Much Ado about Nothing
The report is just a bagful of contradictions
It has turned out, what it was meant to be…much ado about nothing, as poet laureate of the Mughal Court; Mirza Assadullah Khan Ghalib would put it:
Buhat shoor suntay thay pahloo mai’n dilka
Joo chera tau ek katrai khoon nikla
The interlocutors have however taken good care to cover and contain the outfall. The role of media and journalists in the state stands criticized for what the report calls “inventing events for political game”. And the interlocutors have had the cheek to suggest a short-term training to “hone their reporting and writing skills”. If it is meant to be a course on reporting and writing on dotted lines, rather than remain rooted in putting forth the predominant sentiment, the journalistic community in the state would be better served with the skills that they possess in good measure. Serving peace is however a different ball game. Journalistic community in Kashmir, like co-professionals in any part of the global village is well versed with their duties and responsibilities. It is well understood that promotion of violence in any form hurts sacred causes and resolution of ‘K’ issue is a sacred cause. It has to be a matter of faith not only for those affected by a festering sore with all the pain they have to bear, but also for all right thinking people living anywhere in the global village.
The report proposes that all central Acts and Articles of the Constitution of India extended to the State after the 1952 Delhi Agreement should be reviewed. This does not mean a pure and simple return to the pre-1953 situation. If it does not mean, what the report calls ‘a pure and simple return to the pre-1953 situation’ what is proposed to be gained by ‘reviewing central Acts and Articles of the Constitution of India extended to the State after the 1952 Delhi Agreement’? Doesn’t it amount to report being a bagful of contradictions…a parrot like repetition of what Delhi’s ‘Big Ben’ notes ‘Clock cannot be turned back?’. It cannot be turned back as much water has flown down Ganga, Jamna and Saraswati. What flows down Jhelum is the dream, the aspiration of the people of J&K State, desperately trying to get their act together…the flow continues. The flow there and here has no meeting point, unfortunately none found so far, withstanding what the interlocutors propose.
The report points to the dual character of J&K state, taking it as an integral part of India, with a special status enshrined in Article 370 of the Constitution of India. Article 370 in a constitutional review since the fateful events of 1947 has failed to provide provision for constitutional re-construction of a relationship that has gone haywire in pursuing a narrow nationalistic agenda. Gulzari Lal Nanda, former Indian Home Minister, back in sixties called article 370 a tunnel that could be used to erode autonomy by pushing in legislation after legislation to get the desired result. While as other measures to get the desirable would entail constitutional amendment, using article 370 needed just a ‘Presidential Order’. How could a constitutional provision meant to build trust be used to subvert the very trust enshrined in it? How could it be justified, as it belies the faith invested in it? And the moralist, the statesman, the international icon-Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru called article 370 a shell that has been emptied of contents. Article 370 has long ceased to be sweetener, good enough to take away the bitterness that has crept into constitutional relationship, as the shell stands emptied of its contents.
Whatever Article 371 might entail vis-a vis northeastern states and whatever the new sweetener is supposed to provide for Kashmir, it all gets related ultimately to India’s security concerns. Security concerns reign supreme and put into shade the aspirations of people living in India’s periphery, what some analysts like to call India’s ‘soft underbelly’. As interlocutors have made clear the review by constitutional committee should safeguard India's sovereignty in J&K and the nation's security interests.
The mighty Indian nation—an emerging world power might have addressed and attained its security, the question remains—did Kashmir attain “its internal tranquility and existence of stable government” which Nehru considered vital to the security of India? Or would the interlocutors report provide for it. Your guess could be as good as mine!
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
(Feedback on:Iqbal.email@example.com. For full text visit greaterkashmir.com)
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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