Resistance And Resolution Amidst the ‘Simmering Kani Jung’: Collecting Stones For Freedom
By Inshah Malik
27 June, 2010
Kani Jung (stone pelting) is the current inclination of the most cherished Azadi which has incarcerated the tea table discussions of the middle class Kashmir as much it has occupied the intelligent vision and political space. The questions hoisted are whether pelting stones by the children on mighty military apparatus staged in Kashmir is good or bad? The state government is trying to nullify the repercussions of the repression that the community as a whole has suffered by undermining the legitimacy of this protest. The creation of downtown as a social reject and its youth as a ‘left over’ is nothing less than an irony used to initiate a purposeful division among populations. Downtown was the epicenter of armed struggle in 1989, a reverence point that had attracted masses. But today it stands ghettoized due to the strong class consciousness that emanated from the migratory movements of newly formed intelligentsia to the upper town in Srinagar. The strong detachment of this educated class from ground level issues has led to ignoring the reincarnation of violent protests exactly thirty years later in the downtown.
It is a strong sign that movements do not die but transform. Transformations are phase oriented, experimental as well as result seeking. These so called ‘left over’ populations in the downtown are the apt manifestations of this oppressive trade. These youngsters who mob the downtown roads are mostly the ones with firsthand experience of violence. They have been dwelt with fashionable military mechanism and eliminated just as viruses from the computer device. Over past one year children have died on the roads of Kashmir and the frequency of getting rid of them is faster that any of the state functionaries. This feeds into decades of mistrust and injustice between state and its subjects vigorously.
The situation now is exactly what it was in 1989 and nothing has changed of the confusion and frustrations of the youth and this time the guns are replaced by the pebbles and the teenagers by eight year olds. Protesters are crippled and laden with the burden of the dead. The downtown has provided ground to bury 80,000 dead so far and Kashmir is still mourning.
Desolation has filled the populations and the sense of victim hood is robust, the careless pebbles picked up by the children to show resentment meet the bullets from the state. ‘Pebble’ must be a sign of intimidation for the Nation’s sovereignty and for each ‘virus’ eliminated thousands will recuperate must be borne in mind. Each death is a scar on the memory that sharpens at every attack on commoners. These are the signs of resurgence of this resistance after bypassing the non-violent phase of Amarnath row in 2008.
Every Kashmiri today wants peace, It is indeed attainable and not some philanthropic act of an elite. No one wants to live in indignant circumstances but a compromise will not quench this thirst and it cannot be called peace. Kashmir has been reduced to a laboratory and its populations to guinea pigs for the intelligentsia from India and the world who claim to be the problem solvers and sympathizers. A home born ‘pebble’ is a symbol of sustainability and when it is hurled, it should not be underestimated and reduced to ‘an act of ignorant’ it is a weapon to attain peace. Peace for a child in downtown is “a situation when one fine morning he wakes up to go to school and he doesn’t have to see an army man who perhaps killed his father”. If peace is act of charity then let us beg it for our children.
The impunity and treacherous human rights violations fuel the victim hood and it has helped the people to move beyond their limitations and face the bullets unarmed. The question arises how many more can still be killed because the genius of the gun is crippling? When will the stake holders to the peace process or conflict resolution hear the noise that the stones are making or isn’t it loud enough?
Inshah Malik is a PhD scholar at the Tata Institute of social sciences, Mumbai, India