Coming out of Conflict mode!
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in his latest column in the newspaper, “First Tahrir Square, Then the Classroom” is a relevant piece that all the people of Kashmir must read and understand that how the real change takes place in the classrooms, and not on the streets. The change in education system, creating a creative environment for learning, is far more important than the sloganeering and flag waving in the streets. I am not quoting anything from Friedman’s column, but I get a sense that something similar can be adopted in Jammu and Kashmir. In a way streets should be left to the tourists and let them have a feel of something that has changed in Kashmir – the challenge of retaining that same relaxation for the tourists in the months to come is still there. Nothing can be taken for granted in this state which has a history of progress and then regress.
Coming back to the point that why Kashmiris should be more friendly to class rooms than to the streets. There innumerable possibilities that can be explored and the goal achieved, which they had been aspiring for years. First of all being in the streets always gives a sense of conflict in one or the other form, and a stage comes when the fellow Kashmiris feel threatened. This scare is not only because of bombs and bullets, stones or other missiles, mere shouting of slogans also has that capacity to put a question mark on the calm that prevails in the Valley – the main attraction for tourists to be in Kashmir, perhaps as much as the beauty of Kashmir offers.
There is a need to come out of the conflict mode. When everything is centered around conflict and when each and every development is liked to the conflict, so much so the evolving peace is also linked to certain parameters of conflict, then there is nothing that can be thought to come out of the conflict mood. There is need to come out of the conflict mindset. This doesn’t mean that there is even the remotest of suggestion that the problem of Kashmir is not there, or it should be forgotten and nothing should move forward. The conflict is there. It makes its presence felt almost everywhere. Imagine Indo-Pak talks on Siachen glacier, where I doubt even a single Kashmiri has visited ever, not even the leaders who talk about the de-escalation of situation on the glacier which has consumed lives and lives and there is no guarantee as to when this tragic phenomenon of mountain of death and disaster would ever come to end. Many deadlines have been missed and the diplomats are very good at setting deadlines, but when it comes to adhering to those, there is equal amount of poverty in that. This is true of diplomats all over the world, no point in criticizing our oriental diplomats who always look forward to follow the western foreign policy guidelines.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is a product of class rooms and not of streets, made an apt comment that how can Siachen talks deliver something if the whole issue of Kashmir is on table. “Glacier is part of Jammu and Kashmir”- no can have any argument to this statement. That is the difference. Only those who believe in the diplomacy and art of diplomacy and know the geopolitical and geo-strategic realities that how the agendas should be set. That cannot be done, nor achieved, through general strikes or any other method. I remember that in 1990s whenever there used to be talk of Indo-Pak secretary level talks, there used to be a strike call and the people would observe that- that was overwhelming support to deliver the message that Kashmiri leadership should be involved in talks. All the “hartals” and marches achieved nothing. The issue is still there. The resolution of the issue requires class room approach. Here again, the class room is not only of the blackboards or computer screens or chairs and tables. This class room of studies and strategies can bring a change, and change for the positive. Take it from me.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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