August 14, 2008

Kashmir Conflict - About to Boil Over?

This post on the Kashmir conflict makes a lot of sense to me!

Kashmir 'separatists', as they are called, cannot be 'home-grown'; for who would want to see one's homeland perpetually in the throes of joblessness, hunger, and communal violence!

The so called 'Kashmiriyat', "believed to be an expression of solidarity, resilience, patriotism... believed to embody an ethos of harmony and a determination of survival of the people and their heritage", has to surface, and soon, among both, the Kashmiri Muslims and the Kashmiri Hindus, for reason and hope to prevail in this beautiful Himalayan region that in the past was called 'a paradise on earth'!


Anonymous said...

You lean toward a side or do I imagine it?

Anrosh said...

-- make it a 3rd country. india, pakistan and kashmir. the fundamentalists will leave and the rest will stay in the country. the world forum or the UN or some such world body should make a rule that - no military, army or navy can be formed in the land. the law enforcers should not be from either of the 3 countries, but foreigners who were not born in the land.

Raza Rumi said...

ah, Id your posts are so refreshing
Indeed, this argument makes a lot of sense

Id it is said...

Thanks. I hold "Folding the Map" in high regard for his objective and informed analysis on most subjects especially when they pertain to politics or public policy.

EYE said...

Insha allah!

AVIANA said...

when will this end....

cubano said...

I just read that post and thought that the following was a rather naive and one sided statement from an outsider's perspective:

"There has to be external pressure for separatism in Kashmir; no Kashmiri, Muslim or Hindu, would ever think that seceding from India is in his/her best interests."

Of course there is external pressure but the second part of this statement is quite debatable if not largely incorrect.

In my opinion India should simply have a fair referendum in Kashmir and Kashmiris should be allowed to choose what they want for themselves. But a referendum will not take place any time soon because they will likely vote in favor of separation and the creation of an independent state.

See Pervez Hoodbhoy's documentary 'Crossing the lines - The battle for Kashmir's freedom' for an excellent overview of the whole issue:

Id it is said...

That's an interesting comment you make except that I'd hesitate to use the word 'naive' to describe the latter half of 'Folding the Map's quote. Knowing the writer, I'd rather go with 'insufficiently substantiated' than 'naive'. As for Hood bhoy's documentary, both Folding the Map and I watched it a few years ago when it was filmed and discussed at the Princeton campus. It was, indeed, a great economic solution that was offered in that documentary; however, reality intervenes! In the present day violence and bitterness that exists in that region, the kind of economic solution that Dr Mian and Dr Hoodbhoy offer has very little possibility of fructifying in the near future, and it perhaps is in that context Folding the Map wrote the post. In fact I too enjoyed 'Crossing the Lines...', a great deal, as it spelt 'hope' for a region that has seen so much uncertainty and violence over the last so many decades ( Alas, it isn't meant to be or so it seems.
As for the quote being 'one sided statement from an outsider's perspective": 'one sided' it may perhaps be perceived as such, but it isn't an 'outsider's perspective'.

cubano said...

ok perhaps naive was the wrong choice of word and I apologize for that but to me the statement did sound like it was coming from an outside perspective.

How can one make a sweeping generalization that 'no Kashmiri, Muslim or Hindu, would ever think that seceding from India is in his/her best interests'?

There's obviously a lot of support for the separatist movement and Kashmiris have obviously been mistreated by India for this support to exist. If no wrongs were committed by India, no amount of outside influence could ever lead to such a widespread separatist movement.

Why can't Kashmir exist as a separate nation? I am sure they will be able to build a bigger airport and sustain themselves without being attached to India :)

I think it's about time that they were given a chance to do so. India and Pakistan should stop acting as their colonizers and let them create their own destiny.

sr said...

thanks for rallying to my defense; it seems that i should have been reading here for comments on my article (hehe). cubano, thanks for your comments; i have replied to them on my blog (it was too long to put here). i would be very interested in seeing whether i was able to clarify my position and, perhaps, you now agree with what i said. thanks again for your comments.

Id it is said...

PLEASE don't apologize for raising this delectable discussion! In fact I thank you for bringing it up as it has helped me and many others understand this conflict a lot better; may the best solution prevail!

As I said earlier, your position makes sense to me; thanks for providing all those clarifications on your blog.

EXSENO said...

I wish I could comment on the subject but I don't feel qualified to do so.
But I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your comment section today.

