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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Seditious interlocution

23 April 2011

Tarun Vijay

The interlocutors' recommending more autonomy to Kashmir and the revival of terms like Wazir-e-Azam and Sadr-e-Riyasat is nothing short of being seditious as it encourages pro-Pakistan traitors and demoralizes the patriotic Muslims and Hindus of the valley who voted overwhelmingly, up to 82% in the recently held panchayat elections ignoring the separatists' dictates.

Like small-time babus, they are pouring out any mumbo-jumbo perhaps to justify their Kashmir vacation billed to patriotic taxpayers.

They are hurting Indians and getting lashes by the jihadi separatists as well, which was evident in the expulsion of ex-Hurriyat chairman Maulana Abbas Ansari from the organization after the effervescent interlocutors gave a running commentary of their meeting with the anti-India leader.

The timing of their "more autonomy" rhetoric was perfectly synchronized with the J&K government's decision to curtail the Amarnath Yatra by 15 days, thus rubbing salt on the wounds of the Hindus who have been facing exile and a bruised life tortured by betrayals and intimidation in the only Muslim-majority state of India. There can be no plausible explanation to these two developments occurring simultaneously. One wonders if the UPA government has chosen to hurt the Hindus in its bizarre quest to get certificates of practising secularism and minority votes. If that's the case and its methodology is what we see in Srinagar, it's not only insulting to the saner sections of minorities, but is also an act against national integration. The previous decision of the Congress-NC combine in J&K to withdraw land allotment for the Amarnath Yatris resulted in an unprecedented agitation forcing the Srinagar sultans to eat crow. Now the government is again playing with Hindu sentiments — ostensibly guided by the jihadi separatist groups who have been demanding restrictions on the Amarnath Yatra , which is as sacred and revered as the Kailas Manasarovar Yatra.

Some of the "gems" dished out through the media as solutions to the Kashmir problem were reported as follows:

The interlocutors favour a political solution that "upholds and fine-tunes the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 (of the Constitution), which means giving additional powers to the state so it can assert its independent character," said noted journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, who heads the three-member team of interlocutors.

"For decades, India has been represented (in Kashmir) by just the soldier on the road. That has to change," he said.

The panel is likely to propose that the state's governor and chief minister be given the titles of president and prime minister, respectively (as was the case before 1953).

The interlocutors …. also favour more confidence-building measures to create an atmosphere for talks with separatists, and a continuation of the dialogue with Pakistan.

While giving the state more political autonomy, the interlocutors want deeper economic linkages between the state and the rest of the country.

They are likely to propose that J&K be declared a free economic zone and that traditional routes of trade and commerce, including roads to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, be reopened.

"Give people an opportunity to invest in the state. Let the state have its own tariff laws and tax laws," Padgaonkar said.

It looks as if angels from Mars have descended on our land, to oblige us with what they think would be a fair, neat and very objective solution, having nothing to do with the petty concept of nation and its soldiers who are paid to die.

For decades, India has been represented (in Kashmir) by just the soldier on the road?

What more can be more insulting and false?

Besides it's not only contradictory and also bizarre that on one hand these interlocutors want the state's governor and chief minister be given the titles of president and prime Minister (means creating a nation within the nation) and then also want deeper economic linkages between the state and the rest of the country? How is that possible?

Any such recommendations would cause more friction and confusion in the state, rather than starting any reconciliation. Have they tried to understand the Kashmir history?

Even after the continuation of the constitutional provision of Article 370 for so many years, giving the largest amount of grant in comparison with all other states, electing their own representatives as rulers, two flags and peace talks, we have still to deal with stone pelters and communally charged practitioners of hate. Now can we expect truth, democracy, friendship and pluralism to prevail in the pro-Pakistan sections of the separatists by giving them even more room?

And what about those Muslims, quite a large number of them, who opt for the tricolour? And the Buddhists of Ladakh and Hindus of the valley and Jammu? The interlocutors have turned the traitors as the most important segment "deserving to be paid highest levels of attention" while patriots are discarded with disdain.

Nobody has any objection to ensuring that the youth of Kashmir be engaged positively, and letting the valley have more industry, better infrastructure, more highways and brilliant educational facilities so that the young and the bright need not go to Bangalore or Kolkata for better future prospects. But at what cost?What should be the methodology? Should we end up providing all the great opportunities that the rest of India is enjoying to the traitors and the subversive elements? Or should there be a price for freedom to grow and increase the happiness quotient of an average patriotic Indian Kashmiri? Kashmir without its diversity and a respect for pluralism is nothing but a body without soul. The present separatist movement is a raw and ugly face of an intolerant Arabization campaign, an anti-thesis of Kashmiriyat.

They seem to have forgotten the sense of being an Indian and why they are sent there. They have also chosen to forget why the Nehru government had felt the need to have Sheikh Abdullah arrested on August 9, 1953? What prompted a great son of Bengal, and a crusader for national unity, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, to launch a movement for the complete integration of J&K with the rest of India and sacrifice his life in the Srinagar jail of Sheikh Abdullah? Why were the titles of Sadr-e-Riyasat and Wazir-e-Azam abolished on April 10, 1965, through an amendment in the J&K constitution? Later, on May 8, 1965, Sheikh Abdullah was externed from the state. On November 13, 1974, the Kashmir accord was signed between Sheikh Abdullah and Indira Gandhi (Beg-Parthasarthy Accord). And she said "the clock can't be put back". On behalf of the Kashmiri leadership, the National Conference reiterated that the accession of the state of J&K was not an issue any more. Finally, on February 25, 1975, Sheikh Abdullah took over as the chief minister with Congress support. The honeymoon didn't last long and on March 16, 1977, the Congress withdrew support to the Sheikh government and on March 17, 1977, governor's rule was imposed in J&K.

On July 3, 1977, the fifth assembly elections were held. The National Conference secured 44 seats, followed by the Janata Party with 13 seats and Congress-I with 11 seats. As many as 67% of the voters cast their ballots. Again on July 9,1977, Sheikh Abdullah was sworn as the chief minister with a massive mandate. On September 8, 1982, Sheikh Abdullah died and Farooq Abdullah was sworn in as the new CM.

Neither in 1965 nor post-1971 could India settle the Kashmir issue and adhoc-ism prevailed in Srinagar-Delhi relations. The story of sedition taking roots in the valley is a story of New Delhi's spineless dilly-dallying and appeasement of the separatist elements. New Delhi couldn't decide on whose side it had to stand. No leadership representing Indian nationalism was encouraged and those who spoke in dual language harbouring separatists became the blue-eyed companions of the central powers. Accords, discords, marriages, divorces, remarriages ... This has been the central policy for Kashmir so far.

It's high time the government-sponsored Kashmir holiday of these "interlocutors" was cancelled.

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