Shut up.

I don’t know about Vir Sanghvi and TCA Srinivasa Ragahavan but there are dozens of others on mailing lists, blogs and everywhere I seem to (mis)step on the internet who have an opinion on a land they have never been to, on a people they have never met.

For once, can we all just shut up and hear what the Kashmiris have to say?

Update in response to philramble’s post: Of course it is an oversimplification. The valley has suffered enough – both from Pakistan and from India. Have you ever heard the disputed area being referred to as Azad Kashmir by anyone in India? That is what it is, really. They have elections and political parties and leaders. And a government. Just because they are Muslim does not mean they are Pakistani – PoK is a political term and a lie. Kashmiris I know say they just want to be left alone. Without food being smuggled out or drugs being smuggled in. Or their women being raped.

Yes, yes, there is a strategic problem with China being so close, etc. But isn’t it blindingly obvious that it would be better to let Kashmir go, to support the local people’s decisions and to win their trust as a way of ensuring that they back India rather than China during a crisis? Beating the hell of out them seems like a very stupid thing to do, if we really want to have on-ground support, in the event of a conflict with Pak/China.

I am all for separatist movements. The EU set up works best really – many countries but one economic region allowing free movement of goods and labour.

(And thus I disregard my own advice to SHUT UP.)

9 responses to “Shut up.

  1. When I was in college, Yasin Malik spoke to us. In my life, I haven’t heard a more powerful speaker. It was only then that I understood what disservice the intelligentsia was doing by reducing the conflict to a dinner table conversation.

  2. I even heard one of the Hurriyat leaders say that the Centre takes notice of their problems only if they are confronted with some life threatening situations there. I wonder if the media hype and the round table discussions have killed the sensitivity in us for the whole issue.

  3. Pingback: Game Theory and Kashmir « Philosophical Ramblings

  4. Agreed with you there. Unsurprising that you said that you disregarded what you recommended earlier, since this is probably what is happening elsewhere too (in political circles, perhaps).

  5. aandthirtyeights: People who have suffered long – there is strange combination of pain, yearning and conviction in their voice that speaks far more clearly than words, no?

    philramble: Yes, there is even a term for this growing insensitivity: sympathy fatigue. It isn’t only the media to blame – if our ‘leaders’ didn’t bumble and blunder so, what would they report?

  6. Couldnt agree with you more. The Euro setup works. Look at Bosnia, it is coming out of its bombed shell and it actually has an economy now. But if we leave them alone, China might swoop in, not politically but economically and that might be dangerous for us in case we need them to support us later. Dicey.

  7. buddy: We already provide a huge amount of financial support to Kashmir, it wouldn’t pinch us much to continue that. Also, there are all sorts of existing cultural and economic (and even military) links that we can build on – even with money and other clout it would take a lot of effort from China to match this.

  8. I agree. The only problem is the minority who are Kashmiris but want want to remain part of India. Will their rights be protected in an independent Kashmir or a Pakistani Kashmir? As the child of a family of partition the only thing I can come with is-ultimately nationalism and nations are completely self-defeating, based as they are on the premise of exclusion.

  9. mg: I would hope their rights would be protected. But how is it possible to actually ensure this? Bowing to majority opinion (aka democracy) is the fairest means we have managed to evolve. But like you, I always end up worrying about the underdog.

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