The only package Kashmir needs is justice

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ejazr, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article551897.ece?homepage=true

    If the Prime Minister does not take bold steps to address the grievances of the Kashmiris, there's no telling where the next eruption will take us.

    Whatever his other failings, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah deserves praise for acknowledging that the protests which have rocked the Kashmir valley these past few weeks are ‘leaderless' and not the product of manipulation by some hidden individual or group.

    This admission has been difficult for the authorities to make because its implications are unpleasant, perhaps even frightening. In security terms, the absence of a central nervous system means the expanding body of protest cannot be controlled by arresting individual leaders. And in political terms, the spectre of leaderless revolt makes the offer of ‘dialogue' or the naming of a ‘special envoy' for Kashmir — proposals which might have made sense last year or even last month — seem completely and utterly pointless today.

    Ever since the current phase of disturbances began, intelligence officials have been wasting precious time convincing the leadership and public of India that the protests are solely or mostly the handiwork of agent provocateurs. So we have been told of the role of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and ISI, of the ‘daily wage of Rs. 200' — and even narcotics — being given to stone pelters. A few weeks back, an audio recording of a supposedly incriminating telephone call was leaked to the media along with a misleading transcript suggesting the Geelani faction of the Hurriyat was behind the upsurge. Now, our TV channels have “learned” from their “sources” that the protests will continue till President Obama's visit in November.

    Central to this delusional narrative of manipulated protest is the idea that the disturbances are confined to just a few pockets in the valley. Last week, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters the problem was limited to Srinagar and two other towns. No doubt, some areas like downtown Srinagar, Sopore and Baramulla were in the ‘vanguard' but one of the reasons the protests spread was popular frustration over the way in which the authenticity of mass sentiment was being dismissed by the government. For the women who came on to the streets with their pots and pans and even stones, or the youths who set up spontaneous blood donation camps to help those injured in the demonstrations, this attempt to strip their protest of both legitimacy and agency was yet another provocation.

    In the face of this mass upsurge, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has two options. He can declare, like the party apparatchiks in Brecht's poem, that since the people have thrown away the confidence of the government, it is time for the government to dissolve the people and elect another. Or he can admit, without prevarication or equivocation, that his government has thrown away the confidence of the ordinary Kashmiri.

    This was not the way things looked in January 2009, when Omar Abdullah became chief minister. Assembly elections had gone off well. And though turnout in Srinagar and other towns was low, there was goodwill for the young leader. Of course, those who knew the state well had warned the Centre not to treat the election as an end in itself. The ‘masla-e-Kashmir' remained on the table and the people wanted it resolved. Unfortunately, the Centre failed to recognise this.

    It is too early to gauge the reaction to Mr. Abdullah's promise of a “political package” once normalcy is restored. But the people have thronged the streets are likely to ask why this package — which the chief minister himself admitted was “long in the pipeline” — was never delivered for all the months normalcy prevailed. What came in the way of amending the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act? Of ensuring there was zero tolerance for human rights violations? Of strengthening the “ongoing peace process both internally and externally”, as the all-party meeting in Srinagar earlier this month reminded the Centre to do?

    At the heart of this missing package is the Centre's failure to craft a new security and political strategy for a situation where militancy no longer poses the threat it once did. The security forces in the valley continue to operate with an expansive mandate that is not commensurate with military necessity. Even if civilian deaths are less than before, the public's capacity to tolerate ‘collateral damage' when it is officially said that militancy has ended and normalcy has returned is also much less than before.

    The immediate trigger for the current phase of protests was the death of 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo, who was killed by a tear gas canister which struck his head during a protest in Srinagar in June against the Machhil fake encounter of April 30. Many observers have blamed his death — and the deaths of other young men since then — on the security forces lacking the training and means for non-lethal crowd control. Tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon are used all over the world in situations where protests turn violent but in India, live ammunition seems to be the first and only line of defence. Even tear gas canisters are so poorly designed here that they lead to fatalities.

    Whatever the immediate cause, however, it is also safe to say that young Tufail died as a direct result of Machhil. Though the Army has arrested the soldiers responsible for the fake encounter, the only reason they had the nerve to commit such a heinous crime was because they were confident they would get away with it. And at the root of that confidence is Pathribal, the notorious fake encounter of 2000. The army officers involved in the kidnapping and murder of five Kashmiri civilians there continue to be at liberty despite being charge-sheeted by the CBI. The Ministry of Defence has refused to grant sanction for their prosecution and has taken the matter all the way to the Supreme Court in an effort to ensure its men do not face trial. What was the message that went out as a result?

    Had the Centre made an example of the rotten apples that have spoiled the reputation of the Army instead of protecting them all these years, the Machhil encounter might never have happened. Tufail would not be dead and angry mobs would not be attacking police stations and government buildings. Impunity for the few has directly endangered the lives of all policemen and paramilitary personnel stationed in Kashmir. There is a lesson in this, surely, for those who say punishing the guilty will lower the morale of the security forces.

    Mr. Abdullah may not be the best administrator but his biggest handicap as chief minister has been the Centre's refusal to address the ordinary Kashmiri's concerns about the over-securitsation of the state. Today, when he is being forced to induct an even greater number of troops into the valley, the Chief Minister's ability to push for a political package built around demilitarisation is close to zero.

    At the Centre's urging, Mr. Abdullah made a televised speech to his people. His words do not appear to have made any difference. Nor could they, when the crisis staring us in the face is of national and international proportions. Today, the burden of our past sins in Kashmir has come crashing down like hailstones. Precious time is being frittered in thinking of ways to turn the clock back. Sending in more forces to shoot more protesters, changing the chief minister, imposing Governor's Rule — all of these are part of the reliquary of failed statecraft. We are where we are because these policies never worked.

    The Prime Minister can forget about the Commonwealth Games, AfPak and other issues. Kashmir is where his leadership is urgently required. The Indian state successfully overcame the challenge posed by terrorism and militancy. But a people in ferment cannot be dealt with the same way. Manmohan Singh must take bold steps to demonstrate his willingness to address the grievances of ordinary Kashmiris. He should not insult their sentiments by talking of economic packages, roundtable conferences and all-party talks. He should unreservedly express regret for the deaths that have occurred these past few weeks. He should admit, in frankness and humility, the Indian state's failure to deliver justice all these years. And he should ask the people of Kashmir for a chance to make amends. There is still no guarantee the lava of public anger which is flowing will cool. But if he doesn't make an all-out effort to create some political space today, there is no telling where the next eruption in the valley will take us.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Children of the tehreek

    The recent violence suggests that, after 20 years, Kashmir has indeed changed – though not in the ways commonly suggested.

