Pride and Prejudice- Kashmir after alliance.

As a citizen of Jammu and Kashmir, I am constantly haunted by the term “governance alliance” that has been revolving around for some time now. Evolution of the term has not been so easy, as it needed the great hard-work to bring North Pole and South Pole closer to each other, or [maybe] not. Both the BJP and PDP sought votes so as to keep each other at bay, but now it seems that the people of Jammu and Kashmir took the term “keep each other at bay” wrongly as it actually meant, “at the same bay”. The alliance of BJP and PDP, which might not had been the outcome after the fractured mandate had been given to them if “keep each other at bay” logic is applied, has so far been marred by the controversies, which started since the day of taking oath. The “governance alliance” has been flagged high on the pillars of Common Minimum Program that in one way or the other is not clear about the so called “development” or “governance”. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are not so naïve that they could not understand the language used in the CMP. The same old wine i.e. “confusion” has been put in the new bottles and is being served to the people.

Pertinently, BJP has explicitly given up on the issue of Article 370 and the PDP on the issue of removal of AFSPA and Self-Rule, which becomes the basis of the fear psychosis to me. BJP, that we all know, has its roots in RSS which is ardent in converting India into a Hindu state and has been trying it for a long time. Since the PDP has allied with the BJP, a notion haunts me that the PDP has got involved in the act of sell out for the lust of power paving way for the BJP to further its roots in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

PDP may be counting on the assertion that keeping people of Jammu and Kashmir busy with the slogan of “rejuvenation of economy” by targeting corruption, and regional imbalances with respect to infrastructure, will keep them away from the political issues of Kashmir, is Naïve. On the other side, BJP’s assertion that calling foreign secretary talks between New-Delhi and Islamabad will make people believe that the political aspects of the state are being discussed by the Indian government with the Pakistani government, will keep the people of Kashmir in a state of trance, is also Naïve. Sidelining the “separatist lobby” of Jammu and Kashmir in this matter significantly makes us believe that all such acts and assertions are just to let the other 6 years pass. The separatist lobby in Kashmir has a handsome number of “ideological followers” in the state that cannot be sidelined. Anyone who speaks about the agony of the Innocent Kashmiris is dubbed as the traitor or agent or terrorist, isn’t it a hypocrisy?

PDP has been denying all such allegations and [maybe] they are true then in that case they might not have compromised on the political agendas of the State. Recent release of the political prisoner, Masarat Alam who has been called as the “Pak Agent” by the Indian Media, blindly on the basis of some police report that merely contains allegations, has been seen in India as a treacherous act of the Mufti Mohammad Syed to which he has been skeptical. The only reply from him has been that he will not succumb to the pressure tactics of his ally and will not allow the decisions regarding state to be taken in New Delhi unlike Sheikh Abdullah who was reinstated as CM of Jammu and Kashmir state after 22 years by Indira Gandhi after he succumbed to their pressure tactics.  That means he is ardent of releasing the political prisoners that are languishing in jails for years without any trial. For that we need to wait and watch if the history would repeat itself or something new happens. Had this been the case then Mufti would not had compromised on the political issues of the state, [maybe]. Mufti Mohammad Syed today is being called as traitor and what not for releasing the political prisoners, by the Indian media, which clearly signifies that even alliance with BJP, that was considered to be the party of untouchables in Kashmir, is not the license to prove the Patriotism, either.

 The AFSPA has been killing the innocent Kashmiris be it in Macchil or any other part of the state. How could “governance alliance” bring back such lives or how could such an economic development convince or sooth the mother of such a Martyr? [Maybe], by preventing further bloodshed of innocent Kashmiris. But until the draconian law like AFSPA is in place such a thing is far beyond any imagination.

History is evident of the fact that the nations had been occupied by changing their demography. AFSPA has since its inception been doing the same, killing innocent Kashmiris that they unfortunately term as collateral damage. An article in the recent CMP has added to such evil intentions. The CMP proposes to settle the Pakistani Refugees in the state so that the king making power of the state could shift to the Jammu region. Thereby the CMP is all set to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir on communal basis, which else is famous for its hospitality and patience all over the world. Settling such refugees is indeed a humanitarian issue but their settlement in Kashmir will deter the Kashmir cause and [maybe], Kashmir will be forced back to the 2010 like situation which will indeed be a “National Security Threat” which shall not be compromised in any way. It shall be more prudent to settle such refugees in Delhi where they will get more amenities and resources so that their economic weakness could be done away with, which is not possible in an economically and industrially weak state, like Jammu and Kashmir.

The narration of the term “governance” from both the parties is totally different and produces two different versions of a same thing. To BJP “governance” in Jammu and Kashmir means to strengthen the roots and the same to PDP means economic strengthening of the state, as evident from the CMP but the document misses the political issues of the state, either by mistake or intentionally. The BJP and PDP has entered into a live-in relationship which if fails would end up in self remorse, regret and shame and if more caution is not taken then it may give rise to the Frankenstein’s monster that will put them in a more grave trouble, than self remorse, regretting or shame.

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/