Generational uprising in Kashmir

Dr Bashir A Dabla

It has been established now beyond doubt that present peaceful protests going on across the entire territory of Kashmir stand genuine, indigenous political movement, carried out by Kashmiris for the grand objective of Azaadi , in which all men, women, youth, children, elder, rich and poor participate.  The discourse of the Indian government and media perception (that this movement represented foreign-inspired and Pak-sponsored terrorism) has lost the national as well as international market.

The national and global intelligentsia believe now in the ‘correctness’ and ‘truthfulness’ of the situation. They understand that the 2010 uprising in Kashmir represent the people’s struggle for the ‘right of self-determination’ which India (earlier promised) denied to them and brutally suppressed their peaceful protests. The policy adopted was ‘bullet for stone’ and thus killed 65 civilians in last two months.

In reality, these protests essentially and necessarily represent a political phenomenon of struggle for freedom for all Kashmiris. The modern history of Kashmir stands a clear witness to this phenomenon in continuity. These protests against alien rule started in 1931 and were repeated in 1953, 1973, 1990 and now in 2010.  In actuality, these uprisings against India reveal a generation cycle’ of uprising continuously after every two decades. A ‘generational cycle’ of uprising.

We are in a position to identify double-decade generational cycle of uprising against Indian presence in Kashmir (see table 1).

The cycle of uprising had political and social characteristics as shown in table 2. A preliminary analysis of the nature of double-decade ‘generational cycle of uprising’ and its political-social features revealed the following crucial points:

(1) Every cycle of uprising inspired and generated other cycles and provided political inspiration needed.  It follows that every generation was preceded as well as followed by a generation which prepared the former for the uprising.

(2) Every cycle of uprising materialized after every two decades time, more of less by one or two years.  Every interval of about two decades provided enough time to the former generation to orient and prepare the latter generation for more intensive uprising.  

(3) The major participation in these protests was of the local youth. Others sections such as children and elders also participated subsequently. Men and women participation was equal and they worked shoulder to shoulder, especially in 1931, 1990 and 2010. The entire family participation was also observed during 2010.

(4) While I, II and V stage protests were carried out through peaceful means, II and III stage protests WERE VIOLENT ONES.  So, the casualty figure of violent protests stand too high in comparison to the casualties in non-violent protests.

(5) The women’s participation was prominent in all uprising. While it was significant in 1931, 1990 and 2010, it was less visible in 1953 and 1973.  Their participation in highest numbers during day and night was also observed in 2010 uprising.  

(6) The leading role in 2010 uprising was played by teenagers of Kashmir who sacrificed 17 lives in the initial stage.  A preliminary sociological study of these front runners of present uprising revealed following features:
They are mostly school-children studying in 10-12th classes;

They were regular, disciplined and high-scoring students ;

Three  out of 17 were lower class employees in private sector, the only breadwinners of their families
They were culturally exposed youth and mostly in a modern life-style;

They were knowing and operating various IT instruments, especially internet and mobile;

They were not religious fanatics and members of any militant organization;

They were mostly religious in attitudes and behavior;

They represented highest IQ and intelligent lot;

They were conscious about career in their life; and They were proud sons of Kashmir and, so, were conscious about Kashmir identity.

(7) All these uprisings were indigenous and were started by the local youth with the support of local intelligentsia. The characterization of these uprisings as foreign-sponsored contributed to the distortion or falsification.

(8) The study of ideology of these uprisings show that there was lesser degree of ideological or political consensus among the leaders. That needs to be adopted soon for the sake of ideological clarity on the part of leadership.
(9) The longevity of uprisings varied. While some ended after a brief period, others lasted for longer period. However, the duration of the uprising has to be decided  according to the objectives and the adoption of methodology to pursue these objectives.

(10) The diagram and chart above glaringly reflect the failure of 3 out of 5 uprisings. While one of  1931 was successful partly, the fifth is still undecided.  Taking into consideration failures in the past, the carriers of present uprising must enquire and understand its causation, so that their repetition can be avoided.

Apparently, it seems that disunity and non-performance of the  pro-freedom leadership; no formal  ideological and political consensus; no united political platform in order to represent the whole nation to the Government of India; and not dissolving  separate individualistic political units have played a disastrous role.  So, it seems important for pro-freedom leadership to develop a greater vision in order to deal with the Indian and other leadership and capitalize the sacrifices of the people for freedom.


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