seems that every mohalla has its own party now and just when we thought there are enough parties already, someone comes up with yet another party with their cousins, nephews and brother in laws as their "Awaam"

    remember what happened when tehreek started, they made close to 150 different groups with as many chiefs. we know what happened when they went after each other. I do not support violence but this is just an example.

    there is no substitution for unity. smaller parties have to sacrifice and amalgamate into bigger hurriyat - through democratic means. whosoever has the most members with them gets to lead for a set term, the rest should follow the chosen one faithfully.

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  11. @Aijaz
    I couldnt agree more about outreach to far villages. You should have seen my blood curdle when I went to villages where christian conversion centres have sprung. they do it in disguise of teaching tailoring. the villager's only source of information is nightly bahas in village chowk, and propaganda spewed on doordarshan about how AJK is a hell hole. there is no other alternative but all parties to unite, and be proactive in building membership in the smallest village. otherwise the battle is lost.

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  12. @K
    I approved the post. I have no idea where it went!
    Please resend it if possibe.

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  13. @ Koshur

    Will rewrite and resend soon.

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  14. @ Kashmir Center

    The reason we have a multitude of parties and their leaders is becasue the struggle of Kashmir is of no consequence to them, it is the continous deaths and infliction of damage to the population that is of consequence to them. We die, they survive. One man's vomit is another's food. Can you imagine a free Kashmir with people like Geelani and Mirwaiz at the helm? Can you imagine what would be the worth of those who have strived to educate and empower themselves with knowledge? Nothing. It would be Bitta Karatay as the education minister and Mirwaiz and Geelani having a power sharing agreement and so on and so forth.Then again, as was the case with Bangladesh, would be the case with Kashmir.

    National symbols, government in exile are thoughts of leaders who have a vision to follow and a people to lead. Kashmir has people to follow but none to lead. Sheikh Abdullah had a symbol, which has since then been used, but our leaders are too busy talking in Casablanca. Did you know that just before the recent protests Mirwaiz was to leave for some conflict training program and Geelani is now talking about not cashing the protests enough.

    Second rung leaders do not exist in Kashmir, it is just the leaders and their stooges. One thing that I am worried about now is the formation of WKSA (barzul.blogspot guy). It is a very dangerous entity in the making.


    @Koshur

    I wish I could share you optimistic view of AHPC>

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  15. @ Kashmir Center

    The reason we have a multitude of parties and their leaders is becasue the struggle of Kashmir is of no consequence to them, it is the continous deaths and infliction of damage to the population that is of consequence to them. We die, they survive. One man's vomit is another's food. Can you imagine a free Kashmir with people like Geelani and Mirwaiz at the helm? Can you imagine what would be the worth of those who have strived to educate and empower themselves with knowledge? Nothing. It would be Bitta Karatay as the education minister and Mirwaiz and Geelani having a power sharing agreement and so on and so forth.Then again, as was the case with Bangladesh, would be the case with Kashmir.

    National symbols, government in exile are thoughts of leaders who have a vision to follow and a people to lead. Kashmir has people to follow but none to lead. Sheikh Abdullah had a symbol, which has since then been used, but our leaders are too busy talking in Casablanca. Did you know that just before the recent protests Mirwaiz was to leave for some conflict training program and Geelani is now talking about not cashing the protests enough.

    Second rung leaders do not exist in Kashmir, it is just the leaders and their stooges. One thing that I am worried about now is the formation of WKSA (barzul.blogspot guy). It is a very dangerous entity in the making.

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  16. @ Koshur

    There is a little something I wanted to ask? Why is it that you chose to support one organisation or the other? Why Omar Abdullah and now APHC?? You may reply on my blog without posting this comment - if you so chose.

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  17. @Kashmir
    I never supported the policies of Omar. Even if you read my earliest posts, I used to call for pre-53 status but felt that neither NC nor PDP can deliver it to the Kashmiris.

    I could argue that I got caught in the frenzy surrounding a blog by a politician of Kashmir - I am guilty of that. Us Kashmiris have a tendency to get swayed by novelty - case in point: the gondola project! But once bitten twice shy; I have learnt my lesson! Should have known better!

    Hurriyat on the other hand is what we have, they have been tried and tested for 20 years. They are not ideal, but if that's the best Kashmir can do, I think we should support it, make it stronger, more democratic, and more representative - but from within. Instead of forming yet more parties.

    For instance, your blog has been around for a long time, and there is a history associated with it so I can make an educated guess that it is not a camouflage for some IB agent trying to manipulate and guage Kashmiri thinking. Mine has been around since 1998, first the angelfire one and then this one since 2006. (I will not list the angelfire one because it had my name in the address) I have nothing to hide, as all my posts are here and many will disagree with a lot of what I have to say, but I still have a history based on which they can make their own opinions about me.

    Similarly, any new party trying to claim they truly represent the aspirations of the Kashmiris will fail this scrutiny, and will have to wait a few decades, suffer a few hundred arrests, and a couple of broken ribs before Kashmiris cozy upto them - no matter how harsh their vitriol against India at the moment. Sheikh Abdullah would have never been universally accepted had he merely written newspaper articles without walking the walk.

    I truly feel Hurriyat is what we have to make the best use of - albeit they have to make it more democratic. If Bashir Ahmed the tailor thinks he has what it takes to lead Hurriyat, then he should get an equal chance just as Mohd. Shaban the Kalbaff or Mirwaiz Umer of contesting for the leadership in a party election. Let them invite all Kashmiris to become voting members of the hurriyat, let these voting members chose who is worthy of representing them. After selecting the leader, the losers should sacrifice their ambitions and support the new leader and his policies, atleast till the next leadership election.

    ReplyDelete