OPINION

Why is Kashmir Important?

August 29, 2008
Desh

Disclaimer: I am writing this purely with statecraft as the basis. I have deliberately left out the influence of value systems and principles, as in prevalent in most discussions

Kashmir is a major problem between India and Pakistan. Most often the cloak on every issue and problem between state is sewn from the thread of emotions and principles in public opinion. Actually and in hard reality it is rarely so.

At the expense of sounding nonchalant, let me state that never have I ever believed, notwithstanding the public emotion, that Pakistan's establishment had ever coveted Kashmir because of its Muslim residents and India because of its secular credentials.

If there was ever any secularism worth the name in that land of Kashmir, then conversions and Islamic invasion had long destroyed it. What was being dragged on for last few centuries was the coffin of that secularism.

Secondly, if Islamic brotherhood was the concern of the Pakistanis then they should have had a better track record at home to convince even a weak critic.

Of course, my eternal question o Pakistan always strikes at the root of this "Islamic Brotherhood" claim:

Which "Muslim" and "Islam" are we talking about?

The truth about Pakistan's Islamic brotherhood is that its boundaries extend to only Punjabi Sunnis and then it abruptly stops. It assumes vicious forms as soon as it crosses over into the territory of those who believe in Prophet-hood beyond Mohammad. It is then that the love and acceptance that are the hallmark of any brotherhood should - ideally - be exemplified. And that is where it has failed and failed miserably!

Actually, and honestly, the frail "love" fails at the boundary of language itself. Bengalis, Mohajirs are living exhibits of that failure. So, to say that Kashmiri Muslim is any more important than Bengali Muslim.. .or that a Kashmiri Shia will have any more luck than a Punjabi or Sindhi Shia is a tough sell to anyone not unlucky enough to have been brainwashed!

Now, if the interests of Kashmiris and their land was any concern then the quid pro quo, where a third of Jammu & Kashmir (5800 sq.km) - Trans-Karakoram Tract (1963 agreement and 1987 ratification of Chinese ownership) - was bartered to China by Pakistan would not have occurred.

There is a reason why I or you cannot sell the Taj Mahal. Because we do not own it! It is the same case with the land that we hold in "good trust". A trustee does not have absolute rights on the property of the original owner. Trustee of a property cannot therefore sell a property held under trusteeship any more than you or I cannot sell Taj Mahal. That is how a logical law works. But it becomes a completely different matter if the trustee assumes the absolute rights and without any ratification from the original owner goes about wheeling-dealing in the property!

So, two tthe hings are very clear to me - for Pakistan, Kashmir is NOT about Islamic brotherhood and it is also NOT about love and care for Kashmiri interests.

What about India? If indeed Kashmir was the benchmark for secularism, without which the practice of this blessed principle would utterly fail and devastate India, then Kashmiri Pandits would not have been a casualty and that too in such a terrible way. The day the first Pandit was threatened and harmed and the Indian Government turned its eyes away, that pretense of Kashmir's importance for holding together our secular culture collapsed an unsung death! It has never been resurrected since. It never will.

True "Secularism" - if one insists on extolling this word, in my view, and since it has been a point of so much debate in one of my earlier post, resides in people's hearts. It is none other than love - pure love.

When the narrow minded look at Love being expressed to a person who swears by another "God", they call that territory as "Secularism". And Tolerance is basic building block of its definition by such a narrow mind. What they really mean is that Love was not a "natural" state when it saw a "different" opinion, yet this person exhibited it! It is quite obviously an unflattering characterization of "Love" to begin with, but to hide their own short-coming of terming Tolerance as a virtue, such people put Secularism on a high pedestal!

Acceptance of all is a virtue. And acceptance is not despite the differences, but irrespective and beyond the narrow boundaries of similarities and differences.

Love of Heer, of Shirin, of Juliet could not even dwell on such boundaries or mind-blocks. It was just love.

In my view, THAT can be the ONLY true "Secularism" - if you still want to use that semantics. Love and Secularism are, therefore, the same. Anything less than that is just a pretense and hypocrisy! Just as Jesus' unbounded and unconditioned love cannot be characterized and defined in narrow terms... similarly Love of One's own "God" - if it is really a God and not its cheap surrogate - has to and should include everyone's "God"! So where is the reason or need for uncomfortably pretended "love" famously called "Tolerance" and its derivative "Secularism"!!

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote something for Sherlock Holmes that remains - in my book - an excellent benchmark for getting to any truth - "Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, has to be the truth!"

So, now, if the public stances of India and Pakistan were never honest or even plausible ones to begin with, then why has so much of blood been shed over it? And its corollary - Is Kashmir even important and if yes, Why?

I am sure, there are many who will keep arguing on the above negated "principles" and "virtues" no end as the major issues in Kashmir, but it is quite obvious, given the actions and track record on the ground that they are akin to fleeting flirtings of schizophrenic administrations. No more defensible or believe-able than promises of love and faithfulness from a playboy Casanova, who pretends love and screws women because...well.. he can!!

The women who believe such playboys and jump into bed with them, usually keep bearing bastards and crying over their "bad fortune". I have little sympathy or serious concern for such blind idealists. That is why I want to move on to the real (as opposed to pretended) reasons for so much importance of Kashmir and let the lovers of political Cassanovas cry over bastardization of the most coveted principles and blame the "bad fortune" and villainous world for all that. Too bad.

Blood and money is generally spilled by "intelligent", though bluffing regimes, always because and if, that land provides "Net Benefits". When "Revenue" over a long time period is higher than the costs to sustain and hold that land. When the Net Return turned below the accepted "Investment threshold" for British, they quietly handed over the sub-continent to its impoverished residents and made it look as an act of greatness. That was political stage-craft... and victory of independence for the romantics!

A Nigerian friend recently made an interesting - and telling - remark (Nigeria was freed in 1960) "If the oil had been discovered in Nigeria before the Brits decided to leave our country, we would have been forever colonized. Our luck was their mis-fortune".

That is why Darfur is not as important as Iraq or two small provinces of Georgia are to the big powers of the world. Benefits outweigh the costs and the risks in those ventures, and Darfur, by contrast, is a net-net loss.

Kashmir has no oil. But it is a gateway. Yes, to Central Asia. But more importantly to the Himalayas - the ONLY consistent and bountiful source of water to the sub continent. For centuries, sub continent has seen its civilization been decided by that one element. While Saraswati enabled a flourishing civilization, its vanishing destroyed it. Neither Pakistan nor India can afford to lose that source.

