Jammu and Kashmir was the worst hit by the partition of the subcontinent? In fact the later smashes by its friends and foes alike gave it the dreadful blows sending it to a muddy political whirlpool difficult to come out from. Having been a witness to over sixty years of this painful saga one comes to the conclusion that any move towards the solution of this political problem-howsoever sincere it may be-is being seen with suspicious sensitivities now. The most unfortunate constituent of a struggle lies in the fact when its leadership loses the confidence of its people. Needless to say leaders are not self-centered but at the same time they may have different approaches to a common problem. A communication gap with personality egos gives a death blow to a shared goal. That is what seems to have complicated the solution of apparently a simple Kashmir problem threatening the world peace with an imminent nuclear disaster.
Hanafia School in Lal Chowk was my first step towards a dream to become a physician one day –a great desire of my revered father-Mirza Sahib of Islamabad who along with my grand father-zaildar sahib, Qadir joo Sathoo, Abdula Joo Sodagar, Kotwals and scores of other philanthropists of south Kashmir had raised its E shaped building brick by brick. (E symbolizing education). Due to the scarcity of educated people in the state qualified teachers were hired from as far away as Lahore-presently Pakistan. I always hated the concrete shopping complex blocking the view of this temple of worship. Naturally I must be wounded to see this hub of learning in flames and then raised to dust. Some people say it was a terrorist act while others see an organized conspiracy to defame their challengers at a time when administration had to explain its role in locking the congregational mosques all over the valley. When government loses its writ confusion prevails and truth becomes the first victim. You can't blame a common man for that? This was followed by torching of scores of educational institutions with the same confusion –raising fingers in the wild. I remember having seen a politician friend shattered whose teen age daughter had been kidnaped during the peak days of militancy in nineties- despite realizing the fact that the innocent soul would return safe for a pleasant reunion.
Unfortunately 'Insha' the pellet blinded girl has no hopes to see almond, mustard or saffron blossoms and her shattered parents once again. At the same time we can't argue in favor of collateral damages or stray bullets chasing these innocent kids in their closed door homes? Let us all rise above our political compulsions and administrative manipulations and call a spade a spade.
These days we are seeing herds of interlocutors visiting the valley to a warm welcome by common masses in general and our vibrant civil societies in particular. It is pointless to remind from Dixon in early fifties to Radha Kumar team and Yashwant Sinha and co; Kashmir has entertained dozens of selfless dignitaries that have realized the pain of the state and the imminent dangers ahead. Lot of work has already been done, people of vision have invested their precious time and energy that needs a selfless follow-up. Who knows we may see the rainbow of peace in Musharaf plan or our home grown resolutions for a dignified autonomy-a step forward that will lead us out of the whirlpool of a nasty politics?
The columnist is a physician and a social activist. He is the writer of the book, 'Kashmir in search of peace.'