Thursday, April 21, 2011

David Vs Goliath. Revolution at stone’s throw??? On Kashmir

Among many correct observations of Marx one is that, “revolutions are locomotives of history”. According to Theda Skocpol, “social revolutions are rapid, basic transformations of a society’s state and class  structures; and they are accompanied and in part carried through by the class based revolts from below”. In Why Men Rebel? Ted Gurr argues that political Ted Gurr argues that political violence occurs when many people in society become angry. And people became angry when there occurs a gap between the valued things and opportunities they feel entitled to and things and opportunities they actually get –a condition that could be referred to as ‘relative deprivation”.

Chalmers Johnson adds that when such a situation arises then new and popular leaders emerge on the scene and at first a situation of multi-sovereignty or ‘state within state’ is created; then pre -revolutionary authorities lose their legitimacy to rule; and finally give way to the new leadership. Gurr has classified political violence as per to their spontaneity, leadership, planning and scale. For him ‘turmoil’, ‘conspiracy’ and internal war are different from each other. When the discontent in the masses pushes them to resort to the internal war category, large scale terrorism, guerrilla wars, civil wars become order of the day that finally give birth to a revolution. Internal war is different from just turmoil because despite all its disorganisation and spontaneity it is fairly organised and planned; and it is different from conspiracy as it enjoys huge popular support and mass base.

Thus if judged from the Gurr’s premises, the primary causal sequence in political violence is first the development discontent, second the politicisation of the discontent, and finally its actualisation in violent action political objects and actors” – the violence shrouding Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kashmir are by all criteria political violence. People are resentful; they are fighting for their rights, recognition and self-rule. And strange enough they appear fairly successful- stoning their way to freedom despite all the armed might of adversary powers. In this issue, we will glance through the prevailing conditions in some of these areas, the progress of people’s resistance, their sacrifices, its significance and off course possible way outs.

Scholars like James Manor have argued from the outset that Indian state has failed to manage Kashmir. Now this is the least what we could say. The recent agitations rather revolts too were tried to be suppressed with states brutal coercive power that proved too short to meet the will determination and resistance of the stone pelting Kashmiris. 

In words of an Urdu Poet;
Every tyrant of the day considers his strategies impregnable
But the time will tell him that; “your sword was blunt’.
Tell the enemy to refill his quivers whenever he wishes
There are thousands of chests by our side if he has countless of arrows.

What should be done is the question that baffles the mind. Simplistically arguing imperialist powers should simply (and truly) pull away from Iraq and Afghanistan. Pre-1948 status quo should be achieved in Palestine. The governments of India and Pakistan must at least show the courtesy to give up their illegitimate and procrastination conditions and come to the negotiating table with Kashmiris to come up with some sort of permanent solution’ once and for all. Afterwards initiatives must be taken to ensure self-government and that will be the end of the ghost of Kashmir Dispute.

However, we are aware of that its not going to be that simple. The current upsurge of the kashmiris is spontaneous and leaderless. And so it is argued that people have no particular end in their mind; they are just angry. The popular passage of the time and so there is no need for any ‘drastic ‘ policy change. ‘beating around the bush’ will once again save the day. We can counter this line of bureaucratic argument with the statement of Jeremy Brecher that “revolutionary  movements rarely begin with a revolutionary intention; this only develops in the course of the struggle itself”. Thus; if this discontent is allowed to boil up to its logical conclusion- i.e. revolution- the indian state has all to blame itself and its false sense of arrogance and pride. Like Katherine Chorley all those who believe that, “ no revolution will be won against a modern army when that army is putting out its full strength against the insurrection” will be wonder- and thunderstruck when the inevitable will happen.


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