Sunday, October 17, 2010

Do we need the Albatross?

Do we need Kashmir?
Why do we carry an albatross now for sixty years and more and with the prospect of carrying it perennially, and to our detriment?
Letting go Kashmir – will it have a domino effect on India? Perhaps yes in some parts of North East with covert and overt interference by China. Will it affect the unity of other states in the Union? Absolutely not! But if the integration of the minds of the people has not happened in almost seven decades since the end of colonial rule and dawn of independence, when will it ever integrate to the idea of one country, INDIA?

So then why hold on to a stretch of land and people who are alienated than ever before and also in the bargain invite terror attacks anywhere in the country, fuel enmity and conflagration risk with Pakistan? The consequences of these factors are dearth of money for development and growth as well as uncertain security.
Kashmir is no more a paradise on earth! In the first instance the paradise was messed by Nehru’s wrong foreign policy of dragging the issue to the UN. And then back tracking on the UN resolutions on plebiscite. The dispute festered all along.The paradise has been messed up by successive governments both in the state and the centre, that now beyond Srinagar it is foreign land for the people living in Kashmir. They call it India like it is China and Pakistan across the borders.

The British were vile and smart to run away with a messy lot of some five hundred plus Princely states. They never expected , nor wanted any kind of unification to happen.Though when compared with the military action in Goa the accession of Jammu and Kashmir was quite legal. It was the prerogative of the ruler of the Principality to accede or be independent.And  he chose to be with the Indian Union.

Can Kashmir be independent or can it guard its independence should it cede from the Union? The Kashmirites have no fascination of being in Pakistan, now with all the Al Qaeda mess in that country, and besides it is now almost a failed State. Though the better bet would be to continue in the Indian Union, the hearts and minds of the people are wounded and alienated. And now they would prefer independence from both India and Pakistan.
How can India handle the situation?
I feel that a plebiscite under UN supervision may be held in Kashmir with the condition that should the plebiscite result favour an independent nation the foreign policy and defence of Kashmir will be controlled by India, like it is with Bhutan and Nepal. This would be a safe guard to Kashmir and will deter China from nosing around. Because when Kashmir is an Independent country,China then can no longer allege that India is illegally occupying the territory. On the western front the only factor that vitiated Indo- Pak relationship will be done with. And Al Qaeda will be partly jobless. The subject of India’s illegal occupation and subjugation of Muslims in Kashmir will no longer be a fodder for the various terror groups. This will help Pakistan to have internal stability and India to save precious money and energy in military campaign against Pakistan.
Once the only bone of contention is cleared, on what will Pakistan see adversity from us? In fact most part of Pakistan except the tribal belt of NWFP, has cultural commonness with Hindi speaking belt of India.

As it was told by the Chief of Indian Army, once the terror threat from Pakistan is negated and the reason neutralized India can be on guard in an efficient way against the unreliable and unfriendly China that has long term eyes on the North East. India- China bhai bhai is Nehruvian folly and a myth. China is mighty economically and militarily and we do not stand a chance should China express aggressive intent.

I wonder if my Brigadier friend sitting and surveying now in Raniket bordering China would comment on this in his capacity as a civilian if protocol permits.


Balachandran V said...

Well written piece, Anil, though wishful thinking. But I have no comment to make, precisely because such an alternative will be thought of only by you and me and a handful of Indians who have only the best interests of the country in mine. Show me one politician like that, who has put the interests of the nation before that of himself or his party, I will lick his feet.

India before 1947 = India after 1947. We are still a bunch of Mallus and Gujjus and whatnot. Except in a Cricket stadium have I seen Indians coming together to cheer for the nation.

I remember the time when I went to Srinagar in 1988 on my way to Ladakh. I was held up there for a few days because of the inclement weather. Pre-terrorism days, but it was brewing. The dhabas had pictures of Pakistan's cricket team and Imran Khan; one fellow pointedly asked me - 'Aap Bharat se aaya hein?' In the youth hostel i was staying, two Kashmiris interrogated me in a supposedly friendly way about my antecedents. ( I looked like a jawan in civvies.)

