Kashmir Tragedy !

Around 50  people comprising 28 militants, 14 civilians and eight police and other security personnel  were killed in the Valley  in October. Seven of the civilians were killed on a single day at Kulgam when  the uncleared explosives at the gunfight site blew up. But despite this tragic loss of life, Kashmir has attracted no attention from anywhere in the world, let alone a murmur of protest. One could hardly hope for such an attention from the rest of the country. Instead, the reigning toxic political discourse in the country  has enabled an utter indifference and disregard for Kashmiri blood. So much so that more blood is spilled in Kashmir, much more is sought to be spilled to teach people in the state a lesson.  Appallingly enough, among all these killings all that the large sections of national media, particularly television channels, were interested in was the death of a security personnel after being hit by a stone. Killings of seven civilians didn’t seem to matter. Such a dishonest coverage of Kashmir, in turn,  manufactures a distorted picture of Kashmir situation in public mind. The increasing number of killings, including that of civilians, in Kashmir are seen as a step towards improvement in the situation.  

World, on the other hand, can’t seem to care less. America’s priorities with India are no longer only regional in their nature but their scope is the larger geo-politics. In recent years, the US-India engagement has also been about the remaking of the global power equation with India not only being recognized as a global power in its own right but also as a countervailing force to China, the world’s  number 2. It goes without saying that India’s 1.3 billion population with a value addition of a burgeoning middle class has become an ultimate attraction for the  west. Besides, India’s calling cards of democracy, secularism and an inclusive political culture have turned the country into an oasis in a region of dysfunctional countries, autocracies and Chinese communism. 

The new cold war between America and China has further complicated the geopolitical scenario. It is in the process of once again splitting the world in two blocks. Incidentally, in this new bipolar world, India is an ally of the US, the sole super power and Pakistan that of China. But the situation is not so simple. The tariff war between the US and China has forced Beijing to become more reconciliatory towards India which it sees as  a major world markets for the export of its products. In this kind of geo-political scenario, situation in Kashmir will hardly be the concern of any major world power, no matter the loss of lives in the state. One can thus expect little international pressure for Kashmir resolution. But this hardly means, Kashmir can’t be resolved, if New Delhi  seeks to do so, instead of politicizing the situation for narrow electoral gains. With five state elections and the general election around the corner, hoping for New Delhi to mend it’s ways is an extravagant hope. But we can still hope against hope.

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