Flirting with crisis

It is deeply regrettable that there is  a bid to flirt with crisis in Kashmir by almost everyone without caring for the consequences.The latest spell of  over four-month long crisis in Kashmir  has grabbed the international  attention. This, many believe,  has worked as a pressure on New Delhi to address the issue.  The measures taken by New Delhi, however,  are seen as far from being satisfactory. But there has been no  suggestion  as to how the measures can be made substantive  from  the quarters  who claim to  espousing the cause ofthe people of Kashmir.

 As usual, it is being said that  New Delhi has shown its  politically unacceptable tendency  to go in for fire fighting measures  to show to the world  that it is dealing with the crisis. That’s the way of New Delhi, those who  think that New Delhi-bashing alone could deliver them  something on a platter.  New Delhi  definitely needs to re-tune its  strategy  of dealing with the crisis and reaching out to the people in the trouble-torn Valley. There is, and there  can never be an argument over this. This kind of attitude of Delhi  to  do certain things and then leave those midway, only has reinforced the enthusiasm of the forces who  believe or say that  there should be intervention, most preferably  of the West,  in resolving the issue.  They think that the West has more wisdom  than the natives. So far, the experience  of the intervention of  outsiders has only complicated the matters.

There is a need  to stand firm. The problem is that  there is  a consistency in inconsistency. The stands are shifted almost on hourly basis, depending on whose ears  are they speaking to. They  also are conscious of the time on the watch. In such situations, such expressions  either betray lack of self confidence or  there are doubts about the capabilities of their own people. The people in Kashmir  are a wiser lot and that should be understood  without even an iota of doubt by  the both New Delhi and Islamabad  and the leaders of Kashmir  as well.
A look at the way West is treating  non-Westerners, especially Muslims,  should be  self – revealing. The  community is being discriminated against  in almost all the Western nations, and if they have to look for examples, they should have heard the speech of German Chancellor Angela Merkel  who  said that all the migrants ( read Muslims) should  speak German. If that’s not sufficient, they should read the new law in France, banning wearing of veil, which is  worn by less than 1900  Muslim  women there.
A recent survey in Germany  said  that   negative attitudes toward foreigners living in Germany  increased so much during 2010 that a third of Germans say they want foreigners repatriated, and 10 percent of Germans would prefer to have a “führer” (a derogatory word only used in reference to  Hitler ) take charge. The report, on the rise of right-wing extremism, was prepared by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a research organization affiliated with the opposition Social Democratic Party. Its publication coincided with a emotionally charged debate about immigration  the integration of the
seven million foreigners living in Germany.
With leading politicians singling out Turks and Arabs — even suggesting, as the Bavarian premier, Horst Seehofer, did last week that they would be better off returning to their countries of origin — public attitudes about foreigners are swinging increasingly toward intolerance and racism, according to the report.
A prevailing view by the 2,411 respondents was that “Germany, because of the many foreigners living here, is exposed to foreign influence to
a dangerous extent,” the report said.
The foundation, which carried out a similar report seven years ago, pointed out that this time such views were no longer confined to far-right wing groups or their sympathizers but that they have entered the mainstream, said a report in New York Times quoting the survey. “They cut across all social groups, all age brackets, regardless of employment state or education and among both sexes,” the report said.
To that extent, the report’s authors wrote, “we have found in 2010 a rise in clearly anti-democratic and racist attitudes.” Support for a democratically elected government, however, is still overwhelmingly strong with over 75 percent of respondents endorsing it. Gero Neugebauer, a political scientist at the Free University in Berlin, said politicians were pandering to populist and racist sentiments instead of speaking out against them. “They think they can win votes,” he said. “It is as if speaking out against foreigners is now acceptable.” The Muslim community was particularly singled out by respondents. Over 55 percent of respondents said Arabs were not pleasant people, compared with 44 percent in the foundation’s 2003 report. As to whether Muslims should face restrictions in practicing their religion, 58 percent agreed. It was 75 percent in the Eastern Germany. The question was not posed in the 2003 study.
With this kind of attitude developing in Europe and in the United States where  Pakistani Army Generals  were selected for random searches at the airport,  it is unthinkable that the west can be of any help to anyone across the world.  The United States, despite whatever, its standing in the world, is mired in racial conflicts and  a vast majority of Muslims  there are feeling  alienated  from the mainstream.
In this deeply unstable world, marked by ethnic and religious fault  lines, its capacity to maintain tranquility is open to question. It has been pointed out time and again that the Kashmiri leadership should overcome its own  problems and prepare a roadmap which is suited to the times and  encompasses the aspirations of the people. Surely, they  can do it, present it, and  discuss it  and work out a way forward.

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