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.

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