Published On: Fri, Aug 21st, 2009

Issue with 15 August

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August 14 and August 15 are over. Both dates have engaged the people of Kashmir and the people of India and Pakistan differently. People of India and Pakistan have felicitated each other on the two dates. The people of Kashmir, though good natured, but slaves to their subconsciously stored reflexes chose to take an issue with 15 August. They caused a visible differential between 14 and the 15 August. History will not judge a Kashmiri on the basis of his/her ignorance, hypocrisy or prejudice but on the substantive merits of a grievance.

It is iniquitous of a people to accord two levels of interest and meaning to the Independence of the people of Pakistan and the People of India. People of Kashmir should have an issue with the Governments of India and Pakistan and no issue with the people and independence dates of the people of these two countries.

Unfortunately in Kashmir life seems to have gone off hinge and off track. Although the people by nature are not hypocrites yet the selectivity in our interest schedule does point against them. There are no two opinions about the fact that at issue is the right of the people to ‘equality and self-determination’. One does not increment the case of ‘equality and self-determination’ by performing a political ritual in one’s own favour.

We have honourable exceptions in all disciplines of life in Kashmir. However, we have an overwhelming majority of leaders  who have used the slogan of self-determination or at times ‘aspirations of people’ or at times ‘genuine aspirations of people’ as a slogan to increment the tactical interests of the ruling elite in Pakistan (in rare cases India), add to their coffers and cause an irreparable damage to the life, habitat and the case of self-determination. Politics to these people is a full time paid vocation.

Our leaders have more than one Indian or a Pakistani reference. Passport, a driving licence, a ration card, a birth certificate, a travel ticket, a health check, a security arrangement, employment of a family member, a case in a court and other such items cause their Indian references. As against this the common man and woman does have very few or none Indian or Pakistani reference. They live as State Subjects, under the 20 April 1927 law. This reference predates an Indian or a Pakistani reference. We have noticed that our leaders have defended this Kashmiri reference of 1927, in their own cause.

An issue against 15 August may be symbolic but it does cause an offence to millions of Indian Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jews and other communities living in independent India. And then people of Indian origin live beyond the borders of India, in many other countries of the world. It is a serious offence and embarrassment, to continue to store in our subconscious a reflex action against 15 August.

Kashmiris are enemies of their own case and most of the leaders are hypocrites. Leaders are fortunate to have an anaesthetised public that follows them without ever caring to turn the pages of written discipline or asking about gains made and losses suffered. Kashmiri leaders have a constitutional duty, in particular in Azad Kashmir, to felicitate India and Pakistan on their independence dates of 14 and 15 August. At the time of the formation of Republic of Azad Kashmir on 4 October 1947 and reconstitution on 24 October, the Government of Azad Kashmir has made a declaration that “The new Government represents the united will of Jammu and Kashmir State”, that “The Provisional Government…is most emphatically not a communal Government. It will include Muslims as well as non Muslims in the Provisional Cabinet which will serve the people, the temporary purpose of restoring law and order in the State and enable the people to elect by their free vote a popular legislature and a popular Government”.

The Kashmir Government of 24 October 1947 further made a declaration that “The Provisional Government entertains sentiments of the utmost friendliness and goodwill towards its neighbouring Dominions of India and Pakistan and hopes that both the Dominions will sympathise with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their efforts to exercise their birthright of political freedom. The Provisional Government is further anxious to safeguard the identity of Jammu and Kashmir as a political entity”.

People and the leaders of Kashmir should have been looking forward to celebrate 62nd birth day of the “Republic of Kashmir” on 24 October 2009 in Azad Kashmir and linking this celebration with the Government of Jammu and Kashmir (and the people), reminding it of its duties under article 4 of the Constitution, in the true spirit of a noble people. There should be a fresh appraisal of the reasons that caused the disappearance of the “Republic of Kashmir”. If the leaders of Kashmir are not hypocrites they have a duty to investigate and find reasons as to why the people of Azad Kashmir failed to “elect by their free vote a popular legislature and a popular Government”.

It is not only the duty of Kashmiri leaders but a duty of the people as well to delve deep into the details of their conscience and find out why did they choose to go “communal” in their political agenda and did not keep to the first declaration of “sentiments of the utmost friendliness and goodwill towards its neighbouring Dominions of India and Pakistan and hopes that both the Dominions will sympathise with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their efforts to exercise their birthright of political freedom.”  August 15 should have been the due date for the people and leaders of Kashmir to ask the Government of India and the people of India, to explain and account for their “sympathy with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their efforts to exercise their birthright of political freedom”.

August 14 and August 15 should have been special dates for the people of Jammu and Kashmir to take their case to the Governments and people of India and Pakistan. Indians and Pakistanis live in other parts of the world and could have been approached to account for their share of “sympathy”.

Engaging or encouraging a people to hoist Black flags on August 15 or Green flags on August 14 is a strategy to keep the people of Kashmir off track and away from the fundamental principles of their case. The cosmetics of this psychology are used to hide the facts that surround the death of “Republic of Kashmir” and the resultant uncertainty keeps the thinking Kashmiri away from turning the pages of political and constitutional disciplines that we have set out on 4th and 24th October 1947. The hypocrisy of the leadership does filter through the clouds of their self interest.

One can ask a simple and basic question to Kashmiri leaders, that if they represent the ‘genuine’ and ‘true’ aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, do the three Governments of Kashmir, the three leaderships and the three people have the will and freedom to felicitate each other on 24th October 2009, the 62nd birth day of the “Republic of Jammu and Kashmir”.

The answer is in the negative. They are neither ‘genuine’, nor ‘true’ leaders. No news bulletin on PTV and no statement of OIC can ever make them ‘genuine’ and ‘true’ representatives. It is the free will of a common man and woman in Kashmir and outside Kashmir that shall at the end of the day accredit or discredit them. Our leaders have many Indian and Pakistani references and only one or none Kashmiri reference.

As a concerned Kashmiri let me avail this opportunity to offer belated felicitations to the people of India and Pakistan on their 62nd August 14 and 15. May I respectfully and in faithfulness to the jurisprudence of Kashmir case take the lead to felicitate in advance the people of Jammu and Kashmir living under the three administrations controlled by India and Pakistan and the fourth Kashmiri living as a Diaspora, happy 62nd Birth Day of the “Republic of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Indian school of opinion need not get upset on my political romance. Kashmiri leaders have murdered the “Republic of Jammu and Kashmir” and Self Determination. I am celebrating them as a principle and not as a realisable reality for a long time to come. Today we need on both sides of LOC the likes of late K H Khurshid, President Jammu & Kashmir Liberation League, to recreate  the spirit that he inducted in the  JOINT DECLARATION, that he made with Abdul Qayum Khan, President of Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference and Mohd. Ibrahim Khan, President Azad Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference on MONDAY 5TH AUGUST 1968 at Rawalpindi. Unless the Kashmiri leaders have daunting courage, fortitude and charisma of K H Khurshid, which remained his characteristics at September 1986  Harare Conference, they shall continue to act as Lilliputians in their own land.

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