” is it some kind of authority that has been putting Kashmir under distress or is it their own habitual ‘resistance’ that has left Kashmiris in a state of stagnancy as well as Economic and Cultural Deterioration?…”By Yana Mir
12 Mar 2021
‘Resistance’ has been a tradition in Muslim dominated Kashmir Region since many decades. Whether it was resistance for self-determination or against human rights violations or for better economic support.
Long before the nation states of India and Pakistan came into existence and much before the advent of social media, the people of Kashmir have been unwaveringly mobilizing themselves against some or the other form of authority in what they perceive as a ‘resistance movement’.
Whether it was the first organized protest of shawl weavers in 1865, the silk factory labour unrest in 1924, mobilisations against the autocratic rule of Maharaja Hari Singh in 1931, for demanding plebiscite from 1953–1975, the civilian uprising and armed rebellion against Indian rule in 1990, or the more recent mobilisations of 2008, 2009 and 2010, Kashmir has always resisted.
But the question is , is it some kind of authority that has been putting Kashmir under distress or is it their own habitual ‘resistance’ that has left Kashmiris in a state of stagnancy as well as Economic and Cultural Deterioration?
Over a period of time, the grandeur yet failure of these mobilisations have given way to certain anticipated narratives. The failure of these ‘resistance movements’ were always attributed to “Betrayal by politicians or by sane members of the Kashmiri Muslim society who DID NOT WISH TO BE PART OF THIS VICIOUS and disadvantageous cycle of resistance. Let’s take the example of one rational Kashmiri, a writer Nayeema Mehjoor, whose book ‘Lost in Terror , based on true facts about how this ‘Resistance’ has destroyed families in Kashmir, was conveniently declared a ‘fiction’.
For the sake of of our own conviction, lets take a look at what consequences led to this perceived ‘betrayal’ which we call ‘rationalism’ by Kashmiris who avoid resistance and choose to be proud Indians. What are the disadvantages faced by Kashmiris due to this habitual ‘RESISTANCE”….
Tourism gets HIT:
Because they chose to remember only Resistance, Kashmiris forgot that theirs is a land which , since ancient times, inspired many poets and story writers like Thomas Moore, which mystified spiritual soul searchers like The Mauryan emperor Ashoka and his missionaries, and magnetized nature and landscape loving visitors like the Mughal emperors.
When a news agency interviewed a group of enthusiastic tourists at Char Chinar Srinagar, who were making merry on Republic Day 2021, they gleefully said” This is our first visit to Kashmir. We only get time to travel on Public Holidays, but we would be scared to travel to Kashmir. We were always worried that we shouldn’t get caught in an ugly stone pelting incident, or shot by an armed terrorist or get blown up in an IED attack while strolling in the market, or get stranded due to some unexpected hartal. But we noticed that 2 years down after the dreadful Pulwama attack, and 1 and half year since abrogation of Article 370, no such massive attack has taken place here. This gave us the courage to finally visit this beautiful Kashmir vale and we intend to visit every year!”.
This statement is a clear indication of How much revenue from tourism Kashmiris missed out on due to their continuously harbored ‘RESISTANCE’.
Whether it is the dwindling state of unrestored houseboats and Shikaras, or dilapidated condition of many hotels, or empty tulip garden, or deserted souvenir shops, no non-local footfall or renovation at landmarks like pari mahal until Aug 5 2019, they all tell the story of worsening condition of tourism in a ‘resistance’ hit Kashmir.
Industry gets HIT;
Because they chose to remember only Resistance, Kashmiris forgot that theirs is a land which is capable of complete self sustenance. Yet they need to import such basic items like sugar, salt, textiles, medicines etc from other states leading to a trade deficit of 7000 crores each year.
What makes Kashmir’s industries shut down? Lets take an example of the famous HMT Watch Factory. If only it had continued operations till today, Kashmir which used to be fondly called ‘Switzerland of the East’ may well have been producing high quality watches just like its western counterpart and may well have been one of the largest exporters of watches, both nationally and internationally.
But HMT watch factory was just one of the many other units which shut down , BECAUSE OF “RESISTANCE’ in Kashmir. Operations took a hit when on 10th April 1990 at Batmaloo, Srinagar, H.L. Khera, General Manager, HMT, Srinagar, and a Kashmiri Pandit was abducted and later tortured to death. His mutilated body drenched in mud and dirt was thrown on the road side, from where it was recovered- courtesy of the ‘resisting Freedom Fighters of Kashmir’.
Needless to say, one can only imagine the revenue Kashmiris lost out on when their local industries took a HIT due to……..say with me will you…. YES!… “RESISTANCE” movement.
Demography gets ALTERED:
Because they chose to remember only Resistance, Kashmiris forgot that real culprits of shrinking Kashmiri demography is not the popularly perceived ‘Indian settlement’ but in fact young sons of soil dying either because of joining militancy or as a collateral damage of encounters between security forces and militants.
There used to be a time when armed infiltrators from Pakistan, rose to such heights in the social hierarchy of Kashmiri Muslim society, that they would demand every Kashmiri family to give up at least one son to fight for their ‘azadi resistance’, and their illogical demand was readily complied with.
Since the rise of insurgency which Kashmiris like to call ‘freedom fight’, 13 July 1989 until 2002 when Sumantra Bose released his book, Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace, as many as 13500 local civilians have died. That number has increased until present day 2021. That number does not include the Kashmiri pandits who lost lives in mass genocides.
