Thursday, July 31, 2014

The empty coffers

`Gari ne vayi, asstaan khalaan taher'! This Kashmiri proverb describes the recent actions of the present rulers!

After the debacle in the Parliamentary elections, the present rulers of Kashmir have been announcing a series of so called people friendly measures in spite of the fact that the government treasuries are virtually empty. These actions are best summed up in the typical Kashmiri proverb describing a person who has no rations for himself at home but goes to a shrine distributing the popular Kashmiri cooked yellow rice called taheur! It appears that the ruling party is behaving like a drowning man who tries to catch at straws to save himself. Enhancement of the retirement age of the government employees would have made sense if had been issued few years back. At that time it was alleged that there was no money for such a step. One wonders where from the money has come now when the government is unable even to pay general provident fund of already retired employees. The new employment scheme has been scrapped and the employees instead of being on stipend would now get regular salaries. The new administrative units are going to cost the state something like 500 crores! Chief Minister is planning to announce further sops including reduction in electricity duty even though he has been complaining of lesser revenue in PDD.
There was banner line news recently that the state coffers are empty and the state is going round with a begging bowl! The state plan is yet to be sanctioned by the Planning Commission which is awaiting constitution by the new government in Delhi. By the time the plan is sanctioned, model code of conduct may stop all developmental activity. One fails to understand how various projects including upgradation of schools and so on are announced with an empty treasury? Just before Eid bills worth 2000 crores were pending in different state treasuries. This was one of the main reasons for lesser shopping on the occasion of Eid. There is a slump in sales as reported by many traders. The Gaza killings too have affected the Eid sales.
As a journalist friend tweeted, the two coalition partners after the divorce are having a live-in relationship till elections. This in the present circumstances means complete paralysis of all government activity especially on the development side. The break-up of the two ruling parties will definitely paralyse all activities even though the coalition government was already paralytic. The only possible explanation of spending money with empty coffers can be the belief of the present rulers that they have a very little chance of coming back. Whatever measures they announce will fall on the shoulders of the new incumbents. They would neither be able to implement these orders nor reverse the same! They would be truly caught between the devil and the deep sea!
If Omar Abdullah is really sincere and regrets his failures, the least he could do is to revoke the Disturbed Area Act and the Public Safety Act thereby making both the AFSPA redundant and automatically releasing scores of young so called stone-pelters and other political detainees. People cherish their freedom more than monetary sops. The most Delhi could do is remove him from the chair by imposing Governor’s rule for these last three to four months but the goodwill he will gain will be much more and could pay him in the next elections. But the million dollar question is does he have the courage and sincerity to do so? His flip-flop on AFSPA during last few years shows he does not have both the courage and the willingness to take such a plunge. So the Kashmiri proverb fits him well in every respect!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The stinking “Paradise”!


If there is a Paradise on Earth, it is this, it is this, and it is this!


Almost all the Kashmir Tourism literature carries the above couplet of a poet in Mughal period to affirm the fact that Kashmir truly is a Paradise on Earth. Most of the foreign writers have given different titles and names to Kashmir in praise of its natural beauty. The Eden of the East, the Venice of the East, the Switzerland of Asia and so on. In fact, keeping in view the environment and its wild nature, those places should have been compared to Kashmir than vice versa as it surpasses all places in the gifts of Nature. In natural beauty Kashmir has no comparison. However, that may now be a story of the past, true only in travelogues of yore and the history books. At the present moment we are living in what can be called realistically, a stinking Paradise!
 
The first stink is the foul marshy stench coming out of the heart of the city, the Dal Lake. The Lake is virtually in throes of death. The house-boat on the Lake was supposed to be the number one attraction of Kashmir. In fact, it was a USP (unique selling proposition) especially to European and American travellers. A palace floating on water which used to be so clear that one could see the fish dancing below among the marine plants. It was really crystal clear water. Not now. Not only is the water turbid in places but it has become marshy with abundant growth of weeds. The Lake has been virtually choked by the weeds at many places especially in the back areas. It may soon turn into a stinking marsh. Along the boulevard it is being kept clear of the weeds for “Tourists” but deep inside where 50,000 people live on islands, the situation is not good! Same is the fate of Wular Lake once considered to be the second largest fresh water lake in Asia. The River Jhelum which has been a witness to Kashmir’s 5,000 year history has become a sewer and a drain with all the muck flowing into it directly.
The lush green forests have been massacred in cold blood. A virtual genocide of the young trees has been committed in many places by timber mafia in collusion with the authorities. It is heart rending to see the stalks of young pines in almost all forest areas. The material greed of these people may leave Kashmir a desert for the future generation. Almost everywhere the mountains have been disfigured by stone quarrying. In brief, the Environment supposed to be Kashmir’s main wealth has gone for a toss.
 
