Convergence of politics and Kashmir—II

Published at April 21, 2017 12:09 AM 0Comment(s)4056views

Areas which remained normal are becoming dangerously disturbed owing to the developing trend in youth 

Convergence of politics and Kashmir—II

Fayaz Ganie

Now to Kashmir dispute, the oldest dispute on the United Nations Agenda, a major threat to the existence of the world and the subcontinent in particular.

This dispute is gaining complexity with each passing day precisely due to the lack of sincere efforts on part of the parties concerned, and the world institutions, to find out an amicable solution to the problem.

The recent happenings in Kashmir can be cited as warning signs suggestive of very tough times for all the parties to the dispute, especially for the people of Kashmir, if immediate steps are not initiated in deescalating the tensions and tempers.

In the recently held by-polls the Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency witnessed an unprecedentedly low percentage of votes polled. The violence on the day of voting killed eight people and several were injured, making this perhaps the first election in the history of Kashmir where life and limb suffered such heavy losses.

At many places the violent acts were recorded and circulated through social media, once the internet was restored after the elections. The videos redoubled the anger of the already angry people thereby making things even more precarious for the people of Kashmir. A simple spark can set things out of control. 

The most worrying thing is the loss of fear factor in Kashmir. Kashmiri youth have given up fear, they don’t fear death anymore. When people give up the fear of death no force on the earth can encage such people, they can’t be silenced and the only way to silence them is by extinguishing the spark of their life.

This latter seems the only tactic that is being employed by the government of the State and that of the Centre against them. No other peaceful way is thought of and worked out by the people at the helm of the affairs and the only thing which never works but is resorted to again and again by the authorities is the internet gag in Kashmir.

Things unfolding in Kashmir in the last couple of years clearly indicate that all the previous strategies by India, and other parties, have thus far yielded a simple naught.

The iron hand used by the Indian security agencies to fight militancy has not bore fruits for them the way they would have liked.

No doubt they have eliminated thousands and thousands of militants, alongwith the, deliberate or unintentional, killings of many more innocent civilians, but militancy is there and it can be said that it is there today in a more invigorated form. 

The current day militants are so ideologically motivated and steadfast that all gains of Indian security agencies are negated.

Frankly the support that militants have gained in Kashmir is something beyond the imaginations and expectations of the Indian establishment. 

Today the youth are ready to sacrifice their lives to fight any injustice. At every encounter site desperate attempts are made by these youth to save the militants because they think the militants are there for justice to fight the injustices of India and the instruments of India.

The areas which remained comparatively normal even during 1990s of the last century are becoming dangerously disturbed owing to the developing trend in youth.

Another explicit thing is that the Indian establishment seems unmoved and sticks to its haughty, egoistic and failed attitude. They are not ready to introspect and see through an unbiased, unprejudiced and clear prism. In order to show their achievements they keep on committing human rights violations.

Suppression seems the only way they know to deal with such delicate issue as Kashmir is and in order to save and salvage their image they end up committing graver human rights violations.

They never realize that coercion, force, threats and intimidation work to a certain limit and beyond which their continued use backfires and this perhaps is the stage which Kashmir has already crossed a few years ago.

 About the losses, which party is in gain? India which aspires to be a world leader and the permanent member of the United Nations Security Council is not gaining from the dispute. She is suffering materially as well as in terms of men. Only gainers seem to be that minute number of people with some parochial ends but even this group of people could prove to be losers if the dispute takes, God forbid, an ugly turn.

Anyhow, the image of the country is dented by the unresolved Kashmir problem and this is a big stumbling block in her march towards becoming the permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Pakistan is not gaining either. She overtly or covertly suffers the same losses as India does. The unresolved Kashmir issue and consequent the enmity between India and Pakistan can be said to have caused more harms to Pakistan than that India suffers.

The brutal terrorism that Pakistan faces has direct or indirect links with this enmity between these two neighbors of subcontinent. Unfortunately in Pakistan also there seems to be present a section of people who are quite happy with the way things go.

Coming to the losses that Kashmir is suffering, they are all around. In the recent past the losses acquired gargantuan proportions. The extent of losses to the life of Kashmiris can be gauged by the fact that in most of the cases when a militant dies, he is Kashmiri, when a policeman dies he is Kashmiri and when common Kashmiris die they are Kashmiris even when people from army and other security agencies die, they also turn out to be Kashmiris in some cases. It seems the guns and bullets have been programmed to specifically strike the Kashmiris only, even in their strayed states.

The other losses that Kashmir suffers are by no means less important. There are economic losses, losses to education and losses to health, losses to social and cultural ethos and all other areas of individual and collective life. It is these losses which have given rise to every type of insecurity besides the insecurity of life.

The economy is insecure and uncertain, the people associate with agriculture and horticulture suffer the same fate, the professionals are unsure about the outcomes of their professions and the educationists and student community is uncertain about the prospects of their efforts. 

 In short, every party suffers due unresolved Kashmir issue but the unfortunate thing is that the parties, though reasonable enough, become unreasonable and unrealistic when it comes to finding solutions to the dispute.

The unwillingness of India to give up her inflexible and rigid attitude, Pakistan’s way of dealing with the problem as per the demands of her domestic politics and scattered nature of the political parties and political formulations in Kashmir – where each party claims to be the real representatives of the people which is contested by the other parties and vice versa – are the main bottlenecks which come in the way of finding an acceptable and lasting solution to the problem.

It is these realities about Kashmir and Kashmir dispute which lay great responsibility upon those politicians whose only concern is the universal interests of the people of the region and the world at large. They should rise above party lines and work to serve the interests which satisfy all the people and parties. This way only the grave insecurity and threat of extermination felt by Kashmiri people can be changed into security and surety of honorable existence. 

The hard posturing of the parties to the dispute, both externally and internally should end and end now. There is no shame in accepting a truth which saves all, even though it may temporarily hurt some false prestige and fake egos, which actually deserve to be hurt.

In order to find out the points of convergence from which the parties to the dispute could start moving towards a solution, it is imperative to find out the positions of these parties. Starting from India, she claims Kashmir as her integral part along with the part occupied by Pakistan. Pakistan holds the diametrically opposite position and calls Kashmir as her Jugular vein.

In Kashmir the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) holds the same position as is that of the Central government. The National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hold the positions which suit their brand of politics; they are inconsistent in their policies and position. In power they speak one language and out of power they speak the complete opposite of that.

In Hurriyat Conference there are people who like a merger with Pakistan, there are others who want freedom, there are people who are undecided whether they want merger with Pakistan or freedom and there are those who remain tight lipped about their assertions and aspirations.

But one thing common about all these parties though is that they prefer peaceful methods of conflict resolution. The army and militants on the other hand resort to violence against each other to achieve their ends.

It is explicit from the respective positions of the parties to the dispute that the positions are not only different but they also seem incompatible and conflicting. The hopes of conciliation, convergence and cooperation get diminished under such circumstances.

And, to be realistic the hopes are at their lowest in the current chaotic conditions where each party is steadfastly holding its stated, consistent or inconsistent, stand.

However, as is said that the dawn breaks out only after the darkest period of night and in the same way there are ways where the parties can come together to find out the lasting solution to the vexed dispute. The ways are discussed in the subsequent section. 



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