Human rights and Kashmir.

From the very inception of the Kashmir insurgency, people started to disappear. Since 1989, more than 8000 individuals have disappeared, a figure that has always remained to be disputed as the state authorities claim it to be lesser. Recently (2011), in northern areas of Jammu and Kashmir several unmarked graves were found. And many of the graves contained more than 2 individuals up to 13. This clearly proves the fact that Kashmir has been a victim of genocide. On this the Indian State used to say that the persons buried in mass graves are the foreign militia who had crossed the borders. If the fact is so then why does not India allow a probe into such graves for the sake of the families of the disappeared persons? India has allowed UN special rapporteur on minorities and UN special rapporteur on human rights but has refused the access to the UN working group on arbitrary detention or the UN special rapporteur on extra judicial killings. Another draconian law with which the uniformed men are vested is public safety act (PSA). In its shadow anybody could be detained on mere doubt, and the security forces, so called, do use it extra-judiciously i.e. for their monetary purposes. Even the international human rights organizations have lost faith that they once had on Indian state. The country specialist for Amnesty International, Govind Acharya, said that detentions through PSA can last for up to two years and thus pale in comparison with enforced disappearances and the numbers are ominously similar. He also called PSA a form of ‘ legalized enforced disappearances’. According to Acharya, the “victims of human rights violations from all sides of the conflict can expect very little from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Since these 20 years of brutal crimes, innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir have been subjected to the atrocities by the armed personals. Numerous women were raped, molested and teased by the men in uniform. Numerous subjects of the state were murdered and were molested in one or the other way. The people of Kashmir had been cry from inception regarding the issues but no one paid heed to them. But the accidental discovery of mass graves by Razia Sultan in BELA district of URI in north KASHMIR, where she found scores of freshly dug pits with 17 human bodies in them. “The monkeys were trying to extract and eat flesh,” she recalls (http://kashmirlife.net/the-daughter/ ). Also now the recent reports and investigations regarding grave human rights violations in Kashmir have turned out to be an eye opener. The recent reports by guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/09/mass-graves-of-kashmir ) and newyork times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/asia/23kashmir.html?_r=0 ) have also brought it to the spotlight. Not only these cables but many others have also investigated in the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. These reports do without any doubt point finger towards the men in uniform, may be others are also involved, but that doesn’t give a clean chit to the men in uniform.

All such acts of human rights violations are to be resisted, investigated and the ones who committed such crimes are to be brought to justice. Human rights courts or tribunals have proven successful and fruitful in Europe and other countries, as well. And also the courts of our state are already having piles and heaps of cases yet to be decided. Also the cases of human rights violations for their proceedings require the judges who have expertise in human rights law.

Setting up such a court in Jammu And Kashmir State will be a landmark step, by the state of Jammu and Kashmir and State of India, towards the protection of human rights and administration of justice. And as we know, the governments do not act by their own, in any part of the world. It is the revolutions that force them to either cope up with the ideologies of people, or else are overthrown by people. But such things are possible and had been possible in past by mass support.

 

We by uniting and supporting each other can force the Jammu and Kashmir government to bring in a charter for setting up of a Human rights court. Such an act will send jerking and jolting tremors to the oppressors’’ nerves, which will force them to reconsider the judicial system in Kashmir. With the enactment of armed forces special powers act (AFSPA), state administration has been paralyzed, and pushed to a corner with a status of a “nonchalance spectator”*. The armed forces abduct the activist residents of Kashmir, most of whom do consist teenagers, without prior permission from the local administration i.e. DDC and other high administrative officials. This creates an atmosphere of tension and whimsical situations.

* Quotes:

https://globalvoices.org/2016/07/27/critics-of-military-impunity-take-on-indian-administered-kashmir/

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The trial.

The general public comes to know about the daily issues mainly through the media. The UN human rights committee has recognized that the media plays a significant role in a democratic society. It is the duty of the media to inculcate within the masses with values and beliefs that shall integrate societies.

But in India, everything goes downhill. A new era of media reporting has been ushered in. Media in India has no longer remained an objective and impartial entity which otherwise must provide truthful and objective information to the people, that shall help the masses in forming rational opinions which is sine qua non in a democracy. Rather, huge caches of biased and flawed presentations are routinely aimed at the masses. It is mainly because the levers of power are in the hands of state. The media is monopolistically being controlled and often adjuncted by malicious censorship against those who don’t confirm to their vitriolic propaganda. The daily taming of the mainstream media across India is happening under everyone’s nose. Media in today’s India is clearly serving the state, not the nation, and the dominant elite.

It is in persuarance of the ruling party’s agenda, India is these days witnessing a steady flow of radical nationalists on media channels which confirms the fact that at the moment India is witnessing a cunning but sturdy method of providing experts who say what establishment wants said. Not only this, but the quality coverage has also been designed to score political points. For example, not considering the kind of coverage given to the Kashmir conflict, in the present ongoing farmers agitation 6 farmers were killed during the protests which are blamed on police and CRPF by the farmers but the media channels have already absolved the state machinery from this crime, obviously by citing the official sources.

In a healthy democracy, and not in a farce one, the official sources are overcome or weakened by the highly revered unofficial sources that give dissident views. But this problem has already been cunningly tackled by the Indian media channels by adopting experts, whose reasoning capacity echoes between the two walls of red cheeks and Dalali.

The dissident opinion is being repressed viciously. The media has worn the jingoistic robe which has made them the opinion spindoctors. They do so by taking a set of assumptions supported by the so called experts which reflect their basic idea of the propaganda model and then they feed the people a wide range of debates within that Kafkaesque framework. The framework also includes insults and ridicule for the non-conformists on live shows. The Indian media have institutionalized such low standards. This sort of operational procedure adopted by the media reinforces and authenticates the “set of assumptions” and has so far successfully ingrained in the minds of Indian people and the outcome of which is that people today are saying that it is better to be a cow than being a Muslim or Dalit in India.

