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

KashmirSubscribe to Kashmir

Corrosive Impact of Army’s Commitment in Kashmir

The army has had an extended deployment in Kashmir. While it has enabled operational experience for its members, there is a danger that the advantages of this can make the army acquire a stake in the disturbed conditions. This makes the army part of the problem in Kashmir. Its deployment is not without a price in regard to the internal good health of the army.

Rehabilitation Policy

In the early 1990s, after decades of political discontent, thousands of Kashmiri men travelled across the Line of Control for arms training to seek independence from India. However, soon many became disillusioned and looked at the possibilities of return. In 2010, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir announced a rehabilitation policy for them. However, the ex-militants generally avoid the designated points mainly to evade possible arrest by the Indian security forces and the cumbersome documentation process. This article argues that the criterion for return through these points is flawed, since it has failed to attract ex-militants, and those who returned through other points were not entitled to the benefits of the rehabilitation policy.

Civil Society and State in Armed Conflict

Civil society plays a significant role in challenging, limiting or contesting state power. In a conflict zone like Kashmir, where the state in the guise of counter-insurgency operations violates the human rights of civilians with impunity, civil society is in direct confrontation with the state. This article discusses the evolution of civil society organisations in Kashmir, their role in the history of resistance, and their struggle to defend human rights in a repressive environment, where legal and extralegal methods are employed to co-opt them or intimidate them into silence.

Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity and Right of Self-Determination

Mere change of political status may not ensure a people's freedom to pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Would there still be the urge for self-determination if people are able to get this freedom? In many cases, democracy and federalism can satisfy the urge for self-determination better than secession and independence.

Targeting Institutions of Higher Education

The ideology central to the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has no space or use for liberal thought and values. Education for such organisations means only what can be called a kind of catechism. This is a memorisation of a narrow set of questions rooted in faith and belief and an equally narrow set of answers that prohibit any doubt or deviation. Therefore, educational centres that allow questioning and discussion are anathema and have to be dismantled.

University and the Nation

If nationalist sentiments are the only and final prerogative to belong to an academic community, then it must also be reiterated, a university has no business to share these sentiments. The founding figures of JNU knew it and it is upon the entire community of students, teachers and concerned citizens to safeguard the university against such jingoistic versions of nationalism.

Children's Illnesses

Acute respiratory illness and diarrhoea cause high levels of child morbidity and mortality in Jammu and Kashmir, and high levels of insurgency and an unstable political environment have usually been identified as the two main causes for the poor health conditions in the state. This article is based on a study which compares J&K with Himachal Pradesh and finds that some of the causes for poor health oucomes in the former may be unrelated to insurgency or related issues.

What Will They Do to Kashmir Now?

The several 'formulas' for peace doing the rounds all require only the satisfaction of India and Pakistan and the approval of the US. The Kashmiris themselves have no formula to offer. It may be because of political fatigue, or perhaps there is a deeper reason, for, to Kashmiris self-determination is in terms of the whole of the old state of Jammu and Kashmir. But this old idea of collective self-determination has not been kept alive by the social and political leaderships of the ethnic/linguistic sub-regions. The voice of 'azaadi' inevitably sounds like Kashmiri particularism easily conflated by interested parties with Muslim communalism.

Collusion of Security Forces with Renegade Militants

The recent report of John Stevens, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service in UK, has exposed the security forces' collusion with renegade militant bodies in Northern Ireland. The report is of extreme relevance to us in India where the security forces have made regular and systematic use of renegade militants in Kashmir and earlier in Punjab.

National Security: Prisoners of Rhetoric

A close look at the Indian government's defence budget and related reports on military matters shows that while external security preparedness has slipped over the years, the Indian army has become one of the busiest peace time forces fighting its own people. This also impacts on the morale of the armed forces and creates opportunity for the emergence of particularist biases and prejudices within the forces. The changing geopolitical context of India's neighbourhood determines security perceptions and is a factor in deciding defence spending.

Witness to History

Trumpets and Tumults: The Memoirs of a Peacekeeper by Major General Inderjit Rikhye; Manohar, Delhi, 2002; pp 266, Rs 500.

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