Home Bias

Home Bias

The prism that is employed to view a situation, condition or generally speaking, life dictates the approach (es) towards this.  This statement, in the nature of a truism, applies to politics, economics, society, culture and conflicts. Given this, what would the Indian Home Ministry’s statement post Chadoora incident tell us about the prism employed by powers that be? The Minister of State(MoS) Home, Hansraj Ahir, it may be pertinent to point out, has stated that ““Unfortunately Pakistan’s terrorism has become successful in provoking youth to spread violence in Kashmir through stone pelting. The nation will not allow any violence to spread in Kashmir and would fight back against Pakistan for its security”.  A cursory analysis of Ahir’s statement reveals the obvious: people in the highest echelons of power in India think that it is Pakistan that stirs Kashmir and provokes Kashmiris. But this is a flawed prism to view the conflict in and over Kashmir. Either powers that be do not understand Kashmir, or they choose not to understand or they are indulging in obfuscation: their aim is to obscure the genesis and nature of the conflict. Whatever be the real reason, the Pakistan prism employed would naturally have policy implications. These would be in the nature of holding the conflict in and over Kashmir as merely a conflict between India and Pakistan. The policy consequences that would flow from this would ensure an Indo- Pak policy grid leaving the most important party to the conflict, Kashmiris, out in the cold. Hypothetically speaking, let us assume for  a moment that Pakistan stirs Kashmiris. If this is the case, then this amounts to saying that India has no control over Kashmiris. Second, if this is true, then what really can these powers do? Fight with Pakistan and aggressively tell Pakistan to not to control Kashmiri minds and hearts? This assertion is not as facetious as it sounds. This is the implication of Ahir’s statement. And it does not amount to over analysis. The youth of Kashmir have their own minds; they are young and educated and will not brook control by anyone. But given that Kashmir is at a delicate stage from every conceivable angle, it is about time that an approach be crafted that is shorn of accretions and baggage and Kashmir’s youth are listened to.  This could be a useful and prudent starting point for a sincere conflict resolution paradigm. Any other approach lacks sense and sensibility.

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