By Shabeer Rather
Whenever one sits with politicians, whether mainstream or off stream or whenever one indulge in a political discussion with the common people regardless of whether they are pro-freedom, pro- Indian or pro- Pakistani, or when discusses Kashmir politics with social activists, journalists or other public persons, they invariably arrive at the following conclusion:
‘Kashmiris are a multi-faced people who stand with everyone; they support Syed Ali Shah Geelani and at the same time they support Mufti’s, Abdullahs and the other pro-India politician’.
Kashmiris then are the object of scorn. In general they mean is that ‘KASHUR’(Kashmiri) is not trust-worthy because of his/her multi-faced nature.
I, as a young Kashmiri, take grave offense at this characterization and labelling. It really hurts when someone talks bad or abuses my community. I am not implying that these allegations are completely baseless but the question that I pose is do these accusers know how these characteristics developed in us?
I will specify a few some reasons for this:
Due to its ultimate beauty and abundance of resources, the entire world has coveted this part of the world from the very beginning. Many rulers have ruled this region and most of these rulers were very cruel towards Kashmiris. They left a reign of terror on Kashmiris. The brutal use of force,the cruelty upon the people of this region has no parallel in other parts of the world.
Except for Zain- al Abideen( who ruled for 52 years) , these rulers would change within span of five, ten, fifteen or twenty years. Each time, the ruler changed , Kashmiris had to face the brutalities, atrocities, loot and plunder. These rulers, in short, were merciless.
The priority of the Kashur was to save his life and avoid cruelties by the rulers. They had no options but to say to every ruler, that they were with him or her.
Kashmiris accepted and bore every humiliation just for the sake of their existence and survival.
While this, ruler system ended in late 1940s but political scenario here is probably the same. This character “we are with you” still exists because of political uncertainty and the attendant identity crisis. Thus, to be at the safer end and lack of trust on political conditions here and therefore survival, we still hesitate to show real “WE”..
—The author is a Btech student at SSMCOET and a student activist. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org