Development as coolant
A debtor denies to repay the money it owes to the creditor. One fine day when the creditor is about to catch him, the debtor climbs a tree and threatens to jump from the top and show to the world that he has been forced to suicide. `I promise I will pay you half the money I owe you, but assure me first that you will remit the rest half or else I will kill myself and you will have blood at your hands', he says to the creditor. Utterly shocked, the poor creditor agrees to take only half the money lest he is punished for murder. `But please get down from the tree unhurt', he requests and the debtor comes down.
`OK, I presume half the money you have paid by coming down from the tree, now pay the rest half', he says.
`Don't worry, I promise I will pay the second instalment with same honesty as I have paid the first one'.
Take Delhi as debtor, Kashmir as creditor; the story explains itself. But our debtor doesn't owe us money, it owes us rights. It only promises that it will grant us all rights, but breaks its promises only after taking commitments from us. Whenever there is a crisis in Kashmir, Delhi uses development as a ploy to buy time. Todays Yashwant Sinha story signifies the same fact as yesterdays Padgaonkar story does. `Commit yourself to peace and we will talk to you about your demands and rights'. When the situation returns to normal, it backtracks on its own promises and `honestly' grants us rights.
Whenever Kashmir boils against Delhi, development is used as a coolant. That is like offering a toy to a baby crying for milk actually. The toy does the trick. It distracts, it soothes, it tempts and it acts like a silencer as the baby really switches to a silent mode. But silence doesn't last as the toy outlives its use and the flashes of calm get shorter and shorter. The baby cries again – and again demanding the original – the milk. And we offer a toy again. And the baby is silent again. The cycle continues.
The cycle of deception is continuing since '47. From Nehru to Modi all have given us toys. All have taken commitments from our leaders. All have promised us half the money in storm and given us nothing in calm. All have deceived us to the point of committing ourselves to peace. Coaxing us with carrots and threatening us with sticks thereby manoeuvring their way through.
They are using promises as glue stick but the fact remains that adhesives have never worked in Kashmir. Unless you address the core, the baby will keep crying for milk.