Whose Kashmir!!!

I have been following the news on Kashmir for quite a time now and have watched several debates, read numerous articles and thus thought of writing my own views on it. In fact I just want to put forward few queries that I have regarding Kashmir and the issue connected with it.

To begin with I would like to say that any article on this topic is bound to be imperfect as it has got to do with the emotions and sentiments of so many people. I pray from the core of my heart that the Kashmir issue gets solved as soon as possible and no more innocent people should lose life. Along with this I pray that we rise above the issue of religion and region and think beyond. Life is beautiful; you just have to have an open mind to enjoy it.

So here goes my queries and I leave the answers to the readers’ comprehension and prudence. Fair enough?

  1. Who has stakes in Kashmir?  Is it only the people in Kashmir?
  2. Why is that the Jammu and the Ladakh region not protesting while the valley is?
  3. If at all we agree on Independence of Kashmir shouldn’t it be before asking all the Kashmiri Pandits to re occupy their lost lands and with all the temples which were destroyed in last 63 years be rebuilt? After all, weren’t they part of Kashmir before the independence?
  4. I have heard from few sections on media that the main cause of upheaval and the discontentment among the people is because the Kashmiri’s are not treated on par with other Indians in other states. But is this the real problem or is it that Kashmiri’s don’t want anything but Independence?
  5. Following the previous question if the reason is negligence then don’t you think the section 370 is doing nothing but adding to the misery of people? Shouldn’t they have exactly the same laws and rules as any other state? (Including, demilitarization, removing of AFSPA, free trade, tax, education, facilities, business establishment by people from outside the state, owning real estate etc.)
  6. If I have to believe that the only cause for the protest is seeking Independence then why is that the people in POK not seeking similar freedom, after all it was part of Kashmir? How come the thinking of people across the LOC is different, is the condition of people in POK better than what we have in Kashmir? This makes me think, had the Pakistan occupied all of the Kashmir, would there be similar protests for freedom then!!! ( I would love to hear YES)
  7. People are asking for demilitarization of Kashmir (including me, except on the borders), do you really think that the Army is enjoying their stay in the Kashmir rather being deployed at the borders, doing what they love to do that is guarding our country?
  8. If people don’t want men in uniform to guard 24X7 and if army doesn’t want to play the role of watchman, then who\what is forcing them to be present there?
  9. If the government says that Kashmir is an integral part of India, then why is that they don’t create an environment of free movement of people in and out of valley as we have between other Indian states? Why can not a person from other state not buy property of have stakes in industries there?
  10. What are the possibilities if the government agrees to the independence of Kashmir, other similar demands would creep up from other parts of the India? I dare say that for a long time the NE India has been totally ignored by the government of India and if people in other parts of India are demanding independence it is because of the apathy and insensitivity shown by our government and no one else.

Finally coming to my own views and my take on the possibilities in the future, we could have one of these conditions:

1. Independence of Kashmir: I am not saying that this should happen but if this ever happens, there should be few things that should happen along with it. First the POK should also be integrated with Kashmir and made independent, which I doubt would happen. Second as expressed in the views above, all the Kashmiri’s Pandits be allowed to retain there land and properties. All the temples demolished should be resurrected by the people who demolished it. They have as much as stake in Kashmir as Kashmiri’s Muslims. After all the King of J&K was himself a Hindu. Having said that, if the people from Jammu, Ladakh and POK don’t agree on an independent state then it would be hard job to come to any conclusion.

2. Leave the vicious circle of deaths, defiance and negligence as it has been for last 63 years: This could be the worse thing that can happen to Kashmir and its people. This would be nothing less than a slow poison which would ultimately annihilate the entire region if not the entire country.

3. Bring the people of Kashmir under confidence by providing all the freedom and rights enjoyed be any other Indian in any other state:  This according to me could be the best thing that should happen to Kashmir. The government I must say had lost the plot by being complacent after the election in the state where more that 60% of the people took part. Thinking of “aaal is well” was not the best of the Ideas. Since we don’t have the rewind button in our lives, we should be thinking of how well we can gain the confidence of the people.

4. Have a plebiscite and make each and every one from J&K, POK, COK(China Occupied Kashmir) to participate. According to the percentage of votes received for Independence or for India or for Pakistan, divide the area accordingly in that proportion: This should be the last resort. At least the people would think that justice has been done.

Having said all this, if any of the outcome forces even a single inch of Kashmir to be cut apart from the mainland India, it would be playing with the emotions of 100crore Indians who have grown learning Kashmir as an integral part of India, who take pride in the natural beauty of the land, who know Kashmir as the “Taj” of our country, who believe it to be among the most sacred places in the world and who just can’t see a part of theirs being cut away.

May we all have peace!!

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