    When columns of the Indian Army drove through Srinagar on 7 July, rifles pointed out at the city, it was meant as a show of force; to tell its ‘mutinous’ population – and those watching elsewhere – just who was really in charge. Disconcertingly for the Indian government, it has had the opposite effect. Alarm bells have been sounding off: the situation in Kashmir is again explosive; the lid looks ready to blow off.

    Although the army has for years virtually controlled rural Kashmir, images of grim-faced soldiers on a ‘flag-march’ in Srinagar carried a different symbolism. For Srinagar has been the exception – the showpiece of ‘normalcy’, of a possible return to the bosom of India’s accommodating heart. Typically, the well-publicised entry of the soldiers was followed by a flurry of obtuse clarifications: the army was not taking over Srinagar; this was not a flag-march, only a ‘movement of a convoy’; yes, it was a flag-march, but only in the city’s ‘periphery’. The contradictions seemed to stem from a reluctance to deal with the elephant in the room: after more than 15 years, the army had once again been called out to stem civil unrest in Srinagar.

    When the Indian Army was deployed in Kashmir during the 1990s, the rebellion seemed to be fast spinning out of India’s control. Twenty years later, what has changed? There is now a massive investment in a ‘security grid’, built with more than 500,000 security personnel and shored up by a formidable intelligence network, said to involve some 100,000 people. The armed militancy, too, has officially been contained. Meanwhile, the exercise of ‘free and fair’ elections has been carried out to persuade the world that democracy has indeed returned to Kashmir. (Elections certainly delivered the young and telegenic Omar Abdullah as Chief Minister; but about democracy, Kashmiris will be less sanguine. They will recognise it the day the military columns and camps are gone from the valley.)

    Yet July was haunted by echoes of the early years of the tehreek, the movement for self-determination. As a brutally imposed lockdown curfew entered its fourth day, there was no safe passage past the paramilitary checkpoints – not for ambulances, not for journalists. For those four days, Srinagar’s newspapers were not published; local cable channels were restricted to just 10 minutes a day, and still had to make time for official views. SMS services remained blocked the entire month; in some troubled towns, cell-phone services were completely discontinued. But Srinagar still reverberated with slogans every night, amplified from neighbourhood mosques: ‘Hum kya chahte? Azadi!’ (What do we want? Freedom!) and ‘Go back, India! Go back!’

    War of perception
    The real barometer of the panic in the Indian establishment, though, was not the army’s flag march. It was the frantic speed (and dismal quality) of the attempts to obscure the crisis. In place of politics, it was once again left to disinformation to staunch the haemorrhage. At first, the Home Ministry began with the improbable charge that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba was organising and funding stone-throwing on the streets of Srinagar. This was a rather tame accusation for a militant group whose real signature is the ferocity of its attacks, as displayed clearly in the Mumbai strikes of November 2008. The only people who appeared to swallow this line were the loyal television anchors on the ‘national’ media; but with no real evidence to go on, even they let the mess quietly slide off the table.

    Evidence arrived soon enough, when the Home Ministry made available a taped phone conversation between two men described as ‘hardliner’ separatists. As the audio crackled and hissed, television channels provided translations: ‘There must be some more deaths’; ‘10-15 people must be martyred’; ‘You are getting money but not doing enough’. Despite the comic-book directness, it sounded like serious business. In the context of such ‘evidence’, mainstream television channels began parachuting their star power into Srinagar, and the empty, silent city became the backdrop against which they could stage their own spectacle.

    The CNN-IBN correspondent, happily embedded inside an army truck as it made its way through Srinagar, was extolling the impact of the flag march (even as an official was busy denying that there had been any such thing). NDTV provided its usual high-wire balancing act, with Barkha Dutt dredging up the ‘pain on both sides’. The grief of the mourning father of 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo, killed when his skull was taken apart by a teargas shell, was weighed against a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandant ruing the damage to his truck’s bulletproof windscreen. But such expedient journalism paled before far more damaging hubris. While these ‘national’ reporters had the run of curfew-bound Srinagar, they omitted to mention that their Srinagar-based colleagues – local, national and even international journalists – had been locked in their homes and offices for three days.

    While the spin generated by New Delhi probably has an impact on the middle-class viewer of the mainstream Indian media, it has little effect on people in Kashmir. On the ground, they continue to make sense of their own reality. The inability, or refusal, to comprehend this has become endemic to all arms of the Indian state. An exaggerated, even fluid, notion of reality takes its place, in which perception is everything. This was underlined forcefully in June when the chiefs of the army, navy and air force announced the new ‘Doctrine on Military Psychological Operations’, a policy document that aims to create a ‘conducive environment’ for the armed forces operating in ‘sub-conventional’ operations such as Kashmir and the Northeast. The doctrine reportedly provides guidelines for ‘activities related to perception management’. Manipulating the output of a few dozen newspapers and television channels is certainly hard work, but nothing compared with the much harder task of understanding – perhaps even accommodating – the aspirations of Kashmiris.

    Out of touch
    The intensity of the crisis did help in one way, though: it forced some candour out of the familiar faces of Kashmiri politics. (These are the visible ones, called up in times of crisis to represent Kashmir on television. The invisible ones were, as usual, already in detention.) Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) admitted on television that mainstream (or pro-India) political parties have lost all credibility, and now have no role to play in stemming the anger in the streets. When asked why politicians were not taking out ‘peace marches’, former separatist and now ‘mainstream’ leader Sajjad Lone bluntly said that all of them ran the risk of being lynched by the people. Meanwhile, all the oxygen was taken up by discussion of the survival of Omar Abdullah’s government, something that mattered little to protestors.

    Amidst the baying chorus of TV panellists outraged by the gall of ‘stone-pelters’, many have forgotten that in 1991 it was precisely such public demonstrations – and civilian casualties at the hands of the CRPF – that finally triggered a full-fledged armed militancy. In recent weeks, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s language has shown how out of touch he is, joining the talk of ‘miscreants’ with his comments about ‘frayed tempers’ and waiting for ‘tempers to cool down’. Across the board, this disconnect with the structures of electoral politics helped to put the elections of two years ago in some perspective.

    In 2007, I finished a documentary film on Kashmir, which had tried to pull back from the quagmire of everyday events to understand the inchoate ‘sentiment’ for azadi. Quite by coincidence, the film arrived at the very moment that the constructed ‘normalcy’ of Kashmir was about ready to be shown off: tourists were flowing in, more than 400,000 people had taken part in the pilgrimage to the Amarnath shrine, and elections were being discussed. Screenings of the documentary in India were often met with raised eyebrows, with people incredulous that such sentiments could survive the weight of the cast-iron security grid – and, of course, the passage of 20 years. Yet things can change in a day, and so they did.

