CORE ISSUE AND THE CORE OF INDIA’S NATIONHOOD

The achilles’ heel of the present day politics is its unwillingness to comprehend reality in full force and devise strategies ex consequenti. It may often be an intentional demarche en face an impossible situation to defer impending disasters or etourderie tout court in comprehending the intricacies of the reality. In either case, the dimensions of an issue further entoil to an issue of higher complexities. It is what happened about Kashmir in the last fiftyfive years and continues to happen now.

IRRELEVANT ISSUES:

The reality is that neither the history nor the religion nor the constitutional provisions nor the will of the majority constitute a right to a region to be a part of this or that country in politics either now or at any time in the past in any part of the world. Neither it can be now for obvious reasons. History is a matter of flux en train. No point of time can be selected as a reference point in the continuum of the sempiternal timeframe to decide the future of that significance. Religion never gained currency anywhere in the world as a factor of nationhood. It is more so in the present enlightened world where religion as a factional entity is démodé in public life. Constitutional provisions are temporal and subject to amendments. The will of the people of a region in the vast tapestry of the nation is just irrelevant even in a democracy as far as deciding the nationhood is concerned as otherwise every village in a country will turn to an independent nation and sink the human race in a maelstrom of disorganisation.

KASHMIR AND THE PAST:

India as a nation is a new concept. The concept has no root in history. Maurya, Gupta and Moghal emperors inter alios ruled vast parts of the present India and regions

2 outstretching up to Central Asia and present day Iran at various times before the advent of the British. Kashmir was part of the empires and of smaller kingdoms under Punjab rulers at different times. Pakistan was carved out of India as a political compulsion. The history does not support either the claim of India or of Pakistan on Kashmir or the claim of some for the independence of Kashmir.

RELIGION IS PASSE:

India as a secular country is d’accord with the zeitgeist of the present enlightened world with the people of all religions in symbiosis here. Seeing any issue through the glass of religion is tout au contraire to the very spirit India stands for. Islam being the raison d’etre of Pakistan is its own albatross and does not give it any special claim on regions anywhere in the world eo nomine. Further, religion being a factor of politics goes e contrario to the extant international spirit and rationale. It is so also about Kashmir.

NATIONHOOD:

Nor Kashmir being incorporated in Indian constitution as a part of India gives India any special claim on Kashmir for the simple reason that any constitution is the product of the nationhood and not vice versa. India basing its claims on Kashmir on its constitutional provisions is misleading. On the other hand, if the will of the people of a region is given liberty in deciding the nationality, neither India nor Pakistan nor any other country in the world survive as a nation for long. Such a will has no sanctity in a nationhood. Ergo, it is neither the cover of the constitutional provisions nor the ruse of the will of the people that provide the justification for the claims on Kashmir with certitude.

NATIONAL INTERESTS:

There are myriad talks about the Maharaja of Kashmir signing the instrumentation of annexation with India with a provision for plebiscite while invaded by the Pakistan army a la derobee as tribals in 1947 and India under Jawaharlal Nehru referring Kashmir dispute to the UNO and the consectaneous UNO resolution going against the interests of India. Real polity

3 has no place for idealism. Idealism goes idle en face national interests. The instrumentation of annexation or plebiscite or UNO resolution has relevance in real polity only until they serve national objectives. It is true of both India and Pakistan. They truly are meant to serve only as tools to score points in official talks en pure perte and as propaganda means. There is no way these factors ectogenous to the national interests have any say in determining the future of Kashmir.

REALITY OF KASHMIR:

It is an established fact that India was not really interested about Kashmir in the initial stages. Recorded history shows how India a travers its iron man and the then Union Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel offered to Pakistan bartering Kashmir for Hyderabad. India thought that Kashmir was expendable to its interests. India ignored Kashmir altogether until the Maharaja of Kashmir signed the instrumentation of annexation with India and Kashmir became an integral part of India. In real polity stripped of all clichés and polished phrases, plebiscite or no plebiscite, the only reality in the process is that Kashmir had become a part of India and the only factor acceptable to the real polity that can reverse the process is use of force. Real polity nowhere in the world understands any other language even in a civilised world. The process of annexation alone made India’s claim on Kashmir absolute and res judicata. It is a fait accompli in real polity until it is forced away from the Indian Union.