While Pakistan's hurry is that before India assumes un-beatable dominance in the region, to cut its life-force itself. India has the same aim. It also has a large population that any semi-honest political administration would want to plan for.

Desh loves to blog on things known and unknown to him and everything in between. He comes from the diplomacy laden city of Delhi and is currently in the US. He has many blogs of which only three run daily (or somewhat!) - SAP Professional Network , Drishtikone.com and Business Musings.
eXTReMe Tracker
Keep reading for comments on this article and add some feedback of your own!

Why is Kashmir Important?

Article

Author: Desh

 

Comments! Feedback! Speak and be heard!

Comment on this article or leave feedback for the author

#1
temporal
URL
August 29, 2008
09:34 AM

desh:

your disclaimer says it all;)

what is "statecraft" and how can it be rid of "value systems" and "principles"?

can rain clouds be truly analyzed and discussed without ascertaining the atmospheric pressure, the prevalent wind conditions, temperatures etc. ...with a disclaimer?

***

yes kashmir is about water


***

but it is not only about water

***

it is about some or all of the following:

* local agreements
* international agreements
* human rights
* occupation (both sides)
and
* free expression of the will


#2
Ashish
URL
August 29, 2008
10:38 AM

Yes temporal, and these are elements used in the entire discussion; but the core of any discussion about Kashmir is why Pakistan wants it, and why India is unwilling to let it go.

Pakistan wants it because it is strategic, because it promises water and more land, because it will set an example for breaking Muslim majority areas away from India, because it has consistently seen the concept of a region of Muslims not belonging to Pakistan as part of the 2 nation theory.

For India, the core of Kashmir is at the core of its nationhood, whether the country is built on such concepts that a Muslim majority region can remain part of India, that the population will eventually see that India is a better bet, that if Kashmir goes, there will be a wide-spread jump in more strong pro-Hindu forces.

#3
Ledzius
August 29, 2008
11:09 AM

It is indeed ironic that many Kashmiri Muslim women rally for Kashmiri "independence". Yeah, right. Like it would not become a surrogate state of Pakistan, if not a real one.

And then, just like what Pakistan did to their sisterhood on the other side, they would create the equivalent of the Taliban, that would virtually place them under house arrest and whip them if they dared to venture out of their homes.

And then those women would be peeing in their burqas to come back to India at that time.. So much for their "independence"..

Instead of making the best of the situation (becoming part of a democratic and more modern setup that is India), they want to become part of a surrogate of a military dictatorship whose priority is NOT their welfare as they would like to think. It sometimes amazes me that people can be so stupid.

#4
Ledzius
August 29, 2008
11:47 AM

I am surprised at how Indian "liberals" and "intellectuals" support independence for Kashmir. Are they missing the fact that that would land half the population (women) in a theocracy where they would enjoy inferior social and legal status compared to what they do in India?

And yet they talk of a 'moral choice' here?

Their hypocrisy is unbelievable.

#5
kerty
August 29, 2008
11:51 AM

T

"it is about some or all of the following:

* local agreements
* international agreements
* human rights
* occupation (both sides)
and
* free expression of the will"

Thanks for giving us separatist/jehadi point of view.

Fortunately, they are not the only ones who have human rights and free expression of will.

#6
kerty
August 29, 2008
12:00 PM

T

Additionally, agreement can remain as an enforcible agreement only when and only up until its provisions and conditionalities are followed by both sides in letter and spirit - as soon as one side chooses to breach any part of the agreement, the other party can treat the whole agreement as null and void. That is how agreements work. You can hold on to such dead agreements and promises, but they are no longer worth piece of paper they are written on.

#7
Desh
URL
August 29, 2008
12:09 PM

T:

I will write a detailed reply later on.. but honestly, it is amazing that the very guys who robbed a house and sold it to a 3rd party are crying over the RIGHTS of the residents of that house?

If you didn't get it - then specifically speaking - Who did the President/PM of Pakistan ask amongst Kashmiri Pandits before the 1963 Trans-Karakoram agreement was done with the Chinese and land sold with consideration accruing SOLELY to the Pakistani citizens???

So, lets forget about imaginary agreements which have been null and voided LOOOOONG back!

Now, talk.

-d.

#8
temporal
URL
August 29, 2008
12:49 PM

desh and others:

kashmir dispute is an intractable and complex issue and i did not propose...nor am qualified to suggest a solution

my comments are based on this article that identifies the trees for the forest

***

this is a political issue that cries for political solution - a solution that is accepatable to all three parties...primarily amongst the three, the kashmirirs themselves (and that includes muslims, pandits, buddhists., etc.)



#9
kerty
August 29, 2008
01:23 PM

T
"kashmir dispute is an intractable and complex issue "

No. It is a cut and dry issue. India has multitudes of states like Kashamir, many languages, religions, cultures like Kashmir - and they have become cut and dry issues, non-negotiable issues, settled issues. The debates about them ended 50 years ago. Kashmir issue is complex and intractable issue for only those who want to appease jehadism and separatism. The only real issue is when are Indian leaders going to show some spine and integrity and remove any special treatment that is not uniformly accorded to all other states in India. Do we ask moslems, Hindus and Budhists what is acceptable to them in any other states? Nope. Than there is no problem to solve but to solve the problem that thinks that the problem exists.

#10
Desh
URL
August 29, 2008
01:38 PM

Temp:

I sometimes wonder - how does any Pakistani even utter the words "Wishes of people" in relation to Kashmir with a straight face??

NWFP - know how it was annexed? Balochistan?? How it is kept in the Union??

It is like a dacoit lecturing someone on the virtues of being honest! Come on now!!

I am saying - that these values of "wishes" of people have NO meaning in the way sub continent is structured! If you really have to look at the wishes of people - then, you will have to DISMANTLE the entire country of Pakistan and parts of India as well!!

So, before you point the finger at India and Kashmir, lets see you proposing a dismantling of Pakistan from Balochistan, FATA, NWFP onwards.. fair enough?

So, lets not get into "issues" which have been rendered just rhetorical - just good for debating points! ON THE GROUND.... where the ACTION happens... they mean ZILCH.. NADA.. NOTHING! Nice to mislead the idiotic and brainwashed masses, but beyond that.. not much weight in them..