    In early summer 2008, isolated protests broke out over the acquisition of land for the Amarnath Shrine Board. This eventually turned into the most formidable upsurge of the past decade, with peaceful demonstrations of up to 20,000 people at a time. The cascading protests carried on for several months before being curbed, but not before more than 60 people lost their lives to the bullets of the security forces. In the summer of 2009, Shopian district was shaken by the rape and murder of two young women; once again, mostly peaceful protests paralysed the valley, and Shopian town was shut down for an unprecedented 47 days. The cycle of street violence in 2010 too began several months ago, with the uncovering of the Machil killings, where soldiers of the Indian Army (including a colonel and a major) were charged with the murder of three civilians, presenting them as militants for the reward money (see accompanying story by Dilnaz Boga). Protests led to the killing of protesters, which has led to more protests, and more killings.

    New front
    What do Kashmiris want? Most of all, even before azadi, they want justice. As they watched the Indian Army columns moving through Srinagar last month, Kashmiris would have been reminded that the protests this summer started with the Army in the killing fields of Machil. But like the Shopian incident, Machil too has begun to be edged off the burner, and forgotten, as have the hundreds of such killings that civil-society groups have painstakingly tried to resurrect. So, just as elections cannot be confused with democracy in Kashmir, an elected government is no substitute for a working justice system. Meanwhile, the prolonged use of the Public Safety Act, and the dangerous license of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, is slowly wearing thin for the young. This July, as the numbing news of young Kashmiris being shot in street protests started pouring in, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, told the press that ‘the baton of the freedom struggle has now been passed on to the next generation’. He could have added that, over twenty years, the baton might also have moved from the armed militancy and the ‘separatists’, straight onto the street.

    As the taped phone conversation provided by the Home Ministry was being celebrated on TV, in only a few hours a more accurate translation of what was actually an innocuous conversation was burning through the Internet. This phone ‘evidence’ evaporated under the heat of scrutiny, its effects felt even in Delhi newsrooms. Such a speedy deconstruction of a suspect claim is only the latest in the deeply political use of the Internet by young Kashmiris. These are children of the tehreek, born and brought up in the turmoil of the last two decades. They have not, and probably will not, become armed mujahideen. But thousands are out on the streets, throwing stones, occasionally drawing blood, often taking hits, but in any case successfully paralysing the increasingly bewildered security forces. What armed militant could achieve more?

    So will the Internet be the next threat for the Home Ministry? Will they accuse the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen of supporting the Facebook chatter about the ‘intifada’ in Kashmir? And after that? Already, young Kashmiris on social-networking sites are reporting phone calls from belligerent police officers, threatening them with serious charges including ‘waging war against the state’. Reports said that Qazi Rashid, the young mirwaiz of south Kashmir, has been accused of ‘instigating violence and justifying stone-pelting’ – through Facebook.

    -- Sanjay Kak is a documentary filmmaker based in Delhi. His latest documentary, Jashn-e-Azadi (2007), is about Kashmir.
     
  4. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    The problem is that the civilian society of Kashmir is hypocritical in its views. On one hand, they will rant on and on about the Indian Army and how a couple of civilians are killed by the Army in the Valley. On the other hand, how many of them have protested against the terrorists that are the root cause of the Army's presence in Kashmir in the first place? How many of them were out on the streets protesting against Pakistan when Kargil was taking place? How many of them took out protest marches when 26/11 took place? Rehte yahan hain, lekin namak us paar ka khate hain.

    If they are so keen on becoming a part of Pakistan, they can all migrate en masse to the other side. Kashmir however, will never be separated from India.
     
  5. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    What justice has been denied to the people of Kashmir,what tools of political empowerment has been denied to them, that other states and its sovereigns enjoy.to the contrary Kashmir over the years has come to enjoy greater political sovereignty than any state n the union has ever had.Talking about 'political packages' every time a mob erupts on the streets is a sure sign of political impotence over sagacity, which has been the case with how various union govts have approached the issue over the years........

    What Kashmir needs is not political packages(which are nothing but separatist wish list disguised in legal parlance)but political integration.Article 370 has ensured that Kashmir remains a socio-political ghetto, always on the fringe of the national mainstream.This ghettoization ,this exclusiveness from the rest of the country is the mother of all problems.

    Kashmir will see no economic development as long as she remains a constitutional ghetto(please don't tell me Kashmiris will have a real economy rowing tourists houseboats)and the union govt's will never be see the end to this pitiable tale until they treat Kashmir as a political colony.

    Does the govt have the political courage to do what is right,which is definitely not offering a new slew of 'political packages'
     
  6. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well as the article suggests there are some clear cut cases of HR violations. Like the 2000 Pathribal case where the CBI themselves chargesheeted officers. Then we have the more recent Machil fake encounter case where the local police after due diligence found and chargsheeted locals as well as army personnel involved. In such clear cut cases justice shold be served. These were not rumours or people dying when they defied curfews. This is what is missing and this is what has been denied. This is even before you talk about polical or economic packages. Look at poonch and rajouri districts which has seen some of the worst militancy and also happens to be Muslim majority. There a few HR violations were punished back in the 90s. At present, there are completely pro-Indian and infact insist on the army being there even though it was recommended their units be removed as militancy has waned.

    Here is the difference between proving justice.

    Ofcourse you will still have people fishing in troubled waters but giving examples of punishing blatant HR violations will go a long way in getting confidence of the people.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ^^Ah the sense of victim hood.Its like being perfected as an art....
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Now this is what the real sense of justice..She deserves more than the loonies on the valley streets.

    Rukhsana Kausar seeks permanent job in paramilitary force


    Kashmiri girl Rukhsana Kausar, who shot into limelight after killing a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist, today demanded a permanent government job, ideally in a paramilitary force, and said she should be shifted out of her home district of Rajouri in view of the threat to her family.

    The 20-year-old also said she favours imparting military training to children in schools so that they can "overcome fear and prepare themselves for taking on terrorists".

    Kausar, who has been appointed as a special police officer in Jammu and Kashmir Police along with her brother and uncle for her bravery, said at a press meet organised by the Anti-Terrorist Front here that she wants a Central government job, "ideally in the CRPF".

    "I am ready to sacrifice myself for the country. I am ready to do any job for my country, but it should be a permanent central government employment. The SPO's job is a temporary one," she said.

