The question of Kashmir
How can they run the show successfully
VIEWPOINT BY AMIT KUSHARI
I feel sorry to notice the helplessness of Shri Omar Abdullah in removing or diluting AFSPA from the relatively peaceful areas of J&K like the districts of Jammu, Kathua, Budgam and Srinagar. In fact there never was any need for this draconian law in the districts of Jammu and Kathua. Just because these two districts (now perhaps three?) are a part of J&K the law was enforced there also. I also felt sorry for him when he could not pass a resolution in J&K assembly recommending pardon to Mr. Afzal Guru. When Tamilnadu assembly unanimously recommended granting of pardon to the Rajiv Gandhi killers, Mr. Abdullah had stated--if Tamilnadu assembly can do it why can't J&K assembly do it for Afzal Guru? When I read this I was surprised. Doesn't the CM of J&K realise his limitations? Tamilnadu is a state for Tamils and Tamils only. There the DMK and the AIADMK (both Tamil parties) may be baying for each others blood --but when it comes to the question of honour of Tamilians all the warring parties come together and sink all their differences. The poor Kashmiris don't have even a state to themselves, not to speak of a separate country. The J&K state (the Indian portion) has 125 lakh people but only 75 lakhs are Kashmiris. There is no separate Kashmir state for these 75 lakhs of people. The remaining 50 lakhs of people have nothing to do with Kashmiriyat. In fact all their ideals and ideologies are diametrically opposite to the view points of the Kashmiris. Their views are very similar to the views of other Indians. They invariably vote for Nationalist Indian parties like BJP, Congress or Panthers party. The average Indian does not support abolition of AFSPA from Kashmir, and wants Afzal Guru to be hanged from the nearest lamp post. If anybody pleads for the Kashmiris he is seen as a traitor for the Indian nation. If Kashmiris are tyrannised. they feel it is an act of patriotism. All around me I always hear (readers may please forgive me for plain speaking) , ''they deserve to be beaten up---they are not loyal to India".The MLAs of Jammu and Ladakh who enter the J&K assembly- too could have similar ideas and they will never support any pro Kashmir move. In the presence of these 30 /35 MLAs the Chief Minister of J&K can never get Disturbed Areas Act removed, AFSPA curtailed or Afzal Guru pardoned. The two prominent Kashmiri parties NC and PDP are always at each others throats and can never get Kashmiri aspirations translated to reality. Not to speak of Azaadi, Kashmiris can't get even a little bit of more autonomy in this scenario--unless the Government of India, on its own, shows some generosity. No one can aspire to become CM of J&K without making an alliance with a nationalist party like Congress or BJP--such is the arithmetic in the Assembly. In other words, the government of India, whether UPA or NDA, will always poke their nose in the J&K affairs.
If the Kashmiris really want to pursue their aspirations and ambitions, NC, PDP, Hurriyat and JKLF must work in unison for achieving a Kashmir state within the boundaries of India. If such a state is ever achieved Kashmiri as a language and Islam as a religion could get top priority even in a plural, secular country like India. Kashmiri could be made the medium of instruction in all schools and the Kashmir constitution could ensure that laws which violate the basic tenets of Islam would be declared null and void. This is an achievable goal and one could bargain with the Government of India for this.
(Amit Kushari (IAS Retd) is former Financial Commissioner, J&K. He may be contacted at 09748635185, or mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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