Thursday, December 3, 2009

Should We Deny Freedom To Kashmiris If That Is What They Want?

Last day, I was browsing through some news web sites, when I stumbled upon this interesting peace of news which came in a Pakistan based news website called Dawn. According to the news, a human rights group in Indian-administered Kashmir urged authorities on Wednesday to launch a probe into 2,700 unmarked graves. Initially I thought it was some kind of propaganda and so I went on to search further about it.

And what I found did amaze me. This particular piece of news was right their on Amnesty International's web page and there was no trace of it in any major news channels in India?!!

The independent Srinagar-based group, which calculates 8,000 people have gone missing in the 20-year separatist insurgency, released a report entitled ‘Buried Evidence’ documenting the ‘unknown, unmarked, and mass graves’ containing at least 2,900 bodies! In the above picture Kashmiri relatives of missing persons sit as they hold placards during a peaceful demonstration urging authorities to take action and find out what happened to their loved ones.

Some obvious questions came to my mind,
  • If this news is true, What essentially is the difference between USA's Vietnam or Iraqi occupation and our occupation of Kashmir. I know, a lot of people will be outraged to see the word occupation here, but What if Kashmiris don't want to be a part of India?
  • Problems in Kashmir had started some 25 years ago. Yes, I agree that Pakistan is running the main plot in creating instability in Kashmir, we should accept the fact that, without local support , this kind of resistance can't happen. So what we are up against in reality? the Kashmiri people itself?
And some suggestions and insights,
  • Some independent entity should take a survey where in Kashmiris could choose between India and freedom. We should not do to Kashmiris what the Great Briton had done to us 60 years ago. Arundhati Roy once famously said, "India needs azadi from Kashmir as much as Kashmir needs azadi from India". May be she is indeed right.
  • There is no military solution to Kashmir's problems. It is a genuine apprising against Indian rule and we should accept the fact. We should withdraw Army from Kashmir in a phased manner.
  • A lot of excuse related to Army's presence in Kashmir revolves around its strategic importance. But when you think about it, what kind of security do we really have now. Bomb blasts have become a daily news in our country. Instead of strengthening our internal security, we keep spending thousands of crores of rupees in maintaining "law and order" in Kashmir. 
  • Another major argument is that if we give freedom to Kashmir, other regions like Punjab or north eastern states may also start demanding their freedom as well. But that is a really lame excuse for denying freedom to Kashmiris. 
It's time people. We should get our heads out of our asses and start acting like humans instead of being Indian or Pakistani or Hindu or Muslim. As someone said, India should not become yet another "super power", instead we should become the super empowerer.  Let Kashmir Valley become truly the 'Paradise on earth' once again.
image source

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