Sadly, Kashmir is a place for trying out absurd plans
FREEZE FRAME BY SYEDA AFSHANA
Aptly said: ‘In the war of ideas, it’s people who get killed.’ Wars are simply clashes of ideological dogmas and subsequent turnovers. Nothing really interests history except escapades of those who manoeuvre history. This has been the harsh lesson.
Using the various combinations of instruments of power as a means to defeat ever-evolving situation in Kashmir, is not a new phenomenon.
History tells us about the creation of force comprising Razakars/Volunteers in the wake of Qabali foray into Kashmir post 1947. Razakars, meant for ‘security and surveillance’, eventually dabbled in family matters and rivalries. Before this band of force could absolutely go out of control, it was packed off with many of the Razakar being absorbed in government service where from they even got elevated to higher positions.
Another instance is that of infamous Peace Brigade formed during Bakhshi’s rule in Kashmir post 1953. Also known as Khoftun Fakirs and nicknamed as 29—15(kuntreh-pundeh), this force was a symbol of brute coercion meant to intimidate people.
In late 90’s, the raising up of armed groups, called as Renegades, was again an indication of tackling Kashmir through counterinsurgency(COIN) campaign strategy.
The proposed private security service is the latest from the Home Ministry. That there are hundred and one questions that could be asked about this novel scheme, one wonders how many recipes are pending experimentation in PC’s kitchen of paradoxes. The political discourse, on the one hand, is traversing the so-called quiet diplomacy and on the contrary, there are disquieting developments like the CBI’s Shopian report, and of late this security service which seems as nothing but a secret service with no accountability and unbridled powers to perform that which the regular police force has not been able to do. Or is it that unexplained, unnamed, unidentified and ambiguous businesses of policing need outsourcing to ward off the gaze of international community? The comparisons being made to US and its agencies in Iraq and elsewhere are too obvious to show the ultimate rationale behind all this.
Trying out crackpot plans in Kashmir seems compulsory. Small wonder, Kashmir falls under the category of such historical ‘redemption’. It is USP (Unique Selling Point) for many who morph it in their own exclusive way. That’s why preposterous theories are dished out; clichéd justifications are dotted in.
Apart from chop-logic offered ad nauseum to experiment with the troubling mystery called Kashmir, the COIN techniques are consistently afforded institutional agility to build tactical success. From expanding and diversifying police force to population monitoring and pervasive psychological operations (Psy-Ops), the line of separation between a counterinsurgency and stability operations has, however, been blurred. More than two decades into armed conflict, the ‘strategic blunders’ continue to complicate the K-issue.
In fact, it seems that concerted efforts have been unleashed to render the things in Kashmir anarchic. There is a structural onslaught to make state-of-affairs messy. The civil population is gradually being trapped as an important player in internal warfare. The ensuing strife is most probably aimed at breeding a kind of hoodlum combat.
There seems an intricate and baffling blend of politics and perversion at work. While projecting the so-called ‘generosity’ in the name of confidence building or any other rebuilding measure, the people at the helm of affairs seem actually exposing their hypocrisy. Making rash decisions, the policy makers and planners embark on silly schemes justifying their uselessness and inconsequentiality. Nonetheless, the conditions in Kashmir remain challenging for them. They enjoy their political wilderness without any set ethical purlieus. Kashmir is their fort. They fight their battle of interests with ingenuity and a class of finesse for keeping their ‘jobs’ intact. Zeroing in their ridiculous plans/ideas, they proclaim knowledge of Kashmir dynamics more than the commoners here who alone face the brunt.
All said, Kashmir continues to breathe. And it has to. For if it dies, numerous funerals will follow. Many shops will stop trading, many stores will go bust. There will be no market for absurd plans. The ‘halo mafia’ will peter out. Money will ebb, mysteries will explode. However, that seems highly unlikely since symbiotic survival guides the latter-day world, and writhing Kashmir makes just a tiny fraction of it.
(The author teaches at Media Education Research Centre, MERC, Kashmir University)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jan 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jan 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jan 2010 00:00:00 IST
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