Support Yes, Assimilation No

Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain

Right from 1947,  Kashmir is have refused to get assimilated within India despite the fact that state tried to go for it in a coercive manner by erasing local content within curriculum and official discourse. Official Media both print and electronic was blatantly used for cultural prosltysation while private media was often hoodwinked or bribed to pursue the official agenda. The attitude of Kashmiri’s doesn’t remain confined to the official campaign of assimilation but transcends beyond that. In spite of being Muslims, their way if celebration of festivals remains more central Asian than south Asian. The dates of festivals are often at variance with the ones on which these are observed by Muslims in mainland India.

It is not specific to Muslims other communities too depict this difference. Religious and political movements in spite of sharing ideologies remained locally oriented. There was much in common between Muslim League and Muslim Conference ideologically, yet structurally the two organizations remained apart. Congress and National Conference looked the politics of pre-partition era with the same perspective yet the organizations remained different. This didn’t stop here even the cadre based organizations like Jamaat-e-Islami in spite of sharing the doctrines and organizational pattern with its counterparts in the sub-continent remains separated from them. Attempts of coercive assimilation boomeranged and Kashmir got de-stabilized in a big way once Indian political parties started to
operate in Kashmir since 1964. Sheikh Abdullah, who patronized ‘Mahaaz-e-Raishumari’ at that juncture tried to block this encroachment within Kashmiri domain by launching Non-Cooperation movement against those who joined Indian National Congress. For the policy makers in Delhi, 1964 might be hallmark of integration but at social level it remains the beginning of an era of alienation from Indian state that has culminated in the form of militancy and post-militancy mass resistance. In spite of utter failure of this strategy, the state seems to be in a mood try it again. This time they are seeking assimilation of resistance with those who are pitted agfrainst Indian state for different social and community centric demands.

Recent conference by some Molvis of Deoband must be seen in this context. The organizers don’t represent entire Deoband but that school of thought within it for whom Indian Nationalism has always been an article of faith. Hussain Ahmad Madni, the grandpa of the Madni organizers of the conference thus wrote in his book ‘Muttahida Qaumiyat aur Islam’ that it is proved beyond doubt that Congress stands for the same concept of Nationhood foundations of which were laid down by the Prophet(pbuh) in Madina. The sentence was repeated at three places in the book and invoked wrath of Allama Iqbal(r.a) in the form of a poem ‘Hussain Ahmad’ in his compilation titled ‘Ramgaan-e-Hijaaz’. Apart from Iqbal, great ulema like Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani & Qari Mohamad Tayab too didnt subscribe to the views of Madani. The Mission Kashmir of Madni’s is nothing but an attempt to consolidate the Indian nation of their grandpa’s estimation.

It was in pursuance of this mission that the declaration made at the end of Deoband convention identified Kashmiri Muslims as part and parcel of Indian Muslim community whose fate can’t be different from them. Some of us feel inflated by the tears (real or artificial) which are shed for us and tend to become receptive to the ones shedding these without understanding their designs. It is not the case only with Molvis of Deoband. There are others some pretending to represent or genuinely representing the oppressed segments of Indian society.

We are told that you are not the only ones suffering at the hands of Indian state, there are others as well. Let us join and fight this oppression together. There is nothing wrong in the idea per se. We shouldn’t be averse to soliciting the support of any such group but the tradition of non-assimilation has to be kept alive. We may be oppressed in the same way but we remain different. The oppression in various parts of India is not legally sanctioned. In our case, it is shielded and sanctioned through legislations like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Disturbed Areas Act, Public Safety Act PSA), Enemy Agents Act. In their case, the oppression is an aberration from the normal functioning of state instruments. In our case, it is a legally sanctioned normal pattern. When it comes to deployment of Army there, the mindset of Indian elite remains that Army is not meant for use against our own people while in context of Kashmir, the attitude of Indian intelligentsia has always been that the forces fighting shouldn’t remain handicapped.

Ours is a struggle for fulfillment of an internationally recognized and sanctioned right of self determination. They are fighting for achievement of rights guaranteed by the Indian constitution. Ours is a supra-national or international problem and theirs is a problem within the parameters of Indian polity and constitution. Our desperation for support should not land us into a non-governmental effort of assimilation. By identifying with struggles of other oppressed people in India, we should not devalue our struggle to the extent that our tormentors even start to pity us. Atal Bihari Vajpayee responding to demand of some pseudo-separatists of entering into negotiations on the pattern of Naga’s mocked us by saying, ‘Why do you degrade yourselves to the level of Naga’s?’ Another dimension from the perspective of which, the support has to be assessed is its impact. Whether the support is expressed to us or is oriented towards mobilizing Indian public opinion for resolution of Kashmir dispute.

We are aspiring for fulfillment of an aspiration and remain convinced about that. We don’t need to be sermonized. Sermons need to be given to Indians of every hue and ideology especially the ones who matter, in order to mobilize them to come to terms with resistant Kashmir. It is this aspect of resistance that needs to be taken care of by our supporters. It was mobilization of US public opinion that forced Americans to leave Vietnam. It was the American media and civil society which culminated in the form of a campaign for de-mobilization of American troops from Iraq. Kashmir is need a similar dispensation from those who really support us. Our and their problems may be similar but our problems remains rooted in a bigger problem pertaining to legitimacy of Indian statehood in Kashmir. Every other problem of ours is rooted in it and incidental to it. We must solicit the support for this and nothing else while sympathizing with causes of other oppressed classes of India.

