Saturday, 13 December 2014

What is missing in Kashmir political discourse?

Perhaps many important questions are missed but a couple of them haunt me and I wonder would they ever be properly discussed.
First is a question of building up spaces outside the current political system.  And the second is cashing on spaces opened up by changing dynamics of politics. There is belated recognition that election boycotts have been counterproductive. Even in early 1990s we could have been politically active and exploiting given spaces for helping people move forward.
Hurriyats have been increasingly criticized for being almost a spent force. And we can’t avoid an impression that fundamental failures in methodology and conception have been made by it. There is no culture of debate in it, no consultation of latest developments in political theory to help it better understand changing political scenario following major changes in the economic and political order after the end of cold war. One could seriously ask if attention had been given to create certain institutions rather than fight abstractions or trade certain slogans. One wonders how come a discourse if foisted on people; how come a leader poses to be a leader who doesn’t care to update himself. Even the most brilliant political scientists keep updating themselves and visionary leaders countercheck their vision against the reality check that such scientists provide. Why has it taken decades to understand that the boycott shouldn’t have been an issue? Why isn’t copy of discussion amongst leaders provided to people? Don’t they debate issues? Don’t they introspect? Do they lack the courage to register their disagreement on policies? How much internal criticism is tolerated? Are intellectuals and professionals of different fields taken seriously? If not, why? Why don’t the leaders face questions on policy publically? Do they lack the guts or the integrity or the courage to face the public?
To incumbent pro-India leaders one would like to ask: How many contradictions are you able to live up with? How do you gather the courage to repeat the discourse that is hackneyed or disowned or discredited even by some of your own party members? Do you still believe that people can take you seriously when you talk of restoring autonomy? Don’t you notice that people have eyes to see and minds to notice contradictions, election posturing, trading of dreams, countless compromises you made to remain in power at the cost of ideology you are committed to in manifesto? Don’t you notice changes in Naya Kashmir document from 30s to 70s you made? You couldn’t give dignity or sense of care to people. You failed on almost every front – retaining J&K Bank, helping Afzal Guru get a fair trial, getting power houses back or denting NHPC hegemony. You increased age of retirement not because you suddenly got convinced of the rationale behind it, because you lost elections. You gave concessions to ReTs whom you had been opposed in practice because you lost elections. You kept silence on major administrative lapses and corruption because you thought you would lose power or coalition partner. You didn’t side with truth but power. You couldn’t get cases against your own people properly investigated. You couldn’t dent rising capitalism as manifested in mushroom growth of costly private schools. You did nothing to change education policy which is suffering from multiple organ failure syndrome? What did you do to better the knowledge economy? What did you do to help agricultural or livestock sector? One could ask scores of such questions.
So what do we propose to do now framed as we are in a discourse of choosing a particular party or carrying forward a political ideology of complicit democracy? Strengthen those spaces that will help people irrespective of who rules them. And keep leaders- pro-Indian and pro-freedom-reminding that you have been largely failing your people.
http://kashmirreader.com/what-is-missing-in-kashmir-political-discourse-28210

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