Akeel Rashid

If the ‘Kashmir issue’ is political, so are the ‘issues of Kashmir’

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In spite of the fact that inquiry committee – probing the incident of doctor’s alleged negligence that led to the death of an infant – at the Lalla Ded Hospital in Srinagar has determined the cause of the incident as it held a doctor responsible for not following the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) while dealing with the pregnant lady, the people in Kashmir are still at odds over the cause of the LD incident. One side of this public disagreement being manifested by the netizens on social media attributes the LD incident to the “lopsided social media campaigns”, while as the other side of this disagreement is being presented through, in question, “social media campaigns”.

Let’s put our disagreements aside for some time and look for the common ground on LD incident without getting into the detail of the cause of the same. In such a case, it is very easy for the people of Kashmir to find common ground and that would be like “the LD incident has revealed the concerning sorry state of maternity care in Kashmir”. The Public Health Centers (PHCs), Sub-district Hospitals (SDHs) and even the District Hospitals (DHs) in Kashmir are ill-equipped, as revealed by the hospital authorities at LD Hospital, to deal with the minor cases of maternity care.

Now, when we have arrived at a common ground, let’s take another stride for our ‘political awakening’ and the same will act as a catalyst to keep us stick to just recognized common ground. Politicians, without fail, describe ‘Kashmir issue’ as political in nature but they never describe the “issues of Kashmir” –social, economic, political–as being of the same nature. They project themselves as being the champions of solving the Kashmir issue, while as they tend to lose this ability when it is about “issues of Kashmir”. How do they manage to get away with this manipulation? Well! They have found a feasible solution to do it. It takes ‘intentions’ for the politicians to talk about the ‘Kashmir issue’ but it will cost them the unaffordable ‘actions’ to talk about the “issues of Kashmir” and why on earth would they choose the unaffordable over the affordable. Our assistance of helping them being manipulative to us goes like this: We are too quick to justify the performance of politicians, all-inclusive, by their intentions rather than the actions they carry out and with the political view of people in Kashmir being shaped by the intentions of politicians alone, we confuse the emotions for logic, and their job is done.

Also Read: When institutional violence manifests in individual felony!

More to the point: The political parties, which have expressed their concern over the LD incident, hardly make mention of reviving the public service Institutions in Kashmir in their election promises. This choice of not choosing to talk about substantial developments in their campaign promises is a calculated one because politics in Kashmir has long thrived on intentions as a result politics just appeals to our emotions and we fail to attribute a substantial meaning to it. Once politics becomes the matter of emotions, it becomes very easy for some to demonize it and for others to hold on to power indefinitely.

Before the “issues of Kashmir” pile up any further, we should make the politics in Kashmir work for the development by coming to terms with the fact that “crisis of institutions in Kashmir is a political issue” and this action of ours will not negate “Kashmir issue being political in nature.”

The author can be reached at akeelsofi@gmail.com

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