TOSAMAIDAN—A Story of People’s Victory (In Multi-colour on Art Paper)


Compilers(s) — Lubna Sayed Qadri & Rimmi Vaghela

| ANUUGYA BOOKS | HINDI | Total 100 Pages | 2022 | 7.75 x 10 inches |

| Also available in HARD BOUND |


About the book

Eric Fromm, German Psychologist wrote, “If man were infinitely malleable, there would have been no revolutions; there would have been no change because a culture would have succeeded in making a man submit to its patterns without resistance. But man, being only relatively malleable, has always reacted with the protest against conditions which made the disequilibrium between the social order and his human needs too drastic or unbearable. The attempt to reduce this disequilibrium and the need to establish a more acceptable and desirable solution is at the very core of the dynamism of the evolution of man in history. Man’s protest arose not only because of material suffering; specifically, human needs…are an equally strong motivation for revolution and the dynamics of change.”
The relentless resistance to occupation, subjugation, humiliation and oppression in Kashmir is not recent, our legacy to resistance is almost three centuries old. It initiated in many subtle ways with the invasion of Mughals, followed by Afghan and Sikh rule. However, in Dogra rule (1846-1947), on March 16 1846, the British sold the whole of Kashmir to Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu for Rupees 75 lakhs ‘NanakShahi’ under a treaty called “The Treaty of Amritsar”. The land measured 84,471 square miles with a population of 600,000 people. The British had earlier taken the Kashmiri Valley, Ladakh and Gilgit Baltistan from the Sikh rule.
With the Shawlbafs (Shawlweavers) uprising, against the exploitative work system and the heavy taxation levied by the government, which had severely affected their subsistence, health and reduced them to extreme poverty. The weavers would earn around eight rupees a month in which half would be levied as tax. On April 26, 1865, the day of Zaldagar massacre, wherein weavers led a peaceful protest and were marching to old city’s Zaldagar, they did not obey to Dogra Army’s explicit order to disperse, the troops fired indiscriminately, leaving 28 dead and over 100 injured.
This was the first organized protest for demands in the history of class struggle in Kashmir which played a significant role in the social, political and economic history of Kashmir.
A Lieutenant of British Indian Army, Robert Thrope (1838-1868), visited Kashmir in 1865 during Maharaja Ranbir Singh’s rule and documented the sufferings of Kashmiri people after extensively travelling the villages and gathering data on living conditions, taxation and economy of Kashmir. His writings have been compiled to a book “Cashmere Government” published in 1870. He was killed by Maharaja’s forces. He is said to have married a Kashmiri woman, Amiran of Sugen village of TosaMaidan.
Every year July 13, is observed as ‘Martyrs Day’ in Kashmir. This is observed in the remembrance of twenty-one civilians who were killed when the Dogra Army opened fire on a crowd protesting the arrest of Abdul Qadeer Khan, an associate of Jamaal-ud-din Afghani, outside Srinagar’s Central Jail on July 13, 1931. He had come to Kashmir to catalyze masses against the despotic rule of Maharaja and had been arrested following a fiery speech against the regime. The massacre marks the beginning of Kashmir’s political struggle.
September to November 1947, in resistance to Maharaja’s accession to India over 300000 Muslims were massacred in Jammu and as many as 123 villages were depopulated.
A massive protest against the molestation of women during a search operation in Chota bazaar of Srinagar, the troops opened indiscriminate fire killing over 50 demonstrators in Gaw Kadal Massacre on January 20 1990.
Likewise, the succession of heroic movements of resistance from time to time against the tyranny has without a fail resulted in massacres. Twenty-six civilian protesters were killed on January 25, 1990, in North Kashmir’s Handwara after they were fired upon allegedly by troops, which is locally known as Handwara Massacre.
Hawal massacre on May 21, 1990 killing 56 civilians when the body of Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq was taken for the funeral after his killing. The list of events of resistance is long and arduous, and the subsequent massacres in Sopore (1993), Bijbehara (1993), Wandhama (1998) Chattisinghpora, Pathribal, and Barakpora (2000), Nadimarg (2003) et al.
Our resilience continues, for instance the turmoil in 2008 and 2016, we still protest against the rape incidents of KunanPoshpora, and Shopian, protest against day-to-day killings and the list goes endless!
Kashmir is condensed to a war-torn zone. Given our history of persistent resistance which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, agony and despair are the heaviest burdens, we carry in our bosom. Punitive experience of unprecedented armed struggle, tyranny, subjugation, killings with day-to-day violations of human rights are normalized. Furthermore, with the impunity provided by the law, the violations remain amplified. With the accused being the investigator, the prosecutor and the judge, the doors to the justice stand closed.
The run of resistance that Kashmiris have consistently offered from time to time have been systematically erased from the annals of history. There are reported incidences of burning down literature by troops, taking down content from the web and limiting the reach of content vis-à-vis struggle to a certain geography to strategically coerce the discourse. What cannot be contained is the conversational and expressive dimension to it. The individual and collective sacrifices made by the people have shaped the history, present and the future of Kashmir. We affirm we will not remember every detail; nevertheless, resistance is in our genes and essentially shapes us to Kashmiris. The fierce attempts to distort and erasure of the history of resistance cannot yield results, as long as it runs in our genetic-memory. There lies the continuity to the discourse and triumph. Fundamentally, TosaMaidan resistance is an offshoot of what we have inherited from our ancestors – resistance, with a registered victory in the history of resistance in Kashmir.
The strategy involved in TosaMaidan resistance was devised judiciously – with both the long-term and short-term approaches. The earlier discussions started 2007 onwards and we began acquiring the information on the grounds of the establishment of TosaMaidan firing range and the related information, with the help of the right to information law in 2009, which is otherwise obscure in Kashmir.
We designed every step of every kind of resistance with the help of the community of TosaMaidan. The support of the community shaped to TosaMaidan Bachav Front-TBF. TBF was involved in planning and implementation be it sit-ins, mass demonstrations, holding of seminars, meetings, press briefings, etc. The long struggle took different forms and shapes according to the circumstances. For five years, we resisted inside the four walls of the room and in the last quarter of 2014, when the ground was laid, we resist openly. Tactics, techniques and methodologies changed on a weekly or monthly basis, without the ultimate objective, which is the closing down of firing range.
This book will take you to the journey of resistance in the form of campaigns, hard resolves, dangers, persecution, on the blood-laden street of revived spirits, to register the victory against the Army might. The struggle is divided into two phases, “TosaMaidan Liberation Struggle” and “TosaMaidan Conservation Struggle”, of which the liberation struggle has successfully concluded in 2014. November 2014 ahead the conservation struggle initiated and will continue until the community-driven adventure and rural tourism is not implemented in letter and spirit, to ensure the sustainability of this tourism model by the community conserving the environment. The grassroots movement stayed true to its basis of foundation, faithful to its promise.

In resistance,
Dr Shaikh Ghulam Rasool
Founder & Chief Patron- TosaMaidan Bachav Front | Co-Convenor-NCPRI India | Patron & Chairperson- J&K RTI Movement
Mobile: 9419071284

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