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April 10, 2019 |

Peace in Kashmir

Peace and harmony are footstalls on which some of the great civilizations in human history were erected; some of which even today continue their progressive march. In Kashmir, almost three decades have passed in intense hostility marked with cycles of violence and relative calms, tentative rejoicings and serious letdowns, gas and guns, words and wounds. There have been moments of introspection when people would wonder if anything has changed at all other than new players on ground. History is witness than even foot soldiers in the great wars used to repose, for hindsight and to understand, to reckon and more importantly to make an attempt to assess what has been bought for such a price. True, certain human aspirations are priceless and solicit greater endurance, however, if the price be such that the end itself becomes preposterous, can they still be pursued in earnest, without introspection and reprimands, without making necessary adjustments? Many expansionist regimes brought inevitable and catastrophic wars with unimaginable human destruction – only to end up in a settlement on table. Even today, when the operations of alliances and coalitions end, the concern about hasty withdrawal and human responsibility makes it intractable for peace and reconciliation. In several nations after the Second World War, the void was prematurely filled with antagonistic forces and some of these nations till date could not conciliate. It is not about what happened to Afghanistan after Soviets left, or what will happen to Afghanistan as Americans leave; it is about evaluating the price that we pay for. With so many divides and factions and theories and isms— mainstream, streamlined, sidelined, on the couch, behind the table – all those human aspirations have been buried under heaps of doctrines. Levels of mistrust have shot to an all time high. The situation in Kashmir is such that a rumor can plunge the Valley back to the dark age. At the same time, the aspirations readily absorbed by the torchbearers are reflected in different spectrums. A common Kashmiri wants to live with dignity and with honor, but more importantly in peace, never than before as he finds his energy fail and his aspiration hijacked. His has become a struggle to live as he suffers the first, the last and the only casualty. The most difficult question that remains unanswered always is how to give peace a chance when there is chaos and violence everywhere. The disturbing fact is that violence has slowly been accepted as a norm in Kashmir and therefore internalized.   

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April 10, 2019 |

Peace in Kashmir

              

Peace and harmony are footstalls on which some of the great civilizations in human history were erected; some of which even today continue their progressive march. In Kashmir, almost three decades have passed in intense hostility marked with cycles of violence and relative calms, tentative rejoicings and serious letdowns, gas and guns, words and wounds. There have been moments of introspection when people would wonder if anything has changed at all other than new players on ground. History is witness than even foot soldiers in the great wars used to repose, for hindsight and to understand, to reckon and more importantly to make an attempt to assess what has been bought for such a price. True, certain human aspirations are priceless and solicit greater endurance, however, if the price be such that the end itself becomes preposterous, can they still be pursued in earnest, without introspection and reprimands, without making necessary adjustments? Many expansionist regimes brought inevitable and catastrophic wars with unimaginable human destruction – only to end up in a settlement on table. Even today, when the operations of alliances and coalitions end, the concern about hasty withdrawal and human responsibility makes it intractable for peace and reconciliation. In several nations after the Second World War, the void was prematurely filled with antagonistic forces and some of these nations till date could not conciliate. It is not about what happened to Afghanistan after Soviets left, or what will happen to Afghanistan as Americans leave; it is about evaluating the price that we pay for. With so many divides and factions and theories and isms— mainstream, streamlined, sidelined, on the couch, behind the table – all those human aspirations have been buried under heaps of doctrines. Levels of mistrust have shot to an all time high. The situation in Kashmir is such that a rumor can plunge the Valley back to the dark age. At the same time, the aspirations readily absorbed by the torchbearers are reflected in different spectrums. A common Kashmiri wants to live with dignity and with honor, but more importantly in peace, never than before as he finds his energy fail and his aspiration hijacked. His has become a struggle to live as he suffers the first, the last and the only casualty. The most difficult question that remains unanswered always is how to give peace a chance when there is chaos and violence everywhere. The disturbing fact is that violence has slowly been accepted as a norm in Kashmir and therefore internalized.   

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