Leadership Skeptics

Harris Zargar
Usually, in any discourse on Kashmir polity, there is a customary norm among Kashmiris, to debate the efficacy of pro-freedom leadership. Some doubt their credentials, while some consider them as a road-block to our socio-economic and political development and growth. I always asked this to myself, “Are they really, as such?”

Deep within, I wasn’t able to understand why were the leaders, so much debated and criticized. There were certain fundamental and critical questions that kept striking my mind. What had happened in past? Have we followed leaders in the past blindly? Why do we always question the intentions and the credibility of leaders? But, why don’t we raise same questions about the ‘pro establishment’ or ‘mainstream’ politicians? When the people themselves are not coherent in their thought, then how do they expect the leaders to be coherent in their action and practice?
in my pursuit of seeking answers to these questions I realized,  it is all about “actualization of reality” and “acceptability”. The problem, in my view is not with the leadership but with the perception we carry about them.  We have failed to accept the leaders because of our own lineages, interests and disagreements regarding various issues. The people of Kashmir have at no point been homogenous in their thought process about the issues concerning them, critically pertaining to polity. Unless there is homogeneity, everything would be futile. But leaders can’t work on same lines. Although they should have same goals but they need not to be necessarily homogeneous in their approach of pursuing the same.
In any movement, different individuals have different opinion about a single subject even within a same group. For example, when Ali brothers-showkat Ali and Muhammad Ali launched the kilafat movement against the dismemberment of Turkish caliphate by Britain and other European powers, the movement was supported by Gandhi and many other congressmen. Many historians believe Gandhi was wrong in trying to bring hindu-muslim unity by supporting the cause of kilafat. Leaders like Jinnah, Annie Besant and Tilak opposed the movement, as they held that such unity was based on ‘shifting stands’ and that turned out to be the case. Now that Gandhi had perceived something that was frivolous, doesn’t reflect on his overall leadership quality.

When any leader or a party enters into the public scene, they carry certain fundamental principles and ideologies. It is natural on their part to work as per these norms or as they say ,the core agenda.

Leaders in past had gained popularity on ignorance’s and simplicity of Kashmiris. That is evident from the fact that many people questioned the leadership of sheikh Abdullah only when the Hollywood movie “lion of desert “was screened in Srinagar. People are hardly aware about their history. Why blame them after all we study Indian freedom struggle right from childhood leaving no space for our own. Even if they do, our history is so manipulated that it’s better unread. So have any educationalist taken pain to rewrite it. Don’t they share any responsibility towards the society? Or is that the task for the leaders too?

First we need to localize our conflict and then nationalize it. That can be achieved only with the intellectual class –educationalists, political analysts, social activists etc. Hitler in Mein Kemp states, “The question of ‘nationalizing’ a people is first and foremost one of establishing healthy social conditions which will furnish the grounds that are necessary for the education of the individual. For only when family upbringing and school education have inculcated in the individual a knowledge of the cultural and economic and, above all, the political greatness of his own country – then, and then only, will it be possible for him to feel proud of being a citizen of such a country. I can fight only for something that I love. I can love only what I respect. And in order to respect a thing I must at least have some knowledge of it”.

We are the people who agitated in thousands during amaranth land row and we are the same people who voted overwhelmingly same time. We have to change our attitude vision and our work culture. The society as a whole has to rise and only then can they achieve their aspirations, the only question being Did the founders foresee the effects of their work in the form which those effects have shown themselves to−day, or were the founders themselves the victims of an error? To my mind both alternatives were possible.


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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