Issues

Military approach in Kashmir will fail

Ahmad Zaboor

Ever since 1947, the hegemonic centre has consistently followed anti-democratic, authoritarian policies in J&K, robbing the people of their rights. The revolt is nothing but a struggle against the authoritarian system denying rights. To stifle the voice of people, the Central government has flooded Kashmir with aid, supported by repression. While the aid has created the necessary vested interest that enabled the perpetuation of Centre’s rule, the repression and smothering of people’s voice has led to disillusionment and alienation. This has been done either to slap the draconian laws on people and through militarisation of jobs. Indian government has dabbled in holding discreet dialogue, sometimes openly only as a tactical move. Not a single treaty, agreement, committee or commission has yielded even an iota of tangible results. Conversely, what has followed is repression.

The brutalisation the military forces have engaged in coupled with the Himalayan blunders of blackguard political class signify the successful coup d’etat of Hinduvta forces and ideology, notwithstanding the pompous appendages of secularism, and Kashmiriyat.

Kashmiri people ever since the coming together of PDP and BJP in a coalition government are a beleaguered lot, for PDP has yielded too much ground yet nothing concrete by way of a spinoff has come for the people in Kashmir. Kashmir has been made an open air prison, with people spending two months under state imposed curfew. The central government has assured every support to the government in state, but it has been only the military, army and paramilitary forces that have been rushed in to contain the rage of people.

The Indian government has excessively remained Pakistan-fixated, holding it responsible for instigating the people, a well-choreographed act to save itself from public ignominy. This approach enabled the Indian Prime Minister to roll up his sleeves and castigate Pakistan for engendering terrorism in south Asia at G-20 in China. In 2008 and 2011 summer unrest were precipitated by two different causes. Kashmiri people were tagged as being paid agents of Lashkar-e Toiba. That narrative is marginal today. How could Baluchistan figure all of a sudden in the Kashmir discourse and receive a patronage from the Indian establishment, by neglecting human rights violations in its own backyard while caring for those of Baluchi people. Who is more appreciative of Pakistan, Kashmiri or Indian establishment, has become obvious. Such a hawkish move would definitely backfire for India given the various ethnic groups who are on the same wavelength as those of Kashmir. Since much of Chinese projects pass through Baluchistan it can have repercussion for Kashmir as well.

In fact, the outright denial coupled with robbing of rights of the Kashmir people’s civil and political rights has been the pith of Indian policy regarding Kashmir. As India continues to leave its military footprint in rest of India it has increased in Kashmir.

Taking a cue from what Atal Beahri Vajpayee said on his visit to Srinagar that Indian government was ready to talk to anyone whosoever believed in “democracy, Kashmiriyat and humanity”. Initially, Modi government adopted a rigid policy line by refusing to talk to separatist leadership which caused India-Pakistan relationship to freeze for a period. Then Modi government thought that the Kashmir issue had been settled once and for all. At times there were mutterings in policy circles that the solution to Kashmir issue had to be within the Indian Constitution. What could be that given the rejection of autonomy report by the NDA dispensation. Another essential but ugly factor associated with military solution has been militarisation of public sector jobs and the appointment of so called SPOs. This led the RSS mouthpiece organiser to write, “Kashmir youth coming forward to take on terrorists”.

The writer teaches political science in J&K.
He may be contacted at ahmadzaboor@gmail.com 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2016 on page no. 2

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