30 August, 2015


Muslims in India – and perhaps minorities everywhere – must sound politically correct, patriotic, toeing the popular line all the time. Not for them the luxury of dissent except perhaps to air their personal grievances. But I refuse to follow this all the time. Once in a while I can’t contain myself.

Despite my grave disapproval of a number of things Pakistani I feel that our successive governments have failed to handle the relations with Pakistan and the Kashmir issue prudently.

Can we wisely expect Pak to engage with us without Kashmir being on the agenda? More so when we don’t tire of pointing out the jihadi influence on their army?

And, despite our profession of democratic credentials, can we justly expect a resolution of the Kashmir dispute without the involvement of the Kashmiri people? They undoubtedly are a party. Even the separatists are.

After decades we now seem to have a whisker of a chance to resolve this matter with the right wing or right leaning parties in power in both Pakistan and India. UPA or the left can never hope to do this.

Sadly media is playing the spoiler. They have failed to inform and educate our citizenry as to the special status Kashmir enjoys and the global position on this region. They never tell us why Kashmir, of all the states of India, is excluded from the jurisdiction of 99% of our acts, has its own constitution and flag, or why maps of UN, Google, other global players fail to show Kashmir as integral part of India.

If we fail to resolve this vexed issue now, we will be doomed. Pakistan may suffer more than us, but neither stands to gain for sure. And we will continue to drown our precious resources down the non-profit drain of security.

In any case I hate to see India playing ball with Pakistan, on a tit-for-tat basis. We ought to act differently, elderly, statesmanlike. We are a much bigger and more powerful nation, and a functioning democracy.

Oh, but then, I am a Muslim. So, how dare I make such ‘defeatist’ suggestions? Macho nationalism is the trend. Jai Jawan! Bharat Mahan!


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