As regards the engineering and the civic side, the less said the better. Pot-holed roads, with manholes below the road level, defunct and choked drains, electric lines with poles at many places having meshes of service lines, road dividers of tin sheets, pieces of wire and broken plastic poles all reflect on the condition of the people responsible for these services. Garbage dumps in the open on main roads posing a challenge to the under-staffed and ill-equipped Municipal Corporation. One fails to understand how can the government expect an organisation designed to look after a city of a hundred thousand people in forties cater to a Metropolis with over million and a half population spread over an area more than 36 kilometres across? They are utterly understaffed, ill equipped and short of funds and face a miserable situation in winter after a heavy snowfall.
 
The City of the Sun founded almost 2,000 years back is bursting at the seams. The worst menace it faces is the hordes upon hordes of stray dogs. Some people under the garb of being animal lovers have virtually turned Kashmir into a Paradise for dogs! Hundreds including children have been bitten. Hordes of stray dogs, some quite ferocious roam the streets of the city during night relieving the security forces of night patrol duty. No one can dare come out during night and escape these ferocious hordes. Huge plans have been made for sterilization of dogs which is considered to be humane way of reducing their population. These plans are nothing but devious schemes to make money and involve some high ups also. Wildlife Act has a provision to deal with wild animals like bear and leopards threatening human life. These are declared vermin or man-eaters and officially killed. In fact, if a wild animal harms a human being, he is supposed to be treated and compensated by the department. No such provision in regard to dogs!
 
Coming to the tourism aspect of the Paradise, the resorts of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg have been converted into urban centres with concrete buildings and mushroom growth of hotels, shops and so on. There is garbage and muck everywhere. No one really goes to these resorts to enjoy nature. The most unfortunate part is that we have ourselves converted this Paradise on Earth into a stinking hell by our greed. It is time for the Tourism Department to change its slogan and say welcome to a Stinking “Paradise”!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Return of Pandits?

Will they or won't they return and if they decide to return, when?


Recently, the Kashmir Civil Society held a round table discussion regarding the currently raging debate about the return of the Kashmiri Pandits who had migrated en masse from Kashmir in 1990. There have been reactions of alarm regarding the BJP’s proposal of settling the Kashmiri Pandits in three protected satellite cities within Kashmir. Almost every sphere of the society wants Kashmiri Pandits back. However, they have to be back with dignity and honour in their original environment. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the en masse exit of Pandits from Kashmir had given a tremendous set back to the centuries old composite culture of religious tolerance in Kashmir. That composite culture can be restored only once the Pandits come back voluntarily welcomed by their neighbours.
The en masse exodus of Pandits in 1990 was not the first migration from Kashmir. There have been many migrations of Kashmiris to neighbouring areas at different times during its entire history. These migrations have taken place due to natural calamities like earthquake, plague, famine, and due to persecution during political upheavals to which Kashmiris have been subjected throughout their 5,000 year old history. However, one of the most distinct earlier mass migrations of Kashmiri Pandits was during the reign of Sikander, the father of the most loved Kashmiri King Zain-ul-Abidin popularly known as Budshah.
The 1990 migration was the most unfortunate event. A real tragedy for Kashmir’s composite culture. There have been many theories about the real causes of the migration and about its instigators and facilitators. However, the main task now is to see the return of these people rather than investigate and apportion blame. That task can be performed by a commission as suggested by the civil society. It is true there were targeted killings of prominent Pandits. A massive scare was created and the Muslim majority could not openly come out to stop the scare and the harassment due to circumstances prevailing at that time. Had they been allowed to do so, mass migration may not have occurred. The worst sufferers were the villagers. They had to leave behind everything. Their ancestral houses, lush green fields and the memories of good old days. Their life in refugee camps in Jammu was miserable. Many died due to heat to which they were not accustomed to at all. Quite a few suffered snake and scorpion bites. The people who migrated to different parts of India may have secured better prospects and may not be willing to return. The ones living in refugee camps in Jammu still live an ignominious life and may be the most willing to come back.
It may be mentioned here that the Muslims in Kashmir suffered the worst fate after the departure of Pandits. Over a hundred thousand were killed. Thousands were injured and even maimed. Thousands were rendered orphan. Women were raped en masse. Properties were destroyed. Scores were buried in mass graves. Thousands disappeared without a trace. In spite of these harsh realities, the Muslims have not turned against the Pandits. This is so in spite of the worst worldwide anti-Muslim propaganda by a section of the Pandits. Everyone wants them to return to revive the centuries old composite culture of Kashmir.
The migration during the time of Sikander was successfully reversed by the most illustrious king of Kashmir, Zain-ul-Abidin, Budshah, the Great King. He enacted legislation giving numerous facilities including jobs to ensure their proper and honourable rehabilitation. They enjoyed the best of facilities and amenities during his reign. Similar action is required now both from the Government and the civil society in general. In the above referred to round table discussion, the representatives of the Pandits who had not gone out of Kashmir made a very valid point. They said before one takes up the case of the return of the migrant Pandits one must ascertain what has happened to those who stayed back? According to him, they have faced innumerable hardships in accommodation, jobs and so on. Many have been killed by so called “unidentified” gunmen. They have been totally frustrated by the attitude of the government including the Chief Minister and wanted the civil society to come to their rescue. There is urgent need to attend to this task first if others are to be motivated to return.


