BY DR.ABDUL AHAD
The paucity of historical knowledge has intellectually weakened us so impudently that we drive a lot of delight in spreading disinformation in order to discredit the pre-Islamic era of our history and take pride in ascribing the genesis of Kashmiri identity to the eventful period of 14h century; a major epoch of our history when important and exciting things happened here under the moral and socio-economic umbrella of Islam.
The tentacles of the virus of complete ignorance of Kashmir have spread far and wide like wildfire; not sparing even the Kashmir leadership. Despite earning their bread and butter by voicing their concern about Kashmir’s historical dispute, Kashmiri leaders’ grasp of the issue is at quite pitiable. They are utterly bereft of the understanding of the dynamics of history and are, therefore, frequently discomfited by the deficiency of historical knowledge; not being able even to have a handle on the essence of the UN Resolutions on Kashmir and the background they were passed against. They have yet to recognize that pronouncing these Resolutions as redundant and irrelevant is bound to wash off the resistance narrative which has been written by the blood of more than a lac of Kashmiris who sacrificed their precious lives for their implementation”. To them the Kashmiris are so naive and raw that they can easily take them for a ride and make a sell out with the blood of sacrificial victims for their personal aggrandızement by motivational modus operandi and full arsenal of cheap political techniques. The dissimilarity between King Harsha of Kashmir and Harash Verdhana of India is equally incomprehensible to them.
They have neither the time nor the inclination to find out:
that Sheikh Mubammad Abdullah wasn’t, at all, a signatory to the “Instrument of Accession” ;
that he had no locus standee to become one;
that his role was nothing beyond than that of a catalyst to facilitate Indian Occupation of Kashmir and fulfil Nehru’s long cherished dream for which he was compensated, beyond his expectation, not only with political power but also with the epithet of Lord Krishna incarnate;
that the terminology of the Murky Accession was not at all “intentional on the part of Hari Sing”-who had nothing to do with the process of its formulation ;
and that it had already been devised by the Indian establishment for integrating Princely States a few months before Kashmir was grotesquely snatched through the bogus Instrument that looks nothing beyond an ordinary printed application form.
But they are proficient enough in creating a hype to raise the level of expectations of the masses by their unique rhetoric of “Azadi” behind the facade of which they hide from view their unawareness and futility. The typical idiom of “Azadi”’, which together with their “pro-Kashmir” stance and other related postulates and religious fanaticism have endeared them to the politically naive and religiously sentimental public and trapped Kashmir’s historical ethos in the darkness of intolerance and bigotry from where its resurrection and resurgence is unlikely, is as unfathomable a puzzle to them as that of the “Bai-nama Amrisar” or “Accession” or UN Resolutions. The contents of Dixon Plan’ postulated by Justice Sir Own Dixon, the UN representative for India and Pakistan, are equally beyond their understanding, they can hardly relate them to the Partition ethics. They are yet to appreciate that Nehru’s emotional attachment and voracious love for Kashmir, and his being intensely eager, indeed avid for its possession, were decisively compulsive enough for Dehli’s military intervention in Kashmir. That the Kashmiris, especially the whole new generation, are now tired of continued violence, bloodshed and encounter and torture is farther away from their realization. The paucity of imaginative leaders with historical perspective is, therefore, a crippling malady that has struck Kashmir perennially.
The position of Kashmiri bureaucrats, technocrats, professionals, academics, medical experts and super-specialists is in no way better. They are too loath to become familiar with Kashmir’s historical legacy and instead seem always preoccupied with their acquisitiveness. They cover their growing avarice, and their awful ignorance of history with a tight-fitting lid of arrogance that makes it extremely and uncomfortably difficult for them to come down from the ladder of megalomania and attend helpfully to the most pressing needs of the public; the collective energy of society-the meaning of which word they always over simplify to refer it to ordinary mortals. They revolve around the political authority only to promote their career and other vested interest and are averse to identify the people as real force of society. Their bigotry, intolerance, egotism, superiority mania and insensitivity to people’s problems all emanate from their lack of knowledge of Kashmir’s cultural reservoir: its Sufism/ Rishism and its traditional philosophies. Forbearance, moderation, open-mindedness and commitment: the most glaring features of long established Kashmiri belief system; the vital components of its civility; the major stocks of its civilization which come only through the route of history and culture, are neither here nor there to attract their attention.
They are so naively unaware of the meaning, scope and significance of history that they can hardly make a difference between its ancient and medieval eons; between its feudal and colonial eras; between Empire and Kingdome; between Emperor and Sultan; between war indemnity and reparation; between forces of production and production relations; between a gazetteer and encyclopaedia.
These shortfalls are too grievous to put us in a bizarre, wacky mode of of social behaviour; depriving us of the very sense of history; alienating us from the saga of our triumphs and breakdowns; making the tale of vales and dales more roiling pushing us into a legless future to render us rootless nowhere else to go: giving rise to many apprehensions, and genuinely so, that something bad may happen to the coming generations. There is, thus, an urgent need for finding an effective cure for this kind of demeanour which is callously distancing us from Kashmir’s past; not allowing the educational institutions to grow as temples of history learning and centre’s of enlightenment, research and a cultural renaissance. And there is no better course to rectify the situation and redeem ourselves from the futility than to shun our cruel indifference to history and make tangible efforts to preserve our culture, monuments, folklore, oral history, artefacts and relics of the past as potential sources of our heritage and throw open the forgotten historical record bags lying in the dark, dingy rooms of archives to public scrutiny and encourage historical research to augment our literature.
The present volume is expected to evoke a lively interest in the subject and the role it plays in building the socio-economic system. It sheds light on some crucial aspects of contemporary Kashmir and attempts to dispel certain doubts lurking in Kashmiri mind since 1947.
Dr. Abdul Ahad is a well-known historian of Kashmir. He presents a perspective on the Kashmir issue and talks about Kashmir’s history and individuality and personality.