-d.

#11
temporal
URL
August 29, 2008
02:00 PM

desh:

you are indulging in conjecturing....again...y a w n

***

i said in # 1:

"it is not only about water"

good luck;)







#12
Desh
URL
August 29, 2008
02:04 PM

temp:

Y..a...w...n - for the rest of the issues ;-) they are like a bollywood chic-flick.. entertainment for masses with nothing meaningful..

the real and the ONLY issue is - Water. Otherwise Kashmir will cease to be an issue at all!

leave your love for political chic-flicks aside and think.

;-)

later,
-d.

#13
Ayan Roy
August 29, 2008
03:12 PM

A few months back I had touched upon the "cost-benefit" analysis of Kashmir viz a viz India and Pakistan in a reply to an article on the Falkland islands issue between England and Argentina.

I think that IS the key point. India has invested a lot of money and arms on Kashmir because of its geographical strategic location and the water resources trapped in the Himalayan glaciers.

If, for India, the long term strategic gains of keeping Kashmir were much lesser than the losses, and if the losses of losing Kashmir would be far lesser than the losses India would incur by keeping Kashmir, then it would make no sense for India to keep Kashmir for long. Simple as that.

Unfortunately, in the current scenario, letting go of Kashmir would be a huge, huge financial, material and humanitarian loss, according to the Indian establishment's point of view. Not only that, India then runs the risk of emboldening and encouraging other separatists all over the country to intensify their activities, which would undermine her territotial and national integrity, and lead to further loss.

The reasons mentioned above also are the specific reasons why Paksitan also wants Kashmir so badly. One of Pakistan's key goals is to dismantle India. They don't really care too much about the local Kashmiris. Pakistan just wants the water laden glaciers, and wants to see India disintegrate.

Now someone may say that the idea of India as a nation is inherently flawed, and India as such is a very unstable alliance of local petty warlords with no common national interest or identity; and it's better for everybody in the "Indian" subcontinent that India splits up into small language based nations; Well, that is a different controversial topic altogether and calls for a lot of critical analysis.

As for human rights, well, for the Kashmiris, it is like choosing between a warm fyring pan (India) and a blast furnace at full burn (Pakistan). Even though I do not ignore the human rights abuses by the Indian army and the incompetence shown by the central and state governments w.r.t. Kashmir and its people, I doubt the Kashmiris would have a peaceful, happy life on the other side of the border with people welcoming them with open arms.

#14
Man Singh
URL
August 29, 2008
04:01 PM

Mathematics solves the problems when stake holders become irraional.

I'll start with statement of Ali Shah Gilani who openly said said that Kashmiri `muslims' want to go with pakistan as they are linked to Pakistan through Islam.

In 1947 India was divided to create a homeland for Muslims of the region. Muslim population was 24% of Total undivided India. Muslims were generously given 28% of our land ie 4% more then their legitimate share.

Now if any Muslim is not happy with India and wants freedom, he/she should be allowed to to do that. They should be allowed to go to their legitimate share of land and claim there rights there. As far as India is concerned, Muslims are given more rights than Hindu majority. Even if they are not happy they should claim tyheir freedom and human rights in their legitimate land ie Pakistan. This formula is applicable on Kashmiri muslims as well.

Kashmiri Muslims are acting as gaddars and namakharms. Look what facilities they are enjoying vis a vis Hindu majority Jammu.

Some key indicators of inequity in Jammu vis--vis Kashmir region of J&K State:

1 Area- 26293 sq kms (Jammu) 15948 sq kms (Kashmir)

2 Total revenue generated-75 % (Jammu) 20% (Kashmir)

3 Total voters-3059986 (Jammu); 2883950 (Kashmir)

4 Assembly seats allotted-37 (Jammu); 46 (Kashmir)

5 Loksabha seats-2 (Jammu); 3 (Kashmir)

6 Cabinet ministers (till 7th July,08) -5 (Jammu); 14 (Kashmir)

7 Unemployment status-69.70 % (Jammu); 29.30% (Kashmir)

8 Representation in state govt. jobs-1.2 lakhs (Jammu); 3lakhs (Kashmir)

9 Percentage of employees from local area-less than 25% (Jammu); 99% (Kashmir)

10 Power generation -22 Mega Watt (Jammu); 304 Mega Watt (Kashmir)

11 Rural electrification-less than 70% (Jammu); 100% (Kashmir)

In spite of all this pampering Kashmiri Muslims are not happy with India. That means they are simply gaddars and namakharams and should be treated accordingly.

#15
kerty
August 29, 2008
04:07 PM

India does not view its territories as mere land or mere source of some raw material. Territories are not some commodities and maps are not merely drawings and flags not merely piece of clothing. 'Not a blade of grass grow there' is a perverse utilitarian argument to keep or relinquish national territories. Such cost benefit analysis stems from sick mindset - how many blades of grass it needs to grow to be valuable to nation and that is used as a basis to defend it or give it up.

When it comes to western nations, they boldly declare no price is too high and no sacrifice too great to defend the nation. In India, it is just the opposite - our elites have no qualms about debating at what point the cost is too high to protect and preserve the nation. It is consistent with India's dominant establishment view that India is not a nation, never was, but it is merely a political entity created on a peace of paper called constitution - so to preserve and protect such political entity is the only real mandate India has, and in that pursuit, no cost is too high and no sacrifice too great and everything is expendible, therefore, it must be able to sacrifice anything and everything, even its territories in order to preserve its political entity. Since secularism and socialism are central tenants of our political entity, any territory can be sacrificed for preserving secularism and socialism ie any political setback suffered by political parties swearing by secularism and socialism can be taken as 'secularism is in danger', they must be prepared to sacrifice any territory that enemies of secularism may hold dear in order to defend secularism. Thus defense of secularism implies appeasing and amassing vast arsenal of separatist movements and using them to defend threats against secularism. Pretty sick.

#16
Chandra
August 29, 2008
07:25 PM

Ayan -13

I think the bigger issue is that of the Indian nation. If India leaves Kashmir, I will personally return to my home state and demand separate nation for ourselves. I donot want to part of a nation that is unable to hold onto 7 million jokers in the Kashmir valley. The USSR split after 75 years, we have been together only for 60.

