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Kashmir: Boiling The Trust Deficit

By Jaffer Latief Najar

11 April, 2013

Once the greatest revolutionary Nelson Mandela quoted “if you want to make peace with
your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he will become your partner”. The meaning
of the quote can be interpreted and reflected in number of different prespectives. However, looking
at the current concerns and the happenings in the state of Jammu and Kashmir since the collective
concious of India led Afzal Guru to gallows and the continuation of protests in the streets of Jammu
and Kashmir, it can be seen that these incidents have further elevated the suspicion among the
masses about their owns and their enemies. Though, it is the fact that the alienation has been further
strengthened because of the hanging of Afzal Guru but, along with that, the reality also include the
fact that the state's attitude and its measures to control people's protests as well as their democratic
and human rights are, infact, unjust, unfair and even sometimes oppressive in nature.

Earlier, Kashmir was known for its elegance all over the world. It is still as beautiful as it
was during the era of Mughals who used to call it as a paradise. But, the word Paradise is no more
associated with Kashmir and now Kashmir is known as a valley of protestors, a place of young and
frustrated stone pelters, a zone which has made a world record in Guinness World Record having
the highest number of military men in the region, a state for which Amnesty International is
compaigning for zero tolerance of human right violations, a heavan of disappearance cases, a place
where detention, torture and killings are the commonly used words and so on. The dillema and the
question mark that might strike on one's mind that why it is happening again and again despite of
huge amount of financial support and various Confidefence Building Measure as well as reduction
of the number of Militants to just a few hundereds and so on. Why the people are coming on the
streets with stones to face the bullets. There must be some reasons that are pushing the people to
come on the streets. Are these kashmiris are fool who are burning their economies and livelihood
opportunities everyday.Why ?

One can argue about these questions that it is because of the historic background that is the
basic reason for all what is happening today. No doubt, it is the fact that the history of kashmir and
its accession, occupation and culture are the most relevant parts which are responsible for people's
different aspirations. But, also, there arises another concern that, to a few extent, we can understand
about that youth's aggression since they know history and also had experienced the trauma but why
the children are protesting in the street since they are not much aware of histororic background and
are in just their growing up stage.

However, a simple answer to this question is that, no doubt history has its important role, but
the increasing trust deficit is the one that is also concerning the issue alongwith. There are
uncounted examples that one can argue along with this argument. The state government is blaming
the center and the centre is not responding positively. The draconian laws were not sufficent enough
that the state policies brought a new police bill. It is well known judgement by the supreme court
countering the constitutionality of Salwa Judum and SPOs but the state is strengthening the village
defense commitees and have thousands of temporary police officers. Armed Force Special Power
Act has been made as a commodity which is used to sell in the market when the prices of returns are
high. Public Safety Act is dominantly used to hold the power over the structural activities and
human rights. Fictious stories are no more used as a fictions by writers in novel, but, in fact, are the
part of state control policies. The appeal, tears and the everyday sufferings of the parents of those
who got disappeard and their struggle to get them back has been taken as a ocassion of festival
where no one is bothering about them and no one responding their concerns and grieviances. The
killings and detention of youths in the valley and everday mental, psychological and physical
harrashment of those Kashmiri youth who are outside the state is not unknown to the everyone. The
presence of military of about one million in the state has made it a living prison. That, in fact, also
is affecting the psychology, mental condition and also elevates the fear among the budding kids who
are the future of humanity.

No one carries agression and anxiety along with birth. But, it is the situation and
circumstances that force indiviuals to become agressive, violent and opposite. Similar is happening
with the youth of Kashmir who are coming on the streets and protesting with stones and are facing
the bullets. There is a vaccum of trust and alienation that the state is not responding despite of its
well known awreness about it. Moreover, in the family of Humanity, no one is enemy. In fact, what
Nelson Mandela quoted is that in order to have peace, even, we have to work with our enemies. But,
Kashmir is not enemy to humanity and is seeking a dialouge so that peace can be experienced. The
contemporary measures by the state are not creating a space to give a chance to peace but, in fact,
are further boiling the trust deficit which might results towards the unknown directions about the
future. It is a need of hour, for humanity as well as state, to create a space where possible,
progressive and productive initiatives would be taken and where Kashmir is not taken as a
commodity in the market to be used for some political and vested gains.

Jaffer Latief Najar, Student, Gothenburg University, Sweden





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