The first and foremost requirement for the return would be establishment of real peace. Unless the migrants or the displaced persons feel both physically as well as psychologically safe to return to their native places, they will not move. Constructing housing units in totally guarded pockets resembling concentration camps will not motivate any of these natives to return. This will in fact compound the problem by creating points of friction between different communities. As alleged by some, the proposal may have a hidden agenda! The return has to be absolutely normal to their original places of residence in the state with the active support of their former neighbours. This alone can restore the composite culture of Kashmir which has been in existence for centuries. To create a truly conducive atmosphere for such an eventuality the foremost requirement is to end the present situation of uncertainty and restore real peace in Kashmir. The vicious cycle of two way violence has to be broken. Prevalence of peace is the prime requirement. Thus the “Return of the Pandits” is not as simple as it may seem. It is in itself an important part of the ultimate solution of the Kashmir problem. The day the Pandits are able to return in peace with dignity and honour to their ancestral places of residence to an open embrace from their former neighbours ushering in the earlier era of centuries old brotherhood, the first step towards the solution to the decades old Kashmir problem would be deemed to have begun in earnest!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Martyrs under curfew!

An article about Martyrs Day written in 2013 which is valid even today!
 
 
The 13th of July in Kashmir has always been a popular day for paying homage to the martyrs who gave their lives in the first ever revolution against the foreign autocratic rule. One remembers right from the childhood what a festive and exciting day the 13th July used to be. Processions from all parts of the city as well as from outside used to go to the Mazar-i-Shuda to pay tribute. Those days the movement for Kashmir’s emancipation was still young and there was fervour all round. The long period of 82 years since the martyrdom of these brave souls of Kashmir has seen many ups and downs. The movement itself has witnessed many twists and turns.
Kashmir had seen many rebellions against the external rule but the events of July 13, 1931 were a turning point. It was the first mass awakening against the autocratic rule of the Dogra Maharajas. The events have been well documented by the local as well as foreign authors. The protests starting against the desecration of holy Quran in Jammu had turned into a mass movement against the Maharaja’s autocratic rule. The real trouble had started after the fiery speech of Abdul Qadeer, the butler of a British resident, at Khanqa-e-Mu’ulla. Qadeer was subsequently arrested and put on trial for sedition. In view of the popular upsurge his trial was shifted to the Srinagar Central Jail. The people were gathering near the Central Jail on the fateful day of July 13 demanding an open trial, when the Dogra soldiers fired on them killing 21 and wounding scores of others. The bodies were taken in a procession for burial and Maharaja imposed Martial law.
The events snowballed and thus started the movement for Kashmir’s emancipation. The movement threw up the 25 year old teacher Sheikh Abdullah to become the charismatic Lion of Kashmir. Thus, this day is symbolic for the rise of the first real revolutionary movement in Kashmir. The spirit of those revolutionary days still lives in the hearts of Kashmiris and they have not given up their struggle in spite of the numerous somersaults by their leaders. In fact, it is rather their leaders who have let them down from time to time. The mission, that the martyrs had started, is still incomplete. Unfortunately, due to the betrayal of their cause by some of the leaders, Kashmiris have landed in worse situation than the one which existed in 1931. Those days they had only one adversary, the autocratic Maharaja but now they have two nuclear powers in a situation of perennial conflict to contend with!
The turmoil of the last two decades has given rise to Mazar-i-Shuhada in every nook and corner of the State. However, there are also thousands of Kashmiris who are buried in unknown graves in many areas of the State including in the vicinity of the line of control. There is an obligation on the people to pay homage and remember these unknown martyrs. The ideal way would be for the people to renew the pledge to carry their mission forward. There is no need to take out processions or indulge in violence. The martyrs have sacrificed their lives for upholding the truth which has become the main casualty in the present day Kashmir. The first thing we need at the moment is to demonstrate that we do have a character. That can be shown if all of us pledge to speak the truth and stand by it regardless of the consequences. This would be paying the best homage to the memory of all those who have given their life for our future. That is the most sensible way to take their mission forward!
