By K.N. Pandita
Reacting to the mob uprising in Cairo that lead to the fall of the 33-year old despotic regime, a mainstream political party president in Kashmir wished the valley going the same way. In other words, instigating mobocracy is the party’s panacea for Kashmir logjam. But the idea has come to the party only after suffering the humiliation and disappointment on the failure of twenty-one years of externally sponsored and abetted armed insurgency that yielded nothing except disaster. Wishing Kashmir to go Egypt way is misplaced comparison and hence sheer intransigence. It shows lack of the faculty of analyzing situations and their background. PDP chief means to indirectly instigate her party activists to replicate Cairo scenario. This in simpler words is to draw a parallel between the situation in Egypt and the one in Kashmir. No sensible person with a clear vision of past history will find this comparison rational and logical. However, the PDP president hopes that some sort of stir must take place to keep Kashmir pot boiling. The deposed Hosni Mubarak was running 333rd year of his despotic presidency. In Jammu and Kashmir, no fewer than five elections to the legislative assembly took place during that period in which one or the other mainstream political party, including the PDP, won or were returned with the strength of forming a coalition government.
We had single party governments as well as coalition governments during this period depending on which way did the public opinion go. No one government in Kashmir perpetuated in its entirety as did that of Hosni Mubrak in Egypt. Where then arises any case of drawing a parallel between the two? At the heart of the revolutionary movement in Egypt there stood the soccer loving youth who the regime called “ultras”. They drew inspiration from football leagues of Italy and the Italian football fans are known world over for their hooliganism and mayhem. 65% of Egypt’s total population comprises the youth below 25 years of age. Football fans occasionally indulge in local politics but it is not politics that makes people rally round the football fans in hundreds of thousands. This young and energetic youth force has no ideological drive: they are not lead by any sort of religious obsession, and they have no links nor do they need any with the Theo-fascists stalking some parts of the Middle East and South Asian region especially the sub-continent. Their rallying point is and has been eradiation of poverty, corruption and nepotism. Kashmir uprising never focused publicly on these issues. There are no football fans or for that matter fans of any other entertainment or gainful employment in Kashmir except the fans of the culture of hatred. These football fans broached no particular ideology like Islamic radical propensity or Wahhabism or Salfi-ism or Marxism etc. They did not send their religious minorities like Christians and Coptic away to ethnically cleanse Egypt. On the other hand Kashmiri protestors and stone throwers were mostly the paid agents of separatists. The right hand man of Ali Shah Gilani’s faction of Hurriyat namely Masarat Alam is reported to have disclosed to the police that a hefty sum of fifty lakh rupees was received by his organization from specific sources to foment trouble in Kashmir. About eight groups were formed and the head of each group, he said, was paid 6-8 lakh rupees each for distribution among the stone throwers who received anything between rupees one hundred and one hundred and fifty each for one session of stone throwing. Nothing of the sort has been reported from Tahrir Square in Egypt. The protest there was voluntary and instantaneous. No literature was distributed and no “Kashmiriyat”- type firebrand speeches laced with hatred were made. All this stands in contrast to what is obtaining in Kashmir. Furthermore the Egyptian revolution succeeded because it was leaderless and nobody aspired to be leading the mobs and street forces. The people were their own leaders. In Kashmir, there is entrenched leadership of the separatist and secessionist with a clear and transparent agenda of separating Kashmir through the instrumentality of religious factor, armed insurgency and now mobocracy. In Egypt, power has passed into the hands of the military, and the first step taken by the military is to order dissolving of the Egyptian parliament. Any party wishing the people of Kashmir to follow suit is patently inviting to run the dictation of the army. It is for the people of Kashmir to accept or reject a leadership laced with this type of dubious and perverted line of thinking.