Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Elections to wash the "June-Sin"

The present situation in Kashmir is unlikely to pacify due to a certain speech by the Prime Minister. However it was heartening to learn that the Indian Authorities are making an attempt to calm the boiling blood of the Valley.

In an Urdu speech broadcasted on the 10th of June in the Valley, the Prime Minister is seen to have come out in the open for the first time since 11th August. Some Credit has to go to Mr Jaitley, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, who unequivocally criticised the Prime Minister for his "Conspiracy of Silence" on the issue ever since 11th June, in the morning, on the floor of the House. The least that can be expected from the leader of the government, while regular curfews have become a way of life in a part of the country is some concern and an attempt to solve the issue. And silence hardly encourages any of these steps from being taken. However even though two months late, but finally the Prime Minister has come out in the open and have issued a statement regarding the situation in Kashmir. As some would say "better late than never". Cant comment on the validity of such excuses when it comes to the responsibilities of the nation on its Prime Minister though!!

However the "Late Speech", a welcome effort, from the Prime Minister bases itself on two major contentions. Firstly he proposes the idea of early Local Elections in Kashmir to bolster the faith of the population on its government and secondly he wants to encourage the Kashmiri youth into Indian Politics, through the youth wings of different political parties enjoying some sort of relevance in Kashmir. Even though it is a welcome effort by the Prime Minister but it portrays his failure to understand the cause behind such mass uproar.

Certain Facts to this Effect:

  1. It all started when a 17 year old local lad named Tufail Ahmed Mattoo died on his way back from the Friday prayers after being hit by a tear gas shell shot by the CRPF on June 11. ( Does anybody remember the Jalianwallah Masacre?)
  2. June 12th Rafiq Ahmed Bangaroo beaten to death by CRPF near his residence.
  3. Sopore witnesses brutal murder of Shakeel Ghanai and Firdous Khan aged 17 and 18 years respectively on June 25.
  4. 22 year old Bilawal Ahmed Wani shot in Sopore just two days later.
  5. A day later, Tajamul Bashir(20) and Tauqeer Rather(9) were killed in Delina and Sopore
  6. Following day CRPF firing kills Ishtiyaq Ahmed(15), Imtiyaz Ahmed Itoo(17) and Shujat ul Islam(17)

Ten young kashmiris murdered in less than 20 days is the ground reality in Kashmir and the Prime Minister wants to involve the Kashmiri youth in politics. The dead surely cant join and so goes their interest if any, and for the ones who are surviving them are surely not encouraged by the reality. May be they still cannot appreciate the factual situation in a rather ignorant way, the privilege to which lies only with the Prime Minister.

And more importantly the State needs to understand that elections can't wash away the sin committed by this disregard towards Human Blood. It is an earnest request that, the irresponsible field commanders of these CRPF regiments be brought to justice immediately as that is the only way that some faith could be reposed in the Valley.


  1. U inspire me Saptarishi :)

    Writin about any random topic is easy...such sensitive topic takes a lot more.

    Valley is a very sensitive yet ignored area, my brother was posted around dat area, rather in a more war prone area, he told me people their have no faith in government, i see no fault of theirs.

    Neither early elections nor withdrawing the inhumane army would do any good, the next one to be posted wont be angel from heaven.

    Resurrection of Kashmiri's now i think is not under govt. control, after so much suffrage they have lost trust.

    Facts are disheartening, & worse is that these facts are in record, many such cases have gone unnoticed.

    Expecting some "real" course of action by the next govt is like expecting Sun to rise from west.

    It feels pathetic to be living is such "democracy".

  2. You have written briefly but incisively. If I may add my humble bit, the inherent double standards of the Indian government, since independence regarding J&K requires to be revisited, however briefly. India has always upheld self determination by the populace rather than the ruler, and this was what it used in Nizam's Hyderabad, and other princely states where there was a Hindu majority population but a Muslim ruler. In case of J&K, the price that India and to be fair, Mountbatten asked for helping beleaguered Maharaja Hari Singh, in face of "insurgent tribals" (read Pakistani forces disguised as civilians) overrunning the valley, was a signature by Hari Singh on the instrument of accession. There were legal justifications: such as how could India send armed forces into a Princely State if it was not for self defence (of India's own territory) since until the Chinese invasion Nehru's stand was that India will not fight any war of aggression. However this seems specious. 63 years down the line, we are still trying to survive Nehru's and Patel's disastrous decision. Nehru, as was usual with him, had second thoughts. Thus the promise on media to have a UN brokered Plebiscite, which we have always tried to live down ever since. Why?
    Because we as Indians are aware deep down, that the people of J&K may not like to be Pakistani, bu they do not consider themselves to be Indians either. They are entitled to self determination just as Bangladesh was. Just as those in erstwhile Hyderabad were.
    India has to face this, and face this without making political brownie points.

  3. First of all I agree that unwarranted killings and shootings should be stopped. But it's naive at best (and foolish at worst) to believe that life is as easy as the prima facie representation of facts by EITHER side. But four things first -

    a) The Prime Minister can't make statements without ascertaining facts. He obviously knew about this and chose to not convey anything until he was clear on all the facts on the ground. This might seem like a stupid thing to do given the deaths and protests in the valley, but his support doesn't just extend to the people, but also the armed forced. He can't make blanket statement blaming people.

    b)The deaths are a concatenation of a myriad circumstances. The situation is volatile, you can't differentiate between a harmless protester and a suicide bomber/terrorist. Which means, the CRPF/Army/Paramilitary forces are given some lee way. Obviously some people are taking advantage of this and abusing their authority and certainly they should be bought into the purview of justice, but random baying for blood isn't a solution either.

    c) Kashmir is volatile. They're going to protest no matter what, no thanks to a whole bunch of influences making them do so. They won't stop. If protest are violent, the state will be too. You cant' stop that.

    d) The solution that the PM proposed is obviously a middle path. There is no other solution that addresses both sides. And since you have no offered any, I'm assuming that you agree with what he said. Sure some people were killed. STOP them from getting killed, don't criticize the idea without reason.

    Lastly, The question of right to Self Determination of Kashmir is a specious one, especially with respect to independence. A general reading would allow for requirements of statehood to be present before considering nationhood. But I think Self-Determination CAN be had by self-governance and grass-root level participation by the Kashmiris.

    THAT is the way ahead. And that's EXACTLY what the Prime Minister is doing. I think he's done the best he could in the given situation.