The Kashmiri saying about a monkey being the head of a village of geese reflects the existence of an unnatural arrangement. A monkey is supposed to be an enemy of the geese and if we have an arrangement where it heads their village, then it must be totally in shambles. This is precisely what is happening in Kashmir. We quite often see some of our leaders professing to be the saviours of the people but in fact they have been taking them for a ride! The monkeys are lording over the gatherings of geese! The worst thing is that a number of the so called leaders after having initiated the troubles for the common people have now become their sympathisers. Here, another Kashmiri saying fits them well. “Yemi laimm tabar, sui chum prisaan khabar”, (the one who threw axe on me is now coming to ask my well-being)! Some of them not only act like the proverbial monkeys but also look like the same! The most irritating and annoying is their claim for bringing some relief in the form of so called confidence building measures to Kashmiris. Over last 65 years or so hundreds of thousands of people have sacrificed their lives for the cause of total emancipation of Kashmiris from centuries old bondage. Since 1947, they have been put under a double bondage due an accident of history resultant from the insincerity of these so called leaders. It is these sacrifices which have forced the two countries to give some relief at the ground level to the suffering people and not the so called efforts of these self-styled leaders.
Most of the political or other congregations give the typical picture of monkeys and the geese! The interesting part is the rallies organised by these leaders in different parts of the valley. Superficially, they seem to gather large crowds which are invariably “arranged” crowds of their so called eager followers. However, there is always a disconnect between the people in the audience and the leaders on the pulpit. It is typically a monkey addressing a gathering of geese! There are always managers who gather the crowds. For rallies and public meetings in the city of Srinagar fleets of buses bring the crowds to Srinagar from different parts of the valley. They get a free ride, lunch and sometimes cash. The day of a rally in Srinagar is a traffic nightmare for the people. Even the ruling party follows the same procedure especially for Republic Day and Independence Day celebrations in the Srinagar stadium. During nineties when no one would venture towards the stadium, one could see fleets of buses bringing people from all over the valley to fill the stands in the stadium.
In contrast, whenever any leader from the “Azadi” movement gives a call for march to somewhere popularly known as “Chalo”, people are imprisoned in their homes under undeclared curfew given the name of “restrictions”. One is not sure whether the common people, tired and exhausted by innumerable hartals (shutdowns) would really honour the calls for the “Chalo” (march). However, the authorities are so panicky and apprehensive that they never try to experiment and take the safe course of a total clampdown which sometimes extends to the whole valley. This is the best example of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression we have!
The funniest sight is to see some of the ruling party leaders moving through lanes of the old city of Srinagar like a monkey leading a flock of geese. Same happens in rural areas. The public meetings of many mainstream leaders in rural areas give the typical impression of a monkey addressing a flock of geese. There is no ideological gelling between the speakers and the audience. It seems artificial and unnatural arrangement. The people gathered everywhere have no faith in the ideology of the leaders addressing them and are there only for some material considerations. They seem to have reconciled to the fact that total emancipation called “Azadi” may take a while to achieve and are as such concentrating on improving their day to day living. Unfortunately, even this has been put in doldrums by these leaders in spite of the tall promises given during last elections. Previously, they had been promising Bijli, Panni, and Saddak. They had left the solution of the basic political problem for future. After having failed to deliver on these promises of improving the living conditions, they are now trying to mislead the people again by raking up the basic political problem which in the first instance has been of their own creation!
On the part of the people one is forced to say that they behave like domesticated geese. It would be really interesting if they would behave like the wild geese that may be able to chase away the monkeys lording over them. But unfortunately, people have been so materialised and their character so degraded and distorted that they behave worse than even the domesticated geese. The blind chase of materialistic benefits and loss of character has truly converted Kashmir into a village of geese lorded over by a monkey in the true meaning of the proverb, “Anzz Gamas Ponz Muqdam”!