August 13
13:46 2019

“Sometimes a people lose their right to remain silent when pressured to remain silent.”

There is a thin line separating courage from foolhardiness. Which side of the line the decision on Kashmir taken in Parliament fall soon will depend upon the reactions of the people of the state and the repercussions thereof?

But, to say that in nixing Article 370 a decision that took away the specific rights of millions without their consent was presented as a decision that empowered them might not be a statement of dissent or an anti-national stance.

When you need a million troops and a war-like siege in place to pass an order that was said to empower the very people who were put under confinement, then the objective of the order had failed.

What those celebrating the decision with the nationalist fervor and chest thumping ignore that a number of Central laws have already been made applicable to Jammu and Kashmir over the decades.

Most importantly, what these so called drum beating patriots ignored what the government was unilaterally taking away – political agency assured to an entire state when it agreed to join the Indian Union, protections ensured to an identity that felt itself under threat.

What both the government and the blind supporters of its decision chest thump as glorious investment opportunities and development is seen by thousands in Kashmir as an attempt to affect demographic change, as land grab, as the destruction of a fragile ecology.

What is more vulgar and absurd that no sooner than the Act was legislated, social media was abuzz with sleazy videos of men reveling in the fact that they will finally be able to marry white skinned beautiful Kashmiri girls.

Such absurdity to prop up Kashmiri women and girls to further their political agenda manifested that revoking the Article for the so called patriotic men gave a sense of entitlement and a right to do anything and everything that is Kashmiri, including its women.

It was chilling language, reducing a region to its commodities. It was the language of acquisition, not that of a democratic government acting in the interests of its citizens.

What we, the patriots do not understand that a bare reading of Article 370 along with more than 47 presidential orders amending it and subjects and legislations extended to Jammu and Kashmir would reveal that it is no impediment to industrial development of state or even unity and integrity of nation.

It is utterly wrong and unjust to blame Article 370 for every minor or major shortfall faced by Jammu and Kashmir state in the path of development.

It was wrong to blame Article 370,as it was the volatile situation in parts of state and its exaggerated representation in a section of media are among many factors responsible for the turmoil and under development in the state.

And lastly, have we, the cheering brigade had ever tried to ascertain what the Article 370 means to the average Kashmiri?

Article 370 means nothing to the average Kashmiri, after all, he had been suspiciously treating India as an occupational force.

It is a protracted perception.

I am afraid, there won’t be any marked change to that perceptive among the average Kashmiris.

The Article is/was just a compromise by them as thin agreement to join /accede to India.

There’s no doubt the compromise underlying that Article was profoundly flawed.

Thanks to its abrogation the average Kashmiri now be feeling, he is Azad, to now accuse in open India as an occupational force.

He would now be encouraged to raise the banner of revolt by the entire political spectrum from pro-India parties to secessionists, who, I am afraid, would unite against India.

Once that happens, the idea that a secular, democratic India might be Kashmir’s future would sound a fallacy and mere rhetoric.

Supporters of abrogation of the Article might wish/hope for transformation in Kashmir for betterment.

Wish that transformation to happen, but, policies are not made on the basis of hope.

The truth is, Kashmir will look much the same tomorrow as it does today/yesterday …..And that is the reality we chest thumping Patriots will have to tackle.



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