    Kausar also dismissed reports that she wants to settle in Delhi, but said she should be given a job outside Rajouri as living there is not safe for her family. She cited the revenge attack on her house by militants last week.

    Flanked by her family — brother Aijaz and parents Noor and Rashida — the girl who earned the sobriquet of "braveheart", recalled how she along with her brother killed a top Pakistani militant of the LeT and injured another after a group of ultras barged into their house in Shahdra Sharief of Rajouri district on September 27. "At around 9pm, they had knocked our doors. They forced my parents to open the door and started beating them up," Kausar said. She recalled how she and Eijaz, 18, scuffled with the militants, hit them with an axe and killed one of them after snatching his AK-47 rifle.

    Kausar, whose bravery had came in for praise from president Pratibha Patil and home minister P Chidambaram, said children should be given military training and made aware of how terrorists were wreaking havoc. "Kashmir is ours and will be so. We will fight the militants," she said.

    Asked whether she is ready to join the army if given a chance, she said "yes". To a question, Rukhsana said no major political leader had come to meet her after the incident.

    Eijaz said he also wants a Central government job. He said the family is not safe is Rajouri. "Some people asked me if I will be going to my house on October 29. I said yes, after which the grenade attack came at the night."

    Anti-Terrorist Front chairman MS Bitta, who presented a Saibaba idol to Kausar and posed carrying swords with the family, said the girl should be given a job in CRPF or BSF.

    He alleged that "big political leaders" were shying away from meeting Rukhsana and no official other than the Rajouri SSP has came to her aid. A Maharashtra university was to award her, but scrapped the plan due to a "terror threat", he said.

    "Why the BJP, which talks of tough stand against terror, has not honoured her," he asked adding, he has a feeling that Kausar was not getting her due as she is a Muslim.

    Kausar's mother Rashida said she is proud of her daughter and wants her to work for the country.

    Bitta said he along with the family of Rukhsana will visit Ajmer Sharif tomorrow.

    "We will give our thanks for saving the lives of Rukhsana and his family," he said.

    A team of Jammu and Kashmir police is travelling with Rukhsana for her protection while security has also been strengthened at her house in Rajouri, one of thecommandos accompanying the girl, said.
     
  9. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    She is from Rajouri district where the cases of HR violations are low. That is what I said in my earlier post.

    When blatant HR violations are not punished this is what creates a sense of victimhood. Ofcourse there are others who will take advantage of it. But when blatant cases like Pathribal or Machil are not punished itcauses more problems than solutions
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    People in the valley feel only they are "Kashmiris" and the entire country goes along with this hijacking of the term. They are mollycoddled enough that they believe that they have a have a veto over what everyone else in the state wants.Most of J&K state already feels (and wants to remain) part of India, but they are never heard in media.What about the justice to the people of Jammu and Laddak.Kashmir valley eat away the 80% of the center grants Jammu and laddak gets only 20% left.I say trifurcate the state.Valley people and politician have hijacked whole of J&K state.

    Jammu & Kashmir: Is Trifurcation a Viable Solution?


    by R . Upadhyay

    Is there a Kashmiri identity? Those in POK are actually Mirpuris. Those in Jammu are mostly Hindus and Sikhs and the Buddhists dominate Ladakh. People tend to equate the politics of Kashmir with the politics of Srinagar valley. Is trifurcation a viable solution or will it create more problems? This paper examines these issues. Director

    The endless turmoil in the state of Jammu and Kashmir has also generated a debate for its trifurcation. The supporters of the theory favouring the division of the state put forward the following points in their arguments-

    * Historically, the present conglomeration of three heterogeneous regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh were never an organic political entity.

    * There is inherent inter regional contradictions in terms of history, physiography, ethnicity, language and culture.

    * This sharp inter-regional contradiction has a ‘spill over’ in the political perception of the three dominant communities of the respective region and integration is absent.

    * Political domination of Kashmiri Muslims and their discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh kept the latter neglected. Ladakh has persistently raised the issue of Islamic domination.

    * The Hindus and Buddhists of the state are apprehensive of the likely demographic change in their respective regions due to large- scale Muslim influx from Kashmir valley. The Doda district for example has changed from a Hindu majority to a Muslim majority district.

    Heterogeneous character of the three regions

    For an academic discussion, one may like to argue that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is a rare synthesis of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, but historically all the three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh always maintained their distinct regional identity. Due to distinct ethno-regional division of the state into three regions and their separate physiography, history, culture, and language, the people never developed any emotional link among themselves.

    The language spoken by the inhabitants of Ladakh is Tibetan in origin. Buddhism as a religion with distinct social customs and ethnicity has very little in common with the 95% Kashmiri speaking Muslim population of Kashmir valley. Similarly, the Hindus of Jammu region with Dogri as their language and Vedic culture never had any emotional communication with either of the two regions. Thus in absence of any emotional link no common identity could ever emerge as a binding force required for an organic political entity. The political geography of these three regions did not undergo any major change even during the rule of Moghul kings as they were never under single administrative command.

    The present geo-political territory of Jammu and Kashmir emerged as a state only in the middle of the nineteenth century. Ranjit Singh, the ruler of Lahore Kingdom annexed the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in 1819 and apportioned the rule of Jammu to his Dogra Commander Gulab Singh in 1820 after crowning him as king. In 1834 Gulab Singh annexed the Kingdom of Ladakh. In 1846, when Kashmir was ceded to Dogra King under the Treaty of Amritsar with British Government – all the three regions of Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir came under a single administrative control of the autocratic regime of Maharaja Gulab Singh. Thus, historically there is no ambiguity in the factual position that the three distinct regions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir were conglomerated under a single geo-political boundary only in 1846.

    Inherent Inter-regional contradictions

    Due to inherent inter-regional contradictions, the successive Maharajas belonging to the Dogra clan of Jammu, who ruled this state for about one hundred years before its accession to India in October 1947 failed to create any emotional link among them. The Kashmiri Muslims under the influence of Islamic fundamentalists never compromised their subjugation under a non-Muslim Dogra regime. In fact the rule of Jammu clan over the Muslims of Kashmir since 1846 generated animosity between the two regions to an extent of an oppressor and an alien. This historical antagonism between the two gradually transformed their political mindset, which never allowed them to develop a united attitude towards any issue.

