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

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End of Pretence in Kashmir

By ending the ceasefire and an unreal alliance, the BJP has set the stage for its majoritarian agenda.

Recent days have seen the burial of two fictions about Kashmir fostered with varying degrees of ardour. A ceasefire built on a foundation of mutual suspicion was revoked and a political alliance of polar opposites dissolved. But, beyond the make-believe, there was little even remotely fictional about the brutal assassination of Shujaat Bukhari, a prominent journalist and public figure of Kashmir, just as the Ramadan month ended. Nor was there the slightest doubt about the factual foundations of the first-ever report on human rights in Kashmir by a United Nations body, although the Indian government has kept up a brazen pretence otherwise.

The ceasefire in Kashmir was one that dared not speak its name. Averse to applying the term in relation to an entity it regards as an unlawful combatant, the Indian government sought consistently to use the alternative of “cease-ops,” which implied little else than a suspension of coercive operations for a short term. This declaration of a provisional truce came the day the Ramadan month began for the Muslim-majority people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). It was a measure of goodwill heralded by words of spectacular hostility just days before, when the chief of staff of the Indian army, General Bipin Rawat, spoke his mind rather strangely, in disregard of honoured principles of detachment from politics. The strategy in Kashmir, General Rawat said, was to persuade the youth that “azadi” was simply “not going to happen, ever.” The escalation in violence in the state was of no consequence. Fresh recruitments into militant ranks were happening, but the army would persuade all who fought, about the futility of it all.

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Updated On : 27th Jun, 2018

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