All this while as I write there is only one scene flashing across my head, a clean shaved young Turk probably in his mid thirties spreading himself in front of a speeding armored tank; against an attempted coup d’état. Although, I keep asking my subconscious; why? Why isn’t it mutilated face & ruptured eyes of 14 yr old Insha Malik. Why isn’t it Sameer Rasool? My dear junior in school and son of a wealthy banker who left his luxurious life to join armed rebels, only to get his brains spilled a month later in an orchard just few miles from his home.
I keep seeking, why? Why such vague impression of otherwise brutal 2016? Not that I expected a solution to all of our problems but I also didn’t expect such obstructive rise of cynicism and hopelessness, most worryingly within our prominent sections of writers and bloggers.
I didn’t expect to see a dear friend’s post shamelessly comparing SAS Geelani Sahab with Shri Narendra Modi for the former’s extreme, stubborn and uncompromising views and going as far as blaming him for being an impediment to K solution (I shall use my right to remain silent on this part).
I see another politically proactive friend standing in support of youth taking part in an army recruitment drive, perhaps he didn’t imagine the holy army roping young Kashmiri (voter) to the bonnet of their jeep or more precisely he was simply picking sides in the garb of standing for poor youth. Not that it bothers but just trying to shed light on the discourse few of us are trying to set when 2016 is still fresh.
While enemy in unison from celebrities to soldiers openly exhort and cherish culling of Kashmiris (voters included) because they couldn’t see their daalih batti jawans being pushed and heckled, few of our high thinking fellows still need a reason to rise.
Some of us question even the basic essence of protests; while some do it as a part of genuine opinion formation most others do it to cover their otherwise moral debauchery. The other side may kill and blind, arrest people, hold ambulances carrying dead bodies, beat college students, shoot kids point blank, no worries, and their actions are hardly discussed. They don’t need pretexts to shoot at protesters anymore; we have simplified it for them. “After all what is their point of protest?”, as my friends argue.
For our deep thinkers it is the “point of protest” that is worth a debate not the force and viciousness with which the protests are and have been crushed.
A discourse is being set partly out of hypocrisy and partly out of hopelessness where almost every form of protest is being disapproved. Not only do protest calls and strike calendars invite strong ridicule even poll boycott is excluded as an option. Then I wonder what people are left with even when jeering at men in uniform invites a volley of bullets your way, personally being a witness to it.
The whole exercise on the other side is to render us hopeless to the point where we stop to even think about rising. We are not only serving their ultimate objectives but essentially reinforcing their governing version where a victim is blamed for coming in the way of bullet rather than the other way round.
As a result any excesses inflicted upon the protesters get lost in the debates over ‘relevance and point of protests’. Not only do we fail to create an effective deterrence but we also lose the moral leverage against the steady and horrific abuse that we are being constantly subjected to weakening our case locally as well as internationally.
Now coming back to Turkey, where last summer almost more than four hundred people died in a matter of few hours as the military coup was being executed but it was for the exemplary resistance and courage shown by people that the democracy prevailed. Assuming the putsch had succeeded; by our standards all four hundred deaths shall be labeled as squander and blamed upon Erdogan for exhorting people to come out in protest. Protesters shall be blamed for getting themselves killed by impeding the way of marching tanks and the entire of them judged to be deserving of death for there was “no point” in rising against an army takeover. Period!
Tailpiece: Revolts and uprisings don’t last forever, neither do all of them succeed in their objectives; what matters is the impression and impact the “conscious class” wants to create post these uprisings and that is where we need to introspect. While they kill us in unison we rise in parts.