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Left-Right Mish-Mash

In Kashmir, News, Politics on 23 June, 2006 at 3:41 am

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?

  1. Are they crazy to want to be part of pakistan or morons? Didnt you see when the earth quake happened the kashmiris in PAK were left without any help from pakistan.

    Not even an idiot would want to trade poverty for abject poverty. The fact is both countries are in bad shape in terms of human rights and corruption. Pakistan being the worse off.

    As an Indian i say get rid of kashmir and focus on the growth of states that are currently ok with being part of India. Why should I waste my tax money on those people. Let them go do whatever they want, join pak, join china or
    welcome Taliban to rule them.

    The important thing for any country today is $$$$$. Without that people will trade one hut for a worse one through autonomy or independence.

  2. Independence for kashmir- a good question!

    But have you guys ever figure out if you can exist as an independent nation for a day even? Will Paki’s allow you to last that long? Will China allow that? Now, if you are asking for Independence, what will be soruce of your revenue? Tourism? Hydel Power? Will Pak allow you to utilize/cultivate either of those sources, if you were to become Independent? Will those sources be sufficient for kashmir?

    Now, lets think of another dimension- what about Azad(or Paki occupied Kashmir) Kashmir? What about Chinese occupied Kashmir? Atleast you guys have been able to speak your mind on this forum- courtesy the education you got in Kashmir(courtesy of those damned Indian tax payers). How many POK people have advocated independence here? How many Chinese Occupied Kashmir people have advocated Kashmir here? They are not even allowed basic education to go out and express their opinion? The POK earth quake should be a grim reminder for you guys, living in utopia.

    Lets take another dimension- will “talibanization of the valley” allow your next generation to even retain that “kashmiriyat”? If that does not happen, Kashmir will become another Afghanistan, where abject hunger and madarassas are the order of the day.

    Just think before what you are asking for?

    Not, that I am saying you should not ask for a “life with dignity”- but, in order to do that, you need to have a single voice- a reasonable voice- a voice that would rise beyond the cacophony of ISI, Hurriyat, JKLF, NC and Congress- all of which are probably thinking of saving their own chairs and making money out of poor people. Probably that would not happen till common people in valley have a relatively stronger economic base- till terrorism gets converted to a “Kashmiriyat dis-obedience”. Millitancy is not going to solve this problem for ordinary Kashmiris- because millitancy allows Pakistani Army and ISI to justify their existence in the grab of protecting Kashmir, as well as giving a reason for Indian Army to flex its muscles to show it can take an “eye for an eye”.

    I am not right- I am not left. I am just trying to see if there is a way out of this imbroglio. Economic self-reliance seems to be the best weapon. Pakistan and china can’t and won’t allow you to have that weapon. So, you are better off with india till you gain that “weapon of self-reliance”. Then you could be in a stronger position to bargain for an “independence” or “autonomy”. You will also need a leader who can rise above these Hurriyat, who live in posh villas, while pretending to be protecting and fighting for those poor people! You need a true leader- not scoundrels in the garb of a leader!

  3. I saw your criticism of a writer.

    I am a non-Kashmiri. I am an Indian living in southern part of India. I have spent ten years outside India and met lot of people from Kashmir, Pakistan, etc. I never visited Kashmir. The closest I have come is visit Jammu. But for over sixteen years now, I have been interested in this issue. Some of my thoughts on Kashmir are at my blog.

    You have to understand that I look at the whole episode from an Indian perspective.

  4. Sujai

    You have written extensively on Kashmir! It will take me quite some time before I can go through all your posts on Kashmir.

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