Fault Lines

Arshid Malik

 Underground: Kashmir, geologists say, rests atop a web of active geological faults. The valley, scientists say, “lies on the boundary of two colliding tectonic plates: the small Indian plate that underlies most of India and Pakistan, including much of Kashmir; and the vast Eurasian plate that underlies Europe, China, Russia, and much of the Middle East.” Jean-Philippe Avouac, a geologist, a professor at the California Institute of Technology, and Director of Caltech’s Tectonics Observatory, studies Asian earthquakes and tectonics. Avouac said, “Northern India is being thrust under the Himalaya, and the mountains are being pushed up by this motion. It’s a small increment of deformation, which over millions of years has built the Himalaya range.” This slow-motion collision created one of the planet’s most active earthquake hotspots; as the plates collide, stress builds up in the fault zones where the plates meet.” It is believed that “sudden and rapid releases of seismic stress can cause large earthquakes. And sometimes, an abrupt movement along a shallow fault can rupture the surface, as happened during the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.

Over-ground: So Kashmir lies on the fault lines of a major probable natural disaster and this is the underground dynamics of it. When we look at what is happening aboveground the scene is not promising at all. Kashmir is yet again on the fault lines, of political, economic and socio-psychological disaster which is not just anticipated but actuated every passing day. Every passing day is a disaster in Kashmir, so that so, Kashmir itself has turned into a disaster. Nothing is in order and there is chaos and confusion everywhere. I fail to understand why this beautiful valley is a subject of strife under and over ground. It is not a blessing in disguise and that I am sure of, for had it been a blessing we would have reaped some of its fruits by now. Even though I do not believe in witchcraft but my conclusion is that Kashmir is cursed – cursed to damnation and by not some surreal entity but its own people.

Arrow’s Tip: Kashmir is under India’s rule, how ugly this fact may sound to people, especially the separatists, but it is the truth and there is no running away from it. Kashmir is India’s dominion no matter how hoarse we cry out for freedom and all. We are not getting anywhere and that is fact which is not dawning upon us Kashmiris.

Insurgency and Mediocrity: The separatist leadership in Kashmir is dead by all means except for talk, talk and endless, clueless and pointless talk. The truth is the separatist leaders of Kashmir have nothing to say, neither the government of India nor the people of Kashmir and they are there only attempting to save their waning identities. They have not been able to change anything and that is the story in a nutshell. Whatever we have in the name of a “freedom struggle” as of now is posters, press notes and pointless campaigns. Agreed there was a point that we Kashmiris were trying to score by aiming the gun at India and firing it too but that is a point which served its purpose. What after that; what next? I am forced to ask why the separatists have not been able to infuse some intellectual strength into their fight for freedom from India. Why are not the youth of Kashmir party to the separatist leadership’s lean chapter in recent Kashmir history? Why the common Kashmiri is not even bothered about who died and who made it alive? Why is there such disillusion and disarray? The transition from the gun suggests something which should have come to the fore and that very something is diabolically missing.

The Puppets: No matter who or which political mainstream party has been ruling consecutively in Kashmir, none of them have done anything for the common people. Whether favouring India or frivolously running away from the idea of it, all political parties turn conducive when it comes to holding the chair(s) of power. The former ruling party of Kashmir, the National Conference, fought tooth and nail for its own exclusive rights leaving the people hopeless and now the PDP in alliance with the BJP is doing the same. Once any of the political parties comes to power it promises the people stability and prosperity, jobs and industry, roads and electricity and then every claim falls flat on the face. The ruling PDP-BJP alliance has cheated the people of Kashmir, the people who risked their lives to “vote for change” and so has every other political alliance. One way or the other the ruling parties of Kashmir love to lick up to India’s political elite.

The whatnots: There was a time when I believed in myself as a Kashmiri. I believed in every Kashmiri. I had immense hope for our population, our society, our community. But I guess I was tampering with my emotions and disavowing common reason. I guess the years, decades now, spent in the backdrop of this beautiful valley I have come to realize that we are a people who are nothing but illusory. We are not a real people. We are ghosts who like to believe that we are alive, for, had we been alive there would certainly have been some latent manifestation of humanity in us and this as a matter of fact is just simply missing. We are “thankless thugs in time” who just make do with mockery, jealousy, a tainted sense of morality and religion, vehemently but mistakenly self-effacers who surreptitiously steal from their own souls.

Certain two quotes of Che Guevara come to my mind while I conclude this and I would like to share them with the people and the rulers of Kashmir here.

–              One has to grow hard but without ever losing tenderness.

–              Revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.

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