ray of hope

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Sep 2017 11:52:56

THERE is certainly a ray of hope from Kashmir, and Union Home Minister Mr. Rajnath Singh has captured it rightly during his recent visit to the troubled State. He has felt that green shoots -- sprouts -- of peace are visible in Jammu and Kashmir. This is one observation that would please the people of India craving to have Kashmir issue sorted out. After interacting with people in power and people in streets, Mr. Rajnath Singh has arrived at the conclusion that a ray of hope is visible now in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Of course, this is only an initial observation, a faint ray of hope, that the Home Minister has sensed. He is talking of a period of one year during which he has sensed the green shoots come up. There could be some to question the period under Mr. Rajnath Singh’s consideration. For, this has been the period when the State of J&K saw the worst stone pelting by mobs on security forces doing their duty. This has also been the period when attacks on Army bases increased. This has also been a period during which serious governance issues rose in the State. So, some sections of people may not accept Mr. Rajnath Singh’s observation.

Despite this, it must be admitted that as Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath is privy to certain knowledge that assures him that things are improving, and we must grant him that privilege to share that information with the nation. He is a responsible government leader and would not talk just for the heck of it. He has felt that there are good signs, however feeble, from Kashmir and efforts must be made to enhance those.

Of course, Kashmir has never been an easy ball-game, so to say. For, all its dimensions are absolutely fragile and can get demolished in split-second. For, what is involved in Kashmir is not just domestic politics or just international politics, but a dangerous combination of both. International forces have been able to make deep inroads in the Kashmiri society so as to influence its response to nationalist issues. So confident is the Pakistani leadership about its deep forays into the Kashmiri minds that they constantly keep seeking a plebiscite in the State. They feel strongly that Kashmir would vote against the Indian stand that the State is an integral part of India.

Of course, the Pakistanis are talking through their hat. They do not know the reality on the ground. They are steeped in the absurd feeling that they have a great influence on the minds of Kashmiri people. They are terribly wrong.

It is obvious that Mr. Rajnath Singh has sensed some positive signs during his visit to Jammu and Kashmir. It is obvious that he has specific inputs to believe that separatism may be getting pushed back in the State. And if that is so, then we must expect some positive things to start happening in Kashmir in the times to come.

If the Government wants to control the Kashmir situation in a positive manner, then it will have to make a fine combination of domestic governance, international diplomacy, and disruptive politics. It is necessary to break the tough mould of separatists and terrorists. If this is achieved successfully, then Kashmir situation would improve quickly. Of course, this is not going to happen tomorrow morning. It will take its own time. But as the Home Minister senses some good signs, then all the efforts will have to be stepped up in full vigour.

It is good that the Government is not allowing the issue to be internationalised in any manner. Kashmir is India’s internal issue and India can take any route to solving it. Thanks to this approach. Pakistan is realising that its grip in Kashmir is loosening. This may be a reason why Mr. Singh senses hope.