This points out that at present, India is facing a citizenship deficit. The Indian state considers some Indians as citizens which are tirelessly being willfully indoctrinated by abusing Indian mainstream media and the rest are treated as subjects who lack all the privileges that are available to the citizens. Additionally, furthering the state agenda, Indian media have started to worship blind nationalism, which has concluded in dividing the Indian people into two categories conformists and non conformists viz. those who accept the ruling parties communal agenda and serves their interests and those who do not, respectively. What seems more intriguing is that the conformist victims are featured prominently and are humanized by moulding the context and details of their stories so that the readers sympathize with them. In contrast, non conformist victims get a slight detail, minimal humanization and meagre space and context that excites and enrages the people.

A good example of “conformist” Indian is the recently Honored Major Gogoi who was decorated with gallantry medal for taking an unarmed innocent Kashmiri as a human shield, which is illegal according to the “laws of land as well as the international laws”. It also exposed the myopic and selective reporting against the non-conformists, since most of the Kashmiris are considered to be so. On one side India has invoked international laws at ICJ in order to protect Kulbhushan Yadav, but on the other side it is shredding the provisions of the same international laws (Geneva Convention) which prohibits using humans as shields irrespective of the nature of the situation. The Indian state and it’s subsidiaries which is it’s media, have sent out a message, loud and clear.

 

All this is being done on the basis of fabrications and biased opinions and when such themes collapse of its own burden, the media channels quietly close the topic and move to the another topic. For example, the GPS chip in new Rs 2000 note and the radioactive ink in it was aired by major news channels in India and later they hid their heads in their tails when it was proved to be a mere imagination. This had made India and it’s media a laughing stock at the international level as well, thereby ruining the image and credibility of both.

It is high time for the Indian media to come out of their A.C. equipped war rooms and introspect if they are being abused by a political party for dessiminating their political agenda at the cost of media’s credibility. The jingoistic mindset is not going to take either the Indian media or the state of India to any heights, rather it is and will keep deterring the interests of India at home and aboard, equally; which is rightly noted by Mr. Markanday Katju that many people in India and abroad have been saying that Indian media have become irresponsible and wayward, and needs to be reined in.

​8 Myths About Kashmiris, Everyone Should Clear in Their Mind

Myth 1: Kashmiris live on Indian Tax Payers money and enjoy subsidies

The people of J&K pay tax more than 11 Indian states, they pay more than states likes Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam and even Goa and almost equal to Bihar.
And on that only 1% of Indian population pays income tax, so before telling Kashmiris they live on Indian tax payers money , dont forget rest 99% of India lives on those 1% who pay tax. Keep in mind what you owe to your own state before you remind someone else.
The subsidies are largely for industries and urban areas, and that benefits Jammu far more than the Valley, so in the name of Kashmir, they spend on Jammu, and then ask, why are the Kashmiris so ungrateful?
Myth 2: Kashmiris are totally dependent on India for survival.
Yes right now, it is because Srinagar-Delhi highway is the only road open for trading with the outside world, rest all roads have been closed by India leading to Kashmir.
Before its division in 1947, Kashmir’s trade was largely with Pakistan and the JV road was an important route. “There was no direct link with present day India, and it too was connected via Pakistan.
In early times Kashmiris went as far as Orenburg, Russia to trade their goods, merchants and trading agents from Central Asia, Persia etc., used to come personally to Kashmir for making on the spot purchases of shawl and other goods.
There was a time when Kashmiri embroiders are even reported to have been travelling long distances to Russia for assessing the actual requirements of their Russian customers.
Myth 3: Army & Security forces are helping Kashmiris in daily life.
9 lakh security personals (which are meant to kill 129 militants in Kashmir) apart from killing 1,00,000 Kashmiris, raping 6300 Kashmiri women, enforcing 10,000 disappearances, making thousands handicapped and torturing millions, did launch schemes like Op Sadhbhavana, Watan ki saer etc. But does taking a tribal or a village boy/elderly to Taj Mahal or India tour mean anything to peace deficit Kashmir? Does distributing few blankets infront of camera mean anything? The answer is a big ‘NO’.
Myth 4: It was because of Army Kashmiris were saved during flood else their wont be any Kashmiris left now.
So lets see history of Kashmir floods! The first flood which has records happened in AD 879, then their was one in 1841, then their was flood of devastating proportions to hit in 1893, then the greatest flood ever known in 1903 converting the city into “a whole lake”, then one in 1929, then in 1948 &1950 , again in 1957 & 1959 and one in 1992.
It would be wrong to say army played no role in recent floods, they did to a extent. But quoted in army reports itself, it is said to majority of work was done by local themselves and where ever they went they couldn’t have helped anyone without the help of local youth.

So by harping on army’s role in Kashmir flood and converting into a PR stunt doesn’t mean Kashmiris wont have survived the floods. They have survived numerous floods previously aswell, even when the army didnt exist. And on that army didnt do it for free, it sent a bill of 500 crore which was deducted from assistance (it is assumed that it was given ) to be given from National Disaster Relief Fund.

Myth 5: By writing open letters to Kashmiris asking what to and what not to do, will make them behave like you
No Kashmiris wont be like you!

They have a conscience and they have a voice. They protest whats wrong! For them true Kashmiri is one who stands for Kashmiriyat be it a muslim, sikh, or pandit, They stand in lakhs with their matyrs, protest every evil eye on their women and would lay their life for a cause.
Unlike a good Indian by default who is born Hindu, non beef (meat) eating, khaki shorts clad, holier than thou saint who never questions the actions or the thought process of the state-whatever they may be. Who worships the ground the Prime Minister walks on , never minds the fact that he is more out of the country than in. (Shazia Bakshi) Who never questions why his country is called rapistan. Who never bothers about the people sleeping on footpaths and only cares how to make his life more luxurious. Who from his 2 room flat proclaims to be proud of his country and while on road calls his own country and fellow country men dirty,corrupt and desh drohi.
Myth 6: Kashmiri Pandits want to go back to Kashmir but they are not welcomed.
Everyone in Kashmir supports the comeback of Kashmiri Pandits. While if you ask majority of Kashmiri pandits why dont you go back to Kashmir now the answer will be ” We are now settled here and our children got settled too, so no point of going back”

Majority of Kashmiri Pandits know the history of Kashmir better than anyone else and they are more than aware of mistreatment with people of Kashmir by India, but because India acted as savior for them they are obliged to chant India zindabad.

