Thursday, June 20, 2019
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One New Year Resolution

B L Saraf

Year 2018 has walked into the history, rather ungainly. Year 2019 has made an entry, albeit, not a reassuring one. That said, ritual is to be followed — of assessing what the year gone by gave us and have a hope of the incoming one.

Left to us, one New Year Resolution we the people in the State would earnestly like to have is “to make 2019 AD a violence free year.”

Only, if it is up to us! Having the realization that ‘new years ‘ brought nothing ‘ new ‘ to us in the past, it is too much optimism to crave for 2019’s benign indulgence. Here, Faiz’s poetic lament becomes appropriate;
Aasman badla hai afsoos na badlee hai zameen
Ek Hindsay kaa badlana koi jidaat nahai

How pleasant it would be if we could give an affectionate send off to outgoing 2018? Much as we want to say something positive about it, the bloodletting events that unfolded in the year halt us from doing so. The year arrived with the heart rending Rassana episode. This unfortunate incident ripped us apart, as a society. While we were waiting for the gone by year to bring us some cheerful news, more deaths were in store. Nearly 100 civilians and the security persons lost their lives: 250 terrorists were also neutralized.

J&K welcomed 2018 with a democratic Government in place. Though precarious, a political set up was in view. When year 2018 has staged an exit J& K is in political and administrative wilderness. La Faiz, except being a number in the series year 2018 gave us noting to cheer about.
In J &K, political and social scenario continues to be so depressing that we feel no inclination to welcome 2019 in high spirits. It is normal to assess things in relative terms. Nonetheless, the relative consideration must be tinged with positivity. Nothing like so is on the horizon. Our prayer is that 2019 be merciful, less agonizing and takes lesser toll in terms of death and destruction. How sad, rather than hoping for best in positive terms our optimism is limited just to the reduction of negativity.
It is easier to express a hope than to see the wish fulfilled. To our misfortune, everybody who has some responsibility to make an effort to bring peace in the state values his own interest over the common good. The “concerned” men know the problem but are insensitive to realize its gravity. So, there is a visible lack of an effort to rectify it. Only a halfhearted attempt is made which often creates more problems than offering a solution.

The cycle of violence continues unabated. Some say it is a part of the struggle for emancipation; others characterize it as a terrorist activity. It is not confined to this part of the country. We see the scourge raging everywhere in India and beyond. People are tempted to wage struggle to make their own assertions and to decide their relationships with the elements – sometimes outside and sometimes within the sect.
The cataclysmic period of last thirty years has given people in Jammu and Kashmir just much ‘luxury ‘ to see off the outgoing year with a look back at the things which they never wanted to see, and a little bit of hope that those things won’t come back to haunt , in the year to follow.
Inequality is deeply embedded in the whole J K society. Some say, not unjustifiably, that it has gone deep down to the point of being a policy. The persons who are in charge usually rely on inequality of power. They are hesitant to eradicate it because that would cost them their leverage. Hence, any resolution would be tempered to a degree that will keep them in charge, perpetually. People who have power or even illusion of power are loathe to give it up. In Jammu and Kashmir, particularly, politics has been reduced to a trade and is played with an art that makes everything possible for the practitioners. People trade in miseries, with no qualms to the conscience. Mainstream politicians want power of state to enjoy perks and pelf. The separatists want to retain power to keep people hostage to the shut downs and make them “‘prisoners of the psyche.”

Then, there are inter and intra regional contradictions to contend with. Every region has a tale of unfulfilled aspirations to tell and litany of complaints of deprivations to make. Underneath every region are cross currents of sub-regional or sectarian dimensions which work in opposite directions , within a region. Leh wants to be ruled directly by New Delhi, Kargil opposes the demand. Jammu has genuine complaint of economic , political and psychological neglect; non-recognition and denial of its rightful place in the geo-political set up of the State. Then there is a fear of Hill – Plain divide that may not see both coming on board to project a demand, in unison, for the better of Jammu province.

Kashmir is a class apart. The range of its aspirations and grievances extends from real in the Valley to the imaginary beyond the boarder. While real is amenable to the redressal, nothing can be said of the imaginary. When imaginary overtakes the real it turns into a zero sum game.
Most of the times, we have had an unimaginative leadership in Delhi to deal with the State. India has to be In Kashmir holistically. It can rest in “created quarters ‘ within sects of a society. That strategy has not worked in the past nor would work in future. It will create new problems than solve any. Security forces can soften the hard core elements but to manage vast number of people and allow for a durable peace proper means must be adopted. So long as durable peace doesn’t settle in the number of neutralized terrorists is just an arithmetic. Politics is much beyond the number game.

Could we wish to find out a way ahead under the heap of ‘Autonomy Resolution’ ‘ Self -Rule Document’ Achievable Nationhood, ‘Azadi’ and ‘Complete Integration narrative’ that leads to a violence free state. 2019 being the election year, chances are very rare.

Nevertheless, we reiterate the prayer “may year 2019 usher in politics of dialogue, reconciliation and accommodation.”

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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