    Taking advantage of the political movement in India against the British Government, the Kashmiri Muslims formed an organisation known as Anjuman-e-Islamia in 1924 with a slogan to scrap Amritsar Treaty under which Kashmir was ceded to the Kingdom of Dogra clan. In 1931 Muslim Conference that subsequently changed into National Conference also focused their agitation more for freedom from the autocratic rule of the Hindu Maharaja of Jammu clan than against the British Government. The Quit Kashmir Movement of National Conference and Quit India Movement of Indian National Congress had different political perceptions for the Kashmiri Muslims and Hindus of Jammu.

    Inter regional contradiction in political perceptions

    The sharp inter-regional contradiction in the political perception between the Muslims of Kashmir and the Hindus of Jammu during freedom movement also proves that they were mentally not attuned to integrate themselves emotionally. Even after transfer of authority from an autocratic regime to a democratic government in October 1947 the situation did not undergo any major change. While the Kashmiri speaking Muslims of the Kashmir valley by and large remained Islamist and were votaries of greater autonomy, the Hindus of Jammu had no problem in amalgamating with the mainstream political set up in India after the accession of the state. The Buddhists of Ladakh due to their animosity against the Muslims of the valley wanted to free themselves from the Muslim domination. But the then political leadership in India did not bother to understand the multi-dimensional dis-similarities in language, culture, ethnicity, history, geography and political perception of the region and transferred the dynastic authority of Dogra ruler solely to the Muslim leadership of Kashmir. They failed to work out a political mechanism for emotional integration of the people of all the three regions.

    Exploiting the softness of Pandit Nehru towards him, Sheikh Abdullah ignored the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Ladakh and diplomatically maneuvered the inclusion of article 370 in the Indian constitution. Thus, managing absolute political power under this article, he neglected the political and economic interest of Jammu and Ladakh and was more like an autocratic successor to the Dogra king. Sheikh Abdullah for all his greatness failed to win the trust of both Jammu and Ladakh.

    Political domination of Kashmiri Muslims:

    The democratic process in the state of Jammu and Kashmir was initiated with first assembly election in 1951. But by maneuvering the dominant political representation of the valley in the state Legislative Assembly, Sheikh Abdullah managed to place the political command of the state in the hands of Kashmiri Muslims. With Kashmir valley-centric mindset Sheikh Abdullah deliberately earmarked 43 seats for Kashmir, 30 for Jammu and 2 for Ladakh in the then house of a 75-member Legislative Assembly in the state, even though more than half of the population and 90 per cent of the land area belong to Jammu and Ladakh. Presently, in the house of 87-member legislative assembly in the state, Kashmir valley sends 46 members and the rest is shared between the two regions with 37 from Jammu and only 4 from Ladakh. Of the total 6 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh have been sharing 3, 2 and 1 seats respectively. The regional share of political representation in the state is not in conformity with the strength of population and voters structure of the respective region. The voters strength of Jammu (24,55,174), Kashmir valley (24,22,765) and Ladakh (1,43719) vindicates the allegation that the people of Jammu and Ladakh due to uneven representation in the state Legislative Assembly were discriminated in the decision making process in the state. There are also allegations that in the absence of the control of the Election Commission of India in conducting the election in Jammu and Kashmir till 1967, the National Conference manipulated the rejection of the nomination of opposition candidates to maintain its hegemony in the political control of the state.

    Since no sincere effort was made by the dominant Muslim leadership in the state to integrate the people of these regions emotionally, no genuine state level leader with his influence all over the three regions could ever be produced in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

    The best course perhaps could have been to bring the state of Jammu and Kashmir also under the purview of State Re-organisation Commission. But due to the special status of the state under Article 370 of the constitution, the re-organisation of this heterogeneous combination was not possible. On the other hand the absence of a genuine state level leadership, the Kashmiri identity as being projected by the political leaders of Kashmir valley had no takers among the Hindus of Jammu and the Buddhists of Ladakh. In reality, the Kashmiri identity became a synonym of the Muslim identity in the state. Since the Hindus of Jammu and Buddhists of Ladakh are historically, culturally and linguistically poles apart from the Muslims of Kashmir, the political domination of the latter has never been acceptable to the remaining two major groups of the state. Thus, against the never-ending greater autonomy demand of the Muslims from the central Government, the Hindus of Jammu and the Buddhists of Ladakh are demanding autonomy from the domination of the former.

    Growing apprehension in Jammu and Ladakh against demographic changes:

    The ethno-religious divide continued to haunt the dominant inhabitants of Jammu and Ladakh regions. Creation of a separate district of Doda for the Muslim majority area of Udhampur district of Jammu and similar Muslim majority district of Kargil after bifurcating the Buddhist majority district of Ladakh is viewed as an ill-designed fundamentalist approach of Kashmiri leaders for ethnic cleansing of the state. The plight of about two lakh Hindu migrants from Kashmir valley has confirmed their fear. Their deep apprehension that the Islamic fundamentalists with the support of the state Government are systematically trying to bring a demographic change in the regions with a view to make them also a Muslim majority area – has alienated them from Kashmiri Muslim. Lama Lobzang, a prominent Buddhist leader of Ladakh and also a member of National Commission of Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes said, “The NC(National Conference) Government is deliberately settling a large number of people from the valley with a view to reducing the Buddhist majority in Ladakh into minority” ( Organiser dated August 13,2000 page 10).

    In 1964, the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) spearheaded a movement against Kashmiri domination in the region and demanded a NEFA type central administration there. After their protracted agitation they however, agreed to the formation of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) in 1995. But scared with the influx of Kashmiri Muslims in Ladakh, the LAHDC passed a resolution seeking Union Territory status of Ladakh. Though the state Government rejected this resolution, Ladakh region raised its voice again for statehood with the status of Union Territory, when the state Legislative Assembly adopted a resolution in June 2000 demanding greater autonomy and pre-1953 status of the state.

    An organisation known as Panun Kashmir formed by the Hindu migrants of Kashmir also demanded creation of separate homeland for them on the north and east of Jhelum.

    Similarly, the Hindu dominated Jammu region has been nursing a grudge against the Kashmir centric politics right from the day of 1952 Delhi Agreement. An organisation known as Praja Parishad under the leadership of Prem Nath Dogra had launched an agitation against the domination of Kashmiri Muslims following the Delhi Accord of 1952. In 1979 the people of Jammu region again launched agitation against the economic neglect of the area and discrimination in Government jobs, setting up the professional institutions and other employment related Government projects. They also allege that central funds for developmental schemes in the state have become the sole privilege of the Kashmir valley due to diplomatic maneuvering by the Muslim leaders.

