Kashmir’s Eternal Wait For The Leader

Kashmir has been a crown of thorn for India and a thorn stuck in throat of Pakistan, still none wants to give it up. Both countries fought two full fledged battles for the sake of Kashmir. Now as none can afford another war, Kashmir has transformed into a stick with which both beat each other. In this whole process everybody seems to have forgotten Kashmiri’s, no one talks about the people who have been caught in the middle. It seems that it is the land & resources that everyone wants.

The War for water is not a future scenario anymore, Kashmir is the stage of one the biggest such war’s, only the tactics have changed. India would like to have complete control over all the rivers flowing into Pakistan through Kashmir and thus be able to dictate terms to Pakistan. Pakistan on the other hand at no cost can afford to be reduced to a puppet and to be left at the mercy of India. So we can say that the game is same only the conventional weapons are no more being used.

The departure of Kashmiri’s from the world’s or even from the sub-continental cousin’s focal point has shoved them into oblivion. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most glaring one is the lack of leadership among Kashmiri’s.

{Kashmir is remembering Maqbool Bhat, the founding leader of the Kashmir Movement who was hanged by Indian authorities in Tihar Jail, under controversial circumstances on 11 February 1984 and buried there only. Ever since people of Kashmir have been demanding the return of the mortal remains of their Leader but Indian authorities seem to be so afraid of what Bhat stood for that they can’t even afford his dead body to leave Tihar Jail, thus making him an eternal prisoner of Indian Democracy.}

Kashmir has transformed from a solvable dispute into a sort of Hilbert’s Problem because of the earnest efforts of the Leaders (Indian, Pakistani & Kashmiri). The paradox of the forgotten conflict is that it is one of the least represented conflicts and yet every Tom, Dick, Harry presents himself as the well wisher of the godforsaken people of Kashmir. With time the three parties of the conflict have added many sub groups and each group having its own point of view, thought process, of the conflict. Thus there no more are only three parties to conflict (in a micro sense), this has only complicated the issue.

From time to time, need for unification of Kashmiri Leadership has been felt. And on days like today (when someone has said something that is not being appreciated and media adds fuel to fire, Maqbool Bhat Day, Martyr’s Day etc.) the topic of Kashmiri Leadership becomes talk of the town. People of Kashmir know the importance and value of leadership, but still Kashmir is divided, Kashmiri Leadership is divided. After Shaikh Abdullah Kashmir has not seen a Leader who could unify people behind him like he did, people followed him with an unwavering belief (what he did with that belief that is secondary). Since then Kashmir is waiting for its leader.

Why has the wait been eternal? For that, the mental (Psychological) status of Kashmiri’s needs to be into account in addition to socio-political. The people of Kashmir have seen some great betrayals. Many a times the hopes of the people have been raised sky high only to be smashed. These betrayals have made people apprehensive of the every person who presents himself as their Savior. Kashmiri’s have evolved to believe that for them to survive they have to trust none. Such an environment puts extra pressure on the genuine people and at times the pressure & scrutiny is so intense that people find it feasible to bail out mid way rather than carry on. Public seems to be only waiting for any flimsy issue to raise its head and it is good enough reason for declaring him/her a traitor. So under such condition; where people are afraid of another betrayal, another sellout, the wait is meant to be eternal unless for any divine intervention!

Also appeared in “The Kashmir Monitor” http://kashmirmonitor.org/05122012-ND-kashmir%E2%80%99s-eternal-wait-for-the-leader-26261.aspx