BY DR.ABDUL AHAD
The keenness with which the esteemed readers have evaluated the intellectual depth and cultural significance of the much hated concept of Kashmiryat in the socio-political context of post 1980 era as an antidote to Sheikh Sahib’s izzat oo-abroo-ka-muqam is really worth appreciating. But to my utter dismay I am not able to understand what prevented Prof. Ishaq Khan to awaken the club audience with the sound of his “new discovery of Kashmiryat”? Why did he decline to participate in the S.P. College seminar to create public awareness about his discovery’ despite his present pretentions to being an incubator of the concept? Did he intentionally bury his precious treasure’ to guard it against the evil gaze of both the public and the authorities? Was he distancing himself from the growing collective Kashmiri consciousness to avoid intense and instant colonial disdain and wrath that it was bound to bring forth in course of time? Or was he playing a waiting game for about three decades to finally display his cards at an opportune time when the Kashmir University is once again in search of a new director for the Institute of Kashmir Studies of which the Prof. had the honour of being first director as a gratuity immediately after his retirement from teaching service? And what meaning/definition is he inclined to lend to his ‘invaluable discovery’?
These are the questions which have baffled me the most.
The Cultural Academy’s literature too does not give us any idea about his outstanding discovery’, It is totally silent about it and does not untold as to why the Academy decided to choose the Professor to “popularise Kashmiryat as an ideology”. It would have been definitely a fruitful experience for us if the Academy had initiated a debate and published articles on the subject rather than to privately, “impress upon” the Professor “more than once to propagate Kashmiryat”
The Professor’s outburst of patriotic frenzy takes him far away from observing what has actually happened in our contemporary history. The contention that Z.A. Butto’s call for hartal against the Indra-Shiekh Accord fell on deaf ears is not tenable. It is a pretty loony view not substantiated by facts. That Butto was the darling of the Kashmiri masses, a hero and beloved leader goes without sayıng. The question of the failure of his emotional appeal does not arise therefore. He still continues to live in our memory even after elapsing of so many years. His appeal undoubtedly called forth a flutter of noise and chaos across the vales and dales of Kashmir; inspiring the Kashmiris to observe a complete hartal against the Accord. He had gained such an immense popularity that his assassination provoked a huge disturbance in the usual pattern of events; causing enormous disquiet, noise, dust and uproar; nay a roaring inferno compelling Zia-ul-Haq to call Kashmiris bloody Brahamans.
The Professor is slipping through his teeth when he tries to evolve a ‘new methodology’ to interpret events by attributing whatever he likes to historians of great repute and makes them to comment upon situations they were not ven distantly related to. The illustrious Prof. Mohibbul Hassan was far away both in space and time when the Accord took place. He had come here at the behest of Sadiq Sahib and had subsequently left the Valley owing to a paralytic attack that had rendered him immobile, speeçhless and feelingless.
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.