This is the result of an exchange of thoughts with some friends from outside the J&K state who have expressed their reservations about how I tend to look at the situation in Kashmir and in mainland India as it is unfolding right now. Here is a brief sketch of my response to their ‘sense of bewilderment’ which, I hope, has disabused them of certain misgivings!
Guess what has been the greatest undoing of India as a nation! I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that it is the breed of politicians who have done such a great disservice to this country. Right since 1947, this country has had to contend with a whole lot of politicians, in spite of some of them like Pt Nehru who had brought laurels to this country in many ways. He surely stands apart for striving to foster scientific temper by creating a formidable infrastructure of great institutions of science and technology across the country. That apart, like a typical Indian politician, he did indeed capitulate to the baser human instinct by playing politics to further his political agenda in ways that are redolent of what we are witnessing right now in 2020. His handling of the Kashmir issue and the manner in which he practiced his brand of secularism did leave a big mess in Kashmir on the one hand and also led to a long regime of communal tensions in the country on the other, that manifested themselves in hundreds of communal riots having been engineered by those close to the political establishment.
That having been said, there remains no doubt in my mind that in spite of how all the hell that has broken loose in Kashmir and across the length and breadth of India, especially by those who are at the helm of affairs right now, India deserves to be saved from further damage at the hands of those who are stopping at nothing to push India back to permittivity. Yes, India of yore, not the India of today which is being ruled by a gang of self-serving practitioners of low level politics who are out to destroy its scientific/syncretic/plural culture, but the truly great India of a vast majority of right thinking Indians comprising the teeming millions of simple, innocent, toiling hardworking common men and women, a vast pool of its intelligentsia, its intellectuals, thinkers, writers, scientists and great industrial-philanthropists. It is the India of these great Indians of the latter genre that I would love to see emerge where the rule of law, justice and human dignity prevailed and where the recourse to the use of force and violence as an instrument of it’s state policy – as is being done in Kashmir – was allowed to yield space to grievance-redressal through dialogue, debate and discussion.
That is my voice as also the voice of all Kashmiris who hold nothing against India, save against the policy that derives from a brutal, repressive and violent mindset while dealing with them and with other vulnerable sections of Indians by the state. And this is carried out through the services of those who wish to propagate, promote and pursue an archaic, arcane and antediluvian view of India that simply would not survive for long!
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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