THEY ACCEPT EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE REALITY,
Even then it is more than two months when mass uprising virtually crippled Omar Abdullah led coalition government and put question marks on the very “idea” of ‘democratic republic’, New Delhi is resorting to its hackneyed position which has always stymied the quest to untangle the past and move ahead. Believing this time too, it would be able to tide over crisis it faces. The way Manmohan Singh has been seeing the problem in all his speeches and statements he means for Kashmir amply demonstrates that design.
The speech judged in the context of the verdict people of Kashmir, in particular teen-agers have written on wall with their blood reflects that New Delhi has once again pursued the policy undermining the tempest of anger and hate that is sweeping across entire Kashmir against its rule. Feigning ignorance of what is going on in the disputed territory they strut out and dug out some sort of rhetorical strategy. That is why Kashmir to them is still a ‘law and order’ problem from archives of North Block.
These could not have been the biggest joke cracked by Dr. Singh on 1 August at Red Fort than his offering talks to Kashmiri leaders ‘within the frame work of Indian Constitution’. He also spoke high about the ‘generosity and flexibility’ of India’s democracy and its ability to address the concerns of all persons and groups who shun violence. That clearly implies:
I) Talks offer is price-tagged, a conditional offer.
II) The surge of independence and protest demonstrations all fall within ambit of ‘violence’.
III) Those who spearhead the mass-movement have first to digest the indigestible: “purge” their mind and soul off the “toxicity” of the resistance movement. Only then they will be granted audience at Delhi darbar.
This attitude of new Delhi is typical of a vitiated mind unwilling to approach a problem with the intention of solving it. The six-decade long experience stands testimony to the fact that it was never sincere in its offer of talks so as to have the problem amicably settled. Dialogue ‘process’ it only used to buy time, consolidate its position and repulse the momentum of the resistance against its rule. It played many a political decoy to snare people into its web of political deceit. From Shiekh Abdullah to Mirwaiz led Hurayat the trail of this crude deception is all visible, all transparent. When it sees situation in Kashmir exposes its democratic credentials and its democratic image it sees gets smudged at diplomatic level, engaging a section of what it calls ‘separatist’ leaders it hopes is the best strategy to stave off the pressure.
Sincerity loses its chastity and swaps for Chankyanetee when Kashmir craves for justice. Even when former PM Narsimha Rao cried ‘Sky is the limit’. Or Prime Minister Vajpayee did not stress on ‘within constitution of India’ condition announced Delhi was ready to have talks within Insanayat key dairee mein (within limit of humanity), the rock of Delhi obstinacy did not move a little. Parnala stood where it was.
The 2008 mass uprising should have made New Delhi open up its eyes to hard realities and respect the sentiment of the people and go in synch with the demands of the situation. It resorted to election therapy to cure the sore of Kashmir and retrieve its woefully damaged position. True Kashmiris fell to its sugarcoated poison (election), yet their resistance nerve never stopped from beating the song of hum kai chahatay. The vote for local governance and civic amenities created BSPH (Bijlee, Sadak, Pani, Hospital) assemblies and BSPH “legislators”. New Delhi took it as a vote for ‘integration’ and vote against ‘separatism’. Instead of acknowledging surging sea of youth flooding streets of Kashmir and unprecedented chalo demonstrations as demand for RSD (Right to self determination) Indian media and its think tanks tried to corrupt the motivational basis of the resistance movement. They attributed the ragda 2008 to Kashmiri’s sensitivity to their land.
A place heavily militarized and getting squeezed under the jackboots of seven lakh armed forces and more and more land being grabbed by them and non-state subjects swarming in from the rest of India, Kashmiris are virtually finding themselves atop a sleeping volcano. Transfer of government land to Shrine Board (managed by non state subjects) did set the alarm bells ringing but even as trifle an issue as that of demand of drinking water has in it the seething anger basic genetic strand, the land row provided an opportunity to exhibit those streaks on a mega-scale. Delhi has cultivated the habit of putting Kashmiris dispute at the back burner when it is the lull before storm. In misjudging its ferocious undercurrent it goes on frolicking. Only to wake up when storm of anger takes it up. And castles of its optimism start pulling down.
The ‘Quit Kashmir’ campaign phase Kashmiris are passing through marks a watershed in the resistance movement of Kashmiris. Unlike 2008 mass uprising that triggered on Amarnath land row, the Quit Kashmir movement launched on 24 June has no such powder keg in it to burst into mass civil disobedience. Killing spree of the teenaged youth although let the anger simmer in waiting for vent to erupt, it was purely Kashmiris urge for freedom that provided it the potential catalyst.
‘Elected’ government of Omar Abdullah looks nothing more than a civilian extension of 15 Corps. All pro-Indian groups have lost their political face in Kashmir. They are afraid of facing people. Their leaders stand quarantined, ‘protected’ by forces round the clock. The much trumpeted ‘peoples’ mandate’ has lost its “sovereign” character, the voice of subjugated people. Political lackeys of Establishment Kashmiris whack them all.
In context of this ‘worrisome’ situation (Congress Working Committee’s words) in Kashmir, when Manmohan Singh announces talks ‘within the framework of Indian Constitution’, you need not to raise your brows. But enjoy Delhi’s “constant” that stands for obstinacy, close on the borders of oafishness.
Tail-piece: – The situation in Kashmir was demanding a break from old shenanigans, a beginning of a new era. But New Delhi preferred to get into wild flight of fantasy. Its cussed attitude reflects medieval approach to a problem that has now Face Book, Orkut, Twitter and You-Tube generation at the other side.
(The author can be reached at email@example.com)