The Kashmir, India and Pakistan
Look at the Pakistan experience of India. The two countries are so fond of their own, that we are fighting on every possible pretext. More cooperation will mean less political profit for the ruling class, the politicians, but the general public will immensely benefit from the boost in trade, the pervading peace and the reduced pressure on resources for buying armory. We are deliberately kept from perceiving this by those who profit by this conflict. At the centre of this is Kashmir. Lot of people talk with a lot of passion when they refer to Kashmir. There are two lobbies. One group is for annexing Kashmir as a state of India. These people are generally fanatics with little knowledge of history and has a lot of unnecessary passion for the country. I think, on the long term they are the biggest danger to the country they celebrate, the whole region and mankind. There is another ( very minority in ‘mainland India’ and very common in Kashmir) group who tend to think that Kashmir should be free country, as their(Kashmir’s) people generally seem to think that way (The Indian government is quite aware of this, though they do no acknowledge this. But the fact that they are not performing the promised referendum is an indication that they are aware). I think both the views are wrong. Annexing Kashmir or claiming that it is an integral part of India is a result of aggressive colonial mentality. Those who think this way think of Kashmir and some other parts of India as colonies of India (or, to be more sober ‘integral parts of India’). They think the inhabitants of these places are inferior to that of the mainland India (deja vu?). The other view is wrong in the way is that it does not look into the long term effect of the action. People of Kashmir may form a free nation, but too soon they will be caught between three unfriendly countries- India, China and Pakistan. Each trying to exert its pressure on the small country which will have too little to defend with. Ultimately they will suffer. The best way to deal with the situation is to give the people of Kashmir a lot more freedom than they now enjoy. This will ensure that they are treated humanely, will restore the status given to them by our constitution, as well ensure the extremists get much less supporters among common men. The moment they will get involved in governing their own land, they will stop being frustrated. And the separatist movement will lose th very ground.
I must mention that in this regard the attitude the Indian government is showing is not very praiseworthy. India is ready to talk with Pakistan about the fate of Kashmir, but is unwilling to talk to the political parties of Kashmir, especially the separatist leaders. They are now willing to talk to the Indian government means that they understand that violence is leading them nowhere, and they are willing to compromise. This is the best time to settle the problem. What is surprizing is that the government is willing to talk to Pakistan, but unwilling to talk to Kashmiris, to decide their fate. In the experience of the past half a century has clearly shown that force is not really the best way to solve the problem. We must give the Kashmiris their share of right to decide their own fate.