At a time when the killings in Kashmir are so regular and widespread, what the masses needed most was a wise, far-sighted and pro-active leadership. A leadership that would not only protest against the bloodshed but would also try to create an atmosphere wherein an end to the current situation is within reach.
Unfortunately for the Kashmiris, despite their sacrifices, the leadership has badly let them down. There is nothing that the Kashmiris haven’t sacrificed for the cause and that is what keeps the sentiment ticking despite utter failure of the resistance leadership.
An overwhelming majority of Kashmiris despises electoral politicians whom it sees as New Delhi’s stooges and who on their part have done nothing to dispel that perception. With that hindsight, there is a greater responsibility on the shoulders of the resistance leaders, but alas, it hasn’t been able to deliver to the satisfaction of the people.
We (the Kashmiris) have all suffered in one form or the other. It’s a pity that despite illimitable sacrifices, the Kashmir movement seems to be a rudderless boat. This even when there are globally recognized leaders like SAS Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Umar at the helm. This is something really serious, something that needs a serious soul-searching.
It’s true that the leadership is seen as the custodian of the popular sentiment, but it’s also true that people are raising questions and the circumstances that have arisen as a result of the leadership’s failures are responsible for a widespread disillusionment among the youth.
The joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has been able to show no performance since its inception except issuing and odd statement calling for a shutdown. With this reality in mind, it’s safe to presume that the conglomerate is totally oblivious to what may pan out in coming years and how they have to rise to the occasion.
People are dying on day to day basis and all the JRL has in response is a set template which goes out to the press with new names, date and stats with every fresh round of killings. That isn’t how revolutions and movements are run and led.
The conflict and the state sponsored oppression has left Kashmiris brutalized and destitute. Poverty and deprivation is so widespread and that precisely is why some of us go against the most popular sentiment and start working for the agencies for a few pennies while risking our lives. This is something that the leadership is either clueless about or chooses to conveniently ignore.
There are middle and lower rung resistance activists who are wedded to the cause but, at the same time, are unable to make their ends meet. Hasn’t the leadership failed them? What have we done for those who laid down their lives or lost their property or livelihood to the vagaries of the conflict?
While the sacrifices of many leaders can’t be ignored, it’s equally true that many of them are invisible, pose no threat to India and enjoy all privileges as Hurriyat leaders offer no sacrifices, enjoy a life style of their own. This lobby has created a confusion among common Kashmiris and resistance activists who continues to suffer every single day.
It’s high time our leaders woke up and came out of the cocoon they have put themselves in, and become proactive and sensitive to the pain and miseries of a common Kashmiri whom they claim to represent.
( to be continued)