#17
kerty
August 29, 2008
09:50 PM

Chandra

Would you like your small state to be gobbled up by Pakistan or BD? Divided you fall, and united you fall even harder - head you lose, tail I win. That is the jehadi-secularist nexus at work - they win either way. They split the spoils of war upon India. Hindus lose no matter who wins and whatever be the outcome. You play into hands of Jehadis or you play into hands of Sonia, kashmir or no Kashmir.

Are you still waiting for your benchmarks to decide?

#18
commonsense
August 29, 2008
09:57 PM

Kerty:

""They split the spoils of war upon India. Hindus lose no matter who wins and whatever be the outcome.""

Notice the focus on "Hindus" not humans and the deployment of the persecution complex.

#19
commonsense
August 29, 2008
10:15 PM

Kerty:

Go ahead and claim that "I am not politically correct".

So, while arguing against white supremacists/red necks while in the US, you can be a Hindu supremacist or a wooden (as in boring) red-neck while in your neck of the woods. A kind way of describing this situation would be "rank hypocrisy".

#20
Chandra
August 30, 2008
02:57 AM

Kerty

You have not understood my comment at all. My comment is meant to highlight the importance of Kashmir. Not one inch must be given up. Lately I have noticed our liberal whores trying to give up everything in the name of liberalisation and Globalisation.

BTW that reminds me of all the protests coming up against violence in Orissa. Not one complaint when the VHP leader was killed. Anyway, people should be thankful that a repeat of Gujarat did not happen.Orissa is far more peaceful. I am sending another $ 50 to the Bajrang dal.

#21
Ledzius
August 30, 2008
02:57 AM

When Kashmir ceded to India, the Kashmiris had an excellent opportunity to be part of a modern, secular democracy, as against a theocratic military dictatorship. But they blew it. They put their religious identity in front of everything else and dug themselves into a deeper hole, and in the process alienated the Indian mainstream. Thereafter it became a vicious cycle of hate and violence. But the Kashmiris have to blame themselves for this predicament.

Look at Hawaii or Guam. The people there were smart enough to become part of the US, without putting their ethnic identities before everything else. The result is that the natives enjoy a high standard of living, just as much as mainland US.

It is unfortunate that Kashmiris don't look at the benefits of being in a secular democracy. India in fact gave them special status, and pampered them. Yet they want to break away (and become part of Pakistan) and certainly half their population (the women) would be worse off if that happens.

I don't think those asking for independence are on any moral high ground here. They are probably worse off than those who want Kashmir to stay part of India.



#22
anand
August 30, 2008
09:42 AM

i think to a great extent its about water. unfortunately for pakistan all the rivers that run thru it start in indian kashmir area and although the indus water treaty gave them exclusive rights to use water of 3 rivers it is only a matter of time before india builds a dam over them and diverts for their own use. so pakistan will go to any extent to destabilize kashmir and continue to sponser terrorists.

one opportunity that india has utilized very well in the recent past is of balochistan. pakistanis have treated the baluchis like shit for long and a seperatist tendency has existed for long. since the pro-indian governnment in afghanistan was installed in afghaintan india has been sponsoring the Baloch Liberation Army from there. funding them and providing weapons. i think its a good opportunity to give pakistan its own 'kashmir'...a taste of its own medicine!

#23
anand
August 30, 2008
09:52 AM

i heard this somewhere that indian and pakistani politicians also have a secret agenda. its about the kashmiri race that they secretly believe is more 'aryan' and of better quality or something and thats tthe reason they want it. although i doubt because there is so much human rights violations in kashmir.

#24
commonsense
August 30, 2008
10:52 AM

its mostly about water and geopolitical strategy. there is no rational reason why these issues cannot be resolved if india and pakistan bury their hatchets (no, not into each other) and think of mutual self-interest. although the context is different, it has been done elsewhere, such as ASEAN etc. Even what we see now as Europe was what seemed like nations locked in never-ending wars for years. It's all in the past now.

SAARC was a promise that appears as distant as ever. It is so easy for politicians to up the polemics and temperature. In theory, there is no reason why this issue cannot be resolved and for all parties to move on to other pressing issues rather than killing and maiming each other. But in practice, ah, a different can of worms.

#25
commonsense
August 30, 2008
11:01 AM

Kerty:

""The only real issue is when are Indian leaders going to show some spine and integrity""

Barely a week from now, they would have imbibed dharma and narayana, as per the solution offered by man singh and you resepectively on the thread about "religious violence in orissa". they will magically grow spines. worry not, all taken care of. kashmir problem solved.

#26
commonsense
August 30, 2008
01:03 PM

Chandra:

""Lately I have noticed our liberal whores trying to give up everything in the name of liberalisation and Globalisation.""

Not to worry, "liberal whores" will be given repeat shots of Dharma/Naryana injections, followed by boosters. Conservative whores will get none even if they beg for it. Problem solved by next week. Nation's integrity intact, courtesy of this dharma/narayana injection invented by the dynamic duo of Kerty and Man Singh (author of _Tota Maina Ki Kahanee_).

#27
commonsense
August 30, 2008
01:06 PM

Chandra:

""Lately I have noticed our liberal whores trying to give up everything in the name of liberalisation and Globalisation.""


And proponents of "globalization" will be subjected to massive doses of "gobarization" through gobar gas of course...

#28
Chandra
August 30, 2008
02:02 PM

CS-26

You think that hocus pocus will work on Rajdeep and co? I doubt it.

I have physical evidence that shows that the day when the rest of the media was covering the arrests in Ahmedabad, our IBN team was covering Kashmir and doing stories on how azadi is tenable. irritating, really!!

#29
chandra
August 30, 2008
02:08 PM

CS-27

We have a lot of Gobar in India :-)

#30
Morris
August 30, 2008
05:27 PM

Islam cannot seperate religion from politics. So the Kashmir problem is not likely to disappear in near future if ever. You cannot offer democracy as a substitute for their religion. They have this fatal attraction for the reigion. India offers better opportunities does not sell and will not sell. Joining kashmir with India was a wrong decision to begin with and time will not make it right.

Perhaps they should seriously consider division. After all Bengal and Punjab are divided and are happy with their respective country. Why not Kashmir. That will also allow all those refugees within the country to return home. They can look at the water issue and negotiate fair allocation to both sides. Simply annex muslim dominated part to Pakistan and the rest will remain with Indai.

Alternative is coninuation of present turmoil with some quiet interludes giving some optoimists false hope.

