Too little, too late!

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Notwithstanding the apex court’s directions to ensure that no such thing happens, the Kashmiris have once again been singled out for mob violence. This time on a posh Lucknow street where a couple of Kashmiri youth selling dry fruits were targeted by saffron clad goons with fists and sticks this Wednesday. As if this was not enough, the perpetrators of this act also ensured that their hooliganism was shot and shared on social media. Now this shows the amount of disrespect and disregard this breed has for the law of the land – that they can get away with it.

This latest act of hateful violence against the Kashmiri people has come even after the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, after facing lot of flak over his measured silence over systematic targeting of Kashmiri people in the aftermath of Pulwama suicide attack, had also spoken against it. It seems that the ruling dispensation in New Delhi needs to be reminded that the template of ‘Insaniyat’ (humanism), ‘Jamhooriyat’ (democracy) and ‘Kashmiriyat’ as coined by none other than it own Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a way to deal with the anger and alienation in Kashmir, getting replaced by systematic violence against the same people is after all not a healthy development!

If one is to objectively analyse the PM’s latest assertions, there is not much in it worth comment, except for the fact that by speaking out finally he did give in to the demand of those who wanted him to say something. However, given that the assertions came from the highest political figure, one can’t brush it aside as a non-event and as such these should have had some impact on the ground. But unfortunately it seems nothing much has changed as the latest episode has shown. Before speaking on violence against Kashmiri people, PM must surely have sought counsel from his strategic and political experts. It seems that he has yet again, much like his predecessors, including Vajpayee, received reassurance, suggestions minimalist movement. This is exactly why there is not any possible movement forward which could deliver Kashmir and its people from the cruel clutches of the overly disconcerting status quo.

Times change, and with it states are also supposed to change and evolve better understanding about the problems confronting them. However, in case of Kashmir, over the years there seems to have been no change in Delhi s child-like Manichean thinking. Despite all the catchy phrases thrown out at the people here from time to time, Delhi s obsession with smooth waters and the appearance of continuity in its policy of containment through deft management and a regular stream of promises and pledges, have kept it from dispassionately looking at the machinations which have in reality damaged the lives of real people here.

Today when Valley is in the midst of yet another spiral of deadly violence, and people despite knowing the costs of involving themselves in sure-loser confrontations are paying through their life and limb to see some headway towards the resolution of political questions concerning their lives and life situations, all they are getting are lectures on development economics. Like in economics, the managerial ethos is wedded to the idea that problems are not solved; they are managed. This is exactly what Delhi has been doing in Kashmir. It is plagued by a visible incapacity to admit errors, and the same has also translated into its incapability to fixing the problems. This is the easiest take from the PM’s and other official assertions. Let things be the way they are; there are police and military structures in place to take care of country’s interests and the political establishment has no reason to harass itself into believing otherwise, or rushing into something that would show it as buckling under pressure, particularly at a time when far bigger political stakes are staring in the face by way of forthcoming elections!

Those rejoicing over the latest assertions about owing Kashmiri people have their own political expediency for it. They are the bonafide beneficiaries of this megalomaniac managerial tinkering, even though in their public posturing they always extol the virtues of political engagement even with the adversary. The discourse emanating at the top, both in Srinagar and in New Delhi, is in reality a soliloquy. They say things they didn’t really mean; only concern is their selfish interests, political and other. This is yet another indication of growing divorce between the governments and the people, which has not only produced a governance-deficit but a policy paralysis too. Kashmiris are suffering the consequences of both.


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