An Old Story

Amar Kant

Some headlines in the newspapers such as "Valley On The Boil'; 'Pak A Friend, India An Occupier', 'Kashmir Crisis Can Only Be Solved Via Dialogue', reminded one of the Pre-Partition days of 1940s.

Communal riots were not infrequent in the Indian Sub-continent and so these were not uncommon in 1946. 'Laikey Rahengey Pakistan' ['we must get Pakistan'] was the popular slogan of the followers of the then Muslim League all over the country. 'Gandhi-Jinnah Phir Milain' ['Gandhi Jinnah should meet again'] was being demanded by the then Communists, through their media Papers and speeches at the public meetings.

The Indian sub-continent was ultimately partitioned on communal lines. The Communists too had supported the Muslim League's communal demand for Pakistan and a large number of Muslim Communists, in an opportunistic policy, had joined the Muslim League. More than twenty lakh Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs were estimated to have been butchered on both sides of the newly-drawn Redcliff border line.

The lot of Muslim masses in Pakistan—the multitude, the Hoi Polloi, continued to be no better than what it was before its formation. Pakistan remained for most of the years, after its creation, under the dictatorial despotic military rulers. Even when the elected rulers were in power, they had to take care and toe the line given by the military generals. The feudal landlords, big industrialists, the generals and the 'Maulvies' [the religious heads] were the beneficiaries. There was little improvement in the fortunes of the Muslim masses as Pakistan became more and more regressive State. The people of the Kashmir Valley did not seem to be learning any lesson from the pitiable condition of the Pakistani 'Awam' [masses].

Bhagat Singh in an article on communalism had prescribed the inculcation of class consciousness amongst the masses to tackle the communal virus. This 'golden' principle had been highlighted in an impressive way through "Garam Hawa', a beautiful film in which the great actor Balraj Sahni had played the lead role.

Showing the predicament of a large Muslim family in India, whose members, one after the other, out of desperation, had been leaving for Pakistan, the youngest son and his father too decided to opt for Pakistan. They, while going to the railway station to board the train for Pakistan, saw a huge procession shouting 'Inquilab Zindabad' [Long Live The Revolution] and 'Dunia Ke Mazdooro Ek Ho Jao' [Workers of the World Unite]. Instantaneously discarding the idea of going to Pakistan, they got down from the horse-driven carriage [tonga], and joined the front row of the procession, shouting 'Inquilab Zindabad' and 'Dunia Ke Mazdooro Ek Ho Jao'.

The people of Kashmir need to learn a lesson from this film and imbibe Bhagat Singh's ideology of Scientific Socialism and inculcation of 'Class Consciousness'. They should join the millions of have-nots, their brethren in the rest of India—the poor Muslims, Dalits, Tribals, Farm Labourers and other under-dogs, struggling against exploitation, injustice and oppression of the bourgeois rulers in the country. It is only in a Scientific Socialist Set-up that everyone in Jammu and Kashmir and their brethren in the rest of India would be emancipated and get justice.

The human rights activists such as Arundhati Roy, Nandani Sunder and other progressive forces should urge the Kashmiris and their leaders to form a new political party, naming it, 'The People's Socialist Conference', educating the poor Kashmiris about what Scientific Socialism is and how it would solve their problems of 'Roti', 'Kapra' and 'Makan', thereby, saving them from jumping from one frying pan into another frying pan.

Vol. 50, No.5, Aug 6 - 12, 2017