It’s been nearly a month since Kashmir spiraled into another summer of anti-India protests. Thousands of Kashmiris have been either blinded, maimed, their lives destroyed and at least 54 killed, buried! This latest loss of lives is not just a mere statistic added to the tens of thousands killed, raped, tortured or simply disappeared in the last more than two decade. It goes to display that the people of Kashmir are ever ready to pay whatever cost it takes for their freedom and self-respect. The huge cost already paid has not even produced a simple acknowledgement from the Indian State of the dispute over Kashmir and the desire of its people to break free from subjugation and perpetual suppression!
On the other hand, the world appears oblivious to the blind spot it has nurtured for nearly seven decades towards the plight of the people of Kashmir. But more distressing is the fact that those who claim to represent the people of Kashmir continue to uphold and work for the Indian state’s objectives of keeping their people under the jackboot. The history of these pro-India groups in Kashmir is but an appendix to the history of India’s continued intransigence. They actually stand between their people’s freedom and continued subjugation. As the Peoples Democratic Party stands unraveled in its actual objectives — having shamelessly moved on from its purported lofty ideals of self-rule etc., and tying up with the Hindu nationalists who never acknowledged the basic rights of the people of Kashmir — the actual purpose of their existence, like that of the National Conference before them has proved beyond any shred of doubt that they are New Delhi in Kashmir. They are a part of the gargantuan military machinery that goes for an administration or an ‘elected’ government!
All that has been laid bare one more time by the people themselves. The pro-India parties’ ostensible representative politics perfectly mirrors New Delhi’s intransigence. In this scenario, the resistance leadership that represents the people’s sentiment and their deeply held desire for comprehensive political freedom has an unimaginably huge and important responsibility. They must face the challenge to steer the freedom movement into political action that begins yielding results as opposed to just sustaining a protest movement that only waits for India or the world to take note and come to their rescue. It doesn’t just need a superficial unity, but sincere and selfless dialogue between their various factions in order to force a dialogue between them, New Delhi and Islamabad. If the meaning of the Kashmir Street today is understood it must mean the beginning of hardcore politics that starts yielding results.