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Confession, being a mainstream sympathizer in Kashmir

By Touseef Ahmad

I belong to a family, whose guardian feeds his family without pitfalls. Every family member holds job, fitting his/her station. Hence, all continued normally to contribute. I wedded with long track of education, got imprinted variably by literal ideas of life and polity. The clash of ideas continued, at times I desired to be a militant, followed by inclination to become a stone hurler and synthetically to find answers, jumped to street debates and resultantly joined university. I got to lectures, books and sound discussions. Considerably, clashes, inside would partly go, because of vibrant university exposure to basic issues of Kashmir. Once I swiped away my post-graduation, would cling to spread knowledge about concepts related to polity, society and economy. During this persuasion, I assuaged people of pain, of my easy calculable village of 65 households. The village bears name of (Sofipora Zainapora), it is a part of district Shopian, known for its apple orchards and quality. I collectively spearheaded the issues of my home village, related to electric bills, corruption at sub units of revenue department, primary education, roads and bridges and got into fight with administration.

A fight with administration is looked over in Kashmir, with a cursing reward. Once a man fights, handful of people joins the fray and huge chunk stands with administration. It leads to self-scorning, leaves a man dead. Undoubtedly, to find an answer to “Meta Questions” inside, like, should I go with social work, why to overtake people if they don’t want welfare, parents are not happy with this pattern of life etc. Defying all these inner voices, I began to participate in political and apolitical problems. Why apolitical word here, I used to counsel students, pledge for women education, stood to abstain people from pressuring their delinquent wards to work in fields and workshops. The question of locus is participation in political milieu. The adventure of identity takes people to any extent, same, was my case. I got to know about political philosophy of various political parties, while looking at National Conference, it had not chance to pacify me, the reason being apathy of people towards it. Literally, Peoples Democratic Party came to my rescue, long lasting search came to conclusion. Having no grand favor in mind, I began to work for issues of people. In line, would go straight to offices of essential importance. Successfully, win over the official hooliganism was result. It ran as respite through the spine of public and mine as well.

All of a sudden, the discretion of election in 2014, hurried people to rush to party headquarter to decide candidature of our constituency (Wachi). The constituency was earlier run over by current chief minister (Ms. Mehbooba Mufti). People, thronged my cell number, conveying either support them or stand to contest. Since, my political history was less appealing, at the same time inclination of people to see me as a radical reformer, more emphatically for my daring behavior, was enough to convince. After a sound biopsy, I skipped people and joined university as a researcher (political science). Meanwhile, I gauged people turning suffocated, rather every fraud man claiming to be the henchman of party and people. For nights, I fought insomnia inside and would weigh people as per merit, craving to represent constituency. The search engine fixed Mr. Aijaz Ahmad Mir as hotspot, the law graduate of Kashmir University known for his smile and down to earth persona. Undoubtedly, it was a tough time to tress pass people having long affiliation with party and directly connected with the party president. At micro level, we could well mobilize people and got a negligible favor. The mobilization of political workers through piecemeal attempts worked well, paramount was the internal differences between people in ‘ticket fray’ of party. The toil bore fruits, party favored Mr. Aijaz and 2014 election favored him out of team work and locally known as “PDP wave”.

In Kashmir, the phrase “triumphal competition” owns a free validity. It refers to the seasonal fight between mainstream and separatist camp. One runs down another in a fierce maneuvering. None continues with a defined theory and argument. They hold scene for a certain time and let it go on with deep scars. The scars, later, play hide and seek. The sentiment and political discontent in valley is a consented narrative. And ‘Being Mainstream’ is being exceptional, given its ramification’s. People want mainstream to take hold but are not willing to contribute. The long gap between will and participation was tried by people to be narrowed down. Only on pretext of helping people, I bade to narrow it. Polity of valley underwent metamorphosis in 2016. Seemingly, the 2016 puzzle looked militancy triggered, which is a brutal reality. Analytic part is that it oxygenated the historical anger, that ‘Being Mainstream’ invites blatant threat. The death certificate doesn’t come from public aura, rather it wins assent, once you are not being listened by associates in party. If a legislator’s statement in Delhi sounds high in streets of “Srinagar”, can’t a local legislator contest that provocation?

A plethora of political men, interestingly, affiliated with mainstream parties extended their resignations to Mullah’s in 2016, once their relevance got downsized. Being not connected with politicians using my self-interest, and having public welfare my pipe of connection, I was neither threatened nor publicly humiliated. The question is that, why shouldn’t not a political worker resign, When a military official takes over political debates on TV, when that political worker is used as political shield to promote democratic name, when a man wants nation to know, nothing except clamor.  Do all those, who want nation to know, know that it has bolded the repercussions, every day and night, headlines mark smart phone and TV screens with death and desperation in valley?

The way, a family is subunit of larger society, exactly, does a make state sub unit of a country. In order to avoid deviance, rather, to escape any disorder, every family head probes issues positively. Do always, family heads resort to inhuman treatment and appeasing attitude, if so, do you think families would live as integrated. How come a nation continues its motivated strategy, to win the sparsely distanced and disillusioned populace?

A mainstream sympathizer has a reason to wed with; the reason could be of welfare of people or layout to a person’s inner whim. Once he comes in, the national and state political bigwigs register it as win against the other part of the story “separatism”. No,,,No,,,No the political worker dies, the day state continues its traditional ways, representing corrupt cult.

The current generation defies every notion ranging from polity to society. Surprisingly, the access and understanding to basic issues is alarming. In a conflict zone, like Kashmir, people retrieve, despite bullets all around and graves filled with young people. People in valley, crack all the national and international exams for jobs, even excel exceptionally. No more are times left, when few were educated. Kashmir, owns people with maximum educational capabilities, people with self-reliance, people with over all analysis. Do you think, they can be betrayed? I broke their line, with no output I had in mind and soul. Should, I continue as a mainstream sympathizer? When and despite a state government at dispensation, is run over by national media and street critiques of rest of India. Every dictation comes from New Delhi, mutilating local aspirations to see peace as an option. It is a national game, local players are becoming scapegoats.

Touseef Ahmad holds an MPhil and is now pursuing doctoral degree at Dept. of Political Science, University of Kashmir.

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