Let us all extend our sincere wishes and greetings to every Indian and Pakistani citizen on the eve of their 68th Independence Days.
But one wonders why should Kashmiris be forced to celebrate 14th or 15th August by either of the governments. If they do so in either part of the Kashmir, it looks like 'beganey shadi mai Abdullah deewana'. No one has ever bothered to ask both the countries that even if Kashmir is your jugular vein or integral part, but from whom Kashmiris got freedom on 14th or 15th August 1947.
Huge army, nuclear weapons and mighty institutions can change geography of a region, but not the pages of history or hearts and minds of people. When united India was fighting British, J&K was an independent sovereign state, no matter who the ruler was. In other words we can say the cause for which people of the sub continent were fighting, people of J&K had already achieved that. Throwing Maharaja out of power was nothing beyond an administrative and internal issue of the state of J&K.
Nobody can deny that when India and Pakistan tasted fruits of their indigenous struggle and got freedom from British, countdown of J&K's freedom started. Both the countries wanted to get Kashmir, whatsoever price it would mean to them. Assuming some part of J&K to have become India's integral part and other jugular vein of Pakistan and stand of Kashmiris seeking Azadi or implementation of UN resolutions to be unrealistic, even then both these governments needed to win hearts and minds of the people. Before asking Kashmiris to celebrate India's republic day, let Indian leadership introspect as why it couldn't win hearts and minds of Kashmiri people.
Every Friday experts and policy makers cry on national TV channels that ISIS and Pakistani flags are being raised in Valley. They have every right to cry but unfortunately do never introspect the causes of anger among Kashmiri youth. They just keep on talking of taking stern action against Kashmiri youth and try to hide their own failure by calling them anti nationals and paid Pakistani agents.
They try to prove themselves lone warriors by abusing all those who show even a bit of anger towards Delhi. For them every Kashmiri who speaks of political resolution to Kashmir issue is anti national. These media made intellectuals never try to find the reason that if in any part of the country government officials turn in huge numbers to participate in Independence Day functions why does J&K government need to issue a circular to its employees to ensure their participation in Independence Day functions.
Nobody in centre or state is able to answer that if militants are terrorists why do people in thousands attend their funerals, despite strict restrictions. Neither they have an argument to justify why highly educated youth join militancy. It seems for GoI just hoisting a tricolour at civil secretariat and few other important places is what is required to call J&K its integral part. State government also cannot justify the pro active role of security agencies in the state simply by calling it Pakistan sponsored insurgency. However contrary to what is happening in this part of Kashmir, Pakistan seems to have far better grip over its part of Kashmir.
At least they don't need to force their employees and people to celebrate Independence Day of Pakistan, neither they observe a strike or black day on 14th August. Indian state claims to have tried everything on ground in Kashmir but the relationship between Delhi and Srinagar has always been just a story of mistrust. Neither New Delhi has been able to strengthen its base in Kashmir nor have Kashmiris been impressed by India's claims of being a secular and democratic country. More Delhi tries to calm down Kashmiris more Kashmiris get alienated.
Unless GoI doesn't stop blaming Pakistan and Hurriyat for its huge failures due to its own misadventures in Kashmir, even God may not help India in Kashmir. It can manage its control in Kashmir but never can conquer it. Anyway, yet again we may see tricolour being hoisted at every district and Tehsil amid impressive and colourful functions in Kashmir but it may hardly take their hearts and minds close to what India calls patriotism.