Myth 7 : Removing article 370 will solve Kashmir issue.

Yeah! An article which is just for name sake and is like an eroded shell. While the article gave central government only rights over Kashmirs defense, foreign affairs and communications but in reality Indian state controls all affairs and powers except the no. of people who attend the funeral of a matyr and the sentiment of Azadi in Kashmiris, which no one can take, not evening by removing article 370.

Myth 8: By abusing and threatening Kashmiris on social media you will be a Patriot.
Yeah a self acclaimed patriot who needs Kashmiri blood to satisfy conscience & whose patriotism is restricted to fancy emotional updates about soldiers.

Atleast those soldiers sacrifice their lives for your nation, what did you do in return, stay silent on “one rank one pension” , voted Arvind Kejriwal instead of Kiran Bedi, betrayed them and deliberately lowered the status, dignity and remunerations of the Armed Forces personnel by pimping your politicians, the bureaucracy and other civil services.

First published on Gyawun.
Author of the article can be reached for any hate mails on manan@gyawun.com

The Kashmir Puzzle : Simplifying Jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat.

​Kashmir is experiencing a steep rise in the militant activities and violence. All the claims of normalcy have been exploded by recent incidents and the ongoing uprising. All the strategies of Indian state to control the resistance movement proved to be futile and yet they are being applied time and again. Result of this misdirected approach is that with every passing day the situation is becoming increasingly alarming.

If a black Smith is given the job of a gold Smith he can produce anything but ornaments. It is quite obvious that his tools are meant to mould the iron. Roughness and strength are indispensable components of his sickle. Fine articulation, skill and technique needed for making ornaments cannot expected from him.

But in kashmir, the assignments which were supposed to be carried out by the democratically elected government are taken the forces who are trained to kill and whose curriculum simply revolve around this trade. The events in the past and which are happening today force us to assume that in kashmir we have a dejure democratically elected government to give a cover to the defacto military rule.

Indian establishment seems to be one among those who refuse to be objective. Resolution through meaningless talks under the garb of Jamhooriyat, Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat only provide a modus operandi, and not the solution itself. Those who are least concerned in the kashmir dispute can suggest such a way out. But for the people of kashmir for whom the resolution of kashmir dispute is a matter of life and death, it is a fuitile exercise unless it reflects the wishes of kashmiri masses. As a matter of fact it cannot be ruled out that offer of negotiations is not motivated by sincere desire for seeking a resolution but an attempt to keep the leadership in a fuitile exercise of talks. This is often used to provide a cover and to buy some more time to break the will of the resistance through extensive use of force.

Within India and Kashmir, there have been some propagandist intellectuals who consistently concoct stories and interpret events to the liking of the Indian policy makers. That is why they are now projecting the kashmiriyat to serve various purposes. It serves as a proxy for Indian nationalism, where it becomes undefendable. Secondly, it changes the demography of the resistance movement and confines it to the kashmiri speaking areas only. Since kashmiriyat is a common thread between the communities based in kashmir only and not the ones living beyond it, a solution on the basis of kashmiriyat makes people of Poonch, Doda, Rajouri and Kargil irrelevant to any discourse related to a solution based on this analogy.

In order to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue, there must be the respect for basic human rights, which are inalienable.

But the constant harrasment, killing etc. of innocent Kashmiris who are demanding the realization of a basic internationally recognized human right i.e. right to self determination, has also grounded India’s claims of being world’s largest democracy. Instead of being rehabilitative, Indian state is being punitive to the people of kashmir which shreds the India’s slogan of Insaniyat.

Time and again, the separatist political leaders have been put under constant house arrest and in such a way India has narrowed down the political space of such leaders right from the inception, thereby punishes them for holding a different ideology other than that of the Indian state, which makes one realize the Jamhooriyat in Kashmir.

It is not that I am biased against the Indian security forces , but the atrocities committed by India were confirmed by the CM herself from the podium of Independence day celebrations where she accepted that Indian army used to use Kashmiri’s as shields during encounters and in a media briefing she accepted that SOG used to take innocent Kashmiris for forceful labour which is just the tip of the Ice-Berg. Mehbooba also made a delusioned claim that the incidents of 2010 and 2016 are different, which is totally wrong. The context of both the uprisings is the same which is the atrocities committed upon the innocent Kashmiris. The difference lies in the cause of bursting the bubble. In 2010, it was the Machil fake encounter, Shopian dual rape and murder etc which instigated the people to protest against the atrocities, and in 2016 the instigation came from the events like talks on creation of separate colonies, cat-pigeon analogy and finally by the encounter of much loved Burhan Wani. The constant denial of justice by Indian state has further helped in alleviating the present crisis. Peace without justice is impossible. 

India’s rhetoric that Kashmir issue is a law and order situation which can be solved by financial packages and jobs proves that indian state’s vision with respect to Kashmir is suffering from a serious illness. It is pertinent to mention here that the irony is ruling the state at the moment as the two coalition partners in the state have 2 opinions on this issue and yet they are sharing the power corridors. The denial of Indian state to accept that Kashmir is a political issue is pushing the kashmir’s future into a political quagmire and it also reaffirms the Indian state’s non-seriousness in solving the kashmir issue. It can further be measured by the fact that instead of banning the use of force, the state is replacing the pellet guns with some other weapon. Why aren’t they equally dedicated in solving the issue so that the need to use such guns or grenades do not arise?

