We have now had a slew of meetings in Delhi and Srinagar to discuss the present crisis and to find a way out that could restore the normal rhythm of life in Kashmir. We have a handful of statements from Union Home Minister about the situation in Kashmir and how the Centre was to deal with it. We have seen Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talk about it multiple times. Every one who has to do anything with Kashmir, by way of position or influence, has done more than his bit of talking. But none has yielded anything in anyway. From the politicians in the valley to the Ministers in the Union nothing concrete has come out as yet.
At the eve of every meeting or a session in the Parliament people in Kashmir, though with a slender hope, would wait for some announcement from Delhi that could mark some kind of a beginning in meeting the current crisis. But except one disappointment over another nothing has fallen to the lot of this beleaguered people. Now at the occasion of Eid the talk of some ‘Eid Package’ was rife and people thought that at least for the sake of symbolism and political wisdom New Delhi will announce some measure that could assuage the frayed minds and give political process a slight chance to breathe. With a sense of anxiety, though again with marginal expectation, people kept their fingers crossed. Eid came and went by, but not even a leaf rustled.
Things stood firmly in the lands of denial. Though it was at the very day Eid fell that Kashmir witnessed renewed tension with people marching down to Lal Chowk where an incident of burning some government offices changed the complexion of things. Then after a day there was a meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security and the focus of it all was AFSPA, Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act. The J&K Chief Minister had a hectic day as a run up to this meeting trying to nibble at a concession in the form of a partial withdrawal of this Act, or some amendment in this Act, by meeting Sonai Gandhi and P Chidambaram.
In Kashmir though the centre of attention had changed from what will be the outcome of the CCS meeting to the huge loss of lives in the length and breadth of the Valley, but still some eyes would stealthily stare at the CCS outcome. May be New Delhi takes a benign look at the things and as a symbolic gesture appears as ready to reach out to the people of this Valley. But once the meeting was over and the only thing that came out of it was known – that the AFSPA would stay unchanged- people’s cynicism towards such meetings was the only victor. This time around even the Chief Minister was a disappointed soul.
With his options becoming as narrow as it could rarely get the talk of National Conference meeting to take a decision on whether to continue in the chair or not is out in the open. Though there is still a phone call from P Chidambaram that has momentarily frozen the frame till the All Party Meeting happens, but certain things have come clearly on the surface. The hawks in the opposition have actually prevailed over the Government at New Delhi over everything that pertains to Kashmir.
UPA government seems to be absolutely reluctant, to put it mildly, in taking any decision on Kashmir as long as the right wing parties are pressing for their ideological agenda on Kashmir. It means that politics in India, of votes and power, has intractably come in the way of a solution to the crisis in Kashmir. The way right wing forces in India are talking belligerence in the context of Kashmir, and the way it’s being received by the UPA government is only bound to strengthen the constituency of extremism in this region. That is the most saddening thing to happen. One can still hope that wisdom doesn’t elude New Delhi and it comes up with a people friendly solution to the present crisis. Nevertheless, the hope has turned as dim as darkness.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 14 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 15 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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