Etches in our palms

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Arshid Malik
This is a hypothetical analysis of actual events and does not necessarily presuppose its own rightness. The year 2011 is receding fast into a gamut of memories and that is all it will be within the next fortnight. For Kashmir 2011 was a good year in terms of stability and considerable peace in comparison to the previous two years which were marked by ultimate tumult and numerous unfortunate deaths. What changed in 2011? What was it that led to the settling of protests in Kashmir? What brought about the relative stability and peace? While certain quarters are believed to be bagging credit for the same, social and political antecedents speak otherwise.

Social as well as political “movements” are subject to an internal circumstance of demise. Each and every “movement’, be it social, political or otherwise carries a time frame of operation and if within this time period the “movement” does not meet the “fate” it had planned out for itself by means of various contributors and participants it intrinsically withers away. In this context there are various contributors external to the “movement” which lead it to its destination and thus become objective participants to the same. These external contributors are generally “perceived and actual circumstances” against which the “movement” is spearheaded or seeking to benefit from, and even though the realization hardly lands on the internal participants of the “movement” these “perceived and actual circumstances” actually play a great role in achieving the goals of the “movement”.

Furthermore, the “bearers” of the “perceived and actual circumstances” tend to create structures and superstructures aimed at obtruding the zest of all such “movements” and its participants and such structures and superstructures externally dictate the time frame of the “movement”. Now, within the “life span” of the “movement” if the laid out “perceived and actual circumstances” work in the direction of the “movement” the “movement” achieves its “bit” and if the “perceived and actual circumstances” are against the same then the “movement” collapses unto itself within the time frame. The time frame is dictated by the behaviours, attitudes and perceptions of the internal contributors and participants. Eventually, each and every “movement” either reaches its conclusion or disappears within itself.

Talking of “movements”, we may take the Indian independence movement as an example. India was ruled by the British for a long time and during this time we found Indians actually collaborating with the British towards the extension of their rule in India and possible development of the same as a permanent political state. There were protests in and around India against the British Raj and these continued to be while the hues changed with the changing times. The “movement” of the people of India against the British Raj was subject to its own set of internal consequences and like all other “movements” it was set to lapse after a certain period of time given the odds did not work towards the realization of “perceived dream of independence”.

What happened towards the later stage of the Indian independence movement was that the external factors or rather the “perceived and actual circumstances” which in all actuality were the pivots of Britain’s internal stability etched towards the “perceived achievable motive” of the Indian independence movement. The structures and superstructures that the British created to hinder the actual realization of the Indian independence movement were wrongly calculated and strategized and eventually failed at their very motives. Britain began to collapse under its own grandiose perceptions of imperialism besides its internal political circumstance. The stage was set for the eventual exit of the British from India and this coincided with the time frame of the Indian movement for independence. Now, when we say that India achieved independence from the British Raj at the behest of its long struggle for freedom, we are divesting of certain political facts that remain to be.

In the context of Kashmir, a “movement” kick-started in the late 90s and it was subject to all internal and external pressures of generic movements. This movement could not achieve what it had planned as all the odds worked internally and externally against it. Towards the middle of the 90s the Kashmiri “movement” began to fall apart losing all its primal “grandeur”. The hindering structures and superstructures of India worked in all directions and it is hard to even out whether these were supposedly correct in order of “corrective measures”. One may conclude that the establishment’s reaction to the circumstances in Kashmir was “harried” and “huddled with confusion” and thus could not have laterally contributed to the lapse of the Kashmiri movement. Other interests, external that is, noteworthy among which is the political stand of Pakistan and its actual extraordinary involvement in the “Kashmir conjecture” worked inwards towards an eventual rupture of the Kashmiri movement. Now, if the establishment stands to take credit for “curbing” militancy in Kashmir, I beg to disagree.

The year 2008 marked a line of protests in Kashmir and these somehow sought to coincide and perhaps salvage the “dying” movement for “independence from India”. 2009 was no different and 2010 was equally ballistic. Whole of this process winding through three or more years, which marks a contemporary movement in Kashmir, was working under an internally time-bound mechanism and would collapse if it did not meet the positive catalysts, internally and externally, and collapse it did. Since this movement involved the masses of Kashmir on an extensive scale the internal factors that actually jeopardize a movement were extensively large. It was almost impossible to polarize a certain adjective that characterized this particular “movement”.  

Most of the supposed external “perceived and actual circumstances” were intrinsically internalized since this was a non-collaborative “mass movement”. Other appendages against which the movement worked were particularly non-descript and worked both ways. This movement was disowned and practically disavowed by its very own constituents towards the entry of the year 2011 and thus collapsed unto itself within its time frame of incumbency. Now, who is cited to take credit for the same is necessarily unimportant, in my opinion, and what actually matters is in what manner do the etchings in our palms stretch and cover around.

About Author

A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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