    In view of the multi-dimensional inter-regional contradictions followed by time-to-time agitation like Praja Parishad movement in 1952-53 the state Government set up Gajendragadkar Commission in 1967 to look into the allegations and grievances of the people of the two regions. Another commission known as Wazir Commission was set up in 1980 following the Poonch agitation of 1978-79. However, the Government did not take due notice to the Commissions report. According to an observation of Gajendragadkar Commission, “The main cause of irritation and tension is the feeling of political neglect and discrimination from which the certain regions (Jammu and Ladakh) suffer. Even if all the matters are equally settled, we feel that there would still be a measure of discontent unless the political aspirations of the different regions are satisfied.” ( Quoted from The Region of Jammu: A saga of neglect and discrimination –By Hari Om published in a book entitled Politics of Autonomy in Jammu and Kashmir)

    Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s move for greater autonomy demand with pre-1953 status of the state encouraged certain sections in Jammu and Ladakh regions for raising the demand for division of the state into three autonomous regions. Some local leaders of the RSS also supported this view. But the issue has so far not been raised from any corner in the state aggressively. At national level too no political party has taken any official stand in favour of the tri-furcation of the state. Even the RSS, which is quite vocal for the cause of the Hindus of Jammu, Hindu migrants of Kashmir and Buddhists of Ladakh in a resolution adopted in a meeting (July 2’2000 at Koba-Ahmedabad) of its Akhil Bhartiya Karyakari Mandal (ABKM) strongly opposed the greater autonomy demand of Farooq Abdullah. It urged upon the Government, “to ensure that in any discussions with the protagonists of autonomy, which is a thin veil for ‘azadi’, the uprooted Hindus of the valley are rehabilitated in their home state and involved in deliberations at every level and the political aspirations of Jammu and Ladakh regions are fully met."

    Conclusion

    There is no doubt that the divergent political orientation, aspirations and mindsets of the three regions and their geo-ethnic division fulfill all the criteria required for the tri-furcation of the state. The Ladakh Buddhist Association has already come up with a demand for Union Territory status of the region. In Jammu, an organisation like Jammu Mukti Morcha was formed with its sole aim and objective favouring tri-furcation of state by creation of separate state of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. It also set up one candidate for assembly election in 1996 but lost badly.

    Despite the convincing reasons behind the demand for tri-furcation of state, its division on communal line may not be desirable in the larger national interest. When Pakistan is still harping on the two-nation theory that has been buried deep after the emergence of Bangladesh, time is not ripe for such a division now with the state facing the most virulent Jehadi type of Muslim insurgency. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is having border with both Pakistan and China. Pakistan has made a number of attempts to grab this state forcefully. Thus due to over all security reason its tri-furcation may lead to security complications. Our experience in North Eastern region of the country has proved that creation of smaller states has only helped the divisive forces in the country. The need of the hour is to have an emotional integration of all the three regions of this state. A fair deal with all the three regions with proportionate political representation in the decision making process, their rightful and legitimate share in the economic developments and resolution of regional imbalance may perhaps be the only solution. The protagonists of inter-regional autonomy also have valid reason for their demand that people of Jammu, Ladakh and migrant Hindus from Kashmir valley must be taken into confidence in the discussion relating to the problem of Kashmir.
     
  11. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    HR violations,alleged or real,are the ugly realities of a state of affair where laws have to be enforced rather than applied.Where laws must be enforced by forces violations are to be expected.There will never be a ideal situation where 'some laws' can be 'enforced' with violating others.The core issue here is that a national govt must not be forced to into situation where laws have to be constantly enforced.This state of affairs is what leads to host other problems including the alleged or real violation of rights by 'law enforcers'.

    Like stated by the above poster, a mentality of victimhood has been nurtured, with no little encouragement from constitutional provisions,where every simple act omission or commission,leads to a situation where laws needs to be 'constantly enforced'. what political package can tackle this problem at its root.

    why does a violent mob take to the streets every time there is a death in a any part of the state,why doesn't the same thing happen in any other state.that is the crux of the matter.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Kashmir: Is this restraint?


    Restraint. That is what we are being asked to show while dealing with the protests in Kashmir. Not just domestically, but by nations not known for much restraint themselves, including the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

    What does it mean?

    Does it mean the government abdicates its responsibility to protect the life and property of its citizens?

    Does it mean allowing marauding maniacs to rule the streets, many of them flying Pakistani flags?

    Does it mean not using your gun, and letting yourself get beaten up by a rampaging, stonethrowing, bloodthirsty mob? That is what the trooper above obviously did.
     
  13. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    There were many cases of falsely implicating Armed forces or police in killings of people. A lot fo people from kashmir valley are deeply involved in putting Indian security forces in the bad light. But it will not always work. See the example of shopian girl drowning case.

     
  14. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    The only so called justice those protesters want is "azadi" and that's never going to happen . Those misguided loonies will gain nothing by pelting stones will those provoking them are in the payroll of Pakistan.
    The recent turmoil is artificial sponsored by those across the border.
     
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    even Rajouri is muslim dominated distt. then how come there are no human rights only in valley we hear these problem.bottomline is valley people have long been mollycoddled by the center that they got pampered.as time passed by they have perfected this playing victim card.Did these valley people ever condemn terrorists who kill them.instead they help them.Truth is that once the pure movement for kashmiriyat has been hijacked by separatist and now it has green written all over it.it is out an out wahabi islamo-fascist movement which is controlled from pakistan. Secular thread of valley has long been broken by the valley people itself.
     
  16. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Posters have ignored an explicit fact that I made regarding Pathribal incident and Machil fake encounter have been proven cases of HR violations by the CBI and the J&K police. I am nottalking about SHopian double rape and murder or other questionable incidents but those which are HR violations and have been charged by government agencies.

    These should have been punished. These give precendents for the next set of army men looking to "hire" poor Ksahmiris and kill them and call them militants. Same thing with the PAthribal incident.

    J&K is a sensitive state and hence HR violation prevention should be at aheigtened state. The Indian army is there to protect Indian citizens and Kashmiris are part of it. When some armymen fail in their duty like the Pathribal or Machil case, then they shouldbe punished otherwise they tarnish the entire imageof the Army which has doen a commendable job in a difficult environment. Lets not forget that the local Kashmir muslim police and SOG force have led the way in providing intelligence and culling foreign militants.

    By not punishing such blatant HR violations GoI is friterring all the goodwill it had. Let me give another example. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's father was killed by the ISI backed Hizb, there was huge anger against the Hizb and PAkistan in generalafter that. When the procession of his body was goingthough the local BSF force stationed their got jittery among the sloganeering and shot and killed 60+ mourners. A classic foolish act that turned all the anti-Pakistan feeling back into anti-Indian feeling. These are type of incidents even ex-ISI officials have acknowledge that has helped them in keep the sepratist movement alive.

