Political “Sordello” called Kashmir

Seventy years down the line a simple and straightforward promise of holding a fair and free plebiscite under the auspices of the UN continues to be elusive.
Political “Sordello”  called Kashmir
File Photo

Mehboobajee is confident that Modijee is the person to solve the Kashmir Problem. Rajnathjee subsequently chips in to claim that a permanent solution to the  problem is just a few months away. The question that stares all is  does the sound of a solution make some sense ?

Browning was an English  poet and one of his difficult poems goes by the title of "Sordello"- a word whose meaning none knows for sure. One of the readers of the poem approached Browning to understand some of its difficult lines. Browning was candid enough to say, "When I wrote the poem only two entities knew its meaning – Browning and God. Now only God knows ". Probably the same is true of any solution to the Kashmir dispute.

Seventy years down the line a simple and straightforward promise of holding a fair and free plebiscite under the auspices of the UN continues to be elusive. The dispute has now assumed the proportions of a political "Sordello" given the layers upon layers of complications weaved around it by a plethora of vested interests  thriving politically and materially under the nebulous umbrella of a solution to the dispute. A whole host of dubious people and parties made themselves relevant in the process just to enrich themselves politically and materially unmindful of the pain and suffering their duplicity caused to people all these years. Going by the tide of times these individuals and parties changed their ideologies like the colour of the proverbial chameleon. The web of the vested interests, weaved by these parties, institutions and individuals, has grown so strong that the saner voices advocating a solution to the problem, acceptable to all, are dubbed as traitors with " 24×7 Newsroom  Inquisitions" held everyday.

Since 2002 a sordid game of competitive loyalty towards Delhi is on display among the regional main-steam political outfits like the NC, the PDP and the other smaller ones which has further exacerbated the process of finding a solution. These parties only exploit the existential needs of people to garner votes only to be sold for a pie in power and not for sake of finding a solution. This unforgivable exploitation of peoples trust has left the entire mainstream brigade grisly wounded in the recent Parliamentary elections.

The historical genesis of the dispute, having its origin in the indigenous struggle of the majority Muslim population against Dogra Rule, got murky by the meddling of some leaders fighting for freedom of Indian Subcontinent. The voluntary capitulation of the then Kashmiri leadership to the guile of those leaders resulted in a "Conditional" hug with the Indian State. That secular hug changed the entire historical discourse of the dispute as it got sucked in the division of the Subcontinent along religious/communal lines. This unfortunate coupling with the Partition has been used to obfuscate the reality of Kashmir story ever since. The tragedy of the then local leadership and  their supportive intellectuals, caught in the Marxist quagmire, lay in the manner they spurned the Two-nation theory, the correctness of which is now proved hundred times a day. The historical highway to the dispute now stands mired in a maze of divergent footpaths each having a narrative of its own and conditioned by characteristic prejudices. The master narrative ruling the roost though has been the "Brute-force" and not the truth. So any solution accepting that truth and acceptable to all is nowhere on the horizon.

The PDP leadership has pinned hope in Modijee  against the backdrop that he publically snubbed the late Patron of the Party spurning any kind of advice on Kashmir. Likewise the NC,during their honeymoon with the Congress- a Party that has been the chief architect of our woes and those of NC as well – thought that Soniajee was the person to look up to. In the PDP's current stint we are facing a  Party who are openly prejudiced. Thus the idea that Modijee is the right person of interest likely to alleviate our long suffering is only a political bubble.

After getting into an ill-gotten alliance, a brazen act of political self – harm, the PDP seems to have lost its support base. They fudged both their manifesto and mandate, with the fig leaf an agenda of alliance (or annihilation), and traded  them for power and cash that never came. Their alliance partner is a national party whose national agenda is politically, socially and culturally reactionary. In its alliance PDP faced two problems– one to keep their relation with the electors safe and enjoy power as well. They have preferred power at the cost of their relation with the electors. This amounts to a daily-wage approach to political existence.  

Against all this backdrop what does the claim that a " Permanent solution to  the Kashmir Problem" is just three months away entail for the troubled valley? If the shrill jingo notes emanating from all important quarters is a pointer the solution that Rajnathjee hints at is probably not going to augur well for Kashmiri people and they need to brace-up for more miseries.Going by its  baggage of bigotry against   the Muslim minority the BJP and its affiliates seem to be tasked to rewrite the Indian history since the time of Muhammed bin Qasim. What a travesty ! In case of Kashmir the needle can not go back seventy years whereas elsewhere it can go back more than a thousand years.       

In the words of K.M.Panniker, a Hindu historian, bin Qasim introduced Islam in India and thereby vertically divided its society. In order to undo that division history has seen phases  of  rise and growth of Hindu revivalist movements. To consolidate their position among the majority Hindus leaders of all hues have, at different points in time, raised the bogey of the "fear-of-the-other ( Muslims)" and during the present rule this phenomenon has peaked. To raise that threat level  Kashmir churning comes as a divine gift to build the kind of frenzy that the 24×7 Newsrooms are currently afflicted with. The ruling party is in a continuous campaign mode and Kashmir cow will continue to be milked for bumper electoral gains to rewrite the Constitution on the lines of a Hindu Rashtra. The party is sending a clear message, resonating with  swathes of population, that Modijee will fix Kashmir in favour of India militarily, if not diplomatically and further "the-fear-of-the-other" will go by making the minority Muslims disappear magically or by mob lynching, if possible. So the idea  of a viable solution in the offing seams quite quaint and a political spoof to while away time and enjoy power.

The writer is a former college teacher

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