kashmir is not a sick psu, you cannot disinvest, nor can you allow subsidizing its operations through budgetary support. kashmir is a geographical region with inhabitants having uniqueness in many aspects, language, customs, political inclination and social assimilation. the region has been in grip of uprisings, terrorism, crippled education system for long, and why successive governments have failed to find a long-lasting solution is something to ponder upon.
for almost three decades, and even prior to this, the kashmir issue has been dealt with by measures that could not go down well with the valley inhabitants. and let us make it very clear in the beginning itself that unless these inhabitants feel assured and integrated with mainstream india, no government can change the fortunes of this region.
indian government is no colonial force, nor kashmir could produce a gandhi. people of valley may not know well what passive resistance is and this reflects in incidents of stone pelting and masked support for separatists.
but has new delhi acted in same way as the british did while suppressing any nationalist voices that demanded independence? the ground reality is that new delhi is no foreigner controlling j&k, hence any question of freedom stands uncalled for. the other side is that kashmir’s own interests and well-being lie with being a part of world’s largest democracy that has such unequivocal support for liberalism and fundamental human rights.
the only bone of contention in resolving kashmir issue has been the sub-optimal or lackadaisical approach by politicians in new delhi. confidence building measures may have included promoting education and business, earmarking special funds, extending exceptional powers to state legislative assembly but where do we stand today?
for someone to resolve kashmir issue, it is necessary to recognize that the valley has to be integrated with mainstream india in such a manner that any talk of separation must sound as devastation to kashmir’s society, economics, politics and other landscapes.
had deployment of armed forces (which may be necessary to thwart any ill bid by pakistan to take over the territory) been the ideal solution, we must have attained positive results; sadly this isn’t the case today.
a special force, comprising of kashmiri youth with administrative support from indian army, a special ministry for kashmir like the north-east to bridge the gap and find quick solutions of issues, special recruitment drive for kashmiri youth in establishments based in tamil nadu, new delhi, mumbai and kolkata, and on top of all, educating children and youth on how indian democratic and liberal values far outweigh pakistan’s conservatism is the need of the hour.
it must not take more than 5 years to resolve kashmir issue and you do not need any united nations or united states of america. integrate kashmiris with mainstream india in such manner that they think of one india, a separate kashmir or its amalgamation with Pakistan will then be nothing but a bad dream for any kashmiri.
we are celebrating champaran centenary, let’s think like gandhi while resolving kashmir. unless you make kashmir’s integration with india a mass movement, you will never succeed.