Right from 1947,  Kashmir is have refused to get assimilated within India despite the fact that state tried to go for it in a coercive manner by erasing local content within curriculum and official discourse. Official Media both print and electronic was blatantly used for cultural prosltysation while private media was often hoodwinked or bribed to pursue the official agenda. The attitude of Kashmiri’s doesn’t remain confined to the official campaign of assimilation but transcends beyond that. In spite of being Muslims, their way if celebration of festivals remains more central Asian than south Asian. The dates of festivals are often at variance with the ones on which these are observed by Muslims in mainland India.

It is not specific to Muslims other communities too depict this difference. Religious and political movements in spite of sharing ideologies remained locally oriented. There was much in common between Muslim League and Muslim Conference ideologically, yet structurally the two organizations remained apart. Congress and National Conference looked the politics of pre-partition era with the same perspective yet the organizations remained different. This didn’t stop here even the cadre based organizations like Jamaat-e-Islami in spite of sharing the doctrines and organizational pattern with its counterparts in the sub-continent remains separated from them. Attempts of coercive assimilation boomeranged and Kashmir got de-stabilized in a big way once Indian political parties started to
operate in Kashmir since 1964. Sheikh Abdullah, who patronized ‘Mahaaz-e-Raishumari’ at that juncture tried to block this encroachment within Kashmiri domain by launching Non-Cooperation movement against those who joined Indian National Congress. For the policy makers in Delhi, 1964 might be hallmark of integration but at social level it remains the beginning of an era of alienation from Indian state that has culminated in the form of militancy and post-militancy mass resistance. In spite of utter failure of this strategy, the state seems to be in a mood try it again. This time they are seeking assimilation of resistance with those who are pitted agfrainst Indian state for different social and community centric demands.

Recent conference by some Molvis of Deoband must be seen in this context. The organizers don’t represent entire Deoband but that school of thought within it for whom Indian Nationalism has always been an article of faith. Hussain Ahmad Madni, the grandpa of the Madni organizers of the conference thus wrote in his book ‘Muttahida Qaumiyat aur Islam’ that it is proved beyond doubt that Congress stands for the same concept of Nationhood foundations of which were laid down by the Prophet(pbuh) in Madina. The sentence was repeated at three places in the book and invoked wrath of Allama Iqbal(r.a) in the form of a poem ‘Hussain Ahmad’ in his compilation titled ‘Ramgaan-e-Hijaaz’. Apart from Iqbal, great ulema like Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Maulana Shabir Ahmad Usmani & Qari Mohamad Tayab too didnt subscribe to the views of Madani. The Mission Kashmir of Madni’s is nothing but an attempt to consolidate the Indian nation of their grandpa’s estimation.

It was in pursuance of this mission that the declaration made at the end of Deoband convention identified Kashmiri Muslims as part and parcel of Indian Muslim community whose fate can’t be different from them. Some of us feel inflated by the tears (real or artificial) which are shed for us and tend to become receptive to the ones shedding these without understanding their designs. It is not the case only with Molvis of Deoband. There are others some pretending to represent or genuinely representing the oppressed segments of Indian society.

We are told that you are not the only ones suffering at the hands of Indian state, there are others as well. Let us join and fight this oppression together. There is nothing wrong in the idea per se. We shouldn’t be averse to soliciting the support of any such group but the tradition of non-assimilation has to be kept alive. We may be oppressed in the same way but we remain different. The oppression in various parts of India is not legally sanctioned. In our case, it is shielded and sanctioned through legislations like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Disturbed Areas Act, Public Safety Act PSA), Enemy Agents Act. In their case, the oppression is an aberration from the normal functioning of state instruments. In our case, it is a legally sanctioned normal pattern. When it comes to deployment of Army there, the mindset of Indian elite remains that Army is not meant for use against our own people while in context of Kashmir, the attitude of Indian intelligentsia has always been that the forces fighting shouldn’t remain handicapped.

Ours is a struggle for fulfillment of an internationally recognized and sanctioned right of self determination. They are fighting for achievement of rights guaranteed by the Indian constitution. Ours is a supra-national or international problem and theirs is a problem within the parameters of Indian polity and constitution. Our desperation for support should not land us into a non-governmental effort of assimilation. By identifying with struggles of other oppressed people in India, we should not devalue our struggle to the extent that our tormentors even start to pity us. Atal Bihari Vajpayee responding to demand of some pseudo-separatists of entering into negotiations on the pattern of Naga’s mocked us by saying, ‘Why do you degrade yourselves to the level of Naga’s?’ Another dimension from the perspective of which, the support has to be assessed is its impact. Whether the support is expressed to us or is oriented towards mobilizing Indian public opinion for resolution of Kashmir dispute.

We are aspiring for fulfillment of an aspiration and remain convinced about that. We don’t need to be sermonized. Sermons need to be given to Indians of every hue and ideology especially the ones who matter, in order to mobilize them to come to terms with resistant Kashmir. It is this aspect of resistance that needs to be taken care of by our supporters. It was mobilization of US public opinion that forced Americans to leave Vietnam. It was the American media and civil society which culminated in the form of a campaign for de-mobilization of American troops from Iraq. Kashmir is need a similar dispensation from those who really support us. Our and their problems may be similar but our problems remains rooted in a bigger problem pertaining to legitimacy of Indian statehood in Kashmir. Every other problem of ours is rooted in it and incidental to it. We must solicit the support for this and nothing else while sympathizing with causes of other oppressed classes of India.

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About theparallelpost
The language of words is more heavenly than the language of tongues and lips. The Parallel Post is a forum to offer a space for people who dare to speak through their words. The intention is to create an environment to share in words what we perceive in our minds...

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