Losing Kashmiri lives apart from imposing trauma, also means that the land of Kashmir will need to be covered by outside settlers to make up for increasing human resource demand and supply chain. In other words- Demography is altered.
Psychologist Waheeda Khan, explaining the rebellious nature of the Kashmiris, says that because of the tense situations in the valley from the 1990s, the generation gap between parents and young generations has increased. Young generations tend to blame their parents for failing to do anything about the political situation. So they start experimenting with their own aggressive ways to show their curbed feelings and would go against any authority. A prominent psychiatrist of the valley, Margoob, described that children/teenagers are much more vulnerable to passionate actions and reactions, since the young minds are yet to completely develop psychological mechanisms. When they assume that they are “pushed against the wall”, they get controlled by the emotions without bothering about the consequences. Also young people easily identify themselves with the “group” rather than with their individual identities. It leads to psychological distress which causes antisocial behaviour and aggressive attitude. Often, this situation gets worsened by the availability of weapons and people becoming familiar to violence after having exposed to conflict for so long. Waheeda Khan remarks, the major concern is that generations of children who are experiencing long-term violence in their lives, may reach adulthood perceiving that violence is a fair means of solving ethinic, religious, or political differences. So not only are Kashmiris losing their sons to death but also to depression. So Kashmiri sons and brothers who were responsible for multiplying our race , are either in graves or in mental health institutions. More than 45000 Kashmiri girls in Srinagar alone did not marry because of shortage of grooms.
And then we blame others for our Demographic Alteration?
Education gets HIT;
Because they chose to remember only Resistance, Kashmiris forgot that education is the only way reality will replace illusion, its the only way they will be aware enough not to allow conniving, power hungry, political secessionist figures like Hurriyat’s Geelani, to manipulate their sentiments and emotions. They allowed for Academic retardation in their own land by succumbing to calls for “Hartal’ and closure of schools and colleges for days on end. Skilled and gifted Kashmiri students found themselves stuck between Shutdown calls by Hurriyat for purpose of ‘Resistance’ and subsequent internet shutdown by Indian Security forces for purpose of ‘Protocol’.
How many earning years of a common Kashmiri are deferred by late degrees , I leave to you to decide.
Law and Oder gets HIT:
Because they chose to remember only Resistance, Kashmiris forgot that by allowing attacks on their security officials, they are handing over an element as sensitive as their own security, to hooligans disguised as ‘freedom fighters’.
The horrific and brutal lynching of J&K Polce officer Ayub Pandit, that too outside a Holy place of worship, describes the bloodthirsty mindset of these dangerous hooligans who aspire to be leaders once Kashmir attains ‘Azaadi’.
The recent attack on two policemen at Baghat area of Srinagar, by a youth who had hidden a gun inside his pheran, is a brazen humiliation of Kashmir’s traditional winter attire, as Public lose trust in anyone who walks around in a pheran. This is a setback to Government’s efforts to get a GI certification for Kashmir’s traditional dress.
Talking about sexual exploitation of women, the craze of ‘resistance’ was so much, that unmarried women indulging in illicit relations with ‘militants’ would announce proudly from rooftops’ mere pet me jihadi ka bachcha hai’ (translatted’ im carrying a jihadi’s baby’).
This craze has yielded undesirable law and order situations against women in Kashmir. Many Kashmiri girls are victimized by the sexual lust of Pakistan-backed terrorists, were forcibly kidnapped from their houses in Jammu and Kashmir before being sexually exploited by the terrorists. The recovery of contraceptive pills, condoms and viagra from terror hideaways in the Valley draws a sharp similarity between the rampant sexual abuse of women in Jammu and Kashmir with that of subjugation of women as sex slaves by the ISIS in Syria.
Times Now had covered a story on how militants blackmailed some families to give up their girls, some even underaged minors, to satisfy sexual needs of ‘freedom fighters’ .
According to the testimony of one of the victims of the sexual exploitation at the hands of Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorists, she was kidnapped at gunpoint by a Jaish terrorist from her house in Kashmir. She said, “I was forcibly abducted and married after the Jaish terrorist barged in my house and thrashed my family members. I was married to Tanveer Ahmad. He too was beaten and forced to divorce me. When I refused to go with the Jaish terrorist, he forcibly abducted me.”Talking to Times Now, the victim’s father too concurred the pervasive sexual depravity perpetrated by the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. “We had married off our daughter to Tanveer but then Dawood (Jaish terrorist) forcibly abducted our daughter after mercilessly thrashing us. We ran pillar to post to free her but he threatened us with a gun. What could we do then? We were helpless, he took away our daughter,” he said.
Cases like that of gang rape victim Maria Tahir , are clear indications of what life of women will become when Indian Kashmir attains ‘Azadi’.
Alarming incidents where young boys are dragged from their homes and killed in broad daylight by throat slits, like in case of 19 year old Huzaif Ashraf or shot at gun point like 23 yr old Ishrat Muneer Bhat, only highlight the horrific law and order condition that Kashmiris have subjected themselves to, by supporting radicals in the name of ‘Resistance’.
How much longer will this deathly and devastating ‘Resistance’ continue, depends on how much longer Kashmiris continue to endure this ‘self acclaimed’ tradition of ‘Resistance’ which they are so proud of. A self made tradition which has only given them crushed hopes, nightmares, exploitation, cultural divide and economic collapse, a ‘Resistance’ which they hold on to as their identity, a disease which they nurture as their strength, a blot which they visualize as their pride, a demon which they hail as their Guardian……..