By MALIK AAMIR
On 15 August 1947, India, after Partition, was declared independent of British rule and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was sworn in as the first Prime Minister of independent India.
Independence of India was preceded by the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics. The partition of the country gave birth to the dominion of Pakistan. The Independence of India also marked the establishment of Wartime Gallantry Awards such as the Param Vir Chakra (the highest military honour to military personnel), Maha Vir Chakra (the second highest military honour given to soldiers for displaying exemplary bravery and valour in the presence of an enemy) and the Vir Chakra (third highest military honour), which are essentially bravery awards given to soldiers of the Indian Army.
India’s independence is really something to cherish and savor for people in India and reason for them to make celebrations to mark this day as national pride and honour. But the coin has another other side. India marks its Independence day with whole of its population expressing joy Kashmiris prefer other way by marking this day as black day by a general strike and processions at various places to show the resentment brewing in their hearts and minds. It is not out of hatred but due to Indian leaders who despite their clarion commitment about Kashmir for its final dispensation blatantly reneged on their promise and pledges.
Does it suit India as a country which claims itself to be ‘world’s largest democracy’ to merely manage the conflict and not resolve it. And how can India square its membership of the United Nations when the Kashmir conflict remains festering as an open sore?
Bayonets , pellets and bullets cannot be the answer to the Kashmir conflict and the crisis it has begotten. You trample your own constitution while dealing with Kashmir and by putting restrictions on those who dare to challenge you by , putting them behind bars for propagating peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute and thus violate the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a) of Indian constitution.
You treated Kashmiris badly merely and because they reminded you of your own promise. The Kashmir conflict if left unaddressed can throw a spanner potentially in the region. This should concentrate peoples’ minds. There are other ungainly implications and consequences if the dispute is left lingering. So it is better for you to adopt prudence, sagacity and magnanimity and strong political will to solve this dispute. As you flutter your national flag in pride here misery and depredations continue to visit Kashmir and its people. This forfeits your claim of championing human rights. As eloquently putt by Howard Zinn:
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killings of innocent people”
—The author is a law student. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org