There is a genre of Indian writers who pretend to be unbiased, who pretend that they are ready to walk the extra mile to seek the truth, who pretend that the shackles of government and media propaganda do not hold them back. In reality, though they are a dangerous variety, much more dangerous than those writers whose first word is – right. However, one is not concerned about them since they are brave enough to speak what their heart feels. They are not hypocrites. Nevertheless, this 'dangerous' genre of writers, who I call left-right mish-mash, have to be figured out. They hit you when you are unaware. You think of them as friends, but enemies are better.
Moreover, they become unbearable when they write about Kashmir. Their propaganda is hidden within the well-worded and crafted lines. They try to enforce upon you that they are writing the truth – a truth no one else has dared to write.
Here is an article that falls within the left-right mish-mash variety: Kashmir: A Valley in Despair. The title of the essay makes one read more. One wonders what the despair of the valley is like. Since one is usually exhausted by the righties, when an article like this comes our way we think 'Ah finally something fresh!' This freshness wears down quicly and one is forced to shout, 'Give me some right.'
The representative of the Kashmiri in this article is a Shawl Wala (a person who goes door to door selling Kashmiri Shawls). Bollywood etched in the mind of Indians, the Shikara Wala (a Kashmiri who paddles boats in the lake) as the representative of Kashmir, the Indian Government and the Media did not shy away from this duty of seterotyping Kashmiris and came up with the word 'Terrorist.' Fits well – Kashmir, Muslim and Terrorist. Who can ever suspect otherwise? This is all a Kashmiri can be: a Shikara Wala, a Shawl Wala or a Terrorist.
The article says:
Another interesting piece of the Kashmir puzzle is how you never quite know what exactly the Kashmiri people want politically, as a whole.
The world knows exactly what the Kashmiri people want. I wonder why Indians don't know. Kashmiris want the right of self-determination, the right to choose between India, Pakistan and Independence. This is the unadulterated and undiluted version of the United Nations Resolution on Kashmir. It was on Pakistan's insistence that Independence got crossed over.
Some are pro India, some pro autonomy while others are pro Pakistan. So clearly the Kashmiri people, as a whole, suffer from a case of acute identity crisis. Their political duality is again perhaps testimony to this fact.
Pro India: The puppets in the government. Pro Autonomy: National Conference. Pro Pakistan: A considerable number. Why does the article stay shy of the word independence? Kashmir's fight for freedom started with Al Fateh Force, a pro -Independent organisation. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), the founders of the popular movement is pro independence. A huge number of people on both sides of the Line of Control are Pro independence. Autonomy figures in the article but not independence! Any ideas why? Left-Right Mish-Mash as I said!
Can the Indian government do anything more than what it is already doing for Kashmir? Debatable, considering the semi-autonomous status of the state. Legally there are so many things that the Indian government simply cannot do. For example there are many things that the Indian government can't do to help the economy of the state otherwise it will be in breech of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from that there are many who don't want the Indian government to do anything at all. They hold New Delhi responsible for the situation in the valley and are extremely apprehensive of its policies on Kashmir.
The Indian government never had a problem with sending troops into an independent Kashmir in 1947! The Indian government never had a problem with forcing the annexation of Kashmir! The Indian government never had a problem with dismissing elected governments! The Indian government never had a problem with human rights abuses! The Indian government never had a problem with dissolving the entire assembly! The Indian government never had a problem with sending in seven hundred thousand troops! The Indian government never had a problem with playing an active role in the carnage, abuses and destruction of the very soul of Kashmir! But, screeeeeeeech, the Jammu and Kashmir constitution comes in when the question about the positive role of the Indian government in Kashmir is asked!
The recent sex racket scandal in the valley is definitely indicative of one thing, that the situation in the valley has come to such a point that such a huge prostitution racket can easily thrive.
Yes, it can. With the kind of official patronage that this prostitution racket had, anything can thrive in Kashmir. Did you know that two lawmakers, a Deputy Inspector General of the Indian Border Security Forces, a Deputy Superintendent of Police are presently behind bars? The only reason they are behind bars is the massive protests by the people of Kashmir. Elsewhere in India, such a scandal would be brushed under the carpet with no harm done. In addition, did you know that the Congress member who was arrested is very close to Sonia Gandhi – the de facto ruler of India?