Valley in a transit mode
We are placed somewhere between darkness and light
Today, the discourse about Kashmir is not whether it’s a safe destination for tourists, nor is it about how to rediscover the life for the new generations. It is in a transit mode. It is trying to find its path amid all sorts of uncertainties and promise of new hopes. But it is also not true that the situation has come back to the good old days, when neither tourists nor locals knew no midnight deadline to go back to their hotels and homes. This is a different kind of situation that is being talked about; how to climb the stairs of future, where the Kashmiris sit on the top and rule from there, rather than being ruled.
This difference in the discourse has not come about just because 11 men and women made it to IAS this year, and may be next year the number is doubled. It is also not the byproduct of the “ peace” of the last year. The political leadership has not stopped playing games, so they are not the game changers. But the change has come and the discourse has changed, it has woken the people to new threats, new opportunities and new future- dark or bright.
Indeed, the 2011 is a stepping stone for 2012. How the crowds were managed and how the police and paramilitary forces were trained to convey a concrete message that they were there in the streets, patrolling the pathways, but had no intention to kill or injure any of the protestors, if at all the protests ever reached the level of the 2010 or for that matter uglier days of 2008. It also cannot be said that all this came about without a strategy and sensitivity. It was a sensible and sensitive strategy that delivered this all important message. There were pressures from the ruling coalition, and also the opposition- though the two sides might continue to blame each other, but the fact is known to both the sides that 2011 happened and happened because their hands were guided by the people who had an interest in running the show of Kashmir as a place where arms were opened for tourists and where schools and colleges held regular classes, and were not the source of the protests in streets.
The year 2012 is full of promises and perils. That’s why it’s a transit period, where if the aspirations of the people are allowed to find an expression in debates, seminars, and a capacity is developed to hear and bear the counter argument with the similar round of applause, if the arguments are convincing enough, the things will change for the better. It is always easy to find a way forward in cool atmosphere, rather than in surcharged one. Tourists will come and go, but the problem needs a solution, and that too a lasting one. Time and again, looking toward what Islamabad’s first step would be, is like proposing a self –defeating idea. Or, for that matter, same is true of Delhi. A simple question would answer everything : “ If Shah Faesal of Kashmir can top the civil services exam and others follow him with the same spirit and zeal and achieve success, can’t the same logic be applied to other issues.” Some would contest this proposition that cracking IAS is one thing and finding a political solution is an all together different. Sure enough. But the process is same, you have to work hard and remain focused. This message should travel from mere rhetoric, whether at the public gatherings, or congregations to the grassroots level. The people need to be involved. They alone can tell you the way forward – if the government and the Opposition could hold meetings of panches and sarpanches – and interact with them in a calm atmosphere and elicit their suggestions, same thing can be repeated for finding an out of box solution. It can happen, be sure of it.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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