Saturday, February 26, 2011

‘azadi’-who’s is it anyway? by Deepika Bhan


 
30/10/2010
‘azadi’-who’s is it anyway? by Deepika Bhan


India is the biggest democracy in the world. The Constitution has granted the right to freedom of speech. But, when did this fundamental privilege turn into the ‘right’ to abuse the very nation that gives us so much of freedom? The recently held seminar on “Azadi- the Only Way” has left one confused. The platform of the seminar is located in the heart of the capital, Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg, just a few kilometers away from the seat of democracy, the Parliament. There on that platform some startling statements were made. Excerpts of some of them:

“CPI-Maoists unequivocally supports Kashmiri people’s struggle for azadi”

“Dal Khalsa is fighting for a separate identity of Sikh homeland; hence we give full support to ‘azadi movement in the Kashmiri”

Speaker after speaker spoke in this language. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Arundati Roy, Maoist leader Varavara Rao, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and others. Sitting pretty on the podium was Syed Ali Shah Geelani with Arundati Roy on his left, who, of late, is being viewed as the flag bearer of the secessionist forces in the country. What happened at the seminar has been reported in the media. There were accusations and counter accusations, young men from Kashmir were seen openly challenging the might of India. The atmosphere was vitriolic. There was a group which was opposing this. And what happened next is the real shocker. Those bearing the tri-colour were forcibly evicted and the secessionists were given all the time and the space to vent their heart out. Delhi police and other Security personnel chose to look the other way. Poor guys, what could they have done because they were briefed to keep mum.

As if this was not enough, the “azadi speakers” spoke in Srinagar too. Here, Arundati Roy while reinforcing her defiance said “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” She justifies her speech as a writer’s right. But isn’t this over simplified justification? She may be working on some dammed agenda but is it right for a writer to abuse the nation and the patriotic sentiments of millions of people? She better look around. No nation can forgive such malicious thoughts. Be it China or Pakistan or the Arab world, where perhaps she could even face stones.

A writer needs all freedom to exercise his or her creativity. But to advocate dismembering of a nation certainly does not reflect creativity. It manifests a mind which pleasures in sadistic activity and at the same time exposes the situation wherein efforts could be the furtherance of self goal, thereby entering into grave area of conspiracy.

Kashmir solution does not lie in “Azadi”. Kashmir is a far greater complex issue. Perhaps the advocates of “Azadi” have forgotten history. In 1947, raiders from Pakistan attacked the then “independent Kashmir”. The besieged valley sought help from India. The tribal invasion by Pakistan on Kashmir proved the fact that it wanted to annex Kashmir by force. Since then, Pakistan has been consistently and vigorously pursuing Kashmir. Let this not be forgotten.

Making statements and giving lectures on Kashmir is not a difficult task for any writer or speaker. But, understanding Kashmir is not everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, a mind like Arundati Roy is playing to certain designs. Half truths and half lies cannot decide the fate of a state. Yes, “Azadi” should be the demand and “azadi is the only way. But azadi be demanded from the fanatics and the fundamentalists, from the corrupt and the divisive forces, be they on this side of the line or the other.

India is the biggest democracy in the world. The Constitution has granted the right to freedom of speech. But, when did this fundamental privilege turn into the ‘right’ to abuse the very nation that gives us so much of freedom? The recently held seminar on “Azadi- the Only Way” has left one confused. The platform of the seminar is located in the heart of the capital, Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg, just a few kilometers away from the seat of democracy, the Parliament. There on that platform some startling statements were made. Excerpts of some of them:

“CPI-Maoists unequivocally supports Kashmiri people’s struggle for azadi”

“Dal Khalsa is fighting for a separate identity of Sikh homeland; hence we give full support to ‘azadi movement in the Kashmiri”

Speaker after speaker spoke in this language. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Arundati Roy, Maoist leader Varavara Rao, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and others. Sitting pretty on the podium was Syed Ali Shah Geelani with Arundati Roy on his left, who, of late, is being viewed as the flag bearer of the secessionist forces in the country. What happened at the seminar has been reported in the media. There were accusations and counter accusations, young men from Kashmir were seen openly challenging the might of India. The atmosphere was vitriolic. There was a group which was opposing this. And what happened next is the real shocker. Those bearing the tri-colour were forcibly evicted and the secessionists were given all the time and the space to vent their heart out. Delhi police and other Security personnel chose to look the other way. Poor guys, what could they have done because they were briefed to keep mum.

As if this was not enough, the “azadi speakers” spoke in Srinagar too. Here, Arundati Roy while reinforcing her defiance said “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” She justifies her speech as a writer’s right. But isn’t this over simplified justification? She may be working on some dammed agenda but is it right for a writer to abuse the nation and the patriotic sentiments of millions of people? She better look around. No nation can forgive such malicious thoughts. Be it China or Pakistan or the Arab world, where perhaps she could even face stones.

