The recent statement of Indian diplomat, while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry that ‘India always wants better relations with Pakistan because we cannot change geography’ is an indication of ensuing changed times.
There are reasons to believe it. China through silent diplomacy has been able to reengage Saudi Arab and Iran for rapprochement. Saudi Arab is changing fast, reducing its dependency on oil and America in its security state apparatus.
It has a road map of connectivity to come out from the past of conservatism. Iran too has learnt lessons from the recent women uprisings and US economic sanctions to revisit its policies in the region. China’s influence is growing for assuring regional stability and for lessening US hegemony.
There is mounting pressure in Pakistan from new generation educated middle class and from the liberal intellectuals to have appraisal of its security centric history since its independence. A new social political awareness is brewing that questions the exclusion of Establishment from public accountability.
The relevance of talk-shows that dwell on past mythical backgrounds to pass judgments on present is losing credence. It is difficult to convince young generation to believe the unquestioned stories, which cannot stand to the scrutiny of science and technology.
Pakistan had been living in it and India had started, but soon its policy framers and political leadership have realized that retreating into primordial without identifying tradition is to shut the windows of future.
No nation can afford to live in the times, which have gone and cannot be reproduced in a world which is diverse, dependent and well knitted and subject to individual substantiation.
People want bread and butter and assured future for their children. Its prerequisites are sufficient purchasing power, peace and stability. The thrust of diplomacy is not on expansions but it is on assemblage of the cultural and economic capital for betterment of life chances.
Social media might have diversified, but its ramifications are that it makes our youth to believe that accommodative existence in this world is worth believing than the charms of the other world in waiting. Electronic revolution and information technology have opened out the cover from the mythical truth. Relative truth can be verified.
Religion, politics and ascribed stratifications all are for power, domination and quality of life in this world. No wonder, the social media campaign against elite discourse and essentialist history is in fact accepting this reality that power elites of all realms have become susceptible to scrutiny.
First time, Pakistani Establishment remains defensive, political elites are whispering in murkiness, so is the power of social media and ‘symbolic capital’ dictating and setting the terms of functioning.
Imran Khan has emerged a cult politician, larger than imagined. He has created a new social political consciousness that does not leave the army a sacred cow. It has generated latent functions of deconstructing history. The social media discourses and interviews in Pak occupied Kashmir for seeking information and opinions from the below are visible, only to be believed.
It is the economic and moral crisis in Pakistan that has melted the frozen animosity perpetuated in the talk shows and print media over the years. The powerful generals, elite judges and influential individuals all have been exposed by scienticism of goal rationality.
The impending moral and economic crisis has made governability unworkable. This has reproduced Imran Khan, as the new Avatar of Pakistan, loved and imagined by the youth, both men and women. It is up to him now, whether he takes his people on primordial lines or progressive market liberalism.
Legal rational framework has been the essence of modern capitalism. There is no scope to mingle myth and primordial through religion in it. Religion is to strengthen the inherent morality of an individual and functioning in the system. Pakistan is our reflective shadow.
Our economic success has to be holistic and sustainable, for that stability and peaceful existence are imperative. There is no scope for morbid noisy discourses on television sets. People understand that it is the regenerative politics that can fetch legitimate moral mandate to rule.
Prime Minister Modi is no novice to know that using religion for power gaining in the long run is detrimental to party as well as well to the nation. His foreign policy, his finance ministry and infrastructure ministry (roads and constructions), all have faces to generate trust.
The economics and its distribution is distinct variable than ideology and faith to produce good will in the masses. The leadership has to be visionary and responsible in ensuing times, when there is internal churning, regional alliances and economic compulsions for making process of corrections that ensure a safe journeying of the nation.
The silence among masses in Kashmir is melting down. Kashmiri’s first time are experiencing the looming shadows of hard realities. While Hindu-Muslim blending of the past was a reality, it is equally true that new generation of both the communities are hardly interested in that relationship, other than a wonderment of human interfaith existence to be told and appreciated in future discourses.
The political agenda for better life chances with dignity will remain alive for both the communities, even if there is liaising between India and Pakistan. For, it is the nativity with place, language and culture that saves you from rejection and humiliations.
The Pandits need it, as much as, Muslims of Kashmir perceive it. When together in Kashmir they do not express it, for the eyes meet here to cover growing distance. Outside India, they live in distinct diasporas. Muslims and Pandits have different global diasporas with different political agendas.
Given the situation, it looks dreams have no basis in the immediate future, unless both the communities come to a point in consensus that they can live like cousins at singular places in the same valley.
It is up to them and their representative leadership first to decide rather than singing songs of Kashmiriyat. At present, it seems difficult to produce same neighborhoods, as we had thirty years ago. Political discourse in India and Pakistan without the consensus of Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits can at best be playing to the galleries of their national interests.
It is difficult that displaced Kashmiris can return to their homes. Those who were displaced have turned old and most of them have left the world and with whom they had lived in Kashmir too have become voiceless or passed away.
New generations want their share in legacy with choice and dignity. That needs consensus. Therefore, people are silent about it. They are unprepared to face the reality. In vacuity, they move with primordial leadership. It is why alternate leadership does not emerge in Kashmir to the status quo politics of National Conference.
It hardly matters, whether Farooq sahib is mincing words or not, people do not see any future settlement. The people prefer to be in political slumber of National Conference. PDP tried, but without thinking about Pandits of Kashmir, they failed and gradually got exposed as a non native party relying on dictates, once Mufti sahib passed away. For, 'one swallow does not summer make’.
Pakistan is too weak to think of it and India is awaiting for an alternate politics to emerge in Kashmir that can set Kashmiri Muslims on track, even if, it means neglecting Kashmiri pandits.
The thrust of present dispensation is to generate growth and its distribution evenly, if possible to reach the poor sections and peripheral communities, preferably.
It is possible, for it has international endorsement to take Kashmir on future progressively lines. It is not easy process, a time bound phenomenon.
For, Kashmir in the past has been so much paralyzed in political mystification in religious exclusive discourses that the failure of Pakistan as a state and then emergence of Kashmiri pandits a powerful micro economic community at global level have been the antithesis of that cumulative history since 1953.
It is a moral crisis that needs moral reformation. It is frozen shock, expressed through silence. To break that mindset needs a moral leadership of new generation that hardly is in sight.
However, subaltern voices from the other side, perhaps, is setting trace for a new beginning that effective elite of this side of Kashmir has to read well.
Ashok Kaul, Professor Emeritus in Sociology at Banaras Hindu university
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.