5 Cs will not help resolve Kashmir

After the 2016 uprising in the valley, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh mentioned on several occasions the center’s plan for a “permanent solution” to Kashmir Problem. In May this year, Singh curiously remarked that the “initiative has begun” and the Center is “moving forward”, but didn’t elaborate.

On September 11, 2017 during a press conference in the summer capital Srinagar at the end of his four-day visit to Valley, Singh finally opened up about the permanent plans to resolve the K-Issue, based on 5C’s…Compassion, Communication, Co-existence, Confidence building, and Consistency. This statement comes in the wake of PM Narendra Modi’s Independence Day Speech, that problem in Kashmir can’t be resolved through “gali (abuse), goli (bullet), but only by embracing Kashmiris.

 During the press conference at Hari Niwas on the foothills of Zabarwan hills, the Home Minister retaliated that the centre is willing to hold talks with all stakeholders in the state who wants to help us in resolving the Kashmir dispute. But when asked repeatedly whether the Center would formally invite Hurriyat leadership for talks, the Home Minister didn’t give a specific response. While saying “there is no question of formal or informal invitation, those who want to talk should come forward”. He also said that ‘I am in the valley to mark the beginnings of what Prime Ministers had promised from the ramparts of Red Fort’.

The Union Home Ministers visit comes at a time when the whole narrative of Kashmir is in shambles. The whole Hurriyat leadership is caged and people are being harassed to the highest level. Therefore, it makes literally no sense to talk like this and one can judge it easily that the visit has a very obscure motive. Kashmir dispute is sticking there where it was ever, and Delhi has adopted all state craft tactics as far as Kashmir dispute is concerned. Some leaders say “sky is limit”, some say “it is a unique problem and needs a unique solution”. In this juncture these statements are small step towards winning the trust of Kashmiri’s. However, it represents a significant departure in the rhetoric of the Indian state. Yet, 20 years of misinformation by Government and Corporate Media have ensured that this historic admission has had little impact on mainstream discourse in the rest of India. Most Indians have been kept at a distance from the trauma of fellow citizens in the Kashmir Valley.

Various Indian production houses have documented various films in Kashmir. While travelling across Kashmir valley, they have gathered impressions and research material and they soon realized that this is an opportunity that only a few have had to meet the people of Kashmir and hear their stories first hand. The think tanks in New Delhi know everything what is happening. They don’t think these violations are improper. For them it’s not Human Rights perspective that they deal with. They look at everything from the prism of National Security, and whether this term ‘National Security’ means because it doesn’t provide security either to the people of Kashmir or to the people of India. They seem to think this is a part of the way National Security is maintained. So this is of no Consequence to them. Picking up 8 and 13 year old boys and putting them into Juvenile homes, any National Security person in Delhi would call it a pathetic phrase called “Collateral Damage”.

The Atal Behari Vajpayee’s master stroke Kashmiriyat, Jamuhriyat, and Insaniyat was also a confusing term, and Mr. Rajnath’s 5C’s initiative seems like it is another wrong diagnosis and prescription for  Kashmir, which only lead wounds to fester. The government of India and Indian civil society must understand that it was India’s leadership that has taken the K-Issue to International forum, where it was decided that the people of Kashmir will be given a chance to choose their future. If Mr. Modi and Mr. Rajnath are really concerned about resolving the K-Issue, they must welcome the aspirations and sentiments of Kashmiri people by giving them a chance for right to self-determination.



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