A case for debate

  • Kashmir Ink
  • Publish Date: Jan 9 2017 8:36PM
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  • Updated Date: Jan 9 2017 8:52PM
A case for debateIllustration by Suhail Naqshband

Post uprising, the strategies being adopted by the pro-freedom camp to take the Azadi struggle forward are up for a contentious debate. The bone of contention is the Hurriyat’s frequent resort to blanket hartal calls and their attendant detrimental fallout on the economy and the livelihoods of the very people who are out on the streets protesting, dying and getting blinded. In this issue, we have attempted to put the debate into perspective. We are running the interview of the Hurriyat patriarch Syed Ali Shah Geelani as our cover, in which we have asked him some very tough questions about the strategy. He has candidly replied to them. Then we have a clutch of opinion pieces on the issue written by some of the most informed observers of Kashmir. Between them, the pieces offer an in depth reading of the situation. While authors of a few of them have taken an outright for and against position, Mohamad Junaid and Wajahat Ahmad have taken a more nuanced view of the state of affairs.

The point of this special issue is to generate more debate. For, unresolved debates and unsorted issues run the risk of distorting the discourses and perspectives.  Result is that we just muddle along when the need is for a clear-eyed understanding of where we stand and where we are headed.  This calls for asking and seeking answers to  tough questions.   We shouldn’t be hampered by our own pernicious version of the national versus anti-national discourse emanating from New Delhi. We just can’t afford it. We don’t have the power to get away with our blunders. We have to pay for it, through the blood of our youth. Hundreds of them have to lose their sight.  Our strategy has to be hard-headed, thought through by our best brains. This demands the intellectual rigour of the highest order,  not a personalized approach. Or  worst of all a default reaction. Our hands shouldn’t instinctively reach for  off-the-shelf unproductive decades old tactics. This is a lethargic, arm chair response to a life and death situation. We need to rethink, adapt and re-invent our strategy, judging their worth not by having used them for years but what pursuing them gives us in return. Giving up an unrewarding  course of action is not same as giving up resistance or diverting from the cause. On the contrary. it is a desperately needed course correction for the good of the cause.