Baking on Dementia


Right now, most attention of the political groups is focused towards what the three interlocutors on Kashmir will say. Though divided within, they will be submitting a report to the home minister.That, hopefully, should form the basis for a new approach towards Kashmir.

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But, quite a few people seem to be asking about the earlier ‘reports’ and the ‘recommendations’ that equally powerful initiatives made to various quarters. Earlier, the interlocutors on Kashmir including K C Pant and N NVohra, who is now the governor of the state, have submitted detailed reports to the central government.

The most important exercise that New Delhi undertook was the Roundtable Conference initiated by the PMO. Though it did not help to get any of the separatist factions onboard, it was a very honorable act from the unionist point of view. Apart from the parties who owe their existence to the letter-heads that come printed and packaged from Delhi, all the genuine parties were adequately represented and involved in the exercise. These included the NC, PDP, Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI (M), Panthers Party and all other groups who contested in election.

After a series of exercises, the institution of RTC set up five working groups headed by persons of eminence. These groups, after a series of interactions, came up with reports which were submitted to the RTC. The only group that somehow had problems in deliberations was the most crucial one that talked about the central state relationship. It was headed by retired justice Sageer Ahmad who passed away within a few month after completing his report.

Interestingly, the Sageer penal report was not submitted to the RTC. Instead, it was handed over to the chief minister who set up a cabinet sub committee to deliberate on it. It needs a lot of debate whether the state government comprising two parties have a right to debate on a report that legally is not its property.

The Prime Minister announced, more than once, that the recommendations that the working groups made would be implemented. The general feeling is that they were never implemented barring the one that talks about the rehabilitation of the Kashmir Pandit population that migrated en mass from Kashmir between 1990 and 1993. Why are the governments in Delhi and Srinagar not implementing the reports that take years to compile. What happened to the report that Prime Minister got from his adviser Dr C Rangarajan who had suggested certain relief to the state on energy front?

It seems the governments are taking recourse to the fading public memory. Euphoria is created about some report and after it is ready, another initiative is created to overlap the last one. This has become the new spectacle of statecraft, which needs to be addressed first.


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