Source of sustenance of the movement is not the human body nor the material it avails but faith whose control is beyond the capacity of any ruthless force. Army can kill the militants, but not the militancy. Indian home minister’s statement that India’s future is not possible without Kashmir, least to say, is manipulative and also the nationhood of India should not be so fragile as to crumble with any solution of the kashmir dispute. Kashmir demands a forthright policy aimed at resolving the dispute once for all. The policies of Indian government are responsible for the upsurge of the hostile situation which they faced in 2010 and are facing at the moment. It’s policies towards kashmir suffers from an error of generalization.

BJP right now is facing the catch 22 situation with respect to kashmir issue. Fearing annihilation like that of Field Marshall ayub Khan and Bhutto after the Tashkent and Shimla agreements, respectively, BJP is not taking any bold steps as they fear that it may make them to pay a huge price in the upcoming elections, and if they stop talking about fulfilling CBM’s then their coalition in Kashmir will be at stake. This being the reason, they are not coming clean on holding dialogue with the separatist political leaders.

Instead of using force, India must try to rehabilitate the wounded hearts of Kashmiris. There are three ways to win over a heart viz. muscle, brain and heart. India has tried both muscle and brain now it is time to give heart a chance.

Sino-Pak Relations and Indian Diplomacy

India was first to recognize china and both remained close for quite some time. China became suspicious about India as soon as Indians facilitated a meeting of Dalai Lama with some American officials. And soon, the “Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai” slogan got altered into Hindi-Chini hostility. China attacked India and Indian defenses could not withstand Chinese attack. Nehru had a shock from which he never recovered up to his death. Pakistan was looking for such an eventuality. It got close to China and facilitated their communications with Americans thus developed Pak-China access.

Pakistan and china decided to construct Karakorum highway giving access to China to Pakistan and to the Middle East. This deal infuriated the Soviet Union and India took advantage of the Pakistani mistakes of denying democracy in its eastern wing and became instrumental in its dismemberment and creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Pakistan became more insecure and got more close to Chinese. During Afghan Jihad, China and Pakistan again collaborated and it finally culminated into defeat and departure of Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan.

China and Pakistan along with America remained instrumental in the debacle of the Soviet Union and this way Pakistan took revenge from Soviet Union. In post Afghan war era, Americans finding their objectives accomplished wanted Pakistanis to dismantle the Jihadi Network. This demand became profound in post 9/11 scenario. Pakistan as usual kept on supporting Americans as well as Taliban. Americans too departed from Afghanistan only after discovering that Osama-Bin-Laden was a hoax perpetuated in the Pakistani captivity. A trust deficit increased between U.S and Pakistan, leaving Pakistan a bit isolated. Chinese took the advantage of this isolation and in a bid to woo Pakistan, offered huge amounts of investments in exchange of trade corridor between China and Arabian Sea.

The connectivity between Kashgar port in China and Gawdar port in Pakistan has opened a vast China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is of huge significance, as it runs through one of the most important and vital geostrategic locations in South-Asia. Gawdar port directly affects the Dubai port, which will lose 70% business after the Gawdar port becomes fully functional. It will also affect the Chahbahar Port, as Gawdar is world’s largest deepwater sea port where Ships of large tonnage can also anchor. Taking advantage of such a move by Pakistan, India got closer to Iran and Afghanistan and signed an accord to build a trade and transport corridor, designating Chahbahar Port as hub. By doing this, India is trying to counter the China-Pakistan alliance and its expanding influence in the Indian Ocean region.

Implications of this corridor will be long term as china which previously posed “security hazards” to India along eastern coast now will be able to become a “potent threat” to India even on its western shores. The western shore is important because it remains life line of India. All fuel supplies and trade with Europe and Middle East is done through western Shores. Any disruptions in these supplies can cripple the Indian economy and defense.

India has always treated Pakistan as a hostile neighbor. The relation of hostility needs to be transformed into relation of cooperation and coordination; the trauma which Pakistani state is suffering because of its dismemberment from its eastern wing needs to be healed. By signing the accords with Iran and Afghanistan, India is again committing the same mistake of alienating Pakistan which pushes it more towards China. Iran and Afghanistan are no serious threats to Pakistan. Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan after its independence. Prior to 1979, both the countries had great relations: they were the members of Cento, formed RCD (RCO) along with Turkey and during India-Pakistan 1965 war Iran sided with Pakistan. Post 1979 events may have changed the Iran-Pakistan relations but it has not ended the relations. During his recent visit, the President of Iran mentioned the utilization of Chahbahar and Gawdar ports to handle increased trade activity between the two nations and urged Pakistan to build the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline on its side. The visit of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and the consequent signing of 6 MoU’s and $5 billion trade pact is the witness to the fact that the Iran-Pakistan relations are rejuvenating once again. And in such a situation, India’s estimation of tackling Pakistan via Chahbahar port is nothing but a Faux Pas.

 Pakistan should be wielded away from the Chinese influence by offering similar packages and sense of security by India. In that context resolution of outstanding disputes can help in a big way. We should not forget that west transformed china from an iron curtained radical hostile power into an investment paradise by returning it Hong-Kong despite the fact that the population of Hong-Kong was skeptical about the return to China.

Radicalized: Am I?

