Beyond Law and Order

Beyond Law and Order

The law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir was “much better” than the last year and the Centre was open for talks with those who abstain from violence and work within the Constitution, according to India’s MoS Home, Hansraj G Ahir. He added that, “As reported by the state government, the law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir is much better than the previous year as 583 cases have been registered during the current year till date, against 2,897 cases of previous year. Ahir’s assertions and statements besides being reductive are an exercise in compressionism defined by a flawed baseline. He takes as the baseline last year’s protests when Kashmir erupted in indignation and anger, following Burhan Wani’s killing. But the issue goes beyond this particular uprising and moreover, it is beyond a mere “law and order issue”. The measures referred to by Ahir that have allegedly made the situation “better”, amount to control and pacification measures. Again, these are as short termist as can be. The real issue(s) pertain to the conflict in and over Kashmir- a fact acknowledged more clearly by powers that in during the Musharaf- Vajpayee years of diplomatic activism to bring about some sort of a closure to the conflict , in all its forms and dimensions. A theme that stands out in the history of the conflict, in all its dimensions, is the recrudescence of the conflict and its manifestations either in the form of insurgency or protests. If these recur, from time to time, then the obvious inference or even conclusion may be drawn is that control and pacification measures really do not work. Kashmir descends into violence, some of which is structural and emanates from political reasons, after lulls of relative “peace”. Power that be must realize this and understand the actual, real and existing dynamic that defines Kashmir- both historically and contemporarily. Basking in the glow of control and pacification measures, is a mug’s game, so to speak. In the final analysis, real and substantive peace , is the need of the hour and is in the interests of all stakeholders in and over Kashmir- especially the people of Kashmir. Key is how this peaceful condition can be arrived at. The answer, indeed a hackneyed one, lies in a multi stakeholder approach to conflict resolution. Till then, any other measure(s) are ephemeral and illusory.

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