Interlocutors cry, “Eureka”!

Like the famous “Archimedes”, the Kashmir interlocutors have stumbled upon the truth which others had failed to discover for last 63 years!

It is said that the famous scientist Archimedes had been trying to solve the puzzle of floatation and one day when he jumped into a tub of water, he suddenly solved the puzzle and ran naked shouting, “Eureka” meaning, “I have discovered it”! The same has been the case with the interlocutors appointed by Delhi to solve the Kashmir puzzle.

The discovery can be termed to be the joke of the year. Usually at the end of the year the events, declarations, and so many other things that have occurred during the parting year are judged on various parameters to declare which have been the best of these. Well, among the jokes, one could say that the declaration of the interlocutors that the majority of Kashmiris do not want the right of self- determination committed under the UN resolutions can be judged as the joke of the year! This even exceeds George Orwell’s “Newspeak” of 1984! They have made a discovery which has evaded everyone for last 63 years! Normally, one expects media stalwarts to be bold and fearless in reporting the truth objectively but not in India. Here, everything is clouded by the so called “National interest”. Even the absolute truth gets coloured here by one or the other consideration. It is not a surprise to Kashmiris. They are used to such declarations by some of the eminent journalists after Kunan Poshpora, Chhitisinghpora, and the Shopian incidents. George Verghese declared that there were no rapes committed by Indian soldiers in the village of Kunan Poshpora. Prem Shankar Jha tried to drown the Shopian victims in an imaginary flash flood. They all gave clean chit to alleged culprits to uphold the “National interest”. Now, Dileep Padgaonkar declares that the majority of Kashmiris are not for the right of self-determination. Let us try to understand what the “National interest” of India is? Projected to be the largest democracy in the world, the first and foremost interest is to see that the democratic principles are upheld for all its citizens. Well, that is not the situation on ground especially in Kashmir. All these democratic principles and traditions cease at the Jammu & Kashmir border at Lakhanpur. Here, only the law that the might is right operates and state is always mightier than its poor subjects. The case is similar in Maoist strongholds as well as in most of the Northeast areas. One fails to find the land of the Guru Dev’s (Rabinder Nath Tagore) prayer in Geetanjali, “Where the mind is without fear… and the head is held high!” As opined by Arundhiti Roy India’s “National interest” is the interest of the upper caste Hindu Corporates!

She is being tried for sedition for declaring that Kashmir is not an integral part of India and Kashmiris want “Azadi” from India.

While replying to the charge she demanded that the first person to be charged with sedition should be Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru who declared umpteen times that the final fate of Kashmir was still undecided. She quoted a number of writings and declarations of Pandit Nehru in this behalf. India’s national motto is “Satya Meva Jayate!” the truth shall triumph. Unfortunately, in the present time the first casualty in India is the truth itself!

Now, coming back to interlocutors, one should not expect anything more than the veiled official line. After all they are virtually paid employees of the home ministry and are getting a hefty monthly salary with lot of other perks thrown in! Government of India has always tried to buy time and somehow manage the conflicts rather than resolve these. Had they been sincere, they would have drafted people like Ram Vilas Paswan and Sita Ram Yechury as political interlocutors. On the contrary, they chose non-political entities that would be prepared to work under the home minister. The interlocutors have discovered that people want empowerment for economic reasons. They want development and good governance. According to them only a minority is interested in UN resolutions by which they imply that the majority of people in Kashmir do not want “Azadi”. They are not the first ones to give such a judgement. They have themselves recommended that peaceful protests should be allowed. If their assessment is correct then the government should immediately implement their recommendation of allowing peaceful protests

. The paramilitary should be removed from all civilian areas. The bunkers should be demolished. Political prisoners should be freed. People will come out on the roads and express their views substantiating the fantastic declaration! Unfortunately, the governments in Delhi and Srinagar put more faith in the reports of the intelligence agencies than the statements of the interlocutors. They are mortally afraid of allowing any peaceful marches in Kashmir. Even the religious processions like the one on Muharram are not allowed. There is a lurking fear that any peaceful mass gathering will turn into a march for “Azadi”! By such declarations the interlocutors are only deceiving themselves. The entire world knows about the present Kashmir situation. It was after a long time that the world media focused attention on the uprising in Kashmir. In spite of a concerted campaign by government agencies to label it as agitational terrorism and externally inspired intifada, the majority opinion has been that it is an indigenous upheaval against India. Even the Indian Parliamentarians have confirmed that the uprising is indigenous. If the majority of Kashmiris are not for “Azadi” then why is the Government of India scared of holding a referendum in Kahmir? Let a referendum be held to decide the issue once and for all. Incidentally, the interlocutors were meant to bridge the gulf between the alienated people of Kashmir and India. They seem to be increasing the gap by their fantastic and novel declarations. It is almost the same thing the BJP is doing by its crude assault on the psyche of Kashmiris but in a more polished and sophisticated way! The import of both the attempts appears the same. The BJP is brazenly telling Kashmiris that Kashmir belongs to India whether they like it or not. To demonstrate that they had motivated the members of the Hindutva brigade from all over the country to move towards Lal Chowk to hoist the tri-colour in a manner symbolizing conquest. Well, the interlocutors are attempting to do the same thing in a diplomatic and civilized manner by telling the world that the majority of Kashmiris do not want “Azadi”!

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