No false hopes
Kashmir needs something that is truly sincere
IMPRESSIONS BY UDAY SHANKER
For a moment, please give Kashmir a break. It deserves to be free of theories and sermons. It is fed up with the formulas. It wants a real life. The people there want an end to being seen as playthings in the hands of political leaders sitting in their drawing rooms and speaking from the comfort of having no idea of what a death in life means.
Kashmir, it is clear now, wants an end to a host of theories and formulas floated by so-called experts, who have their own agenda of selling themselves at the national end international level. Recognizing and feeling pain of the people is an emotion and speaking on it at seminars and TV panel discussions is quite a different thing. Those who cannot feel pain can only draw roadmaps suiting them.
No one is clued in Delhi or Srinagar as to how to move forward. All of them are floating trial balloons, hoping that this would keep hopes of the people alive and they can buy time. It is not going to be that way. The time for false hopes is over. It is as simple as that. There is no need to emphasise this point because those sitting at the helm of affairs have failed to deliver so far and if they repeat the mistakes of the past, the results would be far more serious than have been experienced so far.
In fact, the deadly combination of a political class indifferent to the basic thought process of the people of Kashmir has contributed to what is happening today. They should be aware that any more games of playing games would be suicidal. Kashmiris deserved a better way of life with all their political, economic, and more importantly, the right to live a safe life. The people are not having any of these elements. Such a vacuum is where frustration and anger breed and then fill the space for ever.
Now, when Delhi is making noise of looking forward on Kashmir, what it is not doing is to unshackle itself of the traditional outlooks and formulas. It does call Kashmiris “our own people”, but nothing is happening to substantiate these sweet-sounding words. For are “ own people”, there is no hesitation in taking steps. Today, what appears is that a theatre of absurd is unfolding all the time.
New Delhi should shun its aid- giving attitude. Indeed, the populace in the Valley is marooned. Luckily, not by a natural disaster. But unfortunately, it is a victim of man-made disaster.
A common discourse in New Delhi is that Kashmiris have a typical habit of getting excited. They are described as people with “ soda water reaction”, which goes up fast and then fizzles within a minute.Another thing is that any action of the people in the Valley is never seen as something ingenuous. It has to have foreign roots. Those can be traced either to the immediate neighbhour or to distant lands. It is projected as if the whole world is using Kashmiris as a plaything, and the Kashmiris are a willing partners to their self- destruction. It is given out that all what Kashmiris need is a government job and the whole thing would be smooth thereafter. Indeed, the sense that one gets from the Valley is that the youth are asking for jobs and they need to occupy themselves.
But is that the only reason? If that was the case, the government employees should not have been sending their children to streets to join protests. Had that been the case, the people should have jumped with joy as and when there were announcements of filling vacancies. If the six lakh youth of the valley were to get jobs, then the whole problem should disappear. That should not be a big problem for the government of India. It is spending an astronomical amount in Kashmir on the security forces and also as part of economic package. The burden on the state exchequer in providing employment to youth would be peanuts as compared to that. Delhi should do all this without even a second’s delay. Will that be the end of the problem.
No, is the answer. It has to be a political solution. But what sort of political solution. There is a huge debate on the issue. An endless stream of arguments and counter arguments has been going on, and still there is no way forward. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was still looking “elusive starting point”. Sixty three years down the line, the starting point is not in sight, it can be anyone’s guess that how long will it take to find a solution to the problem.
The fact remains that even Kashmiri leadership has never pondered its own contradictions, day in and day out. The developments in Kosovo – a land hundreds of miles away from the Vale- were noticed by Kashmiri leadership and media almost instantly. The parallels were drawn. But the solutions were not offered. They spoke of East Timor, but the solutions were not thrown at the table. And, Delhi loved it. The problem has another solution – Punjab experiment. Punjab and Kashmir are two different situations. These are not going to offer any solution. The only thing they can do is to add to the confusion.
It is not time to give a false hope to Kashmiris. They have seen through the falsehoods. The leaders who cannot stand even for smallest of small things cannot be expected to deliver on a larger issues which demand real-life experience, intelligence and connect, not just the rhetoric. This should be understood by one and all.
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Lastupdate on : Mon, 6 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 6 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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