Have our leaders failed us and are we the victims of this crisis?
Peter Druker said, “Leadership doesn’t mean just delivering speeches that are liked. It is not evaluated by its characteristics but by its results”. Only sincere leadership and systematized organizations can bring better future, prosperity, development, peace and security to a community. How many sacrifices does the leadership and organizations demand from the community and how many sacrifices have a nation made cannot be construed as a proof of the sincerity of leadership. Leadership and organizations are evaluated along the criterion of the nation making minimum sacrifices and minimum losses in order to arrive at the destination. This is a universal principle. How does the world look at the leadership and the organization? That will speak of the sincerity and sacrifices of leadership.
Going through the history of national struggle in 20th and 21st century, we must speak about Russia and China. In Russia, Lenin as the leader of the Bolshevik Party united his nation against the tyrannical regime of the Czar and brought about Socialist revolution. Similarly, under Mao Tse Tung’s leadership, China ushered in a revolution that brought the country in line with the progressive nations of the world. This is the same nation that had been paralyzed by the British colonialists by making it addicted to opium.
A cursory look at Pakistan will show that the creation of that country owed more to the leadership of Quid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah than the efforts of the Muslim League. Of course, at the core of the creation of Pakistan was the factor of religion.
Vietnam’s freedom was the result of priceless sacrifices made by the people of that country and impeccable sincerity of its leadership. It was only then that a small country could stand up to a mighty power like the US and forced her to vacate their land in total disarray. At one time Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese leader was working as a menial on a French ship. Of course, Palestine’s struggle for freedom has not as yet been crowned with success. But notwithstanding that, Palestinian freedom struggle is recognized by the entire world and they are by and large supporting it. Some of their supporters are even sacrificing their precious lives for their freedom.
We can cite the example of some Africa countries like Eritrea, Namibia or Algeria and others where astute leadership coordinating with the organization made minimal sacrifices and won their freedom.
In India, Gandhi ji called a halt to Quit India movement when he found that his policy of non-violence had been violated in his absence from the scene. He never liked to put his nation in a situation where it would have to make endless sacrifices. History tells us that nations of the world that achieved independence could do so only by working under a united and powerful leadership. Unity among political and social parties in these countries was most formidable against their adversaries.
Have a look at situation of political parties in Kashmir. There exist more than 50 groups on both sides of the LoC advocating accession to Pakistan. Further investigation shows that each of these groups is divided into two or three sub-groups. APHC, whose ranks are filled by the same people, are broadly divided into two groups viz M and G Forum. Often the activist of these groups indulges in acrimony and manhandling each other.
Such organizations as swear by winning complete freedom and self-determination for Kashmir are also divided into several sub-groups and sub-organizations. About organizations, none is structured along the recognized system of freedom fight. It is not enough that organizations should be strong, united and disciplined. Unity of leadership is essential. All organizations working as resistance movement need to focus on issues and questions, enter into free and comprehensive debate and organize seminars and conference to educate people on the philosophy of freedom movement. Enslaved nations have to struggle for long years to win their freedom. They need a well considered plan and schedule for their protest activities. They need a calendar for the days of strike, demonstrations, conferences, seminars. They must declare the time schedule for interaction with the masses of people, and they must know on which days they need to draw the attention of international community towards their cause.
It is unfortunate that our leadership holds the masses of people a hostage to their tantrums after Friday prayers in mosques or at the shrines. Actually they are saving expenditures that would otherwise be incurred on public rallies, and secondly their photographs appear along with their party men who have actually come together to offer prayers. It is regrettable that the parties that otherwise do not do the politics of religion, certainly do the Friday politics in mosques and shrines which in no way can be considered in the interests of the movement. We find that for such persons the only purpose of jumping into politics without a programme and plan, making speeches in mosques and demonstrating on streets or get detained by the police etc. is to keep themselves alive in day to day politics and not directing the nation to any specific destination.
We need to overhaul the entire political agenda in the state. We shall have to develop personal contacts with people, engage them in debates and seminars. In other words we shall have to bring people out of the fear that forces them to go on strikes and such like negative activities. It has to be remembered that we will have to make a long struggle for freedom.
