I congratulate the Indian Govt and the people of Jammu and Kashmir for abrogating Article 370 and Article 35. This move is first step towards social and political peace which needs local support now.
Well Planned and Executed
What is noticeable in the entire situation is that troops were sent well in advance to manage law and oder, ritualistic and scared lord Amarnath Yatra was cancelled with heavy hearts, advisory was issued to the tourists and Yatris to evacuate the Valley well in time before moving the Bill in to Indian Parliament. This simply tells us how well prepared and thoughtful this Govt has been to maintain Peace in the Valley and surrounding areas.
Anything of this magnitude would have its reactions and opinions – Good and Bad both as the situation is serious. This new Bill after all is moving the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir out of their comfort zones and preparing them for the opportunities of 21st century which are about communication, trade and travel. In modern times when economies thrive on the money and mind of outsiders (e.g Singapore ), a state like Jammu and Kashmir has suffered and it has been deprived of the exposure and development it deserved. Many people in the state wanted a new bill superseding the old Article 370 and Article 35, they feel like winners today. Many people in the state were absolutely against it, they feel like losers today. Those who have no attachment or opinion are weighing words before speaking, whoever will give them next leadership opportunity they will speak accordingly. Some of those not speaking have either business or political interest clearly indicative of their smartness. While the country is still dealing with this intense energy and emotion, I feel we need a different emotion and energy right now. The energy of wisdom and the emotion of compassion. We have to be compassionate for the winner and loser both. The silent people may choose wisdom to not instigate the situation further by indulging in to unnecessary comments, debates on television, group discussions and hate speeches. They could be the peacemakers in this situation right now.
Political Peace and Opportunities
Political leaders should maintain calm and let this situation pass. This is a political opportunity to build bridges which have been burnt and restart a relationship that is based on transparency, truth and compassion. A relationship where the future of India and Pakistan can be corrected and further bloodshed can be stopped.
What everyone including the political leaders need to understand is that violence will lead them to nowhere. What’s been done has been done. A president is the highest authority who has the relevant knowledge, experience and wisdom required to amend a Bill in the constitution of India with the help of Indian Parliament. A graceful acceptance of same is calling for values of compassion and tolerance. These values will help retain peace and avoid further bloodshed as the bill can’t be changed by rallies, slogans, terrorism and violence. The bill will be implemented and it has to be accepted.
What can be done is to look at the brighter side of future, start talking to friends and potential business associates outside, invite them to invest in the state, start thinking about new business’s, industries and upgrade education and healthcare. Focus on Tourism, Pilgrimages and Culture as economic industries. This is your opportunity to make it like Switzerland again. Bring back the business of Bollywood and Hollywood, let the new Union Terriroty be known for its scenic mountains, rivers, waterfalls, paragliding, snowfall and sunsets. Let it become the worlds number one tourism destination with luxury hospitality brands entering the market. Let there be jobs, happiness and peace.
The local leaders must send indications to Pakistan to stop terrorism and instead indulge in to economic trade with J&K. Let this mourning finish once and for all. This is also a time when we can learn from Kashmiri Pandits, they were killed, raped and tortured to death. They were thrown away from their homes. Look at them today, in last 25 years they have shown patience, wisdom and resilience. They are well settled even when they started from scratch, their kids are working in India or abroad. Learn from them. Be grateful to them.
Past which needs to be forgotten
70 years didn’t bring anything except blood and mourning. This temporary provision had created a hallucination that was stopping the evolution of J&K from the tribalistic attitude towards democracy. Democracy means everyone should have an opportunity, till now they did not. Only a handful had.
And last but not the least how this article was holding on to the culture or identity ?
Let me explain you the cultutre and identity of Jammu and Kashmir from a global prespective, “that its a regressive state which has terrorism, that there is no value attached to a human life, that an outsider can’t move or talk freely, that there is mourning everyday in some colony, lane and family and that anyone can kill one another on anything as sacred as Religion”. Religious tolerance is zero or in minus. Is that the culture of Jammu and Kashmir? Thats exactly what Jammu and Kashmir gets printed for on front pages of international newspapers, magazines and social media. Google the name, culture will get clearer. Further the culture was also extending to stone pelting and drugs.
And the culture and identity can also be understood by dividing the society in two categories, Category A; the educated elite and rich. Category B; The poor and no so educated and here is the modus operandi of them.
Everyone has understood that Kashmir issue is so Global that anyone who speaks good English gets attention and that the topic presents a million dollar opportunity to become a conflict leader which otherwise might call for hard work and years of time investment. Some of them travel in and out frequently, they do their shopping from abroad, enjoy the lifestyle that the 21st century brings in, their kids go abroad for higher education and most of them have second home in Delhi, Mumbai, London, New York and other places. Category A follows this modus operandi.
While as Category B the not so educated and poor is mislead and exploited; to get them leaders like Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa are created. They are projected as inspirational heroes on social media. Even a young 18 year old is tweeting and has a big twitter presence. When they should be in campus, cafes and restaurants, they are in rallies, stone pelting demonstrations or sleeping cells. What kind of opinion can a 18 year or less have on legislation, religion and politics. But they have, half baked, half cooked. The non educated follow this route unconsciously. They are exploited.
These are the only two kind of people who are celebrated right now in J&K, because there is nothing else to do or celebrate.
Future which needs to be celebrated
It is for these two kinds that this New Bill will bring things to celebrate. They will be celebrated as doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, hoteliers, tourism experts, cultural experts, authors, speakers, actors etc. The right to education that will now be extended will educate the Category B deprived children. Education will make them independent to make a choice. No one will be able to exploit them anymore. And for category A people, this will bring an opportunity to be a leader in more fields other than politics. They can inspire the next generation for peace and teach them how to move on from violence and bloodshed.
For women like us, we feel accepted by the state today. I represent a lot of women who got married outside J&K, it was disheartening that as a daughter of Jammu and Kashmir we wouldn’t inherit or transfer properties to our children while men could do that. What kind of justice was that?
Appeal for Political Peace
So it is my humble appeal to the politicians and citizens of these new Union Territories to close this cycle of vendetta and move on with life. The political leaders have a huge role to play during this transition with serenity. I wish them all the best and hope that they would not resort to anything that would devastate the opportunity this new bill has brought for them and the citizens of the state. May Political Peace prevail.