By Muhammad Faysal
WTO se Azadi” echoes in our dark living rooms after India’s neo-colonial version of East India Company, NHPC takes the liberty to switch off the power grid. The chant of Azadi, that anthem of Kashmir’s freedom struggle, the song instinctively learnt and memorised by Kashmiri children born during the 1990s, like myself, better than our nursery rhymes today stands appropriated by the Indian left’s lazy sloganeers.
Azadi, the word used by the Kurds and the Kashmiris to define their dream of independence from their occupiers has been bastardised by Indian students to describe their ‘internal matters’ staying within the ambit of the Constitution of India. Now, like the cheap music directors in India’s Bollywood who copy famous songs from all over the world, the leftist students have learnt to follow. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’, a de-facto Pakistani national song was also shamelessly appropriated by Bollywood as ‘Dil Dil Hindustan’.
The appropriation the Kashmiri song of Azadi by many Indian students with leftist moorings mocks the genesis of the original song. Pitting the colonised people’s demand of basic political against those of the citizens of India is atrocious! The jugglery of words is very dangerous; it’s like equating non-existent rights of Kashmiris with actual rights of the general Indian people.
Kanhaiya Kumar, the president of the Jawaharlal Nehru Unversity Staudents Union (JNUSU) has become an instant darling of Indian liberals whose space is being choked by the Hindutva zealots. Back in the Kashmir valley, our own elitist intellectuals who call the youth in Kashmir demanding the right to self determination using means that are not acceptable to their comfort zones as ‘hooligans’ and ‘mobs’ can’t help but praise the ‘courage’ of Kumar for standing up to the increasingly bigoted rightwing India.
Sharing his speeches on social media gets plain nauseous when speeches by Kashmiri youngsters are stashed not shared as if to protect their ‘civility’ as dictated by average Indian liberals.
As Kanhaiya was freed on a bail, his speech that made him India’s ‘next big leader’ – he praises the Indian constitution 16 times in five minutes to exonerate himself from the ‘anti national tag’ he was slapped with – he vows to uphold the dream of Bhim Rao Ambedkar who in his resignation speech in the parliament said, “My view has always been that the right solution is to partition Kashmir” which is akin to breaking up of India. Do these liberals stand by Mr. Ambedkar’s advice for partition of Kashmir and leave it alone?
Our entire lives have been taken hostage by the ‘ambit of India’s constitution’ that cannot stop the hundreds of thousands of people in Kashmir from being massacred and subjected to war crimes. Does this constitution that Indians are worshipping also support one of the shameless occupations known in modern history?
Kashmiris demand their right to self determination which is enshrined in the International Bill of Human Rights which the United Nations adopted in 1976 to give a legal form to the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1948. India was a signatory to this UN bill.
Thus the hypocrisy of the Indian state is not only laid bare by their own actions but also by the hypocrisy of Indian liberals who stand for the people’s rights in India not in Kashmir or Manipur as it affects the image of India as a secular nation.
“We are not asking freedom from India because India hasn’t colonised anyone” said Kanhaiya as quoted by NDTV. It again shows how the heroic leaders in India fail the litmus test of Kashmir by using decorative words as a balancing act.
The revolution will not be televised, it will be curfewed and militarily suppressed. The Indian free media will not give prime time space for Kashmiris fighting for their freedom, instead it will demean and discredit a struggle for rights, all in the name of unprincipled nationalism.
Our Kanhaiyas are in incarcerated in Kot Balwals, in Jaipurs, in police stations which often also serve as torture centers across Kashmir. Their voices remain choked under the constitution of India, that fountainhead of rights and freedoms.