Please go easy on me. It is just a thought. Any taker?

#31
Chandra
August 30, 2008
06:47 PM


I think the best solution is merging both territories through a very complex process. By merging I mean-

a. They could have one education board for example
b. One power department and so on

The respective national flags can continue to fly in each of the regions. Apart from respective national passports, individuals in these two regions can be given IDs that would enable them passport free travel across the border. Lastly A 370 needs to be scrapped. Indian investment will finally benefit Kashmir, blocking it is really pointless

#32
commonsense
August 30, 2008
07:20 PM

Chandra:

""We have a lot of Gobar in India :-)"'

True! Our chance to gobarize the world without any expense to us :)

#33
commonsense
August 30, 2008
07:24 PM

Morris,

Apart from the water issue, too many emotions, real emotions have been manufactured on this issue.

As for Kashmir and Islam, it wasn't always so, and need not always be so. Most Kashmiri muslims have been quite secular ie. culturally but not religiously muslims, until recently; including of course the so-called leadership, sheikh abdullah, his son and now his grandson. Politics, emotions and strategic importance keep getting in the way. A lot of sibling rivalry at work too, between India and Pak. So the turmoil continues. I agree, no easy way out for the forseeable future. But I have no doubt that if maturity and rationality is given a serious try, there is no reason why this tangle cannot be untangled. Many seemingly intractable problems in the world have come to some workable, if not perfect, utopian solutions.

#34
commonsense
August 30, 2008
07:27 PM

and of course, article 370 sucks, big time! it doesn't do anybody any good.

#35
kerty
August 30, 2008
07:29 PM

Morris

The Kashmir is already divided into two - Azad Kashmir on Paksitan Side and Kashmir on Indian side. It is the Jehadis on the Indian side of the Kashmir that are agitating for pan-kashmir union.

The good analogy would be Jehadis in W.Bengal demanding azadi from India to create sonar Bangla, by uniting Bengalis from both side of the fence. You can have similar scenaria in Assam too. If Kashmir succeeds, it can open pandora's box as suggested by Chandra, and that is exactly what what Pakistan wants - to unravel India, so it can prevail over balkanized India, and take revenge over break up of Pakistan ie creation of BD. It is not about water or land or human rights or blah blah in Kashmir.

#36
kerty
August 30, 2008
08:00 PM

Morris

You made a very good point - that in Islamic mandate, state, religion and 'public' are an inseparable, indistinguishable, unitary entity. They do not exist independent of each other, have no separate identity or existence - they all have to submit and merge into one perfect union - to create such a seamless perfect union is the theological mandate of Islam.

Good analogy is communist state where state, people, menifesto, party are one and same, one unitary entity. There is no such thing as 'public', individual, private sector, private ownership, or property. Everything is state rolled into one. Just replace manifesto with Koran, and you have a blue print of Islamic Paradise.

It is easy to misunderstand the modus operandi and motivations of such ideologies and theologies when one borrows terminologies and framework that are derived from totally opposite theologies and ideologies. But it works well to disarm people and not ring alarm bells.

#37
commonsense
August 30, 2008
08:53 PM

Morris,

In Islam as in any other religon, there is a text, a context and a con-text to con other people. Otherwise a billion plus people would all be fundamentalists and the thekedaars like bin laden and co. would be out of jobs.

#38
Morris
August 30, 2008
09:22 PM

CS #33
'As for Kashmir and Islam, it wasn't always so, and need not always be so.'
If they can be so easily led towards mixing of religion and politics what chances there are for reverting back to the way they were. I think a little or none. I wonder about your point that it need not always be so.
I am not sure whether maturity and rationality will work when people themselves are not involved in the process. I understand that India is not permiiting a democratic process.

kerty #36
Is there a muslim majority in the present kashmir controlled by India? If yes, then having agreed with me on Islam and politics how do you expect Kashmir to remain viable part of India? Would you not be wise to redraw the division in keeping with the demography? And if hindus keep leaving Kashmir would it not become an occupied land in time to come?
I assume that A370 deals with non kasmiri Indians right or lack thereof to make home there?
This aricle is impossible for me to understand. With predominance of pseculars in politics I think there is zero chance that the article would be revoked. Perhaps pseculars will agree for revised division.

#39
kerty
August 30, 2008
10:43 PM

Morris

"having agreed with me on Islam and politics how do you expect Kashmir to remain viable part of India? Would you not be wise to redraw the division in keeping with the demography?"

What India can do is to raise the price of messing with India and hope to stall the inevitable. As you know, the Islamic juggernaut got stalled in India, and remained stuck there for last 1000 years. If Kashmir has to remain a battle-zone for a long time, than so be it. Because giving in would not not end it(giving in to partition did not end it, did it?), it merely shifts the battle-zone to the next theater deeper inside India. So it is better to bogg it down where it is. It is also very educational as people get live demonstration of history lessons, and helps Indians reject being brainwashed no matter how much our secularists package and sell Islam as religion of peace and Mohabbat and Bhaihood and harmony and sadbhavana.

#40
commonsense
August 30, 2008
10:49 PM

Morris:

""Is there a muslim majority in the present kashmir controlled by India?""

Huh??? None of my business, but did you not know this already?? Hmmm....I thought every desi and every non-desi interested in desi issues knew the answer to this question. Interesting new angle to everything you have said in the past. Are you desi? Are you interested in desi-issues? Before you jump on me, I have NOTHING against non-desis being on DC, unlike others who wish to preserve the so-called purity of this forum. But, just curious. You do not, of course, have to respond at all to my question. Please ignore it if that's what you prefer. BTW, I am not desi at all: I am a polymorphous, deracinated and simultaneously globalized and gobarized secular humanist, yet not at all an American Born Confused Desi since I was indeed born in India, so perhaps a non-American Indian Born Beyond Confused Non-Desi as in, a secular humanist who understands the need for national boundaries but recognizes the simultaneous need for humanist approach to most issues.

#41
commonsense
August 30, 2008
10:53 PM

Chandra:

""You think that hocus pocus will work on Rajdeep and co? I doubt it.""

Perhaps not. I don't disagree with you.

#42
Desh
URL
August 30, 2008
11:08 PM

Morris/Kerty:

I dont think there is any thing gained out of engaging with CS or temporal here anymore. They have an art of trivializing any debate and taking it on a complete tangent!

