Raouf Rasool

God bless those who say what they feel must be said!

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Even as it is a known fact that all revolutions must have ideologies to spurn them on, however, it is also true that “in the heat of the conflict these ideologies tend to be smelt into rigid dogmas claiming exclusive possession of the truth”. And this is where the tragedy lies, because dogma is the enemy of human freedom and no revolution aiming for people’s ‘freedom’ could afford getting stuck to, and in rigid dogmas. Human spirit, and hence their freedom too glows from that inner small doubt whether we are right. No wonder that the best possible definition of ‘education’ springs from a simple confession – ‘I know nothing’, from where it then progresses to ‘knowing thy self’.

Those who think they know everything and believe with complete certainty that they possess the right knowledge and theirs is the ultimate wisdom of thought and action, are dark inside. Now if this is the trait of an ordinary individual, a commoner, it may not affect many beyond his or her self, and may be immediate family and friends. But if a political leader is infested with the disease, one can only imagine the ramifications – it will darken the world outside with cruelty, pain and injustice.

Humanity’s hope lies in the acceptance of the great law of change. Times change, and with it change everything. It is general understanding of the principles of change that provides clues of rational action and an awareness of realistic relationship between political action and its desired goal. Even if the desired goal may remain static over a period of time, yet the changing times do influence and alter the requirements of means employed for reaching that goal. Indeed no other factor is as important as time in deciding what means are to be employed at which time for a desired political affect.

So a political organizer, instead of getting stuck in rigid dogma, will have to prove flexible enough to ensure requisite maneuverability to his or her politics. This is not to say that such a political leader has to be rudderless; instead the strategic flexibility only ensures better sense of direction and adequate hold over the flow of events. Those who are sure about their swimming skills and know how to control and maneuver in a given situation while riding the waves can afford plunge into the sea; those who rely on and simply resign their fate to the flow of waves, will prove imprudent even going near water!

History is witness that all societies have, historically, discouraged and even penalized ideas and writings that threatened the status quo of thought and action, in politics as well as other spheres of human activity. No wonder when it comes to the literature on the realities of political and social change, we are walking a veritable barren desert. Kashmir certainly has not been any exception in this regard. Here also the ideas, leave aside writings, that threatened the political status quo of both ruling and those not-ruling-but-wanting-to-rule as well as all others on either side and in-between the two, were not only discouraged but also pressured and persecuted. No wonder then Kashmir has been made into a land of ‘agents’, for everybody is framed this or that way so much so that everyone seems somebody’s ‘agent’. So where is the space for a rational and objective discourse? As long as the rational thinking despite its objectivity and strength of argument continues to be labeled as unpatriotic, subversive, spawned in hell, no one would dare think objectively. Even if some do, they won’t spell it out. And those who do, do so at their own peril. God bless those ‘mad’ people who dare say what they feel must be said!

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