By Irfaan Tramboo
Edited by Madhavi Roy, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
Those who are well versed with history know that the condition of the Kashmiri Muslims has remained pathetic since the time of foreign rulers. They were lagging behind on every front, be it the economical front or the most important front of education. Getting basic education was a dream for them. With the result Kashmiri Muslims were only seen as labourers and nothing else. With the passage of time the condition became worse as they were used for the ‘forced labour’ during the times of Dogras. Their condition has never been good, the times of Afghans and the Mughals were same as that of the times of Dogras. Kashmiri Muslims were persecuted.
Perhaps it is in the blood of Kashmiri Muslims to fight the oppression of the foreign rulers, as they have always remained up against the tyrannical forces, fighting against their oppression. This fight is still on its way; however this fight has been and is being presented in a different way altogether. It is being propagated to the outer world that this fight is on the basis of religion; they are the extremists and the communalists. They are the hate mongers. We have been given such such names. But can we blame them all?
It has been noticed that somehow Kashmiri Muslims have been deliberately kept away from the getting a quality education at the various stages of history, whenever any foreign ruler invaded this heaven. Kashmir has remained as a hub of knowledge with the travellers travelling from all over the world, however, this knowledge did not reach the local population as history reveals.
As the history tells us that Kashmir which has remained as an independent territory, has seen ups and downs at the various stages of its history, has always stood up to fight against the oppressive rulers who tried to play with its exceptional blend of various cultures and heritage. Various regimes had to face the wrath of the common people and were made to vacate. It is also a fact that Kashmiris did sought help of the outside forces in fighting against such regimes, but it is also the fact that they never found it comfortable while remaining under the oppression of such kind.
With the fight against oppression, people had to suffer, as it has never been easy to fight against an empire, however people worked hard to get themselves prepared (psychologically) that they have to fight, they have to demand their rights. The fight went on; one ruler was replaced by another. Suffering continued, so does the fighting and if analyzed deeply the sufferings and the fighting are still on. Perhaps this piece of land has not found the actual ruler it wanted. Another thing which is worth mentioning here is a thing which went missing and that was the: recording the fight and the oppression at the various stages of our history. This piece of land has been suffering from the last hundred years and while we traverse through that period we find the recording of historical fights, the miseries which have been inflicted on the people, time to time, is missing. We can easily find the narratives which have been written (recorded) by the victors (read oppressor) and those narratives are nullifying and bulldozing our own narratives (whatever we have managed to write). It is because of our failure to record our own history (actual narrative) we have been entitled with the ‘Badzaats’ ‘Communals’ and ‘Terrorists’ (latest one).
If the present situation is taken into the consideration, I’ll have to say that the things on the ground are changing drastically. People who are in the profession of writing are coming out and are recording whatever they have experienced, as here in this piece of land every person has suffered directly or indirectly, but the thing is who is going to take up the job. Interestingly, those who are not the professional writers but have suffered are taking up the responsibility to write and to narrate, in whatever capacity they can. Such examples, where the non-professional writers have taken up the job, should serve as an inspiration for those who are professionals, but are still not in the mood of doing so. Every individual has got a responsibility, if not writing books of thousands of pages, but at least can maintain a dairy of events and can jot down the important happenings around, which will ultimately serve the greater purpose of recording the history.
We have to come up with our own narratives, the actual narratives which will ultimately bulldoze all such narratives which are nothing but propaganda and have been framed against us. Such narratives would also serve as a rich research material for the researchers to come, which will dig deep into the problem, extracting the actual causes, and that time very time the existing counter narratives (propaganda) will surely be dismissed and Reality Shall Prevail.