ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Gautam Navlakha

Jammu and Kashmir Elections: A Shift in Equations

A sober appraisal of the recently concluded elections in Jammu and Kashmir will facilitate the government of India to move towards a democratic closure to this six-decade long dispute. The separatists also need to learn from their tactical mistakes and not take the people for granted. Having demonstrated their strength through large-scale non-violent protests in July-August 2008, demanding azaadi, the people have now exercised their vote peacefully. This represents a shift in equations away from armed militancy and towards a strong but peaceful demand for independence.

Jammu and Kashmir: Winning a Battle Only to Lose the War?

The brutal suppression of the peaceful mass protests that swept across Kashmir in August has restored New Delhi's "control" of the Valley. The centre may have won this battle, but it has lost the war and if it was not apparent before it should be obvious now that the people of Kashmir no longer have faith in the constitutional processes. The allocation of land for the Amarnath yatra controversy that triggered an explosion first in Kashmir and then led to agitations in the Jammu division, and the State's differential response to the demonstrations in these two parts of Jammu and Kashmir have signalled a message to the people in the Valley that they cannot expect justice and dignity from an increasingly communalised state apparatus.

Savage War for 'Development'

In India today, private corporate-led industrialisation is being equated with "development" and those who oppose such development are considered "unlawful", never mind that the government and the corporations acquire land through "force and fraud". Those who organise the resistance - "left-wing extremists" in official parlance - either face elimination through military operations or the total denial of their democratic rights. It is therefore necessary to demystify, rather de-obfuscate, official policy vis-a-vis "left-wing extremism".