After years of armed insurgency where is Kashmir today and what is the focus of the population of Kashmir? Apart from the lip service rendered to the “freedom struggle” by separatist leaders, the raised tempo of attacks by militants on Indian troops and the protests thereof by civilian populations against the “slaying” of the militants who launch the attacks – the whole set of events moving in harmonic sync as if generated in their own and mobile in what could best be categorized as an automation - there is nothing peculiar about Kashmir in terms of what could be termed as a resistance movement in Kashmir. People are living their lives and trying to expand their houses into proper mansions and raising their bank balances to staggering heights; people are busy luxuriating in the essence of the times that be and by all standards are more worried about the next day’s weather than the probable political maturation of the imbroglio.  

The “freedom struggle” of Kashmir in Kashmir is “alive” at the behest of more of lip service than anything else. The rhetoric of hate against India is what keeps the “struggle” rolling lest it lost the essence in which it was formulated. People protesting on the streets of Kashmir, pelting stones at the police and Indian troopers, shouting angry slogans against India and assigning themselves to foreign idioms of mispronounced fortitude. And when we speak of “resistance” even in terms of the “word” vindicated from animation, we are talking about a fragment of the population of Kashmir, a population which is generically young and boundless and wanting to express its influence over world opinion just as is the case with youth everywhere else. The aging and the aged are opinionated that resistance as a proactive case is not solving anything and it is rather delimiting the progress of the region in all totality.

The tempo of the “struggle” has transformed from action to word and that is a very pertinent factor to be addressed and looked into while we are debating Kashmir or any particular resolution of the “issue”. I am forced to obtain that the sporadic “institutional armed attacks” are not conjoined to the dialectic of Kashmir now and these exist in a separate plain of “rebellion” against India. Even though we have witnessed popular support to the militants who carry out these “attacks” there is an apparent connection between “protesting in despair” and what could be identified or categorized as revolutionary zest. Yes, the people of Kashmir have landed in an utter situation of despair and they have no let outs for this. This is a factor which India that so seeks to integrate Kashmir and its people into its dominion, has never addressed and thus put the whole people thing on slow-boil which seethes into discontent given every possible chance. So anything that loudly bespeaks their condition or attempts to identify with it there is popular support.  

No matter how much we, the people of Kashmir, the separatist leadership, the opinion makers sitting out there or the media for the matter, try to turn our face from the realities or try to escape what is in all eternity is the truth and only that, the situation on the ground is such that the majority of the population of Kashmir is discreetly not in favour of violence utilized as a means to ascertain political freedom. As the case happens to be, to a certain extent the people no longer subscribe to the “notion” of political freedom as mandated by the “foreclosed” elementariness of the right to self-determination et al. If the right to self-determination is the case being pleaded, why not put this symbolic entirety to test by way of letting the people come out freely and speak their minds about whether they ascribe to the violent recess of the “struggle for freedom” from India or the “struggle for accession” to Pakistan. That would set the ball rolling if not anything else. Does the separatist leadership, and the dissenting population of Kashmir, have the guts to open the table for the common people of Kashmir and let them talk their hearts out? Does India have any inkling that a majority of the population of Kashmir is happy as it runs the course with the country? Does Pakistan have any idea that its entire exercise in an effort to “annex” this part of Kashmir may have gone vain? Does anyone have the heart and the rationale to stop fretting about and facing the truth? The answer is no for each of the cases cited because Kashmir as a boiling mix of separatist and militant tendencies has metamorphosed into an octagon of violence with the sides formed by different “alliances” trying to keep it all within bounds and not letting anything, yes anything, out which could alter the coordinates of the economy that is gravitated by the conflict itself. And thereof ask for a different set of efforts which are required to let Kashmir grow and prosper. This is a period which shall go down in the history of the region as a subjective phase of the elite’s repressive longing for strife.

Despite the claims made by the different alliances to have been working or be working towards the generation of a result-oriented policy to mitigate and for that matter resolve the conflict , no one is humane enough to listen to the reclusive majority of Kashmir people, who have – over a course of time - embraced a fair and square acquittal out of the megalomania of political ambitions of the left, the right and the centre, and have chosen to live better lives by manner of simply choosing to do that only. Except for a few, mostly un-affluent young males, who conjoin the rhetoric of hate and end up being beaten to the pulp at the end of the day and thus resiliently devise a formative factor which points in one direction only and that is oppression. Little do these young men understand that they themselves set in motion a conundrum of self-effacing, monocular eventualities that choosily engender violence and violence only?   

Hype rules as long as people earn out of it and this is the juncture where the heartfelt “aspirations” of the common people are painted on emblematic placards of political parties and stay there and thus no longer matter.