Dwiddly

My notes and musings …

Posts Tagged ‘cybersatyagrah

Not the first time, won’t be the last either

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A satyagrah when standing in solidarity with a cause or a people appears to a third person as a voluntary act. But as one absorbs the spirit of resistance and solidarity, it becomes an urge, a pull, a drive to act. Given that we are typically not the ones in the eye of the storm, we apply reason, strategize, coordinate, organize, mobilize and try to maximize the impact of the act of resistance.

It was very appropriate that in the morning I attended a panel discussion on Gandhi’s views on dissent and sedition in the first half of the day. And in the second half a talk by Tanveer Ajsee on the historical roots of Kashmir art today. The languages of dissent and expression used by Kashmiris – in their attire and presentation, on canvas, paper or pavments, in their music, dance and celebrations of weddings or commemorating their martyrs.

My satyagrah yesterday was in protest of the govt of India’s communication blockade in Kashmir. If we are to believe the govt of India, 8 million+ people have been subjected to a lockdown so that a few hundred people are kept from communicating between themselves and the rest of the world. For 61 days. Where is the sense of proportion? Is there any concern to human life and livelihood in such actions by the state? In reality, the blockade is yet another step in the further alienization and brutalization of a community. A community that has seen, and survived through, at least 175 years of repression, deceit and exploitation by various states – British, Dogra, and Indian.

There is an attempt to re-weave the Indian social fabric to distract every one from the large scale exploitations of resources and energies. To establish a supremacy, to reiterate and stamp a chauvinistic identity among a majority. A majority that is being told over and over again and is starting to believe that it is under threat. History is replete with cases of the rich and powerful consolidating their hold over the state using this fear. And of communities singled out and oppressed to assuage the collective conscience of society.

The Govt of India, with its actions over the past 39 years or so has ensured that whatever bridges were built are chopped down and brunt to the ground. Again and again. Keeping an active military in a region has never brought peace to that land. The UK, US, Russia, and every hegemonic power center has experienced this. War and occupation brings wealth and excess to the oppressors. And the blood soaked money and power is what we are getting out of Kashmir.

As frequent as these oppressions are the acts of resistance. The living up to ideals, the giving up of livelihoods, freedoms and even lives for certain truths that one holds dear. The defiance of those who don’t just believe that love and peace should prevail, but are ready to stand up and say not in my name; not again.

We can amend laws, we can change the rules. But we cannot legislate affection for a state or fraternity and brotherhood with the rest of the country. It has to be earned.

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