Top
Millennium Post

What lies ahead?

What lies ahead?

It was for far too long indeed that Jammu and Kashmir was left languishing in a 'special' status that served above everything else, the convenience of the powers that be. For decades together, the state lay in limbo for being a left-over of the Partition. What had until now remained a subject of intellectual debate is finally out for consideration with respect to actual, tangible consequences. Article 370 was introduced with urgency in the tumultuous times following Independence, Partition, and invasion of Pakistan in Kashmir. It was a temporary provision from the very beginning but was made to settle into an apparent permanent status to suit an entire gamut of political agendas, none of which particularly pertained to the welfare of the common people of Kashmir. The concentration of power and subsequently, wealth, became the primary motives driving governance and administration that influenced the entire state, not all of which is the same nature as Kashmir. There was a referendum promised to them in historical times, the hopes of which was harboured by the people until recent times. The referendum was an instrument of choice for the Kashmiri people to decide their political status. Because the situation for the said referendum never quite happened owing to the unyielding occupation of Pakistan of a part of Kashmir, the political status of the region, primarily Kashmir, remained undecided and influenced matters over the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is pertinent to mention here how the Ladakh region had been rather secluded and sidelined by the dynamics of the Kashmir-dominated politics of the state. The splitting up of the state was more of an official formality as the Ladakh region functioned autonomously in matters internal to it. Pulwama has been a turning point in the Indian Union-Kashmir dynamics. The greatest and ghastliest peacetime attack on India since Independence left the nation shaken and angry. It was essentially an issue of breach of security which escalated in no time into a loud and pompous affair of 'nationalism'. Somehow, in common discourse, nationalism often remains confined to the territories of the expansive national region, with no particular regard beyond aesthetics to the people who inhabit it. The nationalism associated with Kashmir best exemplifies it. Here was the government displaying tremendous guts to do what no other government could do in over last seven decades, but looking at matters from Kashmir, may we spare a thought to the will of the people. When Amarnath yatris and tourists and out-station students were ordered to be sent back, when Section 144 was imposed and mainstream politicos were put under house arrest, when the situation looked confused and chaotic, not a word went out for the people of Kashmir. It is a logical thought that if evacuation was so necessary owing to the brewing situation, was that situation not for the common Kashmiris that they were ignored so conspicuously in this entire exercise? The way to integrate Kashmir is essentially through integrating its people. Anything else amounts to occupation. Scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was a much-needed intervention. But a better way of accomplishing this would have been by taking the people of Kashmir in confidence. Given that mainstream politicians would never support such a move, autocratic methods had to be resorted to. As a method of keeping the situation under control, communication has been jammed and people have literally been caged in their region; and these are all the things that have only turned the common Kashmiri against the Indian government. While this dramatic turn of events leaves many wondering what is next in line, there is hope that, although done in a not so right manner, the right move will lead to favourable results.

Next Story
Share it