More important than declarations are actions, such as making development for all possible and upholding the democratic rights of the citizens. But as soon as Narendra Modi led BJP came to power the political paradigm in India changed and the scholarly brigade of the BJP started to roll out their kind of terminology. It is not that the previous government was without a blemish, but the state of affairs was not as grave as it is now in India. The BJP brigade started to target the people on the basis of their eating behavior and even on holding ideas other than the BJP’s, as their politics spins around communalizing the society or in a way we can call it “radicalizing” the youth. In a recent statement given by INC’s Tom Vadakkan, on an NDTV show, he said that the “radicalization has become an industry”, and he was right in saying so, as it was the same industry which helped Modi in 2014 elections, and the same policy is functional post 2014 as well, be it killing people on the basis of eating beef or suffocating the right to freedom of expression and so on. For the people of India, who were expecting Acchay Din, the tables turned in such a way that they had to prove their nationalism in order to live in their own country. And those who refused to follow such fascist diktats were branded as anti-national and suggested to leave India. The reason and rationality were confronted by the delusion and delirium, which the Indian state, since inception, is executing in Kashmir.

In relation to the Kashmir, previously, such scholars had restricted the usage of the words of their glossary to “militants”, “sympathizers”, “extremists” and “separatists”, but now the inventory is being made non-exhaustive and the word “radicalized” is being used recurrently as, in an unprecedented experience, the unarmed youth of Kashmir are taking on the army at the encounter sites. This, for sure, depicts the love and affection of Kashmiris towards the militants and their cause and it also depicts their resilience. And why shouldn’t the youth pick up the arms and stones to wrestle the oppression, where a democratic deficit is symbolized and every democratic channel to dissent or contest is choked. That is what people do to fight tyranny and same was done by the Indian nationalists during British Raj. There were the people who the British used to address as extremists, and yes no one has forgot the Mutiny of 1857. Were they all radicalized? The Indian regime in Jammu and Kashmir provoke the violence by committing grave offences which are obscured with greater violence, which also has become an industry, and this supplements the hatred towards the Indian state. In Kashmir the so called security forces are trigger happy and the Indian state always remains dedicated to divert the attention from their misconduct, which leaves the “rule of law” in shreds. It is a fact, defended by the Amnesty and other human rights organizations, that the internationally recognized human rights are grossly violated in Kashmir and even the constitutionally guaranteed rights is a sham here. Domestic and international laws are not just prescribed cliché systems, but the general meaning and implications are clear enough and Indian state has not even shown a bit of decency towards either one.

The rhetorical frameworks which are a “durable” and “crucial” of Indian diplomacy with respect to the Kashmir inherited and convoluted by the succeeding legion of Indian statesmen which fundamentally remains unchanged over the time has again been rejuvenated, whereby the Indian intellectuals are promulgating and emphasizing on the “radicalization”, as well as are trying to create a binary around the words “educated” and “unemployment“, and is one of the frameworks under which the Indian state is attempting to obfuscate the real issues related to the Kashmir. The youth of Kashmir either educated or uneducated is well aware of the facts, the conflict and the situation in Kashmir, where the word conflict is a common euphemism for India’s aggression. The Kashmiri youth do know about the mass graves, the people who disappeared in thin air, and the rapes that were committed to suppress the dissenting voices, which is not abstract. The youth do not need to get acquainted with sufferings which the Kashmiris have put up with, and the present course of joining militant ranks is more of an “action-reaction” binary. The fact remains that the dictionary of the Indian intellectuals is trying to distort the meaning of the word “radicalization”, in relation to Kashmir, in a pretty euphemistic manner. Indian state also needs to understand the fact that the education exposes a person to the realm of understanding and becoming conscious about the reality, which has served its purpose in the Jammu and Kashmir as well. And for the sake of argument if it is taken that the educated youth prefer gun and stones over a secure career, then India needs to ponder, why? By labeling the educated youth of the valley as “radicalized”, the Indian state is trying to portray the youth as the economically frustrated lot and is trying to center the issue on the economic facet, which outrightly needs to be dismissed. The concept is repeatedly deployed to justify the destruction of peace and to impose the puppet regimes in order to guarantee the stability.

Furthermore, the another framework Indian state is attempting to create is the phrase “law and order situation” and by saying that the Kashmir issue is nothing more than a law and order problem, depicts either the non-serious attitude of Indian state towards solving the Kashmir dispute or the lack of understanding the dispute itself. In order to make a good understanding of the term “law and order situation” the government of India needs to analyze the recent events in Haryana or the Patel agitation in Gujarat and compare the standard operational procedures, in relation to Kashmir, with which both the disturbances were dealt with. There has been an effect: some people are synchronized to this propaganda. But none of this has ever conceived the intended objects in past neither will it serve the purpose at present or in future. It is very hard to subsist with cognitive dissonance: only a true skeptic can trust in one thing and do/say another.

With Wisdom, Comes Humility.

We know, education is the empowerment that the youth need for a better future of their own as well as their nation and this job is nobly done by a teacher. The teaching has been considered to be the noblest job, and why not, we have every reason to call it so. Before the advent of cluster of private school system, government schools were at full bloom. Most of the marvels came from such government schools, unlike today. Then what has gone wrong that the ‘marvel producing institutions’ have become barren. Who is to be blamed? Sorry to say, but the teachers of government schools have already earned a bad name, which they need to do away with and work a little harder. Education is the means to attain a goal which is progress and teachers make an enduring impact in the lives of students. The greatest of the arts is teaching since the medium is the human mind and spirit. Teachers are the heroes of our society and often called as “builders of nation”. They take the challenge of creating and shaping worlds. The teachers while teaching touch the future of the child. Thus the eligibility for becoming a teacher needs to suffice the strength to take-on such a challenge.

The global economic crunch has forced the youth into darkness and in every country the unemployment has become the biggest menace/headache. But the filling up of posts for the job of teacher needs not to be seen through the prism of policy decisions for reducing unemployment, because in case the less competent persons become the teachers it will serve no good purpose and will add numbers to the unemployment problem by producing less competent students. Our state of Jammu and Kashmir is not an exception. But the rising rate of corruption has marred the state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.

