Reading too much
Much ado about a mere Jethmalani statement
WRITE HAND BY AJAZ UL HAQUE
We have no reason to read too much into Ram Jethmalani's recent statement of comparing Kashmir with Nazi Germany. Statements are always based on an instant impression which holds good in a condition that obtains at that particular time. We don't deny that Kashmir has seen the worst. The hell Kashmiris have been through asks for a name. The wounds of the last year unrest are still fresh in the hearts and minds of people. Whatever happened can be put to different interpretations. Blaming one and exonerating the other won't anyways reduce the enormity of the tragedy that has befallen us all. But political statements are normally thrown out in the backdrop of a political situation. Since Jethmalani belongs to a group which incidentally does not hold reigns at the moment, so his response about Kashmir is likely to get loaded against his rivals. With BJP in power, Kashmir still would have been like Nazi Germany, but in that case he would have resisted saying it like this.
His party, being out of power, has to find out a peg to hang something on. In doing so they always keep searching for something to make a headline. If Kashmir offers that chance, why miss that? Failure of state government is a subject that can be approached through many angles. Ruthless use of force did push the situation out of control and government can't be absolved of the responsibility of protecting the citizens. How violent a demonstration, state machinery is there to control it, not to crush it. The government unfortunately opted for the second option letting the situation go bad to worse. Even at present the bullying continues in the form of deportment or other such coercive tactics of silencing a free opinion.
But that can't always be used as a raw material to craft an argument against a group. If a Ram Jethmalani sees concentration camps in Kashmir, and feels genuinely concerned about the growing presence of men in uniform, that is too weak a premise to be taken for a huge conclusion. One civil society group, one NGO or one Kashmir committee can't encompass the whole gamut of a conflict called Kashmir. Seeing a mere comment as the sign of a bigger `change' is to make too hasty an inference. It has always happened with us and it does happen whenever a new statement is issued in our favour. A Gaddafi throwing a fit or an Obama making a casual remark in response to a question makes us go delirious. No man, how powerful, is powerful enough to make absolute and irrefutable judgements. Neither does a statement vindicate anyone's stand nor does it negate anyone's policy. Every isolated statement translates the emotion of that moment. Palestine and Kashmir, Germany and Kashmir, Bosnia and Kashmir. Comparisons can't always be valid. Stretched to extremes, they turn odious. The paring can't do much except making a good headline that lasts a day. Inferences are drawn on a range of contradicting realities which exist at once and which need be addressed independently. To make an assessment we need to study a range of things and find out meaning from a variety of incoherent impulses. A two day trip can't quiet sum up the two decade old story. An emotion, political or personal, is fleeting. It's too mercurial to be locked up in a statement. One Jethmalani can't be an exception to this rule.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 11 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 11 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 12 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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