La Resistance

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Mir Liyaqat

The deadlock between the people of Pulwama and the district administration continues over the installation of Martyr’s Memorial at the Shaheed Park where a large number of local militants are buried since 1990. The strike has now entered into the third week because of the rigid stand taken by the local authorities to abort the raising of memorial is purely undemocratic and repressive. Historically the Shaheed Park in Pulwama town is associated with the martyrs of 1931 and since then this place has a symbolic importance in the area. The standoff between the people and the authorities has also exposed the people in power who always used the district as a fodder for their political cannons. The way people of the town are showing up the resistance at the cost of their economy is a new sign of a collective consciousness emerging across the valley which is brimming with honour and respect for their martyrs.

The sky is not going to fall if the people are allowed to install the memorial at a place where the martyrs of 1931 which according to the state narrative fought for injustice and oppression during the Dogra regime. What will happen if the memorial will feature the post 1990 martyrs and restore the lost peace and normalcy of the town? Or is it the new vendetta of oppression after the “Holy Alliance” created the worst regime ever which is intolerable even to the funerals prayers, public protests and installing of memorials. The “battle of ideas” theory propounded by the former CM, late Mufti Sayeed, of the state has been turned into the battle of chaos and unrest in the valley. The Pulwama town is the best example of that failed theory, once known as the land of poets and writers today hunches like a wild cat. The district Pulwama has many successful stories over the short period of time in the field of education, agriculture and industry after it was axed from district Islamabad in 1979. On the post 1990 political landscapes of the state the relentless sacrifices given by the people of the town unfortunately remained unknown and undocumented. However, in the new resurgence of people’s resistance in the valley Pulwama town has a place, position and respect.

Those who blame the martyrs memorial will have the “negative impact” on the youth they should also know by denying the basic right to remember their loved ones is the worst kind of human rights violation.  If they think the nocturnal arrests, and the large deployment of armed forces, chocking the dissent will bring normalcy then they should have succeed in bringing back the normalcy in the state decades ago. Today, the Pulwama town has become the microcosm of the entire Kashmir where people are sacrificing their today in the struggle of honour and remembrance for their martyrs. Cutting across all ideologies and shedding narrow prejudices the people of Pulwama are united, non-violent in their biggest ever resistance movement against the adamant authorities over the installation of a memorial board. The ‘la resistance’ of the people will be remembered and written with the golden words in the political history of Pulwama. Before this public movement snowball into a state wide resistance the district authorities should not make it a point of prestige.

The Kashmir is full of martyr grave yards and everywhere we see their hoardings featuring the name of martyrs, then why the district administration is so reluctant when it comes to Pulwama town. Engage with the representatives from Auqaf Committee, Traders Federation Pulwama and other local leaders and stop all the unjustified actions otherwise the more your repress the more resistant people of the town will become.

(Mir Liyaqat is a Research Scholar.)

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