Delaying Kashmir resolution will only add the number of graves in Kashmir and let the amount of soot flow in the River Ganga, Aabid Rehman Pala writes
The Lethpora Pulwama attack in Kashmir on the CRPF convoy might have shocked the world but the attack is not the first of its kind in Kashmir. The Valley is used to these bloodbaths. Only the killer and the killed keep changing. What people witness every time is the funeral of humanity. Everybody perceives violence through their own perspective and even legitimise it while portraying the facts the other way.
Kashmir is a conflict and conflict demands a solution, not repression. But when conflict is portrayed as a law and order problem or the militancy-related issue and kept lingering, it bursts and shows its repercussions, the price paid by many. It randomly makes people, irrespective of their identity, its victims. It doesn’t consider Army, civilians or militants but engulfs everybody.
The irony is that the victims of the conflict keep blaming each other for the turbulence despite knowing that nobody is guilty. Someone is compelled, someone pushed to indulge but nobody is guilty of the violence. Peeping thoroughly into the issue will bring everybody to the conclusion that there is no way out other than solving the conflict peacefully as soon as possible. Delaying it would only add the number of graves in Kashmir and let the amount of soot flow in the River Ganga.
It is never in the hands of victims of both the sides to stop the unabated cycle of killings and maiming in the Valley but the people at the helm who have the control over it can. Unfortunately, they are numb and busy in pushing people to the gallows. Then to blurt out the impulsive statements and merely warn or frighten somebody does not change anything on the ground. Moreover, statements are free, which everybody could afford but everybody does not have the authority to change the situation on the ground.
It certainly is in the hands of a few people who unfortunately are enjoying the luxury in their comfort zones while common people in Kashmir as well as in mainland India keep suffering and bearing the brunt of this dwindling dispute in the shape of upheavals and uprisings. Everyone cannot be blamed randomly for the loss but everyone can be involved in finding a solution. The difference lies in having the authority and capability to change things non-violently, which only the people at the helm have.
Shah Faesal, a bureaucrat turned politician, stressed on the same in one of his Facebook posts. “There is Karbala every day in Kashmir. One side mourns today and another mourns tomorrow. But those who can stop this war are not moved at all. Nothing seems to be pricking the conscience of those powers, who can stop this bloodshed in Kashmir,” he wrote.
The Pulwama attack was widely condemned on the social, print and electronic media, but very few were able to bring the attention toward the root cause of entire turbulence.
“Unless, there are serious attempts to resolve the deeper malaise – the conflict – through peaceful means, there is no way that blood will stop flowing in the Valley,” Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, the editor of Kashmir Times, wrote in National Herald right after the attack.
Similarly, people in India also shared their opinion on the issue.
Shivam Vij, a columnist at The Print, wrote, “New Delhi sees Kashmir as a security problem rather than a political one. Instead of finding ways to resolve a conflict, it merely seeks to manage it.”
Alok Asthana, a retired colonel of the Army, in an article in The Wire titled, ‘After Pulwama Attack, the Core Issue in Kashmir Is Being Ignored – Again’ raised a genuine question. He writes, “The core issue is why are local Kashmiris, many of them relatively well off and educated, ready to lay down their lives in this manner?”
What went wrong?
There was a time when the name of the Army would give scary goose bumps to a whole village. Every septuagenarian reminds the fear after the circulation of a canard that an Army vehicle is coming toward their village. They had to empty the whole village and run to the adjacent villages. But the time has changed. Youth are now ready to lay down their lives with or without picking up the gun. There is not an iota of fear visible when they move to gunfight sites to face the live bullets and pellets.
It certainly looks like India’s Kashmir policy is at fault which is responsible for the elimination of fear among the youth. If youth today perceive the solution of their problem in laying down their lives, then it is a very drastic and alarming situation, not only for Kashmir but India as well. The Pulwama attack is proof of this.
When around 10 civilians were killed at a gunfight site in south Kashmir, Mehboob Makhdoomi, wrote in December last year, “Don’t ask why these people march toward the gunfight sites. It is simply because they identify with their cause, hence the extreme emotional attachment. If you want to increase militancy, you are on the right path. If you want to get rid of it, except that you are up against the entire Kashmiri population. Come down from your high imperialistic horses and sit on the table with the concerned.”
After the Pulwama incident, you will get to meet four types of people. You will perceive one class spitting venom here and there and would arrogantly talk about taking the revenge without knowing the ground reality. They would cool down as faster as they get hot. These people have no role in changing the situation.
Then there are politicians in mainland India who are aware of the situation to a large extent but they would only talk about coercing and concussion. They would assure people of the revenge only for their electoral gains. If they wish, they can change a lot but then they also have to show their face to politics.
The political class of Kashmir will also leave no stone unturned to cash in on from these situations but they will never stress on the basic issue. They will always show a cold shoulder toward the Kashmir situation because they have to please the masters in New Delhi and at the same time have to keep the vote bank in mind. So there is also little expectation from those people who keep hiding things for mere temporary gains.
Then there is one more class who would never talk on behalf of any country. They are mainly peaceniks and have a close look over the situation. Being farsighted, they are also well acquainted about the repercussions and ensuring effects. They have a solution to every problem nonviolently but are unfortunately given a little vent to implement it. They are the intellectual class who sans arrogance, revengeful mind and always ready to talk about a solution.