The Conflicts within!
By: Sheikh Mudasir
The assorted mentalities of Kashmiris are subject of discourse in every part of this conflict ridden land. People are busy, every day, discussing politics, religion, developments, careers and unemployment etc. from shops to offices and more in winters from cosy rooms to hamaams. We display our wits on different topics nearly everywhere and believe that we are the most learned nation existing on the planet and the upshot of this brainy learning has made every person an inadvertent speechmaker or an analyst at least.
Since ages we have been the infested with a major political conflict that has robbed us as a people. This long-lasting conflict is one of the many and major reasons which fathered a spick and span conflict videlicet “the conflict within”. Kashmiris have turned self-contradictory over a period of time. The worst victim of this contradiction has been the Religion. There is no denying the fact that people here exhibit enormous disposition and devotion to religion but this cultism is not more than a pro tempore thing.
Our daily lives are dead antagonistic to what we preach or are preached and have become simply the sum of conflicts in public life. Our birth, death, customs, jobs, businesses, marriages, rituals and taboos stand vivid testimony to our conflicting self. We have more varnavyavastha than early India that formed the basis of Indian Society and is still prevalent. We are divided into Syeds, Greesis, Hanjis,Gujjars, chamar, doombs etc. and these terms have become the fab slangs of our society. Late marriages are constitutional here, for employment has been made a footing and precondition. Thousands of women have crossed their marriageable age and are still unwed. Hundreds and thousands of men have been left depressed and frustrated due to diverse social obligations. Least do we know that we deprive our sons and daughters of right to legal union. The conflict is, when they do it illegally we all become Qazis and Muftis.
Bank Jobs are looked down upon religiously but a bulk of the our population feeds on it. We talk proud of relatives working in banks, give them our daughters and sisters for nuptial knot with equal pride. The clerical section gets repeated donations from bank employees and deposit their funds in same banks. We toil hard to get a job in banks, in police, in army, in civil services by hook or crook. Some offer Dakshanas to political gurus and live for their names rest of the life. Then unwittingly beat our chests for religious supremacy in the state.
We have patronized Bollywood, Hollywood and all the music industries with ardor and pride. The technology, weather cyber or physical, swashes on Kashmiri exploiters. Still the irony of religion prevails on all aspects. We use it for our personal benefits and meet our narcissistic ends through this medium. We are Iqbalis when we need religion even for a cold comfort of our substantial profit. We tend to be liberals when it strikes against our self -serving designs.
This religionism has emptied our human conscience and drained our brains to be rational and logical. Religion is a beautiful thing, it must make men beautiful in thought and practice but when exploited it is the most lethal and irremissible of the human gifts. We are racists when it comes to practices or taboos but Islamists when ‘freedom movement’ receives a bit gait. We own everything to ‘rebels’ not when they are alive but when they are silenced. We turn to them in thousands for their funerals but pull back when they knock for a morsel.
This Janus- faced attitude is seen also when elections are held here. From ballot to bullet we are caged in conflict. Kashur-chu-Brahman (Kashmiri is a Brahmin), is idiomatically used to certify our conflicting nature. The invincible waves that we rose to in 2008 unrest were followed by a ballot bomb that falls in and these ferocious waves were silenced temporarily. The voices that were echoing ‘Hum Kya chahatay Azaadi’ (We want freedom) were transubstantiated to Gali Gali Main Shor Hay Election ka Zor Hay (each nook and corner resonates with election sloganeering). My word! The land that mothered a different tusnami was appalled to witness the ‘out of the blue termination’. Be it the city or village, we have diverse people mushrooming diverse causes and they seldom get on well with one another. Almost every house here homes Bob Hope and Bob Dylan and they champion different campaigns vauntingly.
In 2009, a boy creates history by topping IAS and a crowd of people thronged same streets to greet this lad for such an uncommon accomplishment. The placards read ‘you have made us proud’. A year before the boys who jumped to airskying their hands for an utterly different cause passionately became his followers and chose a new course. Now when he resigned from what he had achieved, we reel into the confusion once again. These semesters of confusion are our old friends as Kashmiris for we are never moribund in our desires. Until we learn to be cerebral we cannot match to the developments of the changing world. Unless we shun out conflicting wits and nourish our minds with coherence we can’t succeed as a nation and can’t grow and spring up as rational humans.
Kashmir Images is an English language daily newspaper published from Srinagar (J&K), India. The newspaper is one of the largest circulated English dailies of Kashmir and its hard copies reach every nook and corner of Kashmir Valley besides Jammu and Ladakh region.