    This is what the securty establishment in particular has to realise.
     
  17. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Understanding Kashmir’s stone pelters

    It is not hard to see where the frustration of the educated Kashmiri youth comes from. On the one hand, they are told that they are Indian citizens but they are shut out of the narrative of India as an emerging economic power

    As tensions escalate in Srinagar between angry mobs led by stone pelting teenagers and the security forces, there is a real fear that the situation in Kashmir is fast spinning out of control. Heartrending spectacles of teenage boys defiantly hurling rocks at the police and paramilitary personnel and of mothers weeping besides the bodies of loved ones killed in the indiscriminate firing by the security forces, playing out daily on television screens nationwide, have jolted us out of our collective complacence as regards Kashmir.
    Since end-April, quiet rage has been building up in the Valley. It has taken several weeks to explode into full scale violence. That is why it is all the more inexplicable why there has been an inertia and a curious passivity in the responses of the Centre and the Omar Abdullah administration to the events as they have been building up these last two months.
    While stone pelting has become a routine feature of street protests in Srinagar since the summer of 2008, it had revived with particular intensity after April, when three youths were alleged to have been killed in a fake encounter in Machhil. The accidental death of a schoolboy, Tufail Mattoo, as a result of teargas shelling on June 11 was the apparent flashpoint setting the Valley afire as mass protests erupted all over. Waves of stone pelting protesters descended on the streets of Srinagar, defying curfew orders. As security forces retaliated by firing on these teenagers armed only with rocks, those killed in the firing were immediately appropriated and anointed as shaheed or martyrs to the separatist cause, thereby infusing fresh dynamism into the separatist agitation.
    Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in his press conference in New Delhi on Monday appeared to be at pains to balance the two imperatives of the situation he is now confronted with. He stressed that the cycle of violence would have to be broken and was clear that law-breakers would have to face the consequences. At the same time, the Chief Minister was careful to underscore that the problem of Kashmir was “a political one” and the state needed a “political package”. But with the ground situation worsening by the day, it may be a case of “too little too late” if Mr. Abdullah is seen as relying primarily on a law and order approach to the protests instead of moving swiftly to address what is essentially a crisis of confidence in the political system.
    Yet it is also clear that alarmist descriptions of the street protests in Srinagar as the beginning of an intifada as in Palestine protesting Israeli rule or a new tehreek (movement) akin to the movement of the early ‘90s when the movement for self determination began in the Valley, do not convey the true picture of what is happening in Srinagar today. From many accounts, the situation in Kashmir is manifestly retrievable.
    According to experienced observers such as Wajahat Habibullah, the street protests today have very little of the sting of the protests of the ‘90s which had a strong undercurrent of intense anti-India sentiment. Today's protesters might shout anti-India slogans such as azadi, but their anger is specifically directed at the security forces in the context of the brutal killings of innocent boys. Unlike the ‘90s, the street protests are spontaneous gatherings reacting to events. If this latest manifestation of popular outrage is suppressed by force, there is a danger that these protests will become currents merging in the larger separatist movement.
    The protesters on the streets, apart from the teenagers, are educated doctors and MBAs, frustrated at the lack of employment and economic opportunities. It is not hard to see where the frustration of the educated Kashmiri youth comes from. On the one hand, they are told that they are Indian citizens but they are shut out of the narrative of India as an emerging economic power. With mobile phones and internet communication being restricted, their sense of participation in the larger Indian discourse is sharply reduced.
    Film maker Sanjay Kak has pointed out in a perceptive analysis in the August issue of the South Asian journal Himal that Kashmir's new generation of protesters are “children of the tehreek, born and brought up in the turmoil of the last two decades”. They “have not and probably will not become armed mujahedeen”. Yet by adroit use of social media such as Facebook, as Kak has observed, the educated youth of Kashmir are setting up new sites and new ways of confronting the Indian state which needs far greater ingenuity in dealing with the current situation.
    It is not as though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not have the requisite ingenuity and experience to deal with this present crisis. In his first term as Prime Minister, he had held three Round Tables on the issue in 2006 and 2007. Five working groups which were set up as a result of the round table initiative, including one on centre-state relations, have presented their reports. These reports might not have been particularly imaginative in their potential but signalled the government's willingness to address the concerns of the average Kashmiri, alienated by decades of New Delhi's indifference.
    Dr. Singh, who visited Srinagar in early June, has held back from picking up the threads of his earlier parleys with the parties and leaders of the Valley, presumably to allow the newly elected Omar Abdullah state administration the political space to formulate its own policies. In retrospect, to have allowed the momentum to peter out of the peace process that had been set in motion during Dr. Singh's first term might have been a costly mistake. New Delhi should have underlined that its commitment to the pursuit of a political solution remained intact regardless of the change of regime in Srinagar.
    The earlier power sharing arrangement that the Congress had with the PDP when it won the Assembly elections in 2002 had enabled the Manmohan Singh dispensation after 2004 to seize the high ground on Kashmir. The perception that New Delhi was willing to reach out to the separatists in the Hurriyat and was simultaneously restarting talks with Pakistan to resolve the long standing dispute over Kashmir's status had brightened the mood in the Valley considerably.
    The PDP while still being seen as a party owing substantively to its connections with Delhi, by asserting its relatively local roots and acknowledging the serious deprivations arising from the State's alienation, had appeared to gain credibility and salience. The PDP-Congress coalition made some headway in its launching of a reconciliatory process in the Valley, thereby undercutting into the base of the separatist agitation.
    But in recent years, the series of opportunistic moves on the Amarnath yatra and the Shopian episode designed to mobilise communal and separatist sentiments have damaged the PDP's image as a responsible interlocutor. Thus if the National Conference carries the burden of a daunting historical baggage, the PDP stands considerably discredited by its dalliance with separatism.
    Yet both these parties at heart recognise that it is essential to keep Kashmir anchored to the Indian union, albeit with loosened ties. It is their duty at this historically crucial moment to step back from the brinkmanship that is a perennial feature of their competitive politics and work together to find a solution in the state's and the national interest.
    The reality is that these parties are yielding critical space to Islamist fundamentalist groups such as the Tehreek-i-Hurriyat and the Duktaran-e-Millat. It is not too late for the mainstream parties to reach out to the moderate elements of the Hurriyat such as Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq and Yasin Malik, co-opting them in the project of bringing peace back to the streets of Srinagar.
    Otherwise they would only be making it easier for the Islamist separatists to take control of this youth-driven agitation, described by the Chief Minister as a “leaderless” protest, and turn it into a deadlier force, more aggressively hostile to the Indian union. Now is the time for the Manmohan Singh government to work with the Omar Abdullah administration and other political forces such as the PDP and the Hurriyat on a framework for autonomy for the State. The second imperative for the Prime Minister is to make clear to the nation that a resumption of the composite dialogue with Pakistan on the gamut of issues including Kashmir is inevitable and unavoidable.
    The moral authority of India's actions in the Kashmir valley will be strengthened by a demonstrable willingness to work with Pakistan to find a permanent solution to the dispute over its status. It will help in large measure to heal the wounds and the angst of the Kashmiri people who feel they are hostages to a larger geopolitical wrangling.
    Source: The Hindu
     
