Saturday, August 20th, 2022 04:38:04

The Kashmir Tangle: Road to Future

By Prof. Tapan R. Mohanty
Updated: November 1, 2021 1:25 pm

The fate of Kashmir is inextricably interlined with the future of India, not only in terms of the international ambitions of an aspirational India but also of a matter of emotion for a billion of Indians.  The idea of India cannot be complete without the integration of Kashmir, the problem of Kashmir has been also a problem of conflict resolution. Interestingly, there is a paradox of integration and isolation as far as the link between the rest of India and Kashmir is concerned. The history of Kashmir is the history of India, both an ancient and modern. In this article an attempt has been made to examine this issue from analytical perspective.

The recent targeted killing of Hindus in Kashmir points out to macabre design of Islamic terrorism and the planning of ISI. There have been targeted killings of Hindus in Kashmir but they were largely Pandits but the recent killing of migrant labourers and a Sikh woman and Hindu teacher shows the deep-rooted prejudice and a systematic approach to Islamize Kashmir. And in this sense the terrorists have succeeded because the Kashmir Pandits who were willing to come back to valley, their home land, have forced to shelve their return plans and an exodus of migrant labourers have started taking place. It is indeed praiseworthy and a matter of success than within 72 hours of killing of innocents the terrorists have been neutralized by the security forces. But the question is what it has happened now and what can be done to immediately and in the long run to bring normalcy back in Kashmir.



The reason behind this attack on migrant labourers, Hindus and Sikhs points out to the fast normalization of Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 and trifurcation of erstwhile state of J&K. The increasing isolation of separatists, largely scale political consensus and acceptance of public of the intentions of the government has certainly upset the applecart of India haters, Jehadi elements and Pakistan. The increasing isolation of Pakistan in global for a and its failure to bring Kashmir into international negotiation table coupled with rising stock of India in comity of nations due its political stability and economic development has threatened the narrative. The failures had certainly a desired impact in terms of Indian advantage in controlling terrorism and ensuring development of Kashmir but the return of Taliban and belligerence of China has certainly provided an impetus to Pakistan and Jehadi elements to act in calibration by disturbing the peace in Kashmir.

But it also needs to be noted that when Gujrat riot took place there were more criticism in India than from the World but the same is not happening in case of violation of human rights of Muslims in Uighur, Hindus in Bangladesh or moderates in Afghanistan, this does unmistakably point out the existence of a strong anti- India lobby both within and outside the country. The government has withstood this onslaught and offshoots of its decisive and dynamic steps primarily because it has an absolute majority in Parliament and its leader has received absolute trust. But for a common man it is difficult to know that the same political parties who were shouting from the rooftops about the violation of human rights and occasional communal fracs as a result of assertion of Hindu majoritarian ideology have gone completely about these incidents. The brutal killing of a dalit Sikh in Singhu has also got off from the radar quietly as it does not pay political dividends for even political parties who claim allegiance to esepcailly to dalits their identity and welfare. This actually shows the callousness and culpability of our national and regional parties in putting vested interest ahead of national interest.

However, one thing has come out very openly that Kashmir problem is not a problem of political dissatisfaction, nativity or aspiration for development, it is essentially a problem of terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and ethnocentrism. If there was some sense of humanity then Hurriyat, Jammat or the so called group of political parties signatories to Gupkar would have condemned it categorically. Neither Mamta, nor Stalin, neither left nor Brother-Sister duo ran to Kashmir to be at the site of massacre sharing the grief. It is also a matter of great shame that our secular-intellectual -liberals did not find time to write their open letter or our media barons including Barkah-Sardeep-Sagarika-Ravish gang came out with open eds. If ordinary people and patriots of the country are still failing to see the shenanigans and fountainheads political opportunism and Hindu hatred then nothing can save the nation.

But the most important part is how do we tackle these issues. My suggestion is not just simply barricading the border or increasing army presence or surveillance but making systematic efforts to increase the presence of larger number of Indians in Kashmir by establishing industries, developing rail, air and road network, supporting local Hindu and Sikh businessmen, establishing railway regional headquarter, training centres for paramilitary forces, centralizing Kashmir police, and of course, opening film cities for Bollywood.

However, being an optimist, I have tremendous faith in central administration, the army and paramilitary forces, the Kashmir police lead by the amiable Mr. Vijay Kumar, the IG of Kashmir to ensure peace and stability and Kashmir. This will bring a new dawn, needless to add, we just simply cannot abandon the crown of India, land of Kashyap and the centre of Hindu learning and literature, the context of Rajtatarangini. It is time to be together and strengthen the hands of patriotic forces and ensure the unity and integrity of the country.

By Prof. Tapan R. Mohanty

(The author is the Dean, Department of Distance Education and Professor of Sociology of Law at National Law Institute University, Bhopal. The views are personal.)

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