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

KashmirSubscribe to Kashmir

Agra vs Kashmir

Questions like the free movement of people in the two Kashmirs, disengagement of armed forces along the LoC, withdrawal of security forces in the Valley, termination of Pakistani support to armed groups, found no place in the agenda of the Agra summit. How, without addressing the real problems of the people in the region, can the two governments ever hope to move towards a resolution of tensions?

The Valley, the Hills and the Summit

Over the past fortnight and more, the purveyors of views, official and unofficial, have been dishing out commentaries that look at the valley and the hills from the unreal vantage point of the 'summit'. Unless we learn to see the summit the way it looks from the valley and the hills, we will never understand all that needs to change before any just and honourable resolution of the dispute is even thinkable.

Lessons from Agra

After the trumpets and the fanfare has come the mournful dirge lamenting the ‘failure’ of the India-Pakistan summit at Agra. An expected reaction perhaps, but a trifle hasty. For after all, it would seem that the summit floundered on two old issues, cross border terrorism and the centrality of a resolution on Kashmir to the mitigation of IndiaPakistan tensions. Given this it is hard to see why there is such a desperate urgency about issuing a final report card on the summit. Surely, the two days of president Musharaff’s visit were not expected to unravel the many snags and snarls in the fabric of India-Pakistan relationship? Then again, in the light of the history of other high-level meetings between the two countries, the success or failure of a summit can only be reckoned by what happens afterwards. And in that sense surely it is too early to issue a report card on Agra?

Panchayat Elections in Kashmir

People's response to the panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, which are being conducted in a phased manner since January this year, has differed depending on the political situation prevailing in different parts of the state. While the elections have evoked an enthusiastic response in many parts of Jammu and Ladakh, in Kashmir valley they have been virtually a paper exercise. Political processes and institutions in the valley suffer from a crisis of legitimacy. Panchayati institutions are perceived as a part of the existing structure of power that bears no relation to the aspirations and choices of people.

On the Kashmir Question

The movement for Kashmir has as one of its underlying motifs, religion. In this paper, the author seeks to historically analyse the many ways religion has been put to serve different purposes. Influenced more by the rituals and doctrines that are particular and contingent in time, the universal and eternal component of Islam seems to have been all but forgotten, more so by those fighting for 'Kashmir', subdued by what the author labels as the 'Arkoun-Kuran' effect - when the unthinkable is gradually transformed over time into the unthought. South Asia has seen the coexistence and synthesis of Hindu and Muslim cultures and traditions - only a renewed awareness of this can reverse the Arkoun-Kuran effect.

Talking with Pakistan

Does the current situation - in Kashmir, in Pakistan and here in India - really justify the starting of a fresh dialogue with Pakistan or offer a modicum of hope of a dialogue yielding worthwhile results? A different view.

Ceasefire in Kashmir

The ceasefire in Kashmir can only be seen as a beginning of a long process that will have to be based most importantly on a comprehensive understanding of the political aspirations of the people of the entire state. The need of the hour is to acknowledge and sincerely attempt to involve the other forces that have a legitimate say in the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Calcutta Diary

India's big-brotherly dominance could be an objective reality in several of her neighbouring states, acting as a roadblock to the emergence of peace in the real sense with nations across our borders. We too will conceivably be victims of the conviction, unfounded or otherwise, that none of our neighbours appreciate our magnanimity and benevolence and that they have launched a conspiracy, jointly or severally, against us. The Hindutva stance will strengthen this belief, the defence lobby active inside the country reinforcing it further.

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