When they demonize Modi but pass by RG, and I challenge to name a secular alternative; temp in his infinite wisdom comes up with Edhi - a guy who is not even a half-serious political alternative in his own country - to suggest he is a Secular alternative to Modi! And then the discussion on a completely different tangent!

Even a semi-serious answer to my challenge would have been Dr. Kalam - but he, again and unfortunately, is not a political alternative any more (as any ex-Indian President cannot run for any public office).

Here too the same thing is happening!

One of the reasons for my long absences on this forum has been the complete juvenile rhetoric from the likes of Temp and CS earlier. If one can talk with some seriousness then one can debate.. if one comes here with just the aim to make points at every sentence and trivialize the debate, then its rather sad. But that is how it happens here.

I would write the second part to this soon but I would really appeal to all those who are serious about this issue to think harder.

There are two ways to look at the world:

reactive and proactive.

REactive way is best demonstrated in addas of Bengal or the JNU in Delhi - where the argument usually goes "Oh the world should not have been like this.. if only world could be such and such and then all things would be fine.. so until world becomes such and such so that I can achieve my objective.. I will PROTEST"

Proactive way is best demo-ed by businessmen in small towns of Punjab or in Bihar or Gujarat "the world is such and such.. which is so bad.. but I want to get to my objective... so I will do my damndest best! To heck with the roadblocks!"

If you have seen "Guru" you will know what I mean by the latter.

Those who survive and thrive are the latter, while those who are like the former remain depressed and in search of that ideal "Moment"... which rarely comes.

Either we take the world "as it is" - or we wait for the world when it "becomes" how we believe in our idealistic temperament "it should be".

The choice is ours.

I am not here to wait for that ideal moment. And this will be the underlying emotion of all the discussion henceforth, as it has been until now.

cheers,
-desh

#43
kerty
August 31, 2008
12:44 AM

Desh

I agree with your assessment about CS. I tried to engage with him in the beginning, but found it best to ignore his posts as discussion with him took me in all kinds of tangent directions without getting anywhere, and in the process important debates being trivialized and focus distracted from the main points addressed by the thread. Once in a while I break my own rules and use his comments as springboard to make few observations if I feel they can add to understanding of issues discussed in the thread.

Fortunately, we have the luxury to ignore his posts in a virtual world of DC. But in real world, same set of arguments and positions are out there in full force and one has to deal with them sooner or later and one can not simply ignore them or run away from them - I think more fruitful discussions can take place if positions and counter positions are presented with intellectual rigor and without tantrums and childishness - because they can arouse lots of passions and partisanship, they can easily degenerate into ego clash, personal attacks and trading of insults and if person at the other end is not mature or articulate, real discussion can never take place. Such threads generate sparks but no light. That is my pet critique of Indian media in general - real discussion seldom takes place that can generate enlightenment or informed citizenry, enlightened choices are rarely presented to people, people are constantly presented with false either-or choices and led astray, people are kept in a constant state of confusion - and it gets reflected in kind of leadership and ideas people end up choosing and following. India seriously needs a counter-balance near total domination of leftists in the Media. CS will at least debate you on his terms.

#44
Desh
URL
August 31, 2008
12:57 AM

Kerty:

Thanks! And I agree with you that media and a lot of Indians have been brainwashed by the leftists and can hardly think on their own... so they live their entire intellectual lives on borrowed idioms. They have never argued why am I believing whatever I am believing?

My task here - in this article - was not to trivialize the human rights of ordinary people - which is indeed important.. but to present that all the supposed positions of every party in this debate are HOLLOW and HYPOCRITICAL!

Despite all the nonsensical debate that is the hall-mark of CS and temp - I want the final readers of this post to take away JUST THIS message!

What we see presented as "truth" is no more than a ploy, at best! Truth lies elsewhere!

If, with this post, I can succeed in making people THINK and question the current positions and reasons for where we are... then maybe new ways can be found out.

But, if we find it comfortable for our blunt sense of questioning to remain in the cocoon of our old stands and positions when the evidence continues to shout to the contrary.. then we should brace ourselves for worse!

Am I an anarchist to say such a thing.. I don't think so! I am just saying it as it is! Either we change our perspective and "find" out the real motives or just live with the current shit!

Oh.. yeah.. the world should not be like this - "immoral and complex motives" .. yaddi-yaddi-yadda.. yeah right!

cheers,
desh



#45
temporal
URL
August 31, 2008
01:31 AM

desh thank you for your kind words

;)

the world is not all black and white

any one insisting on it has said goodbye to logic and reason

"he who knows not and knows not....."

#46
commonsense
August 31, 2008
10:55 AM

Dear Desh and Kerty,

Thanks for your analysis of my nonsense. I totally agree with your analysis. And I agree with all the views you and Kerty have expressed, particularly:

1. Desh: quantum mechanics being derived from ancient indian wisdom

2. Kerty: marx-mullah-mao etc. completely dominating all discourse everywhere and hence inhibiting the true potential of india in the modern age. Monotheistic religions are responsible for every shit in India, from the Punjab crisis/tragedy to the lack of gobar gas.

3. Man Singh: Dharma will resolve everything, why worry?

I have been lucky to have come across this trio and to have learnt so much. Sooner or later I will grow up and mature, although, given my track record, it seems to be an uphill battle. But with your blessings, words of wisdom and shubh kamanae, anything is possible.

Have a good day.

Best wishes,
CS

#47
commonsense
August 31, 2008
10:58 AM

Cannot resist!! (aadat sey majboor)

Desh:

""Even a semi-serious answer to my challenge would have been Dr. Kalam""

As in, when I pose challenging questions, bacchey (juvenile) make sure you know that that right answer is what I have in mind. Otherwise it's no answer at all! My vision of democracy and independent thinking.

#48
commonsense
August 31, 2008
11:01 AM

Desh:

""What we see presented as "truth" is no more than a ploy, at best! Truth lies elsewhere!""

Translation: it can be found on desh's blog drishtikone.com. Juvenile kids, come to daddy and learn the truth, for free. and yes, TRUTH will set you free!

#49
commonsense
August 31, 2008
11:04 AM

Desh:

""And I agree with you that media and a lot of Indians have been brainwashed by the leftists and can hardly think on their own...

cheers,
desh""

Once again, THE MESSAGE: please grab the truth at drishtikone.com and get your brains unwashed at the same time. BTW, you did mean "Jeers" instead of cheers, didn't you??



