Resolution through peace and dignity

BOOK REVIEW

Last week in south Kashmir, amongst a scholarly audience, Rao Farman Ali’s book titled “Jammu Kashmir- Resolution through reconciliation for peace and dignity” was released. A three hundred page book has an attractive get up and a collage sensibly conceived on the cover page within the map of the valley showing forces, wailing women, mass protests and a solitary hand symbolizing the sign of victory. The foreword of the book has been written by Dr.W.E.Begley Professor Emeritus of South Asian History University of Iowa (U.S.A.). The Learned Professor while complementing the work has opined “that the author on some occasions has betrayed his irritation and impatience with those factions and vested interests that continue to fan the flames of conflict, but on the whole he makes an impassioned plea for reconciliation and concord”. The book opens with a couplet by John Donne-
                                                         No man an island                     
                                                         Entire of itself
                                                         Each is a piece of a continent
                                                         A part of the main. 
                                                         Every man’s death diminishes me
                                                         For I am involved in mankind, 
                                                         therefore, never send to know
                                                         For whom the bell tolls
                                                         It tolls for thee.          
Mr. Farman has done a commendable job .Though not being a professional historian; he has touched a sensitive as well as a complicated issue and has been finally able to convey a message vis-à-vis the resolution of Kashmir dispute. It is really encouraging that South Kashmir soil has started regaining its fertility and is rediscovering its academic excellence. Sometime back Iqbal a renowned Kashmiri poet came up with his collection ‘Rooh Te Riyaz’. It was really a treat for heart and soul. In his verses one would find glimpses of Faiz Ahmad Faiz. Last time it was Basharat Peer who in his book `Curfewed Nights’ narrated the tale of subjugation and suffering in a touching literally style. Shafi Chaman an artist bagged a state award for his paintings. A good number of local dailies have appeared on the scene. The author of the book under discussion is editing an English weekly ‘On the Track’ and is covering diverse subjects with special emphasis on peace and conflict. The atmosphere over here is turning quiet attractive.

The author in the present work has devoted a considerable portion of the book in compiling various resolutions, agreements, pacts, plans, and treaties signed from time to time in relation to the Kashmir problem. The material can be of good use to the scholars perusing research work in the field of Kashmir studies. Mr. Farman is having a genuine concern for an early settlement of the dispute. He desperately wants to escape from the conflict. In these circumstances he has seemingly written the present work in a state of haste. Driven by his impulses he has just registered his protest, expecting it to be listened by the oppressors forthwith. Had he taken some more time, the work would have definitely attained a different dimension. The angry young man in Mr. Farman is manifest in the youth across the nook and corner of the valley.

The author has out lined the foreign policies of different influential countries concerning the Kashmir issue.  He has given a brief account of various solutions offered at different levels. Concluding, he has offered an option- Conflict Reconciliation Process through game theory inview of viable step for Reconciliation (VSFR), advocating there in a reconciliation to play a game and achieve a win-win result. The author has not dealt in detail the reservations of the people of Jammu and Ladakh. Similarly the reservations of Muslim belts of Jammu province and that of Kargil region have not been touched in detail. Mysteriously Mr. Farman has not sufficiently elaborated the substance of the four-point formula advocated by Mr. Parvez Musharraf. In spite of these deficiencies the young journalist has worked out a solution, believing possibly that the borders cannot be redrawn with blood.