Report; Mark as spam.

Zamir Ahmed

The story of Kashmir has been of lies and conceit. Of hyped hopes and broken promises. Unabashed at that! The latest ingredient to the already stinking cauldron of deceit and pretense isthe much awaited report of the interlocutors appointed by government of India, a year ago, to find the possible contours of a solution to a festering imbroglio called Kashmir. Before going into what the report has to offer it is important to recall why were the interlocutors appointed in the first place.

Contrary to the common perception and state administered rhetoric the last year’s civil uprising started when the four youth from the valley were killed by the Army at the border and passed off as militants. When this atrocious inhuman act became public, the people, quite naturally, took to streets. And then the vicious cycle of police killings and protests continued through the whole summer and consumed more than six score young lives.

It was then the media, once again, began to speak of Kashmir not as a problem but as an unresolved issue that has been consistently put on the backburner by successive regimes in India. The modus operandi to do that has always remained the same; forget Kashmir as long as you can do so. And whenever the situation comes to a boil, announce some lofty promises, cobble up some working groups and put the proverbial ostrich head back into the sand.

The appointment of interlocutors invariably, and quite obviously, followed the same pattern. Having seen the fate of earlier such efforts, the common Kashmiri dismissed the initiative with a disdain that it deserved. The people of Kashmir have over the decades seen the fate of such promises and postures. Their cynicism has grown by announcement of each such initiative and then its subsequent abortion.

The sincerity of such initiatives has been questioned by one and all on empirical basis alone. The uniformly similar fate of earlier initiatives on Kashmir, irrespective of who was in power at the centre, had left no scope for any expectations from the interlocutors report. And ironically, the report was as bland  and as far removed from reality as it was expected to be. So much so that even the unionist parties of valley drubbed it as an exercise in futility.

Dr Manmohan Singh, the PM of India, had announced the much famed “Prime Minster’s Reconstruction plan for J&K’ in 2006. Dr Haseeb Drabu, the then economic advisor to the state, had drafted the plan. Amidst much hope, this plan was positioned as the all time panacea for the economic woes of J&K.

However quite recently, Dr Drabu, in a candid interview to a news channel averred that ‘a huge fraud was perpetrated’ in the name of the plan. This is exactly what he had said in the interview, “The total amount we had asked was Rs. 6,000 crore…. When the PM announced the Rs. 24,000 crore figure I rushed to (PM’s media advisor) and asked him if there been a mistake? He said no, that 24,000 crore was in fact correct. When you look at it you see that a huge fraud was perpetuated. Rs. 18,000 crore was given to the power sector at the Centre. NHPC got the money.”

Against this background, to expect anything sincere from the interlocutors’’ efforts was plan naivet?.
Hope never dies though. One hopes that the likes of PrashantBhushanwill not get assaulted by ignorant morons in India in the future as the clamour for a just solution of Kashmir is slowly rising amongst the Indian masses. Till the time, though, we may have to treat a few more such reports as spam.


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