Kashmir: Resuming Life In The Absence Of Life
Once the essence of the struggle is lost, isolated and fought in the snows of Kashmir it will be another nightmare for humanity.
“In an attempt to win over Kashmiris, the Indian government placed a front-page advert in one of the region’s most popular newspapers, Greater Kashmir, urging people to resume a normal life. “Closed shops, no public transport? Who benefits? Are we going to succumb to militants? Think!” the advert said” (Guardian, 18 October 2019). ‘No harm’ Adorno says, ‘comes to man from outside alone, dumbness is an objective spirit’ and the ruling classes of the world have no dearth of it.
It seems the Indian rulers have finally attained some sense of the catastrophe they have created, the Medusa of Kashmir has petrified the forces, which invited the wrath of the goddess. Even when slain by Perseus she refused to die, the blood spurted from her neck gave birth to Chrysaor and Pegasus. Her severed head, Iris Murdoch writes, had the same power so were the locks of her hair that brought storm putting the enemy to flight (A Severed Head, 1961). The followers of Athena sitting on Delhi’s throne have lost her, and she is back to avenge her death.
After committing the absurdity of revoking the autonomy of the seven million oppressed masses, living in a state of siege from seven decades the Indian state cannot expect them to be grateful to its benevolence. In the history of religion, some numbers are taken as inauspicious. In Christianity, for instance, the number of 666 carries terrible connotations. In Book of Revelation it stands as the ‘number of the beast’ and is indirectly attributed to Nero, the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and because of his real or imaginary crimes against Christianity is considered one of its biggest enemies. Many modern historians, however, deny the charges. Despite the first, Jewish-Roman War meant to quill the Jewish insurgency, and Jews being the sworn enemies of Christians, he could not win a soft corner among the latter. History in the hands of priests is as brute an instrument as it is in the hands of kings.
All religious movements including capitalism with banks as its chapels, and the ruling classes as its priests need enemies real or fabricated , to thrive, especially when they give up their humanity for fascist tendencies. In fascism enemy, especially an unseen permanent enemy has a paramount significance; it breeds fear, a constant threat, to become an instrument of confirmation to the established reality. ‘If the concept “enemy & fear”, Franz Neumann says, become the “energetic principles”‘ of politics, a democratic political system is impossible, whether the fear is produced from within or from without’.
The number seven—if the population of Kashmir is seven million, ruled by the Indian army from the seven decades and a seventy- two days blackout of communication— will play on the nerves of the Indian ruling class for long, teasing and tormenting like a festering wound with little or no chance of healing in the near future.
What were the psychological reasons for this onslaught? What kind of theatrical narcissistic force was playing the death-knell in the minds of those always prepared to play god, especially when they had managed to maintain their domination in the region through coercion from the last seven decades? Was it a castration fear or BJP’s oedipal situation since latter had never contributed to the freedom struggle of mother India, which finally brought it to its nemesis? Leave the mother in the lurch and then see her revenge only Freud can fathom the depth of the guilt, the major cause of neurosis. Else, it is the transformation of ‘impotence into the experience of omnipotence, which Eric Fromm says ‘is the religion of psychic cripples’.
‘Neurosis’ Freud says ‘is the inability to tolerate ambiguity, if you do not like a person it is because they remind you something that you do not like about yourself’. Sadism is not confined to an individual’s love to hate others, it is a love to hate oneself as well, all sadists, the Indian ruling class, the Pakistani army, Taliban, Trump, Bolsonaro, Netanyahu and the rest oppressing the humankind are masochists as well. Every act committed against humanity takes the humanity away from the perpetrator, leaving a beast, a predator behind having no right to be the part of the human tribe.
“It is always tempting when you have political discontent in your own country to say it is the fault of some other country and not of your own government’, AJP Taylor by stating this warns us about the blind nationalism in whose mire we can plunge into. ‘German’ he says deserved ‘what they got when they went crying for a hero’, that was precisely what happened in the US, India, Pakistan and in certain states of Europe. The rigidified desperate middle class wanting relief from desperate situations swayed every stratum of the masses along; consequently, they have fascist or semi-fascist tendencies ruling their countries. Fascism never leaves one’s shore unharmed, if there is any doubt one can see what the Fuhrer or Duce did to their respective countries.
The ground of every field may not be ripe for implementing Newton’s third formula of reciprocity between action and reaction, but the class antagonism continues to simmer underneath and can turn into a total war. Kashmir and Palestine are some of those places, where people have nothing to lose but their chains. The great Marxist fighter Che Guevara welcoming death said ‘whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry reaches to some receptive ears and few hands reach out to take up our arms’. The stage is set in Kashmir, and the Shakespearean tragedy is about to be re-acted.
According to Guardian, Arshad, a postgraduate degree holder states’ Delhi had restricted all scope for all political activities in the region, which would push militants to the centre stage… I think militants will now have a dual role of carrying out the armed struggle as well as taking over the role of political leadership and I feel they are already doing that… We cannot fight this war on our own, we need external support whosoever it be,” he said. “So far Pakistan has pleaded our case and supported us, but even if South Sudan or China offers us help I will be the first to raise their flag here,” he said (Ibid).
To develop a religious hue would be the irony of the movement. ‘In Anchar, a neighbourhood of Srinagar where residents have fought back against security forces, graffiti on the wall reads “Welcome Taliban” (Ibid). If taken over by the insane religious sects fighting against enlightenment and liberation from the black hole of the dark ages, this will be a serious setback to a genuine struggle of liberation from an unjust system, which is likely to lose the support of the enlightened masses of the world. It will become an anathema; once the essence of the struggle is lost, isolated and fought in the snows of Kashmir it will be another nightmare for humanity. Kashmir will become another graveyard where Dionysian orgy of death and destruction will continue to march side by side, and nobody, not even India will escape from its blazing fire it has ignited hunting for the free market that ricochets to hunt back.
It reminds one the lamentation of Rosa Luxemburg who cursed the war that killed the workers of both sides to fulfill the capitalists’ designs. With each death a soldier of the revolution, a humankind savior from the yoke of capitalism sinks into the grave. The madness she says will end when the workers of all belligerent powers come out of their stupor, ‘extend their brotherly hands to each other and drown the bestial chorus of imperialist warmongers and shrill cry of capitalist hyenas with labor’s old and mighty battle cry: workers of all the countries unite’. The workers of the world generally and of the subcontinent especially have to listen to her voice else barbarism will be their sole destiny. Let the generals of both sides shoot each other and the priests to hang their opponents with their entrails.
Writer is an Australian-Pakistani based in Sydney. He has authored several books on Marxism (Gramscian & Frankfurt School) and History and regularly contributes to leading Pakistani Dailies. His Twitter handle is @SaulatNagi