Violent meddling

Violent meddling
It has been decades that killings of civilians and grievous injuries caused to common people by the government forces in Kashmir have remained legitimised. Citizens have been killed, maimed or crippled by policemen or Indian soldiers who often panic at seeing an assembly of Kashmiris even if the cause was as plain as a dispute over running affairs of a mosque. On Tuesday soldiers fired live ammunition at a group of people in Ashmuqam who had gotten together to deliberate on some issue of forming a new Masjid committee. Two youths received bullet injuries. News reports suggested that one group of the residents may have ‘provoked’ involvement of army to intimidate a rival group for settling the Masjid committee issue. That such a possibility can then take the form of a ‘search operation’ against imagined presence of armed rebels by soldiers of an army unit points to the extent of vulnerability the people must live with. It is revealing that such a possibility can be conjured up in the first place! It exposes the propensity of the government forces to use any an opportunity to meddle in the local socio-religious issues for purposes of continually pushing thresholds of tolerating repression and violence. Kashmir has witnessed massacres, mass torture and sustained state violence the limits of which have never remained static – be it the use of extremely repressive laws or extremes of physical violence meted out to the common people. This process of continually pushing the threshold of tolerance for violence directed at the citizen is meant to always uphold a state monopoly on violence and to stay in control of a situation centered on a struggle to break free from subjugation. A stone thrown in anger or protest is met with a bullet, a killing often enters the banal via an off the cuff order for an investigation into whether some ‘standard operating procedure’ was followed or not! No one ever knows what this standard procedure is all about. It is as mobile a line as the threshold of violence Kashmiris have been enduring ever since the awakening of an autonomous political desire for freedom. If the state forces refuse to realise that the ever-hightenening threshold of violence will never reach a limit a cursory look at the history of peoples around the world brings home the fact that the people will at some point recognise a moment when that threshold must be sent to oblivion. Historically, repression and deceitful justifications for state violence have always fed definite revolutionary struggles.