#50
Morris
August 31, 2008
12:18 PM

kerty #39

I see your point. I am not sure whether that would solve any thing. If people cannot live together and they have unreconcible aspirations it would be wise to live sepeartely but
peacfully. Would you not think so?

I agree with your assessment of the history, but I do not see there is any easy answer to the dilema Islam is presenting in the subcontinent and indeed through out the world. I think the leadership will have to come from within Islam to make any change in their thinking.

Evolution must continue not just in biology but also in thinking. It is in evolution of thinking in christian world that got rid of slavery and number of other ills and introduced human rights. I agree the world is far from perfect yet. Unfortunately, Islamic world is slow in evolving. Perhaps it goes back to the prophet. He spoke last and final words some of which are non-reconiable with today's thinking. In spite of that evolve they must. In the meantime, under democracy they too are entitled to fair and just treatemnt.

So if people of Kashmir do not wish to be part of India then so be it. The state's resposibility will be to safe guard the minority. Islamic world do not seem to provide nacessary protection to minorities, therfore better to divide than to give up the entire province. That might be the outcome in the long run if nothjing is done.

#51
kerty
August 31, 2008
01:21 PM

Morris

"If people cannot live together and they have unreconcible aspirations it would be wise to live sepeartely but peacfully. Would you not think so?"

Your proposition relies on the leap of faith that Islam indeed wants to leave separately and peacefully. Does it really want to leave peacefully? Does it really want to live side by side? Has it taken a break form its unfinished agenda of Daul-e-Islam and unfinished Moghul ambition of conquest of India? I am not talking about what average moslems want - but Islamic leadership whose agenda prevails over moslems. If you can answer these questions truthfully, than you have got your answer.

#52
Desh
URL
August 31, 2008
01:29 PM

Morris:

I agree with Kerty. First and foremost, all those who are talking of the "rights" of interests of Kashmiri Muslims, are messing them up themselves. So, I would not translate all that into "Muslims want to move away from India". And, in my view, Kashmir is AS MUCH a "dharohar" (property) of every Kashmiri Pandit as it is of any Muslim. And to me, just a Muslim's assertion of right over that property has no meaning unless it includes the expression of Pandits right as well. SO, if a Kashmiri Muslim thinks that he can assert his/her right by pushing out the Pandit and usurp the land for himself.. then I am sorry, I will emphatically say that rights do not belong to thiefs!

The ONLY way the expression of rights of Kashmiri Muslims make ANY sense to me is when they go and invite the Pandits back home - vacate the houses they have usurped and give them EQUAL rights in the state. Then.. at that point lets start talking!

#53
commonsense
August 31, 2008
01:30 PM

Desh:

""I want the final readers of this post to take away JUST THIS message!""

Not being a slavish worhipper of authoritarian cult figures such as Modi, I cannot dictate to readers what they should think. I will assume that they have minds of their own. However, I can tell them what I think, even though Desh here has mixed up two articles of his here.

However when he says: ""When they demonize Modi but pass by RG, and I challenge to name a secular alternative"" (he is referring to another article about why Modi should be the PM, the "logic" as I get it, seems to be this:

1. Rajiv Gandhi presided over and abetted the horrific massacre of thousands of sikh and justified it by saying "when a great tree collapses, the earth will naturally shake""

2. Modi, presided over another horrific riot in Gujarat that he and his supporters justified as "when there is action (referring to Godhra) there is bound to be a reaction".

3. Desh is incensed that Rajiv's party gets away with a slap on the wrist, while Modi is unfairly and hypocritcally demonized. Apparently sick of this hypocrisy, he calls for Modi to be PM.

That's one way of looking at it. Another, commonsensical way of looking at it could be this (in my opinion)

1. Elected officials are responsible for protecting ALL citizens in a modern democracy. BOTH Rajiv and his Congress and Modi did not live up to this obligation. I am ashamed that ANYONE justifies their actions or non-action, allowing the massacre of Indian citizens. They are elected not to protect Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims or Martians, but Indian citizens.

2. The fact that Mrs. Gandhi was murdered and Godhra happened are not in doubt. But the obligation of a elected authorities is precisely NOT to justify revenge attacks, labeled misleadingly as "natural backlash" but to do everything within their power to PREVENT it. Both the Congress in 1984 and the Modi administration failed to do this.

3. The fact that Congress (Tytler etc) got off relatively lightly while the shameless episode in Gujarat is being pursued, has partly to do with the fact the Congress is in power at the Centre. Had the BJP been in power in the Centre, the reverse might have been the case. It's called politics.

4. Final conclusion (in my juvenile mind): The Congress presided over the unspeakable horror of 1984; the Modi administration for the Gujarat stain. Both events are a major blot on the nation, if one takes a non-sectarian, Indian perspective on the issue. If one wants to take a Sikh, Hindu or Muslim perspective on it, one can go on with the blame game until the cows come home.

5. Still not clear why because the Congress has not been punished enough for its role in 1984, and on this I agree with Desh, why exactly Modi, who also has not been punished enough for his deeds, ought to be made PM.

Basic commonsense, that applies to a modern polity with a modern concept of citizenship, rights and obligations, not as India was or was not in the ancient period. This is of course not THE TRUTH, but as I see it.

For the totally unvarnished truth of course, please visit Desh Kapoor's blog drishtikone.com. Truth is free and you will get your brainwashed brains unwashed as a bonus.



#54
commonsense
August 31, 2008
01:33 PM

Desh and Kerty,

And thanks for letting me have the last word or perhaps a series of last words, since if you stick to your word (as we have seen the Kahanite stick to his words!), you will not stoop that low to engage any further with juvenile delinquents such as me.

I will in the meantime, enjoy the free reign offered to me!

Cheers, not Jeers!

CS

#55
commonsense
August 31, 2008
01:38 PM

Kerty:

""Has it taken a break form its unfinished agenda of Daul-e-Islam and unfinished Moghul ambition of conquest of India?""

Man alive!! Once again mixing ancient, medieval and modern periods with zest!! "unfinished Mogul ambition of conquest of India??"? Gee, is about all I can muster.


""I am not talking about what average moslems want - but Islamic leadership whose agenda prevails over moslems.""