There is a strange dichotomy in regard to these martyrs. It may be pointed out that these martyrs had risen in revolt against the Maharaja who is supposed to have signed the document of accession of the State of Jammu & Kashmir to the Union of India. In fact, it was this agitation in 1931 which had culminated into Quit Kashmir Movement of 1946 against the Maharaja. There is a contradiction in the celebration of this day by the mainstream parties especially the ruling ones as they left the mission of these martyrs half-way. How can they honour the persons who had risen against the Maharaja because of whose subsequent actions they are now enjoying the power? However, the mission of the martyrs has not been given up by the common Kashmiris. The proofs of the continuation of their mission are the hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris who sacrificed their lives during last 82 years for achieving the goal of total emancipation. The number has gone up from 21 to thousands upon thousands. It is still increasing with every passing day. The action of the authorities in preventing paying of homage cannot suppress the aspirations of the people. It has rather increased their alienation from India. The resort to such draconian measures clearly shows that the authorities have failed to change the minds of the people. All revolutions start in the minds. The present day authorities are scared of the popular upsurge. They have, therefore, put even the graves of these brave souls under curfew! That is the best tribute to these martyrs whose mission as shown by this act is still very much alive and being carried forward!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fatigue Syndrome or Blurred Vision!

Is the present uncertainty in Kashmir’s popular movement due to leaders’ fatigue or because of a blurred vision of the future?

Recently a columnist friend wrote that the popular movement in Kashmir is suffering from a fatigue syndrome. It is the fatigue among some of its prominent leaders. The fatigue syndrome according to the columnist is supposed to have afflicted even the sub-continent’s most famous and popular leaders like Gandhi and Jinnah during the Indian Freedom Movement. According to him, this onset of fatigue among Kashmir’s present leaders is supposed to have been occurring in earlier episodes of the movement also. The first to be fatigued had been Sheikh Abdullah, the lion of Kashmir. In fact, he suffered pangs of fatigue right in 1968 according to the above mentioned columnist. 1975 was the culmination of the fatigue when he fell into the arms of Indira Gandhi throwing to winds his decades of struggle including 22 years of incarceration in Indian prisons!


Of course, fatigue is a human failing and no mortal can escape it. Fatigue is also often accentuated by frustration. However, the moot point is to locate the primary cause of the fatigue and to know the difference between the physical and mental fatigue. Any human who does not have a clear vision and a specific goal always gets frustrated and develops both the mental and the physical fatigue. People with a clear vision of the future hardly get fatigued! Take the example of a mountaineer. No climber ever gives up his expedition because of fatigue. He may be delayed or hampered by the vagaries of weather, difficulty of the route but never by fatigue. The main reason behind this is his will to go on as he has a clear and definite goal of reaching the summit. One is reminded of a famous verse of Dr. Iqbal, the poet of the East in which he says that an eagle that soars in the sky never falls from its flight due to fatigue!


If one scans the history of Kashmir’s freedom movement, it transpires that the goals given to the people at various stages were limited, sometimes vague and abstract. There never has been any attempt to give a clear and distinct vision of the future. The present awakening started with the presentation of a memorandum to the Viceroy regarding the rights of Muslims in Kashmir. The real impetus was given by the 1931 uprising but the goal had been to get basic rights. However, in 1946 for the first time there was open revolt against the autocracy when Maharaja was asked to “Quit Kashmir”. Unfortunately, the leader of that uprising joined the government of the same Maharaja and supported his accession to the Indian Union. The partition of the sub-continent confused the Kashmiris. They had a choice to join either of the dominions through their autocratic ruler. There was a third choice of remaining as an independent sovereign entity. Had the people supported the Maharaja for this third choice, things may have been different.


