Friday, July 23, 2010

What is azadi?

Maasid Sidiq
Azadi or Freedom is the long cherished dream of every person under oppression. Be it the case of Palestinians in Palestine, Kashmiris in Kashmir or Afghans in Afghanistan, all proclaim together when it is said to them as to what you people want.In Kashmir there are people of different colours, each rejoicing its own perception of Azadi and rejecting the other. Some people believe that Autonomy should be given; some are in favour of Self Rule, some in favour of Greater Autonomy while others want nothing more or less than Right to self Determination. If carefully examined, one will find that all these proposals are actually in favour of Kashmiri people, then why we witness huss and fuss all around.
A proper mechanism should be developed to make people understand the different ideologies and to chalk out the best definition and perception of Azadi .This post is dedicated to cover up these things, and we shall provide much basic, better and more comprehensive definition and perception of Azadi in the end. And it will also discuss the simple way to attain it. I don’t intend to criticize any perception here but to acquaint ourselves with the fact that some basic and fundamentals tools necessary to get real Azadi are missing. (Please note that our point of introspection is Indian administrated Kashmir)
To begin with we put forth different prevailing perceptions about Azadi
.1. Common perception about Azadi :Azadi means safety, security, prosperity, growth in each sector of society and like to a commoner. A commoner has nothing to do as to who runs the state, he doesn’t give the slightest of concern as to who his PM, CM, president, DC, DM etc is. What he wants is Roti, Kapda and Makan (Bread, clothes and shelter). If he is a Kashmiri, he doesn’t wander to know as to whether his land is or should be under Indian rule, Pakistani or independent. He simply wants a regular cash inflow, genuine work in order to sustain, good education for his children, his family’s safety, security and prosperity.
2. Azadi for Intellectuals These people more or less hold the same perception of Azadi as that of a commoner however this class has spent a part of their life mugging in the classrooms, attending the boring lectures of the teachers, getting up early and going to school/College/University, preparing assignments and all, their perception is a little different. They want their people, their land/country to know them; self actualization is what they need in addition to what common man wants. Let society know that so and so is a PhD, let he be given the right to speech and express himself, let he be given the right to form groups, NGOs etc.
3. Azadi from Oppressor:This is an intelligent class, they have a broader sense of Azadi and don’t merely want hanky panky things like business growth, development of roads, public security at the very onset. Their main motto is to get rid of the oppressor, they won’t care even if they have to sacrifice one thousand, ten thousand or hundred thousand lives for that, they are all ready for it, for it is strongly believed here that the oppressors have killed their kith and kin in the past and they won’t let their blood go waste. The oppressor, they believe, has disturbed the peace and atmosphere in the society, brought in corruption and mistrust, hence the root cause of all problems is the oppressor itself and unless they are removed from the society the real peace is not ever going to prevail at all. Establishment of new malls and shopping centres is not a prime objective for them but to get rid of the oppressor come hell or high water. The people having the first two perceptions are normally dormant, but the third group is an active one, therefore it is more important that the topic is discussed. And now we have to analyse as to whether we should put a full stop here and declare their perception to be true and final or add to it something or subtract from it something. We put forth following points in this regard: Suppose that tomorrow we attain the ‘Right to self Determination’. A plebiscite is held and the result is that Kashmiris want to be free. Now Kashmir is literally free. From what? From the India state, so is this Azadi? Kashmir will still be one of the most corrupt states; the people here will still be lazy and coward at heart. Jealousy, hatred, backbiting will still be prominent. Are we Azad then? We are entitled today to close shops early, and we have good reason to justify that. But who stops us from starting early, why don’t educational institutes, business establishments, shops etc start the daily work early in the morning. If today we begin at 10:00 am why don’t we make it 6:00 in the morning (in summers) if we really care about the way we lose by closing up early. No one stops us from starting up early, does anyone? The ground reality is that we don’t want to work, we are lazy people, and this laziness will remain even after we get the literal ‘independence’. People may think that these are just the moral and like problems and can be tackled easily anytime. But how can we believe them. Those who are not serious in changing their own behaviour at the very onset, how are they going to change their land and make it free?
Roads to Azadi
A strong movement for Azadi does not begin with force at the very beginning, rather it begins with some serious homework and ground preparation.It begins with changing ourselves first. How many organisations, active organisations do we have here in Kashmir who strive to impart the education, true morals, real ethics, correct knowledge of the Book (the Holy Quran) and the Sunnah and like to the common people of Kashmir. How many of us (students) spend more time in studying books than chatting with our friends on Facebook. How many intellectuals have dedicated their lives for cause of common Kashmiri. If Azadi is going to come then it will come through these people but Alas! We are short of these real warriors. Azadi is not a one man show that we have a good leader and he is leading us good, make right speeches at right times.... It is rather something attributed and closely linked to each and every commoner of the state.Azadi is a spirit within those who dream of it, this spirit is reflected in each and every work they do. So, a fighter for Azadi would be good student in the class, a good trader, a good teacher, a good manager, a good employee and a good employer. By ‘good’ we don’t necessarily mean that he would be a topper of his class in the student’s case or a millionaire in case of a trader but hardworking, honest, modest and dedicated person. A person who cannot do justice to his work and his own cause, how can we expect him to be just, true and honest when it comes to fighting for Azadi. A real freedom fighter is a warrior within.Therefore before we get the physical Azadi, we must get spiritual Azadi. For we don’t know how long will it take for the Kashmir dispute to solve, that is, we don’t know when we are going to get the physical Azadi, but the spiritual one we can get right now. It is simple. Be true and sincere in your approach, honest in your dealings and dedicated towards your job. Do righteous deed, abstain from all evils. Isn’t it simple? Yes as long as we really want an end and full stop to all oppression and conflict.

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