  18. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.eurasiareview.com/201008046439/the-jammu-and-kashmir-intifada.html

    B.RAMAN

    We are facing an Intifada of the Palestinian model in J & K for the first time. It is a spontaneous outburst of anger by sections of the youth over what they allege is the disproportionate use of force by the police and the CRPF ( Central Reserve Police Force).They have not raised—-not yet—issues regarding the future of J&K.Pakistan is now exploiting the anger of the youth for raising the issue of the future of the State once again, but it did no create that anger.

    2.Initially, we might have been able to reduce the anger if we had ordered enquiries into the allegations regarding disproportionate force and false encounters. We hesitated to order enquiries probably because of fears that the CRPF’s morale might be affected. We then vaguely promised enquiries, but never carried out the promise after a lull set in.

    3.The lull is now broken. The spontaneous anger is showing signs of becoming organised anger. There are fund collections in Pakistan to keep the anger sustained. Since the international community looks upon J&K as a disputed territory and understands Pakistan’s interest in it, it will not exercise pressure on Pakistan in the way it did after 26/11. The UN Secretary-General has already issued a disquieting statement on the situation in the State.

    4.A new generation of youth, who were not even born or who were just toddlers when the first phase of the insurgency broke out in 1989, is now in the forefront. The 1989 vintage of youth believed in the use of terrorism, involving attacks on soft targets and indiscriminate killing of civilians and driving out the Hindus. There is a new generation of youth activists which believes in street violence directed against the security forces without targeting civilians and which has seen to it that the on-going agitation does not affect the Hindus participating in the Amarnath Yatra. We are seeing a new insurgency in J&K similar to the one in Gaza.

    5.When the first insurgency started in 1989, we did not have private TV channels to give a voice and photo-ops to the insurgents. The present insurgency is taking place at a time when private news channels have mushroomed and are focussing on the anger of the youth. It is a vicious circle. The security forces cannot tolerate street violence. Their legitimate use of force to protect lives and property is resulting in increasing fatalities—most of them unavoidable.

    6.There have been some fatalities which are unclear. On August 3, one youth died during clashes between the security forces and the agitators. According to the security forces, he was trampled to death by the fleeing agitators. According to the agitators, he was beaten to death by the security forces. The failure of the Administration to explain such incidents in a satisfactory manner, is adding to the anger.

    7.We must avoid demonisation of the youth who are participating in the agitation against the security forces. We must mobilise law-abiding youth to win over the law-breaking youth. All political parties—- in J & K as well as in New Delhi— must activate their youth wings and give them this task.

    8.The Government should actively interact with media editors—particularly those of the TV news channels– and convince them of the need for anger-mitigating balance in their coverage—- spot reports and studio debates.Retired senior officers invited by the TV channels to comment should avoid adding to the anger of the youth by demonising them and avoid giving the impression that even in retirement they continue to bat for the security forces without consideration of its likely impact on the anger of the youth.

    9.We rightly consider J & K to be an integral part of India. It will remain so only through conviction and persuasion and not through use of force. Repeated use of force against our own citizens may be tactically unavoidable and justified, but strategically counter-productive. We must be ruthless in our actions against the Pakistani infiltrators, but more nuanced and balanced in dealing with our co-citizens. ( 4-8-2010)

    ( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: [email protected]
     
  19. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    If HR violation was the reason for the problem, then most states in India should be up in flames, as the HR is not practiced in several other areas as well. The problem with Kashmir is far more deep rooted, they seem to have a sub-national identity and they are unwilling to let go of it, I doubt any thing other than total independence would silence these protesters. Giving them any concession is only likely to encourage them more to take to the streets and cause more havoc.
     
  20. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The HR violations are the main problem but ofcourse you have Pakistan trying to take advantage of the situation as well. HEnce the flareups. You might have a thousand people protesting HR violations. But you need one or two militants to fire a bullet and force the police or CRPF to shoot at the people and kill more. Or four or five miscreants to burn down the local police station.

    Take away the cause of the anger and it will reduce the intesity of the unrest.

    Maybe you don't knowthat peoplei Tripura actually have a higher sense of alienation than Kashmirs according to one survey 27% of Tripura didnt consider themselves as Indians. And the reason again is massive HR violations. Ofcourse we dont have a Pakistan on the other end to forment unrest or highlight it in the media. We should't be even be debating these things. There is no excuse to say that HR violations happen across India so its alright. Indian parliament passed an anti-torture bill recently whats the use if GoI is not following its own laws?

    The report from Econmic and Politcal Weekly if some is interested
    http://www.epw.in/epw/uploads/articles/14493.pdf

    If you dont have subscription to EPW, here is a Dawn article summary by Jawed Naqwi. Im just quoting the section on J&K
    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect...-is-a-citizen-of-india-who-decides-who-is-not
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  21. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    How can the narrative of India's economic success(whatever its worth)be extended into Kashmir when there is a constitutional full stop under the Article 370.Here is a Indian state that has remained under social-economic isolation for better part of the last 60 years,largely because of a political instrument which is largely redundant today.What kind economic dynamism can be expected where a non local(even Indian citizen)cannot legally acquire a piece of land,what employment can be generated in this situation.

    Time fo halh hearted measures are over,if we think Kashmir is part of India,lets start treating it as such. This whole talk about "Kashmir anchored to the Indian union, albeit with loosened ties",is complete crap which will never get us anywhere,at least any further than where we find ourselves now visa-Viv Kashmir.Talking about HR violations by armed forces(allegedly or real)as against the Kashmir political stalemate is like placing cart before the donkey.Like i mentioned before 'rights' will get violated where laws have to constantly 'enforced'.

    The question is how do we go about getting things where there are no protesters and no law enforcer with undiscriminating batons.
     

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