The competence of a teacher must not be compromised. The future of a nation depends on the excellence of the teachers, who nourish the growing buds. So the teachers’ competence must be scrutinized prior to letting them to assume such a noble job. The government’s order of conducting screening test for the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers came late but it is a justified move. The case of Faisal Khan Vs. State and others, was an eye opener. A teacher who is not able to write an essay on Cow and cannot solve 4th standard mathematical numerical, do not deserve to be a teacher. Such teachers need to be fished out and shown the door. During a recent protest of teachers, I found them holding placards that had ‘time bound’ spelled as ‘time bond’, which definitely was not a typing mistake. The argument that ReT teachers put forth in their support is that they have been the key factor in increasing the literacy rate in the state, but I must tell those ReT teachers that a herd of students is not what is needed, but what we need to produce is quality students who can compete at all international and national levels. And with such teachers who do not know the difference between ‘bound’ and ‘bond’ or cannot write an essay on Cow, for sure are not eligible to be called or appointed as teachers.

The screening test that has been announced by the government is not any sort of a competitive test at the end of which only a few will be selected. If all of the ReT teachers are capable and competent then they must not be afraid of any such test, and should voluntarily commit themselves for it, to prove their mettle. The argument that by imposing such a test on the ReT teachers the government is adamant to lower their self esteem is a farce, instead by doing so your credibility and worth will get bloomed. Here your credibility is at stake, and Pardon me, but by not sitting in the test you are bringing disgrace to yourselves, by your own.

At first place, the post of ReT is a disgrace to the education system of Jammu and Kashmir. It is highly unfortunate that the government has lowered the status of a teacher by setting the minimum qualification required to be an ReT teacher at 10+2, which is same for the post of a peon or a class 4th employee, thereby sabotaging the appointment through genuine rule of general line system. A government which believes more in governance than in government will never do so, as it is an anti-society policy, which for a moment seemed to be benefiting but for the long run would ruin the quality of education in Jammu and Kashmir and eventually the future. The encumbrances of responsibilities do not end with the ReT teachers. Government has to accept its responsibility as well. ReT teachers were engaged according to certain rules and regulations under which only after the satisfactory results from such teachers they were to be regularized, and the same was done when the stipulated time of 5 years elapsed. Now after 5 years, the government wants to conduct their competency test which means something went wrong at the basic level where ReT’s were allotted the satisfaction certificates. The precious 5 years of the ReT teachers cannot be overlooked. If the government is resolute in taking the test and revolutionizing the education system then the ReT teachers need to be compensated for the previous 5 years as the earlier contract becomes null and void. And at the end if deadwood is found among these ReT teachers then the officers who allotted certificates to them need to be punished, accordingly.

Such innovative and revolutionary steps are always welcome and everyone needs to offer his helping hand so that the foreseen goal is achieved. An education system is needed that shall enhance the creativity and imagination of the students. This step of conducting screening test will surely help in travelling the long journey but there are still many more milestones that need to be crossed.

Politics of Packages.

This blood which has disappeared without leaving
a trace,
Isn’t part of written history: who will guide me to it?
It wasn’t spilled in service of emperors,
It wasn’t offered in rituals of sacrifice,
No cup of absolution holds it in a temple, It wasn’t shed in any battle,
No one calligraphed it on banners of victory.
[Faiz Ahmad Faiz, in Rebels Silhouette, translated by Agha Shahid Ali.]

On November 07, 2015 the Prime Minister of India will visit Kashmir and is supposed to address a gathering at Sher-E-Kashmir stadium in Srinagar. On the same day the separatists, as they call them, have called for a Million Men March towards the TRC in Srinagar. But the separatists will not be allowed to hold the March ( which otherwise is their democratic right) and the crack down on them has already been initiated. This symbolizes the ideological divide between the two which has got manifested into the so called Kashmir dispute. This also symbolizes the fear psychosis that both the governments are suffering from. In a democracy the ideological differences are addressed to and not curbed like in an autocracy. Then can we say that Indian state has donned a democratic mask to an autocratic rule in Kashmir?

India and Pakistan as well as UNSC which has Kashmir dispute still on agenda, consider 1947 as the date of birth of this tragedy. But this in fact is the date when Indo-Pak skirmishes started due to the cunning policies of the Britishers. According to me, Kashmir dispute has its roots in 1586 when Mughals invaded Kashmir and the last scion of the Kashmiri rulers i.e. Chaks were annihilated and burried in Bihar. Every regime that ruled Kashmir from 1586 was oppressive towards the Kashmiris in general and muslim majority in particular. All of these regimes tried hard to keep Kashmir a part of their territories either for the economic value or the strategic/defense value. For India kashmir is
important in both ways. By the invasion of Mughals , Kashmir lost its independent statehood and was merged in the mughal conquest map. Indian invasion of Kashmir is not an exception to this policy. On a similar pattern , India invaded Kashmir through Dogra ruler who had bought Kashmir for 75 Lakhs from the Britishers, the sale which Kashmiris were not able to resist at that time.

The Dogra ruler had gazed at Kashmir through the economic prism, as he saw huge wealth and free labour in Kashmir. The Dogra period was a dark one for Kashmiris which still over shadows their lives. In 2015, the time and players have changed but the policy remains the same, as is believed by majority of Kashmiris. The people in Kashmir believe that time and again Indian governments have announced economic packages for their own good and not for Kashmiris. They believe that the money that flows through Jawahar Tunnel is utilized for India’s own interests.

They are of the notion that the money, if given, shall not be utilized for the developmental works beneficial for Kashmiris but will be back-tracked at the doors of Indian parliament. The money may be utilized for setting up colonies or the colonial type power projects that are of no benefit to the Kashmiris. When it comes to filling old wine in new bottles, Indian politicians have got a great expertise in it. They are trying to hide their failures in Kashmir and are colluding against the independent existence of Kashmir.