THE GLITCHES GALORE:

The cause of the failure of India in Kashmir non obstante the annexation lies in its glitches galore en suite in the last fifty five years en face the commitment of Pakistan and its immaculate works to the cause beyond its abilities and resources that brought it almost on par with India as far as Kashmir and military might are concerned. India’s glitches galore begin with the greed of its aging political leaders agreeing in hurry to divide the country on communal basis lest they may lose the opportunity of ruling the country in their lifetime. The ceasefire in Kashmir on the call of the UNO while the Indian army was on a winning spree patently betrays the inexperience and lack of toughness in our political leadership of the time

4 and all of India’s troubles in Kashmir can be traced to this single bevue. India’s response to Pakistan’s challenges in Kashmir throughout sinsyne was casual and disorganised and diplomatic a fond unlike Pakistan’s concerted efforts beyond its means covering all strategic needs required to stand up to India about Kashmir. Even its Afghan policy was Kashmir and India-centric. Its prime intelligence behemoth, the ISI with its committed cadres, was created basically to counter India. India’s response to the ISI in form of the RAW with much larger resources at disposal is yet to stand up to its counterpart in Pakistan either in efficiency, commitment or sheer performance. Kargil intrusion of 1999 is a clear indicator of the strengths and efficiency of the ISI. The extent of the penetration of the ISI in India is yet to be matched by the RAW in Pakistan. The single target of the Pakistan military build-up including nuclear arsenal and missile technology is India. The commitment and spirit of the Pakistan army against India is in no way amated by the fighting spirit of the Indian army. This is how Pakistan prepared itself against India in the last fifty-five years for the cause of Kashmir. It left nothing to chance and succeeded in breeding and feeding anti-India campaign in the valley of Kashmir. The repeated military takeovers in Pakistan represent the passion of the Pakistan army to stall any compromise by its political leadership with India on the Kashmir issue. It is how Pakistan prepared itself for the cause of Kashmir.

CORE OF NATIONHOOD:

Pakistan believes that the agenda of the birth of its nationhood is incomplete without Kashmir. Its military forces are fully en arriere of the cause. Unless Pakistan’s military might is brought to the knees a toute force, its Kashmir adventures are unlikely to abate. Pakistan by no stretch of imagination will settle for anything less than Kashmir tout a fait at its control as it has become a matter of national pride to the country en face India’s superior prowess. India in its part condescend to anything less than as of now only at its own peril as yielding to Pakistan in anyway about Kashmir now is nothing short of surrender in real polity. It will be nothing short of the surrender of Pakistan in Bangladesh war. In this sense, Kashmir has become the core of India’s nationhood while it certainly is a core issue to Pakistan.

5
CAUGHT IN A LOGJAM:

With the ultimate positions of both India and Pakistan being defined with perspicacity and certitude, what latitude can there be for any rapprochement between the two warring neighbours? All the talks of settlements and summits are mere diplomatic platitudes meant to satisfy the inner and outer constituencies of the respective countries. Both the countries know fully well that nothing other than the present situation is possible except for minor adjustments along the line of control as in Siachin glacier and such strategic points. In the circumstances, Pakistan is trying its luck by appealing to the religious sentiments of the Kashmiris to lure them away from India in one hand and resorting to terrorism in Kashmir by supporting jehadi groups on the other hand in the hope that one day Kashmir perchance may fall on its lap. It perforce will continue with the strategy unless it is mortally brought to its knees and good senses.

The only solution to a problem of the nature of Kashmir’s in real polity is the use of force. Pakistan knows it. India knows it. Pakistan also knows that it can never subdue India militarily. India knows that a nuclear Pakistan is a dangerous adversary and it is now too late to bring the country to its knees. India has to choose between tolerating its mischief in Kashmir and inducing mortal fear of India pro rata to its size and resources a tout prix. There is no third option open. This is the hard truth. India can’t afford the luxury of the wishful thinking that it can fool Pakistan from its stance and bring it around to the fact that Kashmir from the day of its annexation to India is the core of its nationhood or economic and other compulsions ab intra or foreign pressures force Pakistan to shy away from its commitment to the Kashmir issue. No talks and summits can really make any difference to the issue in the circumstances. It is true until Pakistan learns by hard way to recognise the reality that Kashmir is an Indian territory and it can do nothing about it until the unlikely event of it outgrowing India in military might and physically snatching Kashmir out of India. The army and fundamentalists are too pollent a force in Pakistan to let sensible voices surface. This is the single most damaging factor in the life of Pakistan.
PRAVEEN KUMAR

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