Exodus in Democracy
By: Kalhan Koul
Kashmir imbroglio continues. Subject specialists are born overnight in deluxe suits of Delhi and experts come as well as perish with seasons. Treatment without diagnosis remains a catastrophe as high cost adventures end up in a mess and turn to be fatal misadventures. Brave hearts lay supreme sacrifices while innocents are killed in vain. Society is in shambles. History is on crossroads.
Pseudo-intellectuals are at work. Drafted perception and crafted narratives are run in bullet media and the war cry’s end up in fiasco while peace initiatives evaporate into oblivion. Party interests are kept subservient to personal interests and national interests to party interests. Lobbying has become a “Mool Mantra” and ‘Logic’ is silenced. Argument is banned. Reason is absconding. Leaders are busy. Commoners are confused.
30 year old tragic exodus of Kashmiri Pandits (KP’s) has lost its thrust in daily discourse. Exodus of such a magnitude having the potential to decide the socio-political direction of this sub-continent is either out of the grasp of nominated intellectuals or too disgusting to generate any dividends for this blessed class. The nasty memories of exodus are also slowly and silently fading away. Just to make the debate a bit multidimensional, ‘moderate and secular- a line or two of “KP return and rehabilitation” is added in the chorus.
Decoding the K.P exodus does not require any rocket science. Actually, it is not the expansion of two nation theory either, as often misattributed. The two nation theory, since its inception, advocated separate share of Land and resources for both the nations/communities. This is, in fact, an ugly manifestation of democracy in independent India. Counting of heads remains the fundamental principle of any democracy, in this scheme, if implemented randomly, there is no partition and no share distribution. There is genocide.
The independent India is consciously or subconsciously accepting this theory. It is the root cause of KP exodus and will prove a landmark in failure of Indian democracy. During these 30 years of exodus India witnessed 12 years of BJP, 15 years of congress and 3 years of miscellaneous rule- none of these regimes could muster courage and will to condemn this scheme and revert the exodus of K.Ps and thus extending a silent approval for the reasons just known to them. The preparatory of this exodus for the sake of diplomacy (Hikmat)- welcome the return with an adjective that “Kashmir is incomplete without K.Ps”.
Although being aware that practically K.Ps have no land/house left behind to return, and that nature does not allow any vacuum- after the advent of democracy in the subcontinent in 1947, the time has come when the custodian of world’s largest Democracy has to take a call, a call on all costs, for creation of a non-existent, minimum but respectable living space for K.Ps in Kashmir. This is imperative so as to undo the intentions working behind this exodus and also lay down for future India that democracy does not merely mean “Might is Right” and counting of heads and votes but it means equal rights to all as enshrined in the seared secular democratic book of constitution.
Note:- This write up is inspired by face book message of Mr Bashir Manzar, Chief Editor of Kashmir Images newspaper, shared recently by him on the eve of Khirbawani Mela.