Kashmir`s freedom struggle- Religious or Political
A pervasive query about freedom struggle has been raised about the nature of Kashmir`s freedom struggle- whether political or religious has been raised since the very inception of this struggle. The simple answer to it is —“Both”. But before delving into the dual characteristic of Kashmiri resistance , lets question the questioning authority. Who is asking this question? Kashmiris have lived and faced the brunt of this conflict from last 30 years but have hardly ever raised this query. It has more or less always appeared superfluous to them as they busy themselves in surviving pellets and stray bullets. Kashmiris see this struggle as that of survival, identity and their aspirations as recognized by UN as well. Going into specifications of the struggle has never been their peculiar interest. It is Indian media feeding into the self pleasuring narrative raising this debate every now and then. And hence guessing the intention does deserve no Nobel. The clear standpoint is to create doubts, raise suspicions and hence divide and weaken the struggle. And hence, response from Kashmir`s political as well as common masses has been apt—“No response”.
Jammu and Kashmir is Indias only muslim majority state (yes, UP isn’t). It currently boasts of a 97% of muslim population. Since the very inception of Islam in Kashmir, it has played a lead role life of Kashmiris. Before Kashmir had been hotbed of Shivaism and Buddhism. However, after flourishing of islam in 14th century at the hands of Bulbul Shah and Shah e Hamdan , it took center stage in Kashmiri life and politics. 20th century dynamics blew off the religious fervors in the world and in particularly the subcontinent. Afghan fighter backed by US dollars and Anti Aircraft Guns gave a new understanding to struggle against occupying forces. Religion was and is no longer confined to the corridors of places of worship. Islamic theology points out that there can be no act of a muslim or a human, for that matter which doesn’t have a repercussion in the afterlife. With this central belief, 2 billion muslims around the world act (aml) and expect a higher divine resultant. While a muslim may be giving charity because he believes in cause, he at the same time is obliging to a pillar of Islam- Zakat. While a muslim may of his own empathize with poor and hungry, he is also required to do so as a part of his religious duty. To act against ones evil desires is jihad as well as moral demand of inner consciousness. To safeguard ones home or land is an emotional and social expectation as well as a religious one. There can be no separating the two. Religion motivates the acts of muslim including an apparent struggle against occupying forces.
It becomes very clear in this context, that Kashmir`s struggle is a political demand boasted and justified by religious demands. Religion provides the motivation for bringing about political change , wherever due. It is the concoction of the two that gave birth and is leading to the 30 year old struggle.