Dinesh Kumar Ahirwar
The meeting held at JNU on 9th February to commemorate Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, leaders of the secessionist movement in Kashmir, has resulted in sedition charges on JNUSU president and others. The question just cannot be reduced to the arrest of the JNUSU president and intervention in university affairs, paying little focus on the gravity of the issues and its prospects. The poster is not in favor or opposition, but to ask some genuine questions about self-determination of Kashmir. Democratic Student Union (DSU), a radical student wing confirmed their support and the rest stepped back to Constitutionalism. The basic question is how justifiable self-determination is for a community based on separate religion and unique culture? Marx said that Religion is opium of masses (no exception for Muslims).
If religion cannot lead to the liberation of the masses then how could it lead to liberation of the Kashmiri masses? What is the nature of the separatist movement? Are they socialist, democratic and progressive or theocratic? Theocratic nations have already proved that they have no space for women and minorities. There would not be any exception for Kashmir. How can DSU as a radical left student wing support the potential formation of a theocratic state where there will be no guarantee for the rights of minorities and women? How does a theocratic political system seem more progressive than the existing liberal political structure? If sovereignty of the secessionist movement is rooted in religion and culture, then it is not going in the direction of the socialist path. Where does the sovereignty of secessionist movement lie – in the people of Kashmir or in the religion of Islam? Afzal and Maqbool Bhat stand for what democracy, equality, socialism or theocracy? This is the fundamental question for radical left organizations.
My second set of the arguments are posed to the Right Wing. If nation states are identified with territorial sentiment or morality then Bharat Mata should not oppose formation of Kahmiri Mata, because its existence itself justify formation of others’ sentiment based on same identity or different identity and culture? Nation states are not permanent or sacred entity, same is applicable to India as well. The greater India which has been in existence 2200 years ago does not exist today. The concept of Bharat Mata is not older than 150 years. The conception of “Barat Mata” rooted in the sentiment of thepeople, then Right wing should not alienate Kashmiri people to have the same sentiment to their homeland Kashmir. Right wing must remember that the imposition of the homogeneity over Indian diversity would result in the radical regional nationalism. The unique feature of the India is not homogeneity but diversity. If the sovereignty lies in the people which is fundamental feature of the democracy then Kashmiri people has ultimate say to their homeland. Question does not end here. The question is whether sovereignty of Kashmiri movement rooted in the religion or people? If the Kashmiriyat sovereignty lies in the people then they would have allowedKahmiri Hindus, women and Shia minority to enjoyfreedom in their dominated areas. If it is lies in the religion then they would deprive the women and minority from the same right which they claim to have in the present political system. How coulda Burqa woman demand theocratic nation? Is she a free woman? Is it not equally true that the demand for separate nation is verifiable with the voice of the minority within? British did not left united India in the hand of Hindu majoritarianism without securing Independence for Pakistan and safeguards for untouchables.
It is explicit that demand of the separate Kashmir is a demand of theocratic nation.A theocratic national is not batter than liberal democratic one in any sense. One should not question this question by asking that why we should tell them about how they should go in future? Then you lose democratic right to ask the same question. This question can be answered by asking another same question then on what basis you support the Kashmir if you are not a Kashmiri. The formation of the solidarity with any movement is rooted in the progressive nature of that particular movement.If Kashmir people has ultimate say about their own homeland without allowing further question about potential minority then loose the ground for solidarity formation from the outside. I dismantle the argument that we should not question the potential formation of the theocratic nation as Kashmir where there would not be equal right to minority like Shia and Women.The contradiction is not ceased to exist. The question is about the resolving contradiction and possible coming contradiction. The negation of the positive contradiction is denial of the progress of the history.
The legitimate right must be secured for women and minority in any political entity irrespective of differences. The military atrocious nature in the Kashmir is condemnable. It is the duty of the every citizen to stand with the constitutional rights of the people of Kashmir.The democratic method provides legitimacy for any weak movement and violence delegitimizeit irrespective of its strength. The violent means can never be justified. The violent means lose the moral solidarity. The solidarity remains with the democratic and constitutionalist means. The violent means approves the principle of ‘might is right’ rather than morality and justice. The democratic means never lose the legitimacy to claim the justice and truth.The Kashmiri people should have formed the solidarity with the movement running for democratization of the Indian state through principle of equality, liberty and fraternity, rather than any secessionist movement based on narrow religious line and culture. It is futile to demand a separate territory without any economic model in the era of the new-liberal and finance capital. The resources of one country can be drown out to another country without direct territorial control therefore territorial independence loses its relevance in era of globalization. The forces of the globalization and capitalism are so rapid and intense, no culture, no society and no religion can escape from it. One day we have to end up with one culture, one religion (humanity), and one territory under one political democratic system until/unless aliens find out our Earth planet.
Dinesh Kumar Ahirwar
Ph.D. Candidate, CEAS/SIS/JNU
Working on thought of Mao and Ambedkar