The Million Men March call and 2010 intifada is the proof that India needs to think beyond the economic packages as such packages have neither been able to win over the hearts of Kashmiris in past nor will it serve their intended purpose in present or future. The curbs on separatists is also doing no good to the ‘economic package’ policy of New Delhi as on one side they rant reconciliation and on the other they are watering the plant of dissent that has roots in the hearts of the people, thus the economic package seems to be a mere
eye-wash. Instead of an economic package all what Kashmiris need is a political package. But when New Delhi instead keeps ranting economic package, it proves that they are determined to live in ignorance and denial which exposes their cynical beliefs. During the visit of all-party delegation to Kashmir in 2010, the Indian political class had altogether accepted the political nature of Kashmir. Now on 7th November, we hope the rulers of the present time do not re-sell us for a 90K crore jibe, to start a darker period for the people of Kashmir whose eyes are stuck to the sky in hope of some sun-shine. Kashmir, right from the period of Mughal invasion, has been stripped off its independent existence and whenever they raised voice they were crushed like ants. If New Delhi wants the plant of peace to grow in Kashmir which cannot happen by putting it under a fluorescent bulb but instead needs to be exposed to the real sunlight.

HUMANITY WASHED ASHORE

migrant-child-dead-beach-turkey

Convened by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the massive refugee crisis triggered by Hitler’s violent Anti-Semitism, the Evian conference, held at Hotel Royale in Evian-Les-Bains in July 1938, was a cataclysm. And its disastrous outcome ought to be recalled in the light of Europe’s current Refugee Crisis. The outcome of the meeting was clear: Europe, North America and Australia did not receive significant numbers of the refugees.
People from Middle East and Africa are fluxing into EU countries like Italy, Greece and Hungary. According to the International Organization of Migrants (I.O.M.), 350,000 refugees have crossed the EU’s border from January to August 2015. This is just the detected figure by I.O.M. Conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq etc. are the key drivers. The refugees cross border and sail perfidious seas where more than 2006 people have died so far, via the Islands of Kos, Chios, Lesvos and Samos, risking their lives in the course. Harrowing nature of the refugee crisis was depicted in one image of a child, named Aylan, who had drowned and was found in Turkey, caused the indignation from all over the world and they rightly called the tragedy as “Humanity washed Ashore”. The parents of the toddler had left the cursed land of Syria to secure the life and future of their children, so that they could live the rest of their lives in peace but he never knew that for them the word peace will altogether have a different meaning.
Recently 800 people died when the boat in which they were travelling capsized in the Libyan waters South of the Italian Island of Lampedusa, or the 71 fleeing Syrians who were found dead in a truck in Austria last week spot the magnitude of the human catastrophe that is recounting in this part of the world. These are just a few examples that have been detected, many among them go unaccounted for and many are still in the high seas fighting with the dreadful waves to reach a peaceful shore. Tired, hungry, weak from the heat, they speak of a traumatic journey and the joy of finally making to the European Nations.
Everyone is calling it a crisis, but I think it is rather a “humanitarian problem” than a crisis, which has evolved by the illegal intervention of the west into the Middle East states, including the illegal and immoral support to the Bashar-Al-Assad in Syria. When America’s presence increases anywhere in the world, whatever minimal order and stability existed there rapidly evaporates. Spreading terrorism, armed conflict and collapsing political authority in the Middle East are now powerful causal factors equaling or exceeding continually economic disparities. Chaos and killings in Syria by the Assad Regime, where cities have been turned into rubble, South Sudan where war and poverty has crippled the life, Libya where Warlords maraud and people suffer, Iraq where ISIS like to videotape its slaughter are a few examples that drive the people to leave their homelands and seek refuge in EU. The human inhabitation has apparently become impossible in such countries, which according to me have seized to be called as countries. The lands are no place to thrive and no place to raise one’s children. With the efflux of the people, these lands have turned into barren waste lands.
Europe fears being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people on the move thereby losing control on decisions on who to admit and who to turn away. They even fear that there may be trained ISIS militants trying to conceal themselves among these refugees to gain access to Europe. These concerns are legitimate but there are deeper risks as well. Finding a home for the refugees is important but the governments must also tackle the root cause of the problem. The fact is that the refugee resettlement alone cannot, in any part of the world, solve this problem. Under EU rules asylum seeker has the right to food, shelter and first aid and even such right is enforceable by court orders. The Europe must implement a more humane and conscientious asylum and immigration policy on the refugee crisis or be devoted to it.
It is a quaint irony of history that the countries that complained the most about the existence of border fences and walls and vowed to bring them down forever, is now busily constructing them. Despite the sickening lurch in my stomach that occurred when I saw the picture of the Syrian toddler Aylan, who drowned trying to reach the shores of Europe. I still do not blame the countries who are unwilling to take in the fleeing refugees. To do so would be hypocritical. I could only criticize those countries if I took in a starving beggar or handicapped child from the street and brought him/her into my own home. I do not do that and I rationalize my decision in many ways e.g. I do not have the money to support everyone or they might rob me or hurt my children or it is not my responsibility etc. well it is the same argument that all the nations make on a macro scale. Countries will say that as a whole they do not have the money to support everyone, or there will be an influx of conservative religious values that might violently clash with the liberal values of the western democracies or it is not their responsibility to feed all the hungry, poor and homeless people of the world.
I might be sad at the emotional level, but this is the harsh reality and a valid argument at the intellectual level. Now many of us have taken the poor people into our homes as cooks, chauffeurs, maids etc and allowed them to sit down at the dinner table in a metaphorical way. We pay them to do the work that we do not have the tendency to do. So the economic argument could potentially be addressed. Refugees or immigrants can add to the economic value of by bringing an entrepreneurial energy and by doing those jobs that the richer residents are unwilling to do, especially with an aging population that needs young workforce. But for me the biggest problem of the western democracies in taking the refugees is that they fear the clash of the cultures. But the cultural conservatives have turned the lands into hell by instigating the sectarian religious fighting and then argue for the dissemination of the cultural values in their homeland that created the craphole, they escaped from.
European Union and the other western states have in past made several blunders that have provoked the crisis and created volatility on its borders. On one hand, the mistakes include the mindless and monotonous overthrow of Middle Eastern rulers during Arab Spring and on the other hand, the current impasse over Greece threatens to create chaos not only on the borders of the Union but within itself. The political and economic deterioration of countries from where the refugee flow is the greatest are due to the large military intervention carried out on the strength of promises to bring democracy to the people who were portrayed as the sufferers of the totalitarian rule. Not only has the promise been belied, but the doors have been closed on the people who now frantically seek to escape the mayhem, anarchy and the civil breakdown of those countries, which were once relatively stable. All the world countries must act swiftly and prevent further loss of the humanity else the problem will develop into a black hole and will swallow up every state.

