Violence versus Violence

Violence versus Violence

Violence leaves nothing but destruction and mournful families

Tit-for-tat. Revenge. Vicious cycle of violence. It results only in death. Death, untimely and unfortunate. There are no reasons to celebrate death. It is always woeful and remorseful. Death is always a loss. Boasting of any killings and insanely being proud of them in any number, whether 270 or 49 is per se mournful. Be it Gawkadal massacre that left 50 civilians dead, massacre at Islamia College with 70 causalities, Bijbehara massacre with 51 civilians killed or be it Uri attack that left 19 army men dead and Pulwama attack killing 49 CRPF personnel—violence leaves nothing but destruction and mournful families. Killing of 270 militants and 160 civilians in a year or 49 uniformed men in a jiffy, both are deplorable. 

It seems as a fatal race of body bag count. Death invoking death. Misery mounting misery. Death no longer hovers around. It has a permanent address. It’s here. Yes, the game of politics is ugly to the point of being grotesque. It can endure a deadly war. But it can’t build a life. 

Indian media response to Pulwama attack is no less than whipping war hysteria. Debates, arguments, counter-arguments and opinions related to the attack are aired from almost all the news channels. The news is spiced with misleading commentaries. Some vouch for another surgical strike and others pitching for full fledged war. Talking heads are making rounds from one channel to another with no one perhaps realizing that what war between two nuclear powers means! 

From surgical strike to using iron hand, all experiments have failed in Kashmir. Rather than going for any further offensive in the form of military misadventure or any new insane experimentation over Kashmir, constitutional or otherwise, it is time for all the stakeholders to shun stubborn stands and rise above their political gains, thinking seriously about resolution of this deadly conflict through sustained dialogue.

 India continues to ignore its depressing failure in Kashmir, and so does Pakistan by being blind to its ever-interim response towards K-dispute. The local mainstream politicians, who are actually responsible for the lethal mess here, breathe and breed in denial alone. They have been kowtowing New Delhi version, as their survival continues to be subservient to refuting all sorts of truths about Kashmir. For the separatist leadership, their strategy has never been pragmatic enough to break the deadlock over dying Kashmir. Since 1990s, the gory cycle of killings and sufferings has ended only to commence again, more brutally than ever, after a few intervals of temporary lull.      

Of course, violence becomes the last resort when there is a breakdown of conventional channels of mobilization and expression. When ideological cleavages in politics and suppressed population emerge radically, bloodshed becomes predictable. But as soon as political violence becomes anarchic, it bounces back and becomes a concern for both state and non-state actors, whether armed or unarmed. Their survival and credence takes a beating. In this process, death turns victorious and a vicious circle of intrigue and cruelty fortifies.

Bottomline: Kashmir seeks attention. It seeks redressal. It seeks justice. It cannot be a burial ground eternally. It cannot be an amphitheatre for any totalitarian or electoral politics. It is a live volcano that takes different shapes and forms in its periodic emission. Tragedies from this place are shrouding many individuals and families far, far way. There is ugliness in justifying killings, as equally there is abhorrence in capitalizing on them. Simultaneously, there is need of honest and unprejudiced evaluation of the causes that compel people to severe means of fighting.

s_afsha@yahoo.com