For the uninitiated, the fight of the people of Kashmir for their motherland, for the reunion of families torn apart in the events of 1947, and most importantly, for their freedom—all this has been on for 65 years. Sixty-five years spent on the struggle for a “Fundamental Right”. In 1952, Jawaharlal Nehru opined his belief in “no forced marriages” and “no forced unions”, agreeing upon a plebiscite in Kashmir to let the people decide between India and Pakistan—or an independent state altogether. What ultimately happened was an LoC cutting the state into two—pretty much like India saying to Pakistan, “Aadha tum rakh lo, aadha mera.”
Rewinding to the Times Now debate on the LoC ceasefire violations, I recall sniggering Pakistani representatives, fanatical Indian representatives and the flailing arms of a normally robust anchor. This time, however, it seems “Ornab” was busy conducting a “Passing the Parcel” game of giggles, passionate shouts and above all, uselessness. In times such as these, when even the newly Westernized/modernized youth is subjecting political bigwigs to critical judgement, it’s only fair you highlight what they’re good at—playing pride games.
A fine example in this line has been set by Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar. As the foreign minister stepped on Indian soil with words embodying peace and reconciliation, much of the Indian media was distracted by the pearls in her eyes (or around her neck, whichever). But she made her way of speaking plain at the Asia Society Talk in the US:
“I thought war mongering was a thing of the yesteryears and we had put it behind us,” said the pacifier. Of course it would seem beheading soldiers while funding terror outfits is in vogue; Ms. Khar would know. She went on saying, “The dialogue should be uninterrupted and uninterruptible. We should not close the door.” Especially the back doors, since they are instrumental in sending explosives across the sea and landmines across the border.
In the 1950s, the Pakistani military issued infiltration of Northern borders by Islamist militants, an honest and sincere move of help indeed. These are the people bombing their own people on the pretext of discovering Allah (and freeing of Kashmir in some magical, unearthly way). These are the people believing that each kill makes them dearer to Allah while the soldiers they gun down deserve an unholy death followed by servility in hell. Their ideology and their actions have led to a deliberate dumping of the Kashmiri struggle off the world stage. Indian Government has played its role too, refusing to take matters to the UN, because they know it will lead India to lose her “crown”.
And I daresay, the recent comments of one Ms. Sushma Swaraj dangerously reflect a similar thought process. “If his head could not be brought back, we should get at least ten heads from their side,” referring to the unprovoked (that’s what the Indian Army says) killing of Indian soldiers. At the least, ten heads? I don’t remember the reporter playing Ram–Ravana with Ms. Swaraj. Does that intention pacify the traumatised families of the deceased Lance Naiks? Well, obviously it does! After all, the BJP power holders visited them, bhai.
Since then, the Indo–Pak conflict over Kashmir has literally dissolved into nothingness, the consolidated efforts of both the governments have finally borne fruits, with the voice of Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims drowned by the voice of drones, missiles, and Islam. When exactly did the fight for land and freedom by the let-down Kashmiris metamorphose into a fight symbolising Jihad and sacrificial war for the heavens, is something that can only be explained by our know-it-all politicians.
Will it ever be about the Kashmir struggle?
Till the time that is answered, keep faith and keep working under governments that REALLY care for the welfare of a united, secular fairyland. And the many movements, like Aman Ki Asha won’t carry any more gravity than say, Shoaib Ki Sania, unless the regular ceasefire violations dwindle into non-existence forever.
An Abashed Citizen,
India or Pakistan,
This post has been written by Aishwarya Mishra, and has been edited by Brototi Roy. Aishwarya and Brototi are currently interning with NTMN under its Youth Internship-cum-Training Program.