Sense of victimhood



Daleep Padgoankar headed report mentions: ‘The sense of victimhood is articulated in the most intense emotional terms in the valley. The people of J and K have been denied peace and economic security which their counterparts in the rest of the country enjoyed in the last two decades’. Summing up the reasons, which it says are ‘compelling’, the report says: ‘For over six decades, people have experienced what in their eyes constitutes systematic denial of democratic rights through rigged elections, dismissal of elected governments, grooming of pliant politicians by Delhi, unwarranted detention of political leaders and as choking of dissenting voices through harsh laws.’
            These lines justify the stand of the pro-movement leadership. They also, unveil the mindset of the rulers in Delhi who treat Kashmiris like subjects rather than citizens. A community denied of peace and security and subjected to economic plunder {remember the huge exploitation of water resources, reminiscent of East India Company days, by NHPC} can never in the remote possibility be expected to be “part and parcel” of a country which loves to strut in the Lord Dalhozian foot-steps of eighteenth century. When for the past six decades you have, of your own hands, maintained different yardsticks and virtually treated Kashmiris as farm animals, roped and whipped, corralled and hunted, as and when you wish, your ‘super-human’ instinct erects a barricade between we, the dumfounded fiefs and you, the feudal lords. That also is what your own nominated group of interlocutors mouths out, though in different style and text. ‘Lack of concern outside the country’, the panelists whine, ‘over the plight of Kashmiris have further fuelled the sense of victimhood’. And ‘… all these factors’, observe the group, ‘have brutalized the Kashmiri society to the extent that today it fears for very survival of identity’. No, not only identity, Kashmiris are feeling their very survival is at stake. And Indian rulers far from allaying their apprehensions have, thanks to their hubris-driven attitude and deceitful ways, reinforced the suspicion and groomed it to the level of belief. Land grants bill, the revelation of Raj Taragni Society clandestinely giving state subject certificate to non-state residents, surreptitiously transferring of nearly 800 Kanal of forest land to Amaranth Shrine Board through a cabinet decision {which,      however, was revoked because of public tsunami in 2008} and similar other shocks Kashmiris were given and made them feel that their fate is not going to be different from that of Palestines.
            While panelists have put in hard labor to analyze the causes which fueled alienation, their recommendations suggest they have blindfolded themselves to the sun and focused on the flicker. They have recommended constituting three separate independent regional council for Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. To go on extra mile, they have suggested reorganization of state’s Legislative Council with equal number of members to be elected to it by the three regional councils. Plain and simple, the panel recommendations are hilariously funny. They are undemocratic and shorn of reason. When state is one, why should three independent regional councils be created. Especially when power gets decentralized to district, Tehsil and Panchayat level. In fact the suggestion has in it seeds of trifurcation. Then more provocative is the suggestion of equal membership for state’s Legislative Council. The only aim behind the suggestion is to erode the numerical strength of Kashmiris and tilt the power equation to Jammu. Kashmiris ‘alienation’ and ‘anger bubble’. We are afraid, cannot be removed by approaching the problem with biased and perverted minds. Come Kashmir, Indians, from Nehru to Manmohan, fall in grace. And get exposed.