The ongoing crisis in Jammu has many lessons for Kashmiris to learn. What is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. Clearly there are two standards. In the same state two divisions are treated two painfully different ways.
When Kashmir boiled, media had nothing to do but to watch it all happen abiding by all the self-written codes of objectivity and fair-play. Eleven day darkness in Kashmir proved short enough to attract spotlights of Indian media. It didn't find more than a usual slot from Indian television channels. It appeared as if the problem is local awaiting a local solution. Those who profess news value had to invent new theories whereby mayhem in Kashmir could not enjoy more than a minute but a small street burst in Jammu hogged the whole time and space. Reason obvious. Here media is openly pleading a case for Jammu against Kashmir. From the day one of this land transfer row, the way media offered all provocations is abominable. A handful of street boys were projected as campaigners of a great cause. Now the situation reached to this pass when even doctors prefer to relinquish their duty and register their protest against the revocation of land order. It's a pity instead of portraying the honest picture and convincing their fellow citizens about the reality behind the whole affair, even the thinking class of Jammu too has decided to join the bandwagon. The peaceful conduct of yatra in Kashmir does not wake them up or may be it does, but they refuse to accept the truth. The way Kashmiris are being harassed in Jammu raises a question. Imagine Muslim pilgrims in Jammu in such a hostile atmosphere and imagine the level of terror they would have to face. Match it with a trouble free Hindu yatra in Kashmir amid all aggravation. This one example should have answered all questions for Jammuites. But when even doctors, teachers and other such apparently well meaning class of people prove themselves to be no different from a trident brandishing hoodlum, what more can be said. All these days, we experienced no difference in the behaviour of Jammuites of all shades. A serious school of opinion makers has got to be decently different from an unruly mob.
Actually the problem is not with them but with the fate of Kashmiris. Since there is a marked difference between the very status of the two citizens. Kashmiris are subjects, Jammuites citizens. Subjects perform duty, citizens enjoy rights. That is perhaps the reason that after so much of violence in Jammu, protestors are finding it safe enough even to defy curfew, even to block the supply lines, even to fight armed machinery of the state. But in Kashmir every act of resistance whether physical or intellectual is met with force. The privilege of a being a Jammuite allows you to openly announce allegiance towards any political outfit and it no way harms your position as a government servant, but in Kashmir freedom of thought means sedition. Be that academics or other employees in Jammu, the impunity they enjoy is enviable. We are not talking here about the inequal distribution of funds or uneven development of the two regions or the political history of discrimination on other counts, which in certain cases may be exaggerated too, but here the matter is plain. We don't want to float a parallel Kashmir centric slogan which would be fighting parochialism with parochialism. That has always proved inimical to the greater common concern of co-existence. The question here is more rational than emotional.
Jammu has decided to starve Kashmir to death and in this 'holy' mission from media to politics – they borrowed legitimacy from all state sponsored institutions. Whether Kashmir opens up from the backyard to get married to Muzaffarabad will be seen, but the recent events have nailed all colours to the mast. In a universal frame of thinking Jammu and Kashmir do not matter and must not matter, but in a typical political scheme a Rudyard Kipling may love to rephrase his famous line, 'Jammu is Jammu, Kashmir is Kashmir and NEVER the twain shall meet'. We hope it does. We think it won't.