I am not a leader

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Arshid Malik

The Fight: To be or not to be is no longer the question, not for Kashmir and its people. We have been fighting for a long time now against Indian suppression and it is no fair time to give up, and give up is what the Mufti-led coalition ruling party of Jammu and Kashmir. This coalition of strange bedfellows has come crashing down on the people of Kashmir in every possible fascist and demonic manner as if the people of Kashmir have been asking for something so in genuine and alien to them that they deserve to be shot point blank or hanged till death out in the marketplace. One can understand the disposition of the Bhartiya Janata Party which is known for its fascist agendas and seeking policy intervention from some of the top gun murderers and marauders of the big wide world, but what about the People’s Democratic Party which claims to be the regional party of Kashmir and yet behaves like it is the military wing of the RSS. There has been a lot of talk coming from the Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed and his daughter Mehbooba Mufti ever since they came to power, about empowering the people of Kashmir, respecting their wishes and aspirations, talks and dialogues with the separatist leadership of Kashmir but that has been talk and talk only. The party along with its allies is bent on exterminating the separatist leadership of Kashmir. The point is that whether the wishes of the people of Kashmir are acceptable to the Indian polity and the Indian civil society but there should be room for dissent. There are dissenting voices everywhere and almost every government establishment allows room for that is the driving force of democracy but the way voices have been gaged in Kashmir speaks tons about the fallacy of India being a democratic state and the ruling elite back down here in Kashmir being the puppets who only know how to cast an image of democracy without following its values or for that matter even up keeping their essence.

The Leaders: As for leaders, whether we appreciate it or not, Syed Ali Geelani is a leader in Kashmir. He has the right to talk and blame India for its atrocities committed against Kashmiris because that is a truth and stands documented even though most of this documentation has been gagged or has disappeared at the hands of Indian stooges and agencies. Syed Ali Geelani has a standing in Kashmir (even though I personally believe he should be out there with the people more often besides the hate speeches and all) because he is the only one who speaks about us – Kashmiris. He has taken a stand and he is perfectly clear about it. He is, in my eyes – the eyes of a common Kashmiri – much better off than the Omars and Muftis who have only choked Kashmirs all along. He speaks for Kashmiri people – whether right or wrong, irrespective of the fact that the Indian communion hates his guts but that is something great about him, he surely has guts. This is in the light of the fact that Kashmir has failed to produce leaders of the people since ages now. Now, when there is a vacuum anything goes.

The Extermination: India is and has always been happy about the fact that Kashmir has produced no leaders and as a matter of fact if facts are to be believed, India has had a big hand in that – in not letting any leader crop up in Kashmir. There have been and are leaders like Mufti Muhammad Sayeed from Kashmir who serve India and thus cannot be attributed in any manner as leaders of Kashmir. Such leaders from Kashmir of India are party to the extermination of the very concept of leadership in Kashmir and continue to be so. It was post-90s that the people who were anywhere nearing leadership qualities were wiped off the face of the earth. This agenda continued through the ages and took different shapes and colours till it turned a vintage red.

The PDP-BJP alliance has off late kick started a campaign of terminating people in Kashmir in broad daylight. This is perhaps a warning to all aspiring leaders in Kashmir who would have the guts to speak to India in the face. This is something being done under the garb of the slogan of one of India’s leaders who recently stated that “only terrorists can deal with terrorists” or something akin to that.

Epilogue: I am not interested in keeping things straight and I am not a leader.

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