Since that first confusion, nobody has given a clear cut goal to the people. All speak of the basic right of self-determination but what happens once the choice is given? What is the best alternative for the people that can allow them to lead a life of dignity and honour? “Azadi” is an abstract concept. One has to give a material and practical shape to it. Once a goal is defined in precise and concrete terms, then the route to reach the goal has to be worked out. It is like a mountaineer. After having decided the peak he wants to climb, he surveys the most practical and safe route to reach it. Then he goes by stages through various camps on the mountain. However, he always has the vision of climbing the summit as the ultimate goal. Thus the first thing for a Kashmiri leader is to give a precise goal of a political set up in very concrete and lucid terms where a Kashmiri can lead a peaceful life with dignity and honour. What could be the ultimate set up? Integral part of India or Pakistan? Autonomous status or Self-rule? Independent sovereign state of Kashmir? A practically possible and sustainable set up has to be envisaged in the prevailing circumstances where Kashmiris could live with dignity and honour. A complete blue-print for that set up needs to be drawn and then a road map to reach that goal has to be charted out. A leader may not achieve that goal in his own lifetime but he can show the way and carry on as long as he is there. Once this objective is distinct and clear like a mountain summit, then there will be no fatigue. So, let a debate begin on chalking out the ultimate goal in definite and precise terms where Kashmiris will be able to live with dignity and honour! Abstract goals will give nothing but fatigue!

Monday, July 7, 2014

PM Modi keeps Kashmir guessing?

During his first visit to Kashmir Modi kept everyone guessing

A Delhi based national daily had speculated that PM Modi may give a surprise during his Kashmir visit. He did give a surprise! Complete silence about Kashmir’s basic political problem. However, contrary to many such media speculations, he stuck to the agenda he had been advancing during his election campaign. On his first visit to the state he revealed his mind-set through his three gestures. The first was the affirmation of his creed through a visit to the holy shrine of Shri Mata Vaishnovdevi Ji where he flagged off the first train from Katra to Delhi. According to him, this step has thrown open the Shrine to 123 crore Indians? Thereby, he too has confirmed the obsession of many Indian leaders to look for a Hindu connection of Kashmir to Hindu India! All of them seem to be uncomfortable in accepting the Muslim majority character of the state even though the locals do not practise the extremist variety of Islam, the religion of peace. Some had even speculated that to strike a balance he would visit a Sufi Shrine also. However, one would be na├»ve to expect this from a person who refused to wear a Muslim skull cap during his election campaign!
The second gesture during his visit was to inaugurate the Uri-II power project. His power minister declared that this project would supply power to north India! NHPC (National Hydro-electric Power Corporation of India) which is managing the power house has been nicknamed in Kashmir as the East India Company as it has been robbing Kashmir of its most precious resource, the hydro-electric power potential. The corporation has grown to a colossal set up with thousands of crores of profit from the power houses set up by it in Kashmir. He affirmed that there would be more “Exploitation” of the resource. The so called mainstream political leaders especially belonging to Abdullah dynasty have been a party in allowing NHPC to rob Kashmiris of their precious resource. It is a tragedy that in spite of the massive potential Kashmiris face a perennial power famine thanks to its corrupt mainstream leaders! Instead of sympathising with Kashmiris for this injustice and promising to correct it, he affirmed his faith in the doings of the East India Company and their future programmes!
Finally, he bestowed his full blessings on the Army whom he addressed in the Badami Bagh Cantonment, a relic of the erstwhile Dogra rule. He not only paid homage to the martyrs but promised the soldiers the newest and the most modern weapons knowing fully well the gulf between the common Kashmiris and the Army because of the happenings of last two decades. There has been a continuous demand from all quarters to lessen the presence of Army and other Security Forces in civilian areas and also to revoke the notorious legislation of AFSPA giving unbridled powers and total immunity to soldiers in their actions against the civilian population. Not a word about it!
The Prime Minister declared that he wants to win the hearts and minds of the people through development. Can someone win broken hearts and disturbed minds through development? Broken hearts and disturbed minds can only be won by putting a soothing balm of love and understanding on these. Roads, buildings, power houses, railway lines do not repair broken hearts nor do these soothe the tense and stressed minds. No doubt corruption free good governance has been missing from Kashmir for a pretty long time yet the immediate need is to soothe Kashmir by dealing with the basic political problem which has given a perennial uncertainty to the whole situation. He declared that it was his responsibility to improve the quality of life of the people and meet their aspirations. Well, the whole world knows what Kashmiris have been aspiring for. A life of honour and dignity! Economic development alone cannot give respect and dignity to the people. He also affirmed to carry forward the mission of Vajpayee. PM Narendra Modi is known to be meticulous, shrewd, and moves forward after going into the minutest detail. He must have noted the protest and the total shutdown in Kashmir during his visit. The diplomatic coup at his swearing in ceremony is an indication of the working of his mind. Let us hope he really gives a surprise in regard to Kashmir at the appropriate time after weighing all pros and cons?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Personality Cult and Dynastic Succession

