Kashmiri Muslims have been mauled , cleaved and dehumanised by a system in which only the writ of security forces work. They have the unfailing habit of creating reasons for mass disruption at regular intervals just to remind the natives that they are here and you cannot live in peace unless & until you are fully & truly subjugated. A bereft political leadership at the centre and a state leadership playing a mercenary role for them has neither the desire nor the will to investigate at the macro level the reasons behind the recurring episodes of needless killings by the various wings of the police and the military, which by their regularity and timing must certainly be significantly more than the aberrations they are made out to be. The resultant massive disaffection and alienation of the people against praetorian India is being further managed by creating a police state and buying the loyalties of a miniscule section of the populace. The net achievement – even as Kashmir is becoming more dependent socially & economically on New-Delhi, the two are getting more divided politically.
Great nations never try to correct the history, but only learn from it. India is doing exactly the opposite in Kashmir. Without learning anything from what Kalhana has said that Kashmiris may be conquered by love but cannot be suppressed by force, it is trying to re-write and change the course of history through military pen & ink. It has stepped into an unending arms race, more than half of which is attributable to Kashmir problem directly or indirectly. Since 2002, it has procured approximately thirteen billion US dollars in weaponry(mainly Kashmir specific) from the Israeli state alone. This is a colossal sum for India, where 40 percent of the world’s poor reside. Eight of the poorest states in India are more impoverished than the 26 poorest countries of the African continent. Thirteen billion dollars, in addition to the other monies and resources invested in the militarization of Kashmir, do not evidence an intent to attempt a political solution but manage the territory through barrel of the Gun. Compare this with the era when India’s first Prime Minster Nehru, with his characteristic pride, famously told the U.S. President, Eisenhower that Indians were no international mendicants for weapons.
Human rights violations in Kashmir will not stop without seriously thinking over demilitarization of the State. Let it start by relocating the army strictly on borders & auxillary forces confined to barracks. Let India’s political class not think that by committing these doables, its power over Kashmir will be ruptured. Let required political steps be taken in right earnest to attempt a just solution. Demonizing pro-freedom leadership is no option. It has to accept the hard realities and take the proverbial bull by horn. Remember if Kashmir issue remain unresolved, it will soon become the focus of a new grand game as America and ISAF forces completely withdraw from Afghanistan. With an assertive China, India is likely to become the new Pakistan for America to act as a proxy for the new cold war with China. With all the three neighbors possessing nuclear weapons, the region is sitting on a powder keg with annihilation of the whole region waiting in wings. Unfortunately UN has also miserably failed to address the problem. It has recently listed world’s ten political hotspots ( Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic) where Kashmir does not find a mention. It is a grave error on the part of UN with an unintended message for Kashmiris to pick up arms once again, if they want to be heard.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at firstname.lastname@example.org)