It has been a pleasure to read each and every comment by people much more knowledgeable then I am. Different views perhaps but all very interesting and enlightening. Thank you.

human being said...

seems men would rather hell!
can't dig how some spiritual things(like religion) that should make people kinder and more human transform them into some brutals... perhaps because they do not think... they just follow blindly and that's why they develop prejudice...
thanks for your thought-provoking post and comments...

Anonymous said...

As for resident of Jammu and kashmir, like myself, Post on 'kashmir conflict' as linked by you from SR's blog does not make any sense; it surely is onesided statement from an outsider's perspective as pointed out by Cubano. And no prizes for guessing whose side he is taking.
As for kashmiri leadership, 'separatists' as they are called, surely represent us and are one amongst us.
True, we can not stand to watch our people being killed or maimed, or women raped by the Indian occupation forces. Torture, extrajudicial executions,disappearances, willful destruction of property and forced displacement are the
order of the day here.

Amarnath land row was a spark, which lit up apparently dormant 'Kashmir issue' again.
Economic blockade as enforced by Hindu fanatics (along with Jammu Sangarsh Samiti and the Sangh Parivar) on july 28 was a direct attack.Government of India allowed it to carry on unopposed for 11 days before deploying army to open the National Highway. By
then an estimated 200 Kashmiri trucks had been attacked by mobs carrying petrol bombs, tridents and swords, goods burned, money stolen. Truckers were savagely beaten and in one case killed ( Mohammad Lateef of Bemina, Srinagar).
Day after day they arrived in Srinagar with their tales of woe
and vows never to drive through Jammu again, and the anger in the valley mounted.

The pear, apple crop in the valley ripened and began to rot. Fuel became scarce.Even after the army began to patrol the highway truck traffic remained a quarter of what it used to be. Other shortages began to appear as baby foods,medicines and newsprint became scarce.
The massive protests and rallies which followed were clearly a referendum against India.
10 protestors including 'separatist' leader were killed by indian forces on day of 'Muzafarabad March' (11 August). 22 killed the day following when people wanted to join funeral prayers of slain leader.


Anonymous said...

In the meantime coordination committee was formed, it included people from all the sections of society, including 'separatist' leaders.
Protest rallies were conducted first 'Pampore March' and then to 'united nations observation group' office in kashmir where memorandum were presented by people from all walks of life. An estimated 10 lakh (1000000) participated in the rallies. Indian forces for the first time refrained from using force during these two rallies.
But worse was in store, On August 25th, a day before proposed 'Lal Chowk March', the Indian State 'reasserted its authority' over the valley of Kashmir.So on August 24 , nine districts were handed over to the army, 20 battalions of CRPF moved into Srinagar, and curfew was imposed on the valley. But this was no ordinary curfew. Local
newspapers were simply obliterated from hitting the
stands and foreign journalists were rounded up and sent out of Kashmir, cable TV was shut down and internet services
temporarily disrupted. The SMS facility on mobiles had already
been withdrawn.
All leaders were arrested and taken to unknown destination.

The curfew continues till now, looking out through window of my study i can see group of 20 armed indian forces across the razor edged barricades blocking exit of our street. We are facing acute shortage of essential items like milk, bread, medicines. Curfew and blockade has brought kashmir to near starvation. Though curfew was relaxed for couple of hours from past 4 days but not beating. It is terrorism in uniform. Curfew passes are not honoured. They are stopping critical patients from visiting hospitals. It was 8th day of curfew today, 12 people have been killed till now and hundreds injured.

Will it douse the anger that people are feeling? Will the people go quietly back to normal life when curfew is lifted? Or will the curfew only bottle up anger, and turn Kashmir into a pressure cooker, bringing ever larger numbers out on the streets when it is lifted?

Anonymous said...

(...In continuation with earlier comment. I lost connection in between)

As for crowd control measures of occupational indian forces against unarmed peaceful demonstrators, use of expired tear gas shells is age old practice,what is new is use of 'Rudra' , war grade shells, which are capable of piercing plank of wood,intended to be used specifically for armed combat. 'water cannons' are not for kashmiris, bullets are. They shoot to kill. Most of bullet injuries are to head, chest or abdomen.

Despite acts of savagery, since past 60 years, the armed forces can not be tried for their crimes; Armed forces special powers act, and disturbed area act has immunized them against any action.

The writting on wall is clear, kashmiris do not want to be part of india, are they going to us kill for this!

Time has come, kashmiris should be allowed to decide their own fate, referendum should be held as promised time and again. It was condition on which accession treaty was signed by Lord Mountbatten. UN in past had time and again promised and passed resolution for holding of referendum. India's first prime minister had promissed it.

