Muzffarnagar lessons

Muzffarnagar lessons

That the investigations into the killings of civilians in Kashmir are a farce has been established, in a manner, by the findings of a one-man commission that recently submitted its report on the anti-Muslim riots in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The commission has blamed two police officials for the entire pogrom while giving a clean chit to the local Samajwadi Party government, as if the police are not part of the government. It even said that no one can be “directly held responsible” for hate speeches that provoked the marauding mobs. Sixty people had been massacred, almost all of them Muslims. Several villages, which were the epicenter of the violence, were cleansed of Muslims. The lesson for Kashmir in the findings is that the resistance leadership should completely distance themselves from the whole business of reacting to the customary probes that are ordered after each civilian killing. When a Hurriyat leader, for example, is drawn into the debate, a million supporters of the Indian rule will cite the example of Hans Ran Parihar, a police officer who is currently in jail for picking up civilians from streets and murdering them in cold blood for money and promotions. Although, as a counterpoint, the resistance can cite hundreds of cases in which there is no hope of justice, Parihar’s case will be a permanent advertisement for the existence of the structures of justice. Ditto for Indian Muslims and other minorities. Conviction of Maya Kodnani and a few others will serve as a perfect cover for the Gujarat pogrom while Nellie, Bhagalpur, Mumbai and Delhi anti-Sikh pogrom will gradually become memories to be passed onto next generations. Berating the ruling structures for these probes might serve the rhetorical purpose of exposing their inherent oppressiveness and reaffirming the victimhood, but the danger posed to the resistance by an engagement with the structures of power far outweighs the rewards. A prominent Indian TV journalist never tires of saying the “same court which ordered Afzal Guru’s hanging had spared other parliament attack convicts the noose”.  Pro-India politicians in Kashmir echo her to justify their cohabitation with the violent structures of power. Therefore, such an engagement renders the entire edifice of the resistance hostage to an argument in which the oppressor and its satellites, apparently, too have a ‘genuine’ point. According an inherently oppressive system the luxury of argument can be self-defeating for dissent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.