When we attempt to measure politics of resistance against the historically entrenched public sentiment in Kashmir there is no doubt that it leaves much to be desired. Whether we look at them separately from within their different ideologies or together as a front struggling to win the right to self-determination for their people, this leadership somehow manages to generate more intrigue than politics – even though all of them unanimously question India’s legitimacy in Kashmir.
Against all the state power and the immense resources it deploys against them and that this ‘separatist’ leadership confronts, all they have is the power of the ‘moral argument’ against the State. Not that a moral argument cannot have its basis in historicity and a well established legal history of the Kashmir issue.
There is no doubt that the resistance leadership does not operate in or cannot have a level playing field, but that becomes a factor only if they decide to play the politics of power, like their statist opponents. However, many questions could certainly be asked of this leadership about what kind of consolidation or achievement it manages from within the realm of the politics of morality. In that paradigm there is little difference between a mistake, silence over an issue and complicity.
Take for example the juicy, gossipy discourse (from wherever it may emerge) surrounding how a plump government job got to the grandson of the senior-most of all the resistance leaders in Kashmir. Or, the thick and grimy chatter surrounding who might, or should, be his successor. Although, within the framework of ethics that both the statist political forces as well as the resistance camp vow to uphold this may be all about an individual who made his choice and met the set criterion. However, in the battleground of continuously manipulated perceptions that is Kashmir, explaining such things clearly is also politics of morality. No excuses for silence if it sounds like complicity, even if unfounded.
We see frequent, almost daily statements that fall way short of explaining or responding to the questions that float around in the public domain. It should be no excuse at all that this leadership is facing an almost total state-imposed isolation with most of them having no way to establish and then maintain a certain public contact. They say theirs is a struggle, so no one ever expects their politics to be easy. Their apparent laziness for staying on top the moral paradigm is bad politics from wherever it may be viewed.