Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Farooq Ahmed Dar, the Kashmiri man , who was tied to the bonnet of a military Jeep, during the elections held in Srinagar, in 2017, has become symbolic of the warped nature of politics in Kashmir. The man, is caught between the rock and a hard place, so to speak. The adage, referring to unpleasant and fraught possibilities in a given situation, best captures Dar’s odyssey(s). The man, according to the police, had gone to and actually cast his vote in the elections. But, according to Nirmal Singh, Dar was a “mastermind of stone pelting”. Excoriated and criticized by many people for having cast a vote, and by powers that be for being a stone pelter, Dar reflects the contradictory impulses that drive politics in Kashmir. While the “ mainstream’s” patronage driven politics seeks out people and wants them to vote, the other spectrum of politics , perhaps dominant in terms of sentiment, questions the exercise of voting and seeks to make people stay away from it. Dar got pulled into the vortex of the pushes and pulls of this maelstrom of politics in Kashmir. Pushed into a controversy, and the politics of the conflict in and over Kashmir, Dar, in the final analysis is a victim. A poor man who makes ends meet , and in the eye of a storm, Dar’s odyssey is indeed a difficult one. He is not a man of import in the political scheme of things in Kashmir but he or the issue that he is associated with , has now become an issue of partisan , self serving politicking. In some senses, his odyssey bears the ingress of a Kafkaesque saga. From a broader perspective, there might be many Dar’s in Kashmir who serendipitously got trapped in a fraught situation and could not escape it. While there is a certain oddity about the entire saga, the fact remains that the man should not be a victim of politicking and partisan point scoring. . The poor man and his family deserve a break and respite from all the unwanted attention and controversy he has become mired in. It is about time that powers that be come clear on him and release him from negative labeling and stereotyping. While the convoluted politics of Kashmir will take time to unknot and unwind itself, Dar’s case , tied in knots but whose resolution lies within the prerogative of some people, should and must be resolved. The poor man needs closure and he must get it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.