Confrontation, Cooperation and Connection

By Ravi Nitesh. Dated: 9/5/2016 10:19:02 PM

Unrest in Kashmir continues. Parliament of India discussed the issue and decided to send all party delegation. In an earlier article, I have written that Kashmir actually needs lot to 'undo' than 'doing' for the reason that almost everything done was like experiments on Kashmir and all failed. These experiments were not only done by government, but also by political activists, rights groups and others.
Though immediate steps to bring Kashmir to a situation of calm may be 'announcements' to start dialogues on Kashmir, but before doing this, it must be thought that why such efforts were not made in the days of normalcy? And if it was carelessness, should an apology come prior to start dialogues?
When armed militancy started in Kashmir, many youths who are on roads at present time unrest were not even born. With decades of suppression and human rights violation, without any concrete efforts to bring solution of this issue, added with the 'impunity' granted to violators (security personals), only thing that was left and with which these youths grew up, was anger and pain. Unfortunate migration of Pandits had already happened. These reasons made them vulnerable enough to be exploited by third parties for vested interests . With and without these understandings, PSA and AFSPA were continued by state. In response, stone pelting, hartals, shutdowns, militancy continued and more importantly the anger have been the weapons of these youth.
To bring a situation to calm, there is something essentially required to be done. This is about creating an atmosphere where people can see the same ray of hope in Jammu and Kashmir that Gandhi had once seen in Kashmir in 1947. Adopting any welfare path by state may pave the way. People who are living in Kashmir are the same people who are believed to be simple, lovable and have unflinching faith in Sufi and Bhakti teachings. Now after such a long period of suppression and dragging the case too long without efforts of reconciliation, the same people are filled with anger and ready to give up even their lives. This difference must be understood and its root causes must not be continued. What they actually require is their own security, dignity of life, rights and equal treatment. Bullets and barrels can never bend themselves to achieve this. It actually needs feelings and actions like reconciliation, truthfulness, forgiveness, apology and love. It will bring consents, smiles, tears, affection and will pave the way for peace. Harsh actions of state, like suppression of voices must immediately be stopped, to begin with.
As far as various demands are concerned, let it come without fear of suppression. Demands are political and may be raised. Reconciliation is what is required. Any fear from third party supported militancy should be curbed through security apparatus without interfering civilian life.
Starting gradually from humane initiatives like releasing political prisoners, PSA convicts and by revoking AFSPA, demilitarization from civil areas to offering political representation and dignity to separatists leaderships may work towards resolving the issue. Talking about such political representation may seem a little odd, but in practicality it may work as they mirror political and social aspirations of people. Through such leadership, it will be easy for Government of India as well to start working on concrete formula based on all kind of views and demands.
It is still not sure that Kashmir will be resolved soon, but it is sure that if violence will continue, then issue will not be resolved. It must also be thought upon by Kashmiri leadership that how they would tackle and lesser issues of religious extremism to stop its mixing with any legitimate/ acceptable demand for Kashmir as it may affect the solution talk.
Those who are watching Kashmir unrest as a case that may give solution immediately are actually unaware about the ground reality that any sudden solution and statement may only damage the environment. Stakeholders of Kashmir issue including Pakistan, should understand that there is no other way than dialogue and negotiation. India and Pakistan must also understand difficulty of each other that choice and decision on this issue of their 'elected governments' may not match with majority of their population and if it will happen ever without getting confidence of people, it would be again a more difficult time to face confrontation for both countries. It may lead to more disturbances within these countries as well.
To avoid any such thing, it would be definitely better to work on stepwise solution. Let people of Kashmir breathe normal air without everyday interruption and psychological torture, let people have their dignity with equal opportunities and benefits. Let's start holding dialogues with local leadership (including those who are in resistance presently), let's start country level talks and include external affairs and diplomacy, let work simultaneously on other CBMs, let's create the real, pure and hopeful environment of solution, let people of regions other than J&K also become aware enough about efforts, let hold public dialogues time to time to create environment of accessibility and then move towards solution.
An environment 'Where the head is held high and mind is without fear' is required for Kashmir and until confrontation is not converted in connection, no solution can be obtained. If there would be connection and if solution would be arrived through cooperation of each other, it would be 'fit for all' and will not create any hatred in future.
(The author is Youth Activist, Founder-Mission Bhartiyam, Member- South Asian Fraternity, Convener- Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign and can be contacted at



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