ARREST ADVANCING TENTACLES

Isn’t it an irony that the common man in the state of Jammu and Kashmir continues to suffer on account of disruptive activities initially dominating the Valley and having now spread its tentacles in the Jammu region with recent terror attack on the Sunjwan Military station besides movement of terrorists in Domana area of Jammu. While the situation in the valley clearly indicates that the Kashmiris are shrouded in the clouds of confusion and frustration the degree of which has reached its peak today with very little hope of peace getting established in the valley. The credit of the present situation goes to the political class at the helm of affairs not only here but also those at the helm of affairs across the border who want the Kashmiris to remain confused so that they are able to satiate their vested interests. While the Kashmiri politicians continued to blackmail the innocent Kashmiris by showing them green handkerchiefs and Pak rock salt during rallies when not in power, the establishment from across the border continues to play the religious card calling Kashmir its jugular vein and leaving no stone unturned in raking up the issue at every available opportunity. At the same time the slackness and inability on the part of the successive state as well as central governments to deal with the situation in the valley have been the determining factors that have led to the present situation. Right from 1947 the people of J&K as well as across the nation felt that there is no specific policy formulated till date to address the internal dimension of the leanings towards the two nation theory among the decimated elements despite the people of this state including those in Kashmir outrightly rejecting to join Pakistan seeing it quite well that democracy is the only key to peace and prosperity in future times. The present day subversion is undoubtedly the result of all such lapses committed in the past. It is really surprising that during the past 28 years only once did political leadership of Indian state define our objectives in Kashmir? It was S.B Chavan, then Home Minister in PV Narasimha Rao’s Govt. in 1994, who outlined three objectives namely (1) Defeat Pak game in Kashmir. (2) Ensure that no group in J&K state is discriminated against. (3) Address alienation of people in Kashmir. It needs to be recalled that he ruled out Autonomy as the solution and delinked it from so-called past commitments or imperatives of federalism and linked it, if it really helped in ending the problem on permanent basis. We need to ponder over multiple questions today: Why there is no serious debate on our handling of the mess in Kashmir? Where is our policy wrong or inadequate? Do we have a road-map for short-term and long-term objectives in Kashmir? Is our policy on Kashmir evolved through institutional feedback or just limited to feedback from few politicos? True, we will have to be prepared for a long-haul in Kashmir. But the issue which can’t be ignored is that are we raising costs for Pakistan, jihadists and neo-separatists in Kashmir or else while they continue to raise costs for us? Despite our correct political, legal and moral stand on Kashmir why we are always in a defensive mode? While finding answers to the questions there is a need to immediately arrest the spreading tentacles of terror activities in the Jammu region. With the terrorist activities seemingly heading towards establishing stronghold in Jammu region it is high time for the people of this region to rise to the occasion and girdle up their loins to defeat the inimical forces. It needs to be realized that a nation-state is not sustained by nationalist rhetoric, vague bravado or empty slogans. Its interests are served best by a political class which is sincerely committed to interests of nation-state beyond the game of political power. The great strength of a nation-state is the vibrant civil society, which keeps the ruling political class on tenterhooks in case it falters in defending requirements of a stable nation-state.