A writer needs all freedom to exercise his or her creativity. But to advocate dismembering of a nation certainly does not reflect creativity. It manifests a mind which pleasures in sadistic activity and at the same time exposes the situation wherein efforts could be the furtherance of self goal, thereby entering into grave area of conspiracy.

Kashmir solution does not lie in “Azadi”. Kashmir is a far greater complex issue. Perhaps the advocates of “Azadi” have forgotten history. In 1947, raiders from Pakistan attacked the then “independent Kashmir”. The besieged valley sought help from India. The tribal invasion by Pakistan on Kashmir proved the fact that it wanted to annex Kashmir by force. Since then, Pakistan has been consistently and vigorously pursuing Kashmir. Let this not be forgotten.

Making statements and giving lectures on Kashmir is not a difficult task for any writer or speaker. But, understanding Kashmir is not everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, a mind like Arundati Roy is playing to certain designs. Half truths and half lies cannot decide the fate of a state. Yes, “Azadi” should be the demand and “azadi is the only way. But azadi be demanded from the fanatics and the fundamentalists, from the corrupt and the divisive forces, be they on this side of the line or the other.

India is the biggest democracy in the world. The Constitution has granted the right to freedom of speech. But, when did this fundamental privilege turn into the ‘right’ to abuse the very nation that gives us so much of freedom? The recently held seminar on “Azadi- the Only Way” has left one confused. The platform of the seminar is located in the heart of the capital, Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg, just a few kilometers away from the seat of democracy, the Parliament. There on that platform some startling statements were made. Excerpts of some of them:

“CPI-Maoists unequivocally supports Kashmiri people’s struggle for azadi”

“Dal Khalsa is fighting for a separate identity of Sikh homeland; hence we give full support to ‘azadi movement in the Kashmiri”

Speaker after speaker spoke in this language. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Arundati Roy, Maoist leader Varavara Rao, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and others. Sitting pretty on the podium was Syed Ali Shah Geelani with Arundati Roy on his left, who, of late, is being viewed as the flag bearer of the secessionist forces in the country. What happened at the seminar has been reported in the media. There were accusations and counter accusations, young men from Kashmir were seen openly challenging the might of India. The atmosphere was vitriolic. There was a group which was opposing this. And what happened next is the real shocker. Those bearing the tri-colour were forcibly evicted and the secessionists were given all the time and the space to vent their heart out. Delhi police and other Security personnel chose to look the other way. Poor guys, what could they have done because they were briefed to keep mum.

As if this was not enough, the “azadi speakers” spoke in Srinagar too. Here, Arundati Roy while reinforcing her defiance said “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” She justifies her speech as a writer’s right. But isn’t this over simplified justification? She may be working on some dammed agenda but is it right for a writer to abuse the nation and the patriotic sentiments of millions of people? She better look around. No nation can forgive such malicious thoughts. Be it China or Pakistan or the Arab world, where perhaps she could even face stones.

A writer needs all freedom to exercise his or her creativity. But to advocate dismembering of a nation certainly does not reflect creativity. It manifests a mind which pleasures in sadistic activity and at the same time exposes the situation wherein efforts could be the furtherance of self goal, thereby entering into grave area of conspiracy.

Kashmir solution does not lie in “Azadi”. Kashmir is a far greater complex issue. Perhaps the advocates of “Azadi” have forgotten history. In 1947, raiders from Pakistan attacked the then “independent Kashmir”. The besieged valley sought help from India. The tribal invasion by Pakistan on Kashmir proved the fact that it wanted to annex Kashmir by force. Since then, Pakistan has been consistently and vigorously pursuing Kashmir. Let this not be forgotten.

Making statements and giving lectures on Kashmir is not a difficult task for any writer or speaker. But, understanding Kashmir is not everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, a mind like Arundati Roy is playing to certain designs. Half truths and half lies cannot decide the fate of a state. Yes, “Azadi” should be the demand and “azadi is the only way. But azadi be demanded from the fanatics and the fundamentalists, from the corrupt and the divisive forces, be they on this side of the line or the other.

India is the biggest democracy in the world. The Constitution has granted the right to freedom of speech. But, when did this fundamental privilege turn into the ‘right’ to abuse the very nation that gives us so much of freedom? The recently held seminar on “Azadi- the Only Way” has left one confused. The platform of the seminar is located in the heart of the capital, Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg, just a few kilometers away from the seat of democracy, the Parliament. There on that platform some startling statements were made. Excerpts of some of them:

“CPI-Maoists unequivocally supports Kashmiri people’s struggle for azadi”

“Dal Khalsa is fighting for a separate identity of Sikh homeland; hence we give full support to ‘azadi movement in the Kashmiri”

Speaker after speaker spoke in this language. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Arundati Roy, Maoist leader Varavara Rao, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and others. Sitting pretty on the podium was Syed Ali Shah Geelani with Arundati Roy on his left, who, of late, is being viewed as the flag bearer of the secessionist forces in the country. What happened at the seminar has been reported in the media. There were accusations and counter accusations, young men from Kashmir were seen openly challenging the might of India. The atmosphere was vitriolic. There was a group which was opposing this. And what happened next is the real shocker. Those bearing the tri-colour were forcibly evicted and the secessionists were given all the time and the space to vent their heart out. Delhi police and other Security personnel chose to look the other way. Poor guys, what could they have done because they were briefed to keep mum.

