Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On loudspeakers

Naseer Ganai

There is so much noise in our lives. But we tend to forget it and move on. At times we presume it as music. Don’t we? All these years our body and soul has been subjected to so much violence that we forget these little little things. And rightly so.  

 Just take a walk on a road and see how every person who drives a car loves to horn. Honking is our all time favourite hobby. From judges to MLAs, bureaucrats’ to police official everyone who thinks he is someone here prefers to honk on people while driving. This has never been an issue here. Talk to any officials instead of engaging you in conversation, he shouts. Senior shout on subordinates and subordinates on their subordinates. Wives on husbands and husbands on their children. And children on each other.

But we tolerate it. While we drive we keep music on and drive at high speed. And when we bump someone off the road, we seek forgiveness and we readily get it. The victim feels it was his fate. “I am very sorry. God saved you,” the driver after a hitting person would plead. Means I tried to kill you but God saved you. We even forget this too and forgive people for such brazen acts.
  Bashir Ahmad Khan was once Chief Justice of the High Court. He was reprimanding police officials for noise pollution. That you are not stopping it. Fine drivers, fine all those who indulge in such activities. There is so much noise pollution in the air. This deafening noise is intolerable. This has to stop… Khan, however, could not continue his reprimanding discourse on noise pollution and its adverse effects on human body especially human ear. He had to take long pause as to the amusement of everyone in the Court vehicles in front of the High Court premises would stop and honk.
 Why should not they? Just see how alarm bells continue to ring when vehicles of judges drive on the roads, when MLAs move around, when politician walk around, when senior officials do rounds. When cavalcade of present and former chief minister’s move on the roads. Why do we alone hear noise of loudspeaker? No newspaper in the Valley will write a word against judges and the way they force their drives to drive their vehicles. Not a word. Their noise is music to them. Only noise is noise of loudspeakers. Why so? It is easy to target loudspeaker. Difficult to take on siren of a judge or chief minister.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pulpits of peace and harmony

Naseer Ganai

Often separatist leadership is being criticised for doing nothing. They are being condemned in private and public. There are people who don’t even stop talking about leadership crises. That the leadership has failed. That it has done nothing. That all miseries people suffer from are because of the leadership. Such talk never stops. But whenever situation demanded they have acted even though their critics never acknowledged it.

Last year we were standing on volcano. We would talk about it. We had worst fears about it. That one day this volcano of religious sectarianism will burst and it would bring worst out of Kashmir. The leadership, be it Syed Ali Geelani, be it Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, be it Yasin Malik, took the challenge. They assembled Ulema when they perceived that some forces were trying to play sectarian card in Kashmir. They interacted with Muslim scholars. They assembled them at one place. They tried to evolve a consensus. They did it early this year. They did it again and again.

Finally consensus was evolved on Sunday August 5, 2012 when noted columnist and academic Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain read out a resolution in a seminar organised by JKLF. Muslims scholars from different schools of thought attended the seminar. Dr Hussain read out that whosoever will be found involved in shrine or mosque attack, he is out of fold of Islam. Ulema attested the resolution. Thus with one stroke attack on any religious place was declared as un-Islamic act having no religious sanctity. Sunis endorsed it, Shias endorsed it, Ahli-Hadith endorsed it, Karwani Islami endrosed it, Jamaat Islami endorsed it. 

Dr Hussain read out second resolution. That no Ulema or Muslim scholar can use pulpit of any mosque or any shrine to speak or preach against any other religious thought or belief. Ulema attested this too. If Ulema adhere to the pledge, we will not see sectarian divide in Kashmir henceforth. We will have differences, disagreements. But they will be of academic nature. Nothing more. Earlier in the seminar Ulema spoke. They talked about religious harmony. They said how sectarian divide is going to create havoc in the society. They said they will not allow any such things to happen. A scholar took the audience to caliphate of Hazarat Omar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) when the Calipha advised his generals to give “amaan” to anyone who takes shelter in any religious places. Means all religious places are sacred.

Now on from the pulpits of mosques and shrines, we will hear everything about religion, society, morals and morality. But nothing about sectarianism. That my beliefs are the real and rest are false. Nothing that sort. Kashmiris need not fear. Leadership is responsive. So are religious scholars.