Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Limiting the area of strife is always better Interlocutors In Srinagar


Limiting the area of strife is always better
Interlocutors In Srinagar  

4/20/2011 12:23:30 AM

STARK REALITY 
RUSTAM 
EARLY TMES REPORT 
JAMMU, Apr 19: The problem is in Kashmir. It is patently communal and the bottom-line is secession. New Delhi knows it. The Kashmiri leadership, the Kashmir-based media and intellectuals, and even the Delhi-based commentators and think-tanks know all this. They also know that the area of influence of those demanding separation from India is limited to a few pockets in the Kashmir Valley and that an overwhelming majority of the Kashmiri Muslims has nothing to do with the ongoing secessionist movement in the Valley. Besides, they also know that whatever has happened in the Valley during the past over 20 years is the outcome of the subversive, anti-humanity and anti-India activities undertaken by the followers of a one particular religious sect and this sect is instigated, motivated, indoctrinated and supported by Pakistan that wants to accomplish the “unfinished agenda of partition” and annex Jammu and Kashmir. They also know that it is this sect that has been ruling the roost and exploiting the people of Jammu and Ladakh and the Kashmir-based religious and ethnic minorities, including the Shiite Muslims, the Gujjar and Bakerwal Muslims and the Pathowari-speaking Muslims since October 1947. They also know it full well that it was the followers of this particular sect to which Geelani, Yasin Malik, Mirwaiz, Shabir Shah, Bilal Lone, Sajjad Lone, Abdul Gani Bhat, Ashia Andrabi, Abdul Qayoom, Bitta Katate, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, to mention only a few, belong who were basically responsible for the wholesale exodus of the miniscule minority of Kashmiri Hindus in the early 1990. 

It is indeed disturbing that New Delhi continues to commit blunders and complicate further the already rather complex situation in the state by appeasing and pleasing this section that has unleashed a no-holds-barred misinformation campaign to implement its pernicious break-India agenda. 

New Delhi, the Kashmiri leadership, the Kashmir-based media, and even the Delhi-based commentators, trouble-shooters, peace activists and think-tanks also know it full well that the people of Jammu province and Ladakh, who inhabit over 88 per cent of the state’s geographical area and constitute more than half of the state’s population, are vehemently opposed to the idea of the state getting more autonomy or getting self-rule or merging with Pakistan or becoming independent of India. (Leave alone the fudged census figures, which show that the population difference between Kashmir and Jammu is to the tune of 1.7 million.) They know that the people of Jammu and Ladakh are out-and-out pro-India and that they would not accept only that solution that merges them fully with India and empowers them to exercise all those civil and political rights that are available to all other Indians. The policy-planners in New Delhi and others who comment on Jammu and Kashmir know all this, but sadly they do not take these stark realities into consideration while working out formulas designed to end the unrest in the state. They continue to hold the view that the meeting of the urges of the vocal section of the Kashmiri population would help them end the crisis. 

The New Delhi-appointed interlocutors are right now in Srinagar. They are holding a roundtable conference there to find ways and means that could help them diagnose what ails the state in general and Kashmir in particular. It is indeed deplorable that they have invited only those who are known sympathizers of Kashmiri separatists and communalists, with some of them even in favour of plebiscite, and who are hated in Jammu and Ladakh. If the interlocutors believe that they would be able to work out an acceptable framework after their meeting with the 50-odd biased persons who are taking part in the roundtable conference, then it can be said that they are still living in a fool’s paradise. The interlocutors are would to fail, as their modus opernadi is not holistic and inclusive. 
What could help them work out a workable and acceptable roadmap? Limiting the area of contention and strife to the very small Kashmir Valley alone could help them and the nation. It is always better to limit the area of contention and strife. This is always possible and this could be achieved by taking recourse to the process of segregation of the peaceful from the troublemaker. Former Union President R Venkataraman had given this sane counsel to Indira Gandhi. He had asked her to give what the people of Ladakh wanted, confer the status of statehood on Jammu province and deal separately with the Valley. The late Professor Bhawani Sangupta had also expressed similar views. BJP MP Ram Jethmalani, who supports the Musharraf’s formula, had also suggested sometime back the state’s trifurcation as a lasting solution to the “Kashmir problem.” Not only this, the late CPI General Secretary and former Union Home Minister Inderjit Gupta, too, had suggested the trifurcation of the state as one of the viable solutions to the “Kashmir problem.” 

The interlocutors would do well to take cognizance of the sane counsels of Venkataraman, Sangupta, Jethmalani and Gupta and limit the area of strife to the Valley, as what they had said were not off-the-cuff remarks. These were their well considered views. 

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