Indeed! Them average muslims have no brains whatsoever. The first part of the sentence contradicts the second part. If this agenda were to prevail over all muslims, the world would be far worse than it actually is. Imagine a billion people doing the bidding of its self-appointed thekedaars. A recipe for unrelenting, non-stop mayhem.

#56
Morris
August 31, 2008
01:52 PM

Modi is not the subject here. I have expressed my view earlier that he deserves to be considered for PM. Whatever little reading I do about India and Im ust say it is very little, he is thought of a good administrator. How much culpable he was about the riots is not clear. He certainly was not criminaly responsible. If he was, his adversaries would have pinned him. Everything else is politics. So I am for Modi.

As far as Kashmir is considered I can see where you folks are coming from. But I am not quite sure. Need some time to think.

#57
commonsense
August 31, 2008
02:03 PM

Morris,

As I have said before, I have NO problem is Modi is ELECTED PM. The good think about democracy is that in the end one has to contend with a lot of countervailing pressures. After all Rajiv Gandhi was indeed elected PM after he presided over and justified the massacre of Sikhs. But the crux of the matter is: will Modi be elected as the PM? We will get to know of his administrative talents only if he is, so I am all for him a getting a chance. I agree he is not criminally responsible, but he does bear some responsibility for not acting as an impartial elected official during the time of the mayhem in Gujarat. This does not of course mean that I think that India as we know it would come to an end if he is elected. It will not. In the long run of things, as long as he obeys the constitution and the laws of the land, Modi is just an individual and not a superhuman prophet. Ironical as it may sound, I wish he WOULD be elected the PM, if nothing else, to test the claim and expectation that he would set things right. Another unnamed "party with a difference" staked the same claim and is now licking its wounds as regional party. The good thing about democracy is that sooner or later it forces some discipline and rationality on even the most reckless of individuals. And I am proud to promote secular humanist democracy, just for that reason. It is not as if the Muslims, Christians etc. are blocking the election of Modi. If he is to be elected, he will have to be elected, not parachuted as a prophet saviour of sorts, beyond politics.

#58
commonsense
August 31, 2008
02:09 PM

(Eds: Irrelevant perhaps, so please feel free to edit)

The subtitle of Desh's blog drishtikone.com is a very modest "the complete perspective". A bit like the "real truth". Commonsense it is that all perspectives are from particular points of views and there is no such thing as "the complete perspective" especially when it comes to social issues. After Man Singh's very modest claims about strategies on how to bring about utopia in India, Desh gets the second prize for flamboyant modesty.

#59
BookCrazy
URL
September 17, 2008
08:04 AM

In the attempt to be non-repetetive, you are completely off-track. It is an insult to the crisis and the victims of the crisis to say that Kashmir is about Himalyas. And no, I am not saying it is about religion.

Pakistan and India are interested in Kashmir entirely for military reasons. The two countries have a history and eternal promise of hatred and mistrust, reasons aside. Given the geography of Kashmir, it is the most porous and strategically important stretch of shared border between the two and therefore the importance.

The issue today is not India and Pakistan but Kashmir. More so, the people there.

#60
kerty
September 17, 2008
11:09 AM

#59

Kashmir is about INDIA and what 1 billion INDIANS want, period. Rest are all details, distractions and foot-notes. If anybody has problem with that, they can catch the first bus to Lahore.

#61
Morris
September 17, 2008
01:39 PM

kerty #60

I don't think that is good enough. In a democracy even majority cannot take away certain human rights. For one thing the present policy with respect to kashmir has made one million people refugees in their own country. So something is wrong. India need to look at the issue of Kashmir with a pemanent solution in mind. How long the staus quo will last? Very soon, if not now it is going to be occupied land where people will reject the rulers.



#62
Sanjay
September 19, 2008
12:36 AM

Morris, I think India is already finding a permanent solution to the problem, even as we speak. Right now, India is using the newly-built Baglihar Dam to turn down the flow of the Chenab river into Pakistan.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=136167

Turning Pakistan into a desert wasteland will quickly solve our problems. They always love to pick fights without thinking through the consequences. Now, the consequences are going to be rather hard for them to duck or ignore.

#63
Morris
September 20, 2008
01:48 PM

Samjay

Please.... You must be joking. UPA cannot afford that. What about their vote bank? But how in the world that is going to be a solution.

#64
kerty
September 20, 2008
02:34 PM

Morris

Solution would depend on what is defined as a problem. If diagnosis is wrong, the medication prescribed would be wrong too.

Clearly, nation lacks consensus on defining the problem - how else to explain the lack of unified and unambigious resolve to solve it. That the problem has festered without solution for so many decades, even after witnessing terrorism and ethnic cleaning of epic proportions, is a testimony of broken political process and fractured political will. The conclusion is clear - that Congress and its leftist parivar does not want to solve the problem but it does not want to pay the political price either - so they stall and drag and obsuficate and hide behind half-hearted measures and one-step-forward and two-step-backward deceptions. While BJP parivar has never enjoyed the necessary political mandate to be able to do anything substantive other than making tall speeches and raising bellicose street agitations. So it is evident that solution will come only when India wills it.

#65
Sanjay
September 20, 2008
09:59 PM

Uhh, that's Sanjay, Norris.

Glad to see you recognize there's a vote bank. First step to dealing with a problem is in recognizing its existence.


#66
Sanjay
September 20, 2008
11:07 PM

Oh, look:

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh271/pstar_bucket/PH2008092002396.jpg

The thugs are killing each other. It only proves that there's no honour among thieves. One set of thieves are trying to grab as much US aid money as possible, while the other thieves are bombing them for it. Darwinism in action.

#67
Morris
September 21, 2008
11:18 PM

kerty and Sanjay

May be there is no political will to resolve the problem. Perhaps that reflects the will of the people of India. If any party has a right answer why not fight election on that platform and get a mandate. But that is very unlikely. So it is a question of leadership within the political community. That too does not seem to on horizon.

I am more concerned about fairness to the people of the land. If say 80 or 90 percent of the population is muslim it is very unlikely that they like to be with India. Such a high percentage of muslim population in such a large geographic area cannot remain happy in a secular system. So it seems to me that there is really no easy answer.

How do you see the final solution aside from on going struggle with unhappy citizens.

Add your comment

(Or ping: http://desicritics.org/tb/8168)

Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read our comment policy.






Remember Name/URL?

Please preview your comment!