Kashmir: Violence for violence is not a solution!

By Ravi Nitesh. Dated: 4/20/2017 10:56:45 PM

Just after a record low voter turnout in bi-elections of Kashmir, recently, few videos surfaced that showed inhumane treatment of CRPF jawans by local youths of the valley. Later, another video surfaced where a local person was tied up over the bonnet of a jeep of Indian security forces and was used as human shield.
These are obviously neither first videos, nor maybe the last ones. As a place that is witnessing turmoil and violence since many years, people in Kashmir, are used to such kind of violence and abnormalcy in their daily lives. Security forces on the other hand also handle the situation sometimes in extra-ordinary ways that goes beyond their SoPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and usually results as failure in the sense of their very objective of maintaining peace. Even as it was reported that a top security official from Kashmir had said about killings during elections: 'central forces which come for conducting elections are unfortunately, trigger happy unlike the security forces who are permanently stationed.'
All these show a clear picture of mistrust between the people and forces and also within the forces. It also shows that how the actual conduct of forces are not in ambit of scrutiny and it may cross certain limits of humanity as well as operating procedure of the force. These are happening even beyond boundaries of AFSPA, under which impunity is already granted as a legal provision to safeguard security forces.
Youths on the other hand are also at fault due to the reasons as nothing gives any right to youths to react in such violent manner, mocking and harassing soldiers. Shielding such kind of violence under the name of 'reaction' or 'resistance' cannot be termed as logical as it is sheer violence and aggression that propagates further mob-aggression and will only increase conflict instead of lessening it down. It needs to be understood by youths that they cannot overcome or overturn the security forces at least militarily and if they will try to do so, they will be harming themselves for the reasons that it will result in more bloodshed of common youths. It will alienate them from rest of the people who may support them on the issues of human rights and it will only demean their anger in the negative sense. On the other hand, security agencies also need to understand that they cannot control whole of Kashmir and its people militarily and if they will desire to do so, it will only result in damage to the very nature of forces and its objectives of justice and human rights, as well as the failure in terms of only winning lands but not minds and hearts and this will also increase conflicts, if powers will be used abruptly and excessively.
Argument in favour of any kind of violence is actually baseless. Kashmir is a long sustaining issue of abnormalcy where everyday life is disturbed. Ones, who see human being as human being may be able to understand that even state forces are human beings and they are vulnerable in the nature that they are an easy target to face violence and terror attacks on behalf of state. It is a truth that despite no declared war, there is always a threat of loss of lives for both soldiers and common people. Demilitarisation may be one solution, but it cannot be made in isolation if a certain environment does not come with it.
What is actually required and feasible at this point of time is just initiation of reconciliation. Improvement in situation may obviously take time, but its start with the note of hope is what we see as need of the hour. Government, civil society and political leaders including separatists must sit together to initiate it.
In a round table meeting held in New Delhi a month ago, Abdul Gani Bhat who has been a leading face of Hurriyat, had rightly said 'Yesterday has gone, Tomorrow is arriving', while arguing that he see that dialogues must happen. It must also be seen that in such a situation where bridging the gap among people and state is required, civil societies have primary responsibilities in reconciliation. These civil societies should work as mediator of peace. Trust upon civil society needs to be built from boith sides, people and state. Interlocutors were one such initiative that was failed by the state, but even its failure tells the fact that people will share their feelings and concerns only with state-neutral peacekeeping groups and not with the military style groups.
Need of military and paramilitary deployment in civilian areas may be reduced by deploying them more on borders, sensitizing them towards situation of Kashmir (with all narratives) and training them to act best and in most tolerant ways. On the other hand, people in general, specially youths, their parents and leaders need to understand that violence by people is more dangerous than violence of state and is even suicidal.
At a time when the world is moving towards connecting more and more people with each other, we all have various forms of showing our disagreement with a government or its policies. These forms are primarily non violent and creative. Our disagreements must not be based upon violent expressions. Logical arguments and readiness to understand, respect and accept the points are actual basis of reconciliation and need to be promoted. We must look for new hope without carrying the baggage of the mistakes committed in the past. It is indeed true that 'Yesterday has gone, Tomorrow is arriving.
(The author is Freelance Writer, Founder-Mission Bhartiyam, Aaghaz-e-Dosti for Indo-Pak Friendship, Executive Member- South Asian Fraternity Blog: http://ravinitesh.blogspot.in/ )



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