Denial won't do

To mention  the long hot summer of Kashmir in 2010   as that of  violence  on streets  is like missing a crucial point of what is driving the protests and what protestors are looking forward to? Their sentiments and aspirations  are being  restricted to the lifting of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, demilitarization, release of political prisoners and so on.  They  want a wholesome approach  not in pieces. The whole body and soul of Kashmir is suffering and it needs a  comprehensive approach.
 
Kashmir’s  peace until  the start of the summer this year  was always a gamble  on which Delhi relied too much The vision of a  permanent peace  dawning  in the Valley was  overplayed  with  superficial inputs  that the vision  has turned into a nightmare.  Peace is a dream. Solution is elusive and the people are distanced and  disillusioned.
 
Here,  there is a wrong translation of  the events that are taking place in the Valley.   Mandarins in Delhi have yet to learn Kashmir and Kashmiri and unfortunately the interpreters of events in Kashmir  are neither familiar with the language nor the people. So the whole thing  is misrepresented. A result of that is that  the reality is not  shown the way it is.
For an awful moment  of  June 11 when Tufail Matttoo  was killed  in Srinagar  is living on with each  and every death in the Valley. There is no end to it. The protestors are  out on the streets  putting an end to a culture of violence unleashed on the people of Kashmir, not just the bullets but  a violence of  psychology of treating them with contempt.
 
This is a campaign against the segregation  to which the people in the Valley have been subjected  to. Delhi  starts responding even before the approaching  footsteps at other places, but when it comes to the Valley, it freezes. Delhi can do a lot, but it is not doing. It is weighing right versus left and dithers even in the middle.
 
Weighed down  by   the situation of its own creation, New Delhi is now groping in dark.  The steps that can restore peace and order in Kashmir are  not  in a realm of impossibility. Nothing  is  impossible. But the will is not there.
 
The Army  is having its concerns over the withdrawal of troops and  its special powers in Jammu and Kashmir. The Army chief Gen. V K Singh has made his worries made known. He doesn’t want the things to happen the way  the political leaders in Kashmir are pleading, because his fears are that the situation may revert to 1990s.  True.
 
It may not be a very good argument. But what happens when the war is over on borders. Troops go back to barracks.  That is not a retreat.  Troops don’t stay on the borders for ever in the strength in which they are, during the times of war.  There is a situation, that’s responded to.  There  was “ operation Parkaram”, for 10 months the troops were on borders as part of “ coercive diplomacy” and once the threats were over, the troops were back to barracks.  There was a  follow up action. India and Pakistan went in for a ceasefire on the borders and a composite dialogue started.
 
Army’ s `proxy war’  dictum  has lost its relevance.  The initiators of the `proxy war:  are talking of peace and dialogue. They were  there sitting across the table  with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  four years ago. They got marginalized because there was an abject failure in  giving peace and dialogue a chance.
 
This feverish pitch of protests is not without a  reason. The whole diagnosis  has gone wrong.  A temporary respite that came after the 2008 elections was taken as a permanent cure.  It came as an unexpected development and  the vote was touted as a   new model of democracy in the state, particularly Kashmir. It was a boisterous claim. The times have proved that  it was not a claim being out of the sentiment of  a month of elections, the larger landscape and the history were ignored. The whole thing was  swept under the carpet.  The aspirations for future were dumped in a rhetoric  that was alien. A democratic  process moves forward only when the democratic institution  and those  voting for it are  seen as stake holders. The people are  best judges of their leaders and the situations. Both failed them. They  had  wanted something. That didn’t happen.
 
There is  no point repeating that some  people were  delighted that their life time ambition has been fulfilled. For them, the whole world revolved around the charmed designation and  the power and pelf that came with it. Today, they must have realized that how powerless they are. Their orders are  obeyed in breach. They are not having trust  of anyone. It’s  better that they know that they are there, where they are, because of some inherent compulsions of the situation.  The power politics is ruthless.   The drum beat that  they had been pursuing for a political package  for long doesn’t hold any ground because the need for such  escape tunnels arises when the fundamentals  are   not connected to ground.
 
A permanent denial mode doesn’t serve any one’s cause. For years, a recourse has been  taken to denials. It is a common saying that  a refusal to accept the truth  leads to trouble. Same is true of Kashmir today.  It is in trouble. The  ground reality demands that  failures to face up  to the past  and present  has prevented  something to appear as a permanent solution to the trouble.
 
The history of this sort has made for awkward relations between Srinagar and Delhi , and created a  greater distance between them than mere geography does.