Flawed Premise

Flawed Premise

There are two angles to the NIA’s arrest of Hurriyat and allied political activists: one is that the Government of India appears to be eyeballing these leaders and activists. This reason blends into the second one of putting pressure on them. Both, prima facie and on a slightly deeper level, NIA’s action(s) appear to be more political than legal. Already, India’s electronic media is touting the arrests as a “bold” initiative by the BJP government in contrast to the “tepidity” of the UPA regime. The question is: what explains the NIA’s “eyeballing” and the pressure tactics thereof? The NIA’s premise appears to be that by putting a spotlight the Hurriyat and allied political leaders, the powers that be will create enough pressure for the conditions in Kashmir correspond to what these powers want them to be in Kashmir. But, the premise, by itself , is flawed. While the Hurriyat, – a political conglomerate that represents reflects a political spectrum of Kashmir is a player in Kashmir’s politics, it does not appear to control or even direct the street- the arena where politics has devolved to, over a period of Kashmir in Kashmir. In this sense, the street is the arbiter of politics here not vice versa. Incarcerating Hurriyat leaders and activists will not change this dynamic. Moreover, by putting pressure on these leaders suggests that the Government of India is not interested in dialogue or talks. The name of the game appears to be power politics and cannibalization of the mean adopted for broader political gain. All this does not bode well for Kashmir and the conflict in and over it. Kashmir and Kashmiris need peace but this condition can only be arrived at if the underlying conflict is resolved. This calls for a genuine , multi- stakeholder dialogue aimed at resolving the conflict for good. Any other approaches, especially the current one of excluding and putting pressure on the Hurriyat, amounts to excluding a stakeholder from a potential conflict resolution process. This leaves space only open to power politics. Historically and generically speaking, a mere power political approach freezes conflicts; it does not resolve them and more the conflicts are frozen the more truculent and difficult they become to resolve. It then behooves upon powers that be to take a long term prudential view of the conflict in and over Kashmir and resolve it to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. This would and should include the Hurriyat too.

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