Kashmir will never be a part of India the way Kerala or Maharashtra is. So will never be the north - east. Their alienation from the rest of the country is the legacy of Indian politics.

dr.antony said...

As it is, Kashmir is not now a true part of India like any other province.If so,we wouldn't give them special privileges. Make it a genuine part of India or get the hell out of there. Sitting on the fence is not serving any purpose.

The alternative is a doomsday scenario waiting for India as more and more minorities are driven out and the state becomes nothing more than a colony of India. It is not very difficult to visualize where they are heading. Unfortunately the Congress Party will not be able to admit this because it goes against their concept of faulty secularism.

Most of the minority communities have been pushed out of Kashmir.If some one wants a Muslim regime there,and we agree to that,there are other states in the queue.This is not an issue of Azadi or freedom.If all countries yielded to these kind of separatist movements,there would be none left,other than religious rules.For that matter how many other religions have republics named after their religion? Well,if you want to see another Islamic republic in Kashmir,that is fine.

Ours was a nation which was divided on the name of religion.Still,we retain a larger Muslim population than Pakistan.Then,what right does any one have to ask for more in the name of religion?
Our government is an impotent eunuch.Otherwise, there would be no Kashmir issue by now. We have our idiotic Panchaseela and Gandhian principles,which are outdated.If you clean someone else's toilets,you will just end up doing it a life time,thats all.

I agree in one thing.The problem needs a solution. Dialog will not solve it.Dialog with whom and how many parties?This is a proxy war.If Kashmir is given away,they will start it somewhere else.So you know now the only solution left.

The Holy Lama said...

Too tangled an issue. Not wise enough to comment.

anilkurup said...

@ Holy Lama,
I appreciate your acknowledgement.
The fact is that all most all who clamour for Kashmir and India's right over the territory do so with not even lay knowledge about the issue.

@ Bals
We are very much on common ground in this matter.But then in this system called Democracy the majority counts even if they are insane.

@ dr antony

Muslims dominate Kashmir and Pandits are in Jammu. The separatist voices are from Kashmir.
Unless it is expressively stated by the people of Kashmir about their wish for the future status, Pakistan will never reconcile. We have played into the Pak hands by our myopic policies on Kashmir.
Better do without the territory that cannot reconcile with India.
But pragmatism is not with our political clan.

A New Beginning said...

so many people have been killed, so many homes have been left empty, so many terrorists have taekn is good to continue the problems that have messed up and ruined everything....
I really dont think so...

A New Beginning said...

so many people have been killed, so many homes have been left empty, so many terrorists have taekn is good to continue the problems that have messed up and ruined everything....
I really dont think so...

anilkurup said...

A A New Beginning

You commented with reason. But how many of our kind ?

Insignia said...

Well thought. I liked your take on the issue. But as Bala mentioned; how many of us think this way?

If the Kashmir issue is resolved; what fodder would politicians have?

anilkurup said...

@ insignia,

Another sane mind !!Thanks for an enlightened opinion.

kaalpanique said...

well written. funny i was recently thinking about the same thing. every time i hear kashmir in the news i lament.. how different things would be if kashmir was never included in the indian union.the ruler of kashmir was a hindu who agreed to become part of the union. but the people where predominantly musim and kashmir should have gone to pakistan. nehru's was greedy. he couldn't part with the paradise... i keep thinking . wht if we let go off it. the saddest thing is the governments absolute refusal to hear an opinion like this. arundhati roy was condemned and hailed anti-national for suggesting a similar opinion. kashmiri people can never be independent. even if they gained their independence, they cannot defend tehmselves against the big players that surround it. the best option seems to be what u said... kashmir has its independence but india gets to provide its foreign policy and security... thats a nice thought. but i am a little skeptic whether it would work... i don't think terrorism would end with it.

anilkurup said...

@ Laalpanique,

Thanks for another sane thought. So now I have a handful of like minded on the Blog in the issue of Kashmir.
Terrorism is in many forms, the Islamic terrorism, the terrorism perpetuated by the Government and big business. So for these people there will always be fodder to commit their inhuman acts. But why do we knowingly let something fester?