However, in the meanwhile there are many more issues of public interest that we need to address. These are day to day problems like, roads, oppressive administration, police torture and atrocities, blackmailing, rampant corruption in official structure, down-sliding standards of education, problems of healthcare and sanitation, denying civic and political rights to the people etc. These are peoples’ perennial problems and we must know that if we are not able to resolve them then why should people continue to make sacrifices. It is important that we make people ideologically committed to the cause. The government and Indian agencies make life difficult for the common man. Leave aside freedom, even those who ask for their rights are given a rough deal. They are refused passports; they are denied government jobs so much so that the police are not prepared to issue them character certificates.
All this calls upon us to have a planned and comprehensive strategy for carrying forward our struggle. Everybody knows that corruption has spread into the polity of Kashmir like cancer. Even legal and genuine work cannot be done without offering bribe. A senior officer like the Divisional Commission or Commissioner or any other may be honest at his place but the system is such that right from his peon up to the senior secretarial level officer do not let a simple application move an inch unless bribe is paid to the clerks and superintendents at lower levels. An application of a supplicant may not reach the head of the department for months and years. This type of corruption leads to denial of employment opportunity to otherwise efficient and capable applicant. Entire nation is in the fetters of exploitative system and elementary necessities of life like food, water and respectable living become elusive for them. When this is the condition of the society and when there is utter disunity and divisive tendency rampant among the leadership, how then can the community wriggle out of these shackles and participate as committed activists of movement for freedom?
We are living in a global village. Through Face Book, Twitter and other means you can tell the entire world minute by minute details of your struggle and even motivate them to extend support to your movement.
The foremost condition is that we should clearly define our ideology. Running the movement on the premise of accession to India or Pakistan, as has been the situation during past sixty-five years means extending our servitude to another spell of sixty-five years or even more. The result of our six and more decade long struggle is just zero. There are a few international organizations that intermittently speak of abuse of our human rights. They also dole out pieces of advice to both India and Pakistan to resolve Kashmir issue through dialogue.
India’s stand is that the Maharaja of J&K has formally acceded to Indian Union. Pakistan’s stand is that in accordance with the Resolutions of United Nations, people of Jammu and Kashmir should through plebiscite decide their future to be with one or the other country. Accession of the State of J&K to India or Pakistan is still undecided. They say that after 1971, no debate has taken place at the sessions of the Security Council or the United Nations on UN Resolutions nor has any fresh resolution been passed in the context of J&K State.
It is a different story that India and Pakistan fought two wars up to 1971. Despite Kargil war, none of them could seize even an inch of adversary’s territory. Thus we find that Kashmir issue is not at all on the agenda of any forum in the world.
Sixty-five years of struggle have not carried the resistance organization anywhere. At least for two centuries from now, the people of the valley will not be able to reach either the destination of freedom or accession to Pakistan. Local leadership and political organizations should have full realization of precious sacrifices made by the people of Kashmir. Just imagine of the youth that sacrificed their lives after enjoying only a handful of the spring of their youth. Let us remember the sordid story of molestation of our womenfolk. Should the leadership claim to be rendering service to the nation by indulging in groupism? Let us look at various nations and we will find that through education, economic development and infrastructure they have reached the heights of prosperity. In this age of modernity not more than five or seven per cent of our population is conversant with computer knowledge.
My appeal to the leaders and organizations engaged in resistance movement is that they should define their ideology, come out of the tantrum of accession and focus on a few points of convergence and thereby set up united leadership. Their first objective should be to seek the withdrawal of occupational troops of India, Pakistan and China from all the three regions of the State. Having done that, the next step would be of holding referendum to decide whether the State shall remain independent or accede to India or Pakistan. If the people want to accede to one or the other country instead of remaining independent, let the referendum be held.
However, whether anybody takes it ill or brings accusations against us, we shall have no hesitation in telling them that keeping in mind the interests of the nation and also the interests of the bright future of our coming generations, the existing pattern of struggle of our leadership and organizations will only enslave the nation to exploitative forces for another two hundred years. In addition, Kashmir can at any time, become a flash point for triggering nuclear flare up which will decimate the entire sub-continent.
This article was published in daily 'Greater Kashmir' on 22nd June 2012.
Have our leaders failed us and are we the victims of this crisis?