One question deeply demands an answer, whether the recent Kashmiri insurgency has been put aside or has it been completely wiped out at the behest of the armed and paramilitary forces, intelligence tactics, psychological warfare waged by India and its agencies. Recent indications of sporadic incidents of armed attacks against the army and armed forces in Kashmir, particularly in southern Kashmir in recent months, indicate that the insurgency has not been totally “quelled” then. that there is the germ of the struggle for the freedom of the people of Kashmir which from time to time diversifies into all kinds of protests and demonstrations against the oppressor, ie India. But a bird’s eye view of Kashmir’s recent history confirms the belief that the armed insurgency in Kashmir that began in the late 1980s has resolutely “failed” and all that remains now is an activity to mark presence. of the same thing that had started back in the late 80s, which is ridiculous and does not amount to much. Kashmir is no longer a “nuclear flashpoint” and everything that happens in Kashmir stays in Kashmir, except for concern for the TRP’s mad rush that pushes national news agencies to speak out. on the conditions prevailing in Kashmir.
But why has the armed insurgency “failed” in Kashmir? Was it India’s military might that was “beating” the armed insurgency against it (which the Indian political and intellectual elite most often likes to believe); was it Pakistan’s twisted policy towards Kashmir, or was it the conditions intrinsic to the insurgency movement itself that were responsible for its collapse within a decade or less of the affair.
There are different sides to the argument and I would say most of them hold up. While the defense paraphernalia in Kashmir caused a lot of damage to the armed insurgency in Kashmir (this factor cannot be ignored) and especially its psychological military operations which put a decent dent in the whole insurgency affair army. At the same time, Pakistan wove its own policy from the start, as it would have preferred to “take control” of Kashmir at some point and did not fully subscribe to the idea of ââan independent Kashmir. Under these pretexts, Pakistan wove a web that led to a quagmire and ultimately replaced the sense of independence that prevailed in Kashmir. It was a time when the insurgency movement in Kashmir turned into the character of an independence controversy into a characteristic regressive fundamentalist hue that led to internal fighting between various militant outfits in and around Kashmir. I would not want to go into these topics in depth because my approach to the whole issue is based on culture and ethnicity and my argument mainly revolves around this because it is an aspect that has been least discussed.
The main agenda of the active discourse that led to the seed of the revolution, an armed insurgency to “liberate” Kashmir, did not generate much more than turbulent opposition to Indian authority and the alliance with it. Pakistan from which help was sought to “wage war” against India. That was the rule of thumb and that’s where the fault lies as the culture of Kashmir and its people has been largely ignored. Kashmir was largely a political revolution and failed to address the cultural imperatives that were needed to weave it together into a more protruding web of resistance to escape hijacking. It all started on a political basis without any substantive work on the subject of cultural resistance. For example, the language was never an integral part of Kashmir’s struggle for freedom and was ignored to the hilt, which formed the basis of a pseudo-culture of war and that only. The language, if it had been tackled, would have imparted a certain native flavor to the struggle and given it a more refined cultural ground.
There was also a Kashmiri literary deficit which was never addressed. As for example at the school level, where a good part of the population is still housed to learn, the books taught Indian, Western and world history while there was almost no mention of the history of Kashmir. This created a moral disconnect in the understanding of the moorings of the struggle for freedom and the difficulty of the freedom to attach importance to the struggle. Poetry, which turns out to be a source of inspiration for all kinds of revolutions, was lacking here below. There were no Kashmiri poets writing to inspire the struggle for freedom in Kashmir as there was a permanent language deficit, which meant that most of the people in the area could neither write nor read Kashmir. As the uprising in Kashmir dawned, we witnessed a different plethora of songs written to inspire activists in Kashmir and these were builds across the border and didn’t have much of relevance to the culture and times of Kashmir and its people. Since there was hardly any indigenous literature to compensate for the understanding of the cause and effect of the whole struggle, foreign narratives intervened and ultimately distorted the contours of the freedom struggle. The eventuality was such that Kashmir’s struggle for independence remained apathetic in the local context as India and Pakistan managed to make the most of it for their best use and utility.
There are two other factors the absence of which has cost heavily the struggle, the movement, the revolution (although I do not want to categorize it as such because without the implication of cultural imperatives a revolution is not even a revolution. ). One was the non-inclusion of women in the “discourse” except for the handful who withdrew from it because of their relative affiliations with people actively involved in the armed struggle. The active participation of women would have led significantly to the maturation of the perspective of thought within the whole movement itself. But on the other hand, what has happened is that women have been disempowered by creating a dialect of the woes that have been entrusted to them. Women were classified as a people who would just mourn the death of their sons, husbands and brothers and just that. They were never involved in the micro or macro structuring and restructuring of the movement in Kashmir and a large part of the population was therefore left out, which ultimately downgraded the foundations and imperatives of what could have been a long holistic and inclusive struggle. The other was the exodus of pundits from Kashmir. I would not discuss the conditions under which the exodus of pundits took place from Kashmir, a very deserving minority, as there are conflicting views on this, but I would like to point out that even as this part of the population was “driven” from Kashmir, the structural identity of the Kashmiri freedom struggle dismantled into a carcass of intolerance. The very movement that was supposed to achieve justice for the “repressed” population of Kashmir turned into a sophisticated human rights violation and therefore lost its credibility from the very beginning.
At the start of the armed uprising in Kashmir, the whole population was somehow convinced that the struggle was genuine as the whole idea was catapulted against the backdrop of the political jargon of the injustices that had been perpetrated against the people of Kashmir and in plus there was a certain heroism to the whole affair which led to a mass association of people with the movement. But most of the population had not been made aware of the historical facts which had necessitated “waging war” against India with the support of Pakistan. Pressing once again, there was absolutely no literature for ordinary people in Kashmir to gain a true understanding of the basis of the struggle. As the popular momentum gave way over time, people became disenchanted with it all. Moreover, the political movement not accompanied by a cultural logic has shaped a sphere of isolation where the people began to be unhappy with the controversy of the struggle. The revolution failed to solve the problems of ordinary people and as a whole set out to defeat India militarily. The result was that questions, problems, desires outside of aspirations (which formed the crux of the idiom of the struggle for freedom) were never postponed and this led to some form of alienation among the masses ultimately leading to a struggle which was confined to the militarily equipped “mujahedin” and so the Kashmir independence movement was eventually contained – at least to a large extent if not completely wiped out.
It can well be said that the struggle for Kashmir’s freedom was not a movement of the people since the construction that would have woven the two was lacking and that was the cultural part – the part which concerned the daily routines of the people. The large-scale military crackdowns to block the uprising in Kashmir ultimately resulted in people staying indoors and not being able to earn money for their families was an issue that could not be overlooked. The movement never cared about this factor and ultimately the people who had managed to remain associated at least in word if not in practice with political motives found themselves alone in their daily “battles”. There was no one to defend them since the militant camp was rhetorically engaged in an armed crisis from which it could not disconnect since it was the only thing that offered any semblance of character.
To date, with sporadic incidents of armed insurgency in Kashmir, the people are disillusioned because the separatist leadership – the only living camp that means the struggle for freedom still continues in Kashmir – has not been able to connect with the people and the local culture and ethics. The separatist leadership, apparently, does not want to step into the role of introspection and analyze the factors that led to the failure of a struggle, which is kept alive by words and that only. Until the Hurriyat takes on a more people-centered role, it will not advance anywhere, whether it is in talks with India or not.
Nothing will make sense if it doesn’t make sense.