Shah Faesal seems to be living in a world of his own making because his thesis against the Indian state vis-à-vis Kashmir is deeply flawed. This man who topped the IAS in 2009-2010 and became a national hero coming out of Kashmir , is now a convert to the ideology in which he is unable to sift facts from fiction . For the past one week, ever since he quit the services and decided to plunge in politics , has been saying so many things , one contradicting the other , and straddling on so many standpoints , that it has become very difficult to discern as to what does he want to do for Kashmiris .
He is wrong on so many things . First, he is wrong about himself . He has come out as a man afflicted with one-eyed view of the things that he is know-all person and the others whether in the separatist politics or those contesting polls have no idea how to take the Valley out of the quagmire in which it has been sucked into .
There is a clear danger that his self-contradictory propositions to address the Kashmir issue , and attempts to flirt with the “mainstream” or electoral politics , while claiming that the separatist conglomerate Hurriyat Conference represents the real sentiment of Kashmiris , will cause further disillusionment among the youth . And, instead of bringing out a road map for them how to spring out of the violence and build their future in a peaceful and promising society , he is seeking to push them further downhill .
Here it is how and why ? There is no denying the fact that the youth of Kashmir that is picking up guns today , particularly after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in July 2016 , is not worried about the absence of the light in his home, no water supply in the neighbourhood or bleak chances of any work in his kitty anytime soon . He has picked up the gun because there are no options before him. The romanticism of gun delivering him a Kashmir solution is also as misguided as the theory that he is disconnected from the day-to-day needs in his life .
This is a serious problem . The gun versus gun theory has failed in practice . The violence breeds violence , or at least a sentiment for the violence swamped landscape that is seen and believed as a ground to tease and embarrass the adversary . In this case, it is the state of India . It is absolutely correct that the hatred against India is peaking , because the idea of India , that the successive governments in New Delhi and the “ elected governments” in Kashmir , have not been able to germinate in Kashmir because they had been living in their own make believe world as do the gunmen and the separatists.
His theory about the parallel space for the separatists and the election-oriented politics is also flawed , because there is a competitive narrative in which one side would like to win against the other . Howsoever , the mainstream may plead for the dialogue with the Hurriyat Conference , but there always is keenness to derail the whole process . This kind of politics was experimented during the first spell of the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s rule from 2002 to 2005 , when separatist leaders were allowed to move and speak out their mind . Syed Ali Shah Geelani, an iconic separatist leader who stands for complete accession of Kashmir with Pakistan , went from place to place asking the people to fight for the right to self-determination . The audience became thinner and thinner with every rally that he addressed . The people lost interest in that . Mufti’s politics was to render the separatist camp irrelevant , despite the fact that he pitched for dialogue between them and the government of India . That happened but again the Hurriyat not only stood divided on the issue , but it also created both hope and doubt among the people because the dialogue process landed in no-fly zone .
Kashmir has shown time and again that the electoral politics , whether the traditional or the new or what Shah Faesal calls “ reimagining” is not working . There is a need of doing a lot of home wok . This homework has to be done by the stakeholders . No stakeholder , big or small, with guns or simply with the radical ideologies or those striving for peace – often dubbed contemptuously as status-quoists. – is interested in doing that . reaching out to the youth has been reduced to a cliché . Without homework giving the theories is like putting cart before the horse. And that simply doesn’t work.