And this is what we stand for.

sr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sr said...

this is getting a little silly...

first, i would like to reiterate that i am not against a plebiscite; i just don't think that it is the only tool that should be used in the resolution of the kashmir problem. kashmir can do whatever it wants; i really don't care all that much. but, based on historical precedent, plebiscites tend to be part of a larger solution to problems. why is that? as i explained to cubano, plebiscites are not the democratic paean that everyone says/thinks they are; rather they are a form of majoritarianism that completely steamrolls over any minority desires/needs/issues. now, i don't think kashmir will be resolved by a plebiscite simply because, regardless of how the plebiscite goes, a new minority will be formed that will not have been served well by the outcome of the plebiscite. they may or may not resort to violence like the current under-served minority, but there's a good chance that there will be enough ill-will in the valley that they will also take up violence. then, the cycle of violence/terrorism/bloodshed will continue. like i said before, i don't have an answer to the kashmir issue, i just don't think a plebiscite on its own can resolve anything permanently.

second, i don't understand why my outsiderness is somehow worse than the insiderness of most of my detractors. sure, my notions about the plebiscite may be wrong or i may be wrong in thinking that the long-term aspirations of kashmiris are best served by staying with the indian state. but let's look at how well the insiders have done in resolving the situation in the valley in the past 20 years. what is their track record? thousands of riots, tens of thousands of deaths, mass (forced) migrations, general chaos and ill-will? yeah, the insiders really have a good sense of how to resolve this...

finally, i don't think it's really mature to continually assail me for having preconceived notions and repeatedly chastising me for the pro-india nature of those notions. even if i do have such notions (which, though i didn't possess them before, i may develop after this absurd caricature of a debate), it is not what such a debate is about. i didn't accuse anyone of having preconceived notions, much though it seems that nasir, anonymous (several of them, actually), cubano, etc. possess very strong ones indeed (plebiscite => independent kashmir => joyous future for all kashmiris, etc.). i didn't do that because it is poor form to do so in an academic debate. you have to explain your views and respond to those of the other party in a logical/sensible manner rather than resorting to emotions through personal attacks (like "it surely is onesided statement from an outsider's perspective as pointed out by Cubano. And no prizes for guessing whose side he is taking") and anecdotes (like "looking out through window of my study i can see group of 20 armed indian forces across the razor edged barricades blocking exit of our street"). my last statement may be unpopular (as personal anecdotes really do pull at the heart strings) but objective argumentation is the essence of any academic debate. maybe nasir doesn't want this to be an academic debate, in which case, i will bow out here and now... however, if he is willing to put aside his preconceived notions about me, my stances, etc., i would be quite willing to discuss this issue with him in a calm, rational manner.

Renu said...

Giving kasmir a separate identity is not a constructive solution, its like destroying a country slowly, today they are given, tomorrow Khalistan..then bodoland,nagaland....there will be no end to it.
If kashmir has been neglected, govt. must take the responsibility for this and bring it at pari in development, give them prosperity, employment and deal with the terrorism with a strong hand.
India is like a big family and if with every sickness we start amputating, there wont be life anymore.
Problems need to be solved, does anybody think that a nation doesnt have problems? then why think thast making it a nation will solve all ite ills.
Terrorism has nevr won and never will. anybody killing the innocents cant be in his right mind.

cyberblogger said...

the right to decide ones future is the fundamental and basic human right of every individual,,,,,,,why does the so-called "worlds largest democracy(read demon crazy)" deny this right to kashmiris?

If India calls kashmir an integral part....then why double standards.....60 people killed in kashmir....3 in jammu(2 commited sucide).....shiv sena activista are allowed to protest standing atop army trucks.....kashmiris are showered with bullets even for attending a funeral?

If kashmir even be called a stubborn or misled child of this the way to teach a child?....hold him hostage to the barrel of a gun?

And now the draconian Indian troops(dont call them security forces)....just refer to Amnesty, Asia Watch etc reports. Enforced disappearences, extra judicial killings, mass graves, half-widows, torture cells, STF, goverment gunmen(former goons hired by indian goverment), mass rapes......we didnt know these words before indian army arrived here. Indian army has been commiting ethnic cleansing in Kashmir(even an indian filmmaker made a film on it:"SHAURYA").
S.K sinha, the governer who started the amarnath row was a former army man and is recently being found to have links with Sadhvi pragyas close aid(google for malegaon blast case).

I am a kashmiri and i understand that the indian friends above will always remain biased and herorize their troops cause "you can only understand it if you are a kashmiri or have lived there"

they call it paradise, we call it Home

cyberblogger said...