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By Feb 9, 2013 • Opinion

Will it ever be about Kashmir's actual struggle?

I pondered and pondered hard on the Kashmir conflict, till my brain virtually started squirming under the heavily bearded and bespectacled faces of terror, Birkin Bags and Jimmy Choo stilettos of “peacemakers”, and innocent faces shouting “Free Kashmir”, “War! War!” and “We will shed blood!”

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.

Peacing Out.
An Abashed Citizen,
India or Pakistan,
Doesn’t matter.

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.

6 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Swati February 10, 2013 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Very well written Aishwarya!
    The article speaks my mind.

  2. Abhishek February 11, 2013 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Wish you had spent some time to read about the history of Kashmir before writing your personal opinion where you’re not even a stake holder.

    • AishwaryaM February 11, 2013 at 10:03 pm - Reply

      Hello Abhishek
      I’m open to your opinion ( if you have formed any, since you aren’t a stakeholder) and the article has been written after reading up the sequence of events concerning the issue.

  3. Abhishek February 12, 2013 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Thanks for replying.

    I’m sure you’d be aware that Kashmir’s earliest history is recorded in Rajtarangini by Kalhana. So, Kashmir cannot be seen in the light of just past few decades. It’s a continuing civilization of 5000 years and mistakes of 50 years cannot be allowed to dictate its future.

    Just 350 years, Kashmir took pride in its Sanskrit University where Dara Shikoh, Shah jahan’s eldest son and to-be heir had gone to study Upanishadic literature (one of the reasons Aurangzeb got him expelled from Islam and beheaded him after capturing the throne by jailing Shah jahan).

    Kashmir was under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh for some time following Aurangzeb’s end. Thanks to the Ranvir panel code, Kashmir has had absolute legal ban on cow slaughter decades before India became free.

    At the time of partition, you’re aware that it was a princely state under Maharaja Hari Singh and he did sign the instrument of ascension with India. Now with all this, where does the question of any negotiations come in?

    At the time of partition, people were given option to choose between the two countries (and not the option to merge their land to a country of their choice). The point is even the idea of having negotiations with separatists is preposterous especially after the exodus of Kashmiri pandits. More so, because India parliament unanimously adopted the resolution in 1993 that the only task pending wrt Kashmir is to take back PoK and CAK.

    Just because blinded by its agenda of minority appeasement, the government of the day strengthened the hands of separatists through Indian taxpayer funded interlocutors, the claim of separatists doesn’t become any worthier. It’s just a matter of when a nationalist government with a will to resolve the issue comes, and settles this issue for once and for all.

  4. Abhishek February 12, 2013 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Sorry for the typo – read Ascension –> accession.

    • AishwaryaM February 13, 2013 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      “It’s just a matter of when a nationalist government with a will to resolve the issue comes, and settles this issue for once and for all.” That is exactly what the last paragraph of the article reiterates.
      Yes, I’m aware of Kashmir being a princely state at the said time. I am also aware that the reason behind the Maharaja having signed the accession papers was the pressure of an impending attack on his state, than free will. And the reason we live in democratic states now is the recognition of the right of the people to decide their collective future, than a single ruler.
      Kashmir did not get to decide it’s fate when their Raja signed the Instrument of Accession. Later, the elections were rigged, ballot boxes were replaced, and their hope in the Indian Government was lost. After that, they had people with guns storming into their villages forcing them out of their home land on the pretext of their cause.
      I notice you run your arguments based on fact. I’m focusing on the plight. Hope both are looking at ways leading to peace.

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