As if this was not enough, the “azadi speakers” spoke in Srinagar too. Here, Arundati Roy while reinforcing her defiance said “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” She justifies her speech as a writer’s right. But isn’t this over simplified justification? She may be working on some dammed agenda but is it right for a writer to abuse the nation and the patriotic sentiments of millions of people? She better look around. No nation can forgive such malicious thoughts. Be it China or Pakistan or the Arab world, where perhaps she could even face stones.

A writer needs all freedom to exercise his or her creativity. But to advocate dismembering of a nation certainly does not reflect creativity. It manifests a mind which pleasures in sadistic activity and at the same time exposes the situation wherein efforts could be the furtherance of self goal, thereby entering into grave area of conspiracy.

Kashmir solution does not lie in “Azadi”. Kashmir is a far greater complex issue. Perhaps the advocates of “Azadi” have forgotten history. In 1947, raiders from Pakistan attacked the then “independent Kashmir”. The besieged valley sought help from India. The tribal invasion by Pakistan on Kashmir proved the fact that it wanted to annex Kashmir by force. Since then, Pakistan has been consistently and vigorously pursuing Kashmir. Let this not be forgotten.

Making statements and giving lectures on Kashmir is not a difficult task for any writer or speaker. But, understanding Kashmir is not everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, a mind like Arundati Roy is playing to certain designs. Half truths and half lies cannot decide the fate of a state. Yes, “Azadi” should be the demand and “azadi is the only way. But azadi be demanded from the fanatics and the fundamentalists, from the corrupt and the divisive forces, be they on this side of the line or the other.

India is the biggest democracy in the world. The Constitution has granted the right to freedom of speech. But, when did this fundamental privilege turn into the ‘right’ to abuse the very nation that gives us so much of freedom? The recently held seminar on “Azadi- the Only Way” has left one confused. The platform of the seminar is located in the heart of the capital, Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg, just a few kilometers away from the seat of democracy, the Parliament. There on that platform some startling statements were made. Excerpts of some of them:


“CPI-Maoists unequivocally supports Kashmiri people’s struggle for azadi”

“Dal Khalsa is fighting for a separate identity of Sikh homeland; hence we give full support to ‘azadi movement in the Kashmiri”

Speaker after speaker spoke in this language. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Arundati Roy, Maoist leader Varavara Rao, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights and others. Sitting pretty on the podium was Syed Ali Shah Geelani with Arundati Roy on his left, who, of late, is being viewed as the flag bearer of the secessionist forces in the country. What happened at the seminar has been reported in the media. There were accusations and counter accusations, young men from Kashmir were seen openly challenging the might of India. The atmosphere was vitriolic. There was a group which was opposing this. And what happened next is the real shocker. Those bearing the tri-colour were forcibly evicted and the secessionists were given all the time and the space to vent their heart out. Delhi police and other Security personnel chose to look the other way. Poor guys, what could they have done because they were briefed to keep mum.

As if this was not enough, the “azadi speakers” spoke in Srinagar too. Here, Arundati Roy while reinforcing her defiance said “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India. It is a historical fact. Even the Indian government has accepted this.” She justifies her speech as a writer’s right. But isn’t this over simplified justification? She may be working on some dammed agenda but is it right for a writer to abuse the nation and the patriotic sentiments of millions of people? She better look around. No nation can forgive such malicious thoughts. Be it China or Pakistan or the Arab world, where perhaps she could even face stones.

A writer needs all freedom to exercise his or her creativity. But to advocate dismembering of a nation certainly does not reflect creativity. It manifests a mind which pleasures in sadistic activity and at the same time exposes the situation wherein efforts could be the furtherance of self goal, thereby entering into grave area of conspiracy.

Kashmir solution does not lie in “Azadi”. Kashmir is a far greater complex issue. Perhaps the advocates of “Azadi” have forgotten history. In 1947, raiders from Pakistan attacked the then “independent Kashmir”. The besieged valley sought help from India. The tribal invasion by Pakistan on Kashmir proved the fact that it wanted to annex Kashmir by force. Since then, Pakistan has been consistently and vigorously pursuing Kashmir. Let this not be forgotten.

Making statements and giving lectures on Kashmir is not a difficult task for any writer or speaker. But, understanding Kashmir is not everyone’s cup of tea. Perhaps, a mind like Arundati Roy is playing to certain designs. Half truths and half lies cannot decide the fate of a state. Yes, “Azadi” should be the demand and “azadi is the only way. But azadi be demanded from the fanatics and the fundamentalists, from the corrupt and the divisive forces, be they on this side of the line or the other.

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