Both have ruined not only Kashmir’s political set up but almost every other civil institution.

In most of the South Asian countries there is a virtual disease of worshipping personalities and promoting dynastic succession in all spheres of life including the ruling set ups. Be it Indonesia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan or India, the story is same. Political leaders are anointed virtually as kings and queens and allowed to rule in a dynastic succession. In many of these countries claiming to be democracies, the reality is quite the opposite. These countries more or less function as erstwhile Kingdoms with the worst kind of nepotism. Quite often stalwart leaders rise from the masses and lead people to emancipation but subsequently they indulge in nepotism by perpetuating their dynasties as the future rulers. Some have even been treated as lifelong rulers throwing all principles of democracy to the winds! Invariably, most of these nepotistic rulers have had violent or disgraceful ends!
Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda Marcos; Dr. Sukarno and Megawati Sukarnoputri; Solomon Bandaranayke and Sirimavo Bandaranayake; Mujiburahman and Sheikh Hasina; Zulfiqar Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and then the whole Nehru family from Jawahar Lal to Rahul Gandhi. A continuous chain of nepotistic and dynastic rulers! The worst has been the India’s Nehru family. For almost half a century they have ruled the country making it a dynastic succession similar to the old times of kings and queens. Indira Gandhi was even presented to the simple village folk as a Goddess! The Nehru family has finally met its nemesis during the recent election. Similar is the Abdullah dynasty of Kashmir. It is an unfortunate and tragic tale of nepotism and dynastic rule. This dynasty too has met its nemesis. Had Sheikh Abdullah not been raised to a virtual colossus and worshipped by Kashmiris, the story of Kashmir may have been different. The most ironic facet of this tragic story is the highly guarded tomb of this colossus! He is probably the only dead not being worshipped by the allegedly dead worshipping Kashmiris!
One would not blame Kashmiris too much about the personality cult. It is in the psyche of a Kashmiri. For almost 5000 years Kashmiris have been ruled by kings and queens. So in 1947 it was but natural that Kashmiris were looking for a king to rule over them. Unfortunately, the king betrayed the very people who had anointed him as a virtual emperor! There is a strange dichotomy in this whole affair. Kashmir is a Muslim majority area. Islam is totally opposed to personality cult and the dynastic succession. Some say that Kashmiris did not convert to Islam but adapted Islam to their traditional way of life which they always refuse to give up! Unfortunately, this personality cult and dynastic succession has seeped into all the institutions including the religious ones. Many civil institutions have also developed same personality cult involving lobbying and political manoeuvring.
The tradition of royalty and dynastic succession has been introduced by the West in the Islamic countries particularly in the Middle East for their own personal interests especially those related to energy sources. They started with the Saudis who have a fully entrenched and well-guarded royalty surviving because of the American support. There are supposed to be 5000 Saudi Princes. Many other Muslim countries have suffered or at present suffering from this dynastic succession.
Kashmir has had a revolutionary change in the recent times. The new generation does not seem to be fond of personalities. They are more inclined towards ideology and convictions. This is the first step towards total emancipation. We have to be emancipated from these personalities and dynasties to allow us to move forward. It needs a change in the mind-set. People must say good-bye to “Brinjal and Gourd” slogans. There should be no more “Alle Kare Wangan Kare, Bab Kare!” The youth have to first study the history of the nation, understand the present situation and the path to the ultimate emancipation. They must then take practical steps to realise the goal of their convictions through capable, honest and sincere leaders. If a leader commits a deliberate mistake or misleads, he is to be discarded and a new capable leader chosen. The days of the blind following are over. The new age is of inquisitiveness, enlightenment, self-respect and the dignity of the individual as well as the nation. If the new generation follows this principle meticulously, we are sure to reach the goal of total emancipation.