What we witnessed after the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani in Kashmir, is literally the rape of democracy by those who claim to be the largest democracy in world. Whether it is in terms of firing at unarmed protesters, use of dangerous pellets, choking political space, banning newspaper publication, cutting all means of communication and continuous curfews, India left no stone unturned to molest its own claims of democracy and peace in Kashmir.
Instead of searching for a political solution of Kashmir issue once and for all, Indian government fulfilled its responsibility by sending more battalions of troops to Kashmir and attributing the present uprising to Pakistan. World too has done it’s bit by focusing more on their business and strategic interests with regard to India and lending a deaf ear to the cries of Kashmiries. However The Secretary General of the world’s largest peace keeping body (United Nations) almost risked his life when he appealed all sides for restrain. Ironically he never felt the need to have a look into all the resolutions passed in the name of Kashmir in the same institution he is heading. The so called head of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti instead of directing her troops and Police to show restrain and follow “Standard Operating Procedures” puts the blame on separatists, militants, and protesting youths. In such a situation one should be concerned that a time may come when Kashmiri youth will feel that nonviolent protests are no longer an option.
India is continuing it’s same old default policy approach with regard to Kashmir, that has allowed the Kashmir issue to fester for more than six decades now, making not only Kashmir but the entire region prone to violence and war. Further it continues to show unwillingness and lethargy to solve the issue bilaterally. In such a situation how it is objectionable if Pakistan makes any attempts to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums like United Nation? If not deliberate forgetfulness, what makes India to deny the fact that it was basically she which took the Kashmir issue to United Nations? What makes India to forget that it has promised Kashmiries the right to self determination? What makes India to ignore that there are several resolutions in United Nations regarding Kashmir, accepting Kashmir as a dispute and recognising the right of Kashmiries for self determination. And further if India is truthful in it’s claims that “Kashmir is an integral part of India and Kashmiries want to be a part of India”, then what makes it to fear and deny plebiscite. By denying the right of Kashmiries for self determination, is not India conveying the fact that Kashmiries will never vote for her in case of referendum? Another question which comes to the mind of common Kashmiries is what United Nations Military Observers Group is doing in Kashmir? Edmund Burke has said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for the good men to do nothing”. So by the criminal silence over war crimes in Kashmir, United Nations and the world community is equally responsible for the triumph of evil in Kashmir.
The presence of more than two lakh people in the funeral prayers of Burhan Wani and the subsequent protest in entire Kashmir should remind India of it’s promises made to Kashmiries. India cannot hold Kashmir by just brute force. The message conveyed by Kashmiri youth needs consideration, empathy and acceptance and not just brute force. Attributing the anger in the hearts of Kashmiri youth to provoking of Hurryat and Pakistan is nothing but the complete denial of ground reality.
For now with regard to the solution of Kashmir issue and the subsequent peace in Kashmir and in the entire region at large, nothing seems on cards. Pro Indian politicians are busy in creating confusion and hardly seem doing anything to engage youth and even separatists for peace and stability. For them if nothing at least a “Kashmir first” attitude is their moral responsibility and a necessity. On the other hand separatists are equally scattered and refrain from any unified voice. They too have limited their efforts to condemnations and news paper statements. Apart from strike and protest calls, they need to develop a strong and unified strategy for the solution of Kashmir. The bigger goal of plebiscite or freedom so to say cannot be achieved all at once; it is a step by step process. Separatists need to understand that they cannot let the sacrifices of people get forgotten and wasted. It is time for them to think and execute out of box strategies. They need to cash at least something out of these waves of uprising. We have seen in the past that India has the policy of buying time, lingering the issue and tiring the people of Kashmir psychologically. It is important for Hurriyat leaders to develop a counter strategy for all this; otherwise, knowing the present generation, even their political existence is at stake.
It must be understood that when so called democracy is put to gallows, when continuous occupation and not conflict resolution is the focus, when aim of dialogue is just to buy time and put the issue in limbo, when the promises made to Kashmiries are continuously broken, when nonviolent and unarmed protests are reciprocated with bullets and pellets, what options India is leaving for the new, fearless and educated generation of Kashmir?
Imran Khan: Presently working in J&K Education Department, Previously worked as “Psychologist” in Action Aid International, Medicines Sans Frontiers, J&K Police Drug De-addiction Services and as Project Assistant Capacity Building in Department of Social Work Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.