Education in government schools.

We know, education is the empowerment that the youth need for a better future of their own as well as their nation and this tough job is nobly done by a teacher. The teaching has been considered to be the noblest job that a person can do, and why not, we have every reason to call it so. Numerous scientists, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, etc are being produced since inception, by teachers. Before the advent of cluster of private school system, government schools were at full bloom. Most of the marvels came from such government schools. unlike today. Then what has gone wrong that the ‘Marvel producing institutions’ have become barren. Who is to be blamed? Teachers? Students? Or someone else? The answer lies in the ‘Interest’ theory. Whose interest? Both teachers’ as well as students’. Just a decade back, the private schools were not in abundance as they are now. The education system has now been marginalized and reduced to an income source. The interest from education has now shifted towards money, and more and more private schools are coming up with high tech facilities while our government schools are left at the mercy of less interested teachers. The lack of interest of the government, who are guardians/trustees of these schools, has forced the parents to move on to private schools. Moreover, the lack of interest shown is sometimes driven by some covert motives such as some private schools are owned by politicians. After state it is the students who must be interested in gaining and seeking more, which can be attained by questioning more. And sometimes it is the capability and capacity of the student as well. Teaching is not a one way transaction. Moreover, the teachers of Govt. Schools have already earned a bad name that they need to do away with and work a little harder. Now if someone argues that ‘my son studies in a government school and he is doing very well’, then it obviously is not just because there are competent teachers teaching him but because he also is interested in his studies. And further, as we know, the last decade has been the most violent phase in Kashmir that has badly impacted education system and mind set of the youth. Then it comes the turn of the teachers who need to take pains and interest in teaching students by their heart without any malice. They need to use new methods to make students more interested in studies. The lack of facilities in government schools, lack of interest and lack of commitment coerced the parents to send their wards to the private schools instead of government schools, leaving the poor and less interested parents’ less interested students’ quota for the government schools. Well, exceptions do occur. By driving teachers out of the schools will surely not solve the problem, but what is needed is ‘Interest driven education system’ in our government schools. The education system that shall enhance the creativity and imagination of the students. A well said quote by John Henrik Clarke “A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson” sums it all.

The Collateral Damage.

It is wedding season, and out there in the field of love there are going to be a lot of fatalities. Well, a fatality is perhaps a strong word but you will see what I mean. In the coming months many of us will attend the lovely wedding ceremonies. You know how it goes down: a couple who have been dating since about the end of the university get married, all of their friends are there, and all goes gloomy. Or may be many of such ceremonies are arranged but still the love birds get enough time to understand each other. Marriages, as they say, are decided in heavens and performed on earth. It is an occasion where two souls become one. Many others even go to the extent of saying that the wife and husband complete each other. And many others give religious references that state that the wife is made from the ribs of the husband. Even the duo is referred to as “better-half” of each other. And at solemnizing the marriage they promise to live together for lives to come. Almost everyone tends to make the relationship an unbreakable bond as marriages are solemnized on oath and affirmation from both the sides and the two souls accept each other, blatantly.
But, this seems to be a past practice that has been rejected by most of the human race, nowadays. Instead of living together in peace for at least a single life has been proven to be a rare occasion. The better halves strive to cut each other into fine halves and even for breaking ribs of each other. The decisions of the heavens seem to have gone wrong. Both the families start to blame that day when the wed-lock happened. All such shift in emotions lead to a bigger tussle which consequently invites the inevitable events. But generally, a marital quarrel is a casual thing and happens everywhere but the trend seems to have changed and the casual is no more casual and the gaffe that could had been handled in a better way is left to develop and becomes a fight for pride and finally a law suit, thereby dragging the ‘pride’ to the courts. The arrogance from both the sides lead to a situation where the so called pride of both the families becomes high and dry and are looked down by everyone. Alike all other battles, in this ‘battle-for-pride’ the one who gets crushed is the weak, who in the latter case is their child[ren]. When parents repeatedly use hostile strategies with each other, most of the children of such families become distraught, worried, anxious and most worriedly hopeless. The couple chooses their fate by their own but the one who is coerced into the oblivion is the child. Desertion due to the break ups between the parents is a form of child abuse. But unfortunately the abusers are their own parents. The abuse is obviously not deliberate neither is it intentionally spiteful and not even conscious. But it is not a mere accident either. Thus children become the collateral damage of the attitude that is adopted by their parents. Children understand resentment and it tells them what is going on and they can work with that. But when parents withdraw and become emotionally unavailable, they do not know what is going on. They just know things are wrong and the withdrawal is a worse trail for them.
Such attitude of the parents lacerate the childhood of their wards, which goes unnoticed by their parents. The frequent fight between the parents sucks the oxygen out of the life of the child and even changes his psych and thus he becomes aggressive and develops behavior problems. Not only is his present affected but his future as well. A deep void gets created inside the body of such a child that no one can fill save for the love and affection of his own parents. The childhood that he was supposed to live under the care and love of his parents just passes by in despair and dilemma. He is forced to live a life of an orphan, even when he actually has both of his parents. Just guess the pain such a kid suffers, maybe we can’t. But we can do much more in order to end such un-noticed abuse and prevent many other children from becoming the collateral damage.