A Clichéd Iteration

A Clichéd Iteration
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“When I use a word,» Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, «it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less. The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things. The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master-that’s all.” This short vignette appears to capture the essence of the words “conducive”, “dialogue” , “talks” and related themes in the context of the conflict in and over Kashmir between India and Pakistan. These words are not bandied cavalierly but chosen carefully to actually mean nothing.(or , in some instances, are expressed to maintain truculence). The reference here is to New Delhi’s now hackneyed and even sterile public posturing towards “dialogue” with Pakistan. The two countries are caught and trapped in a vortex of conflict where the prime victims are the people of Kashmir. The irony is that Kashmiri victims of the conflict are not actually responsible for it. The conflict has been superimposed and grafted onto Kashmiris by vicious historical twists and turns , hubris of Key players in the historical drama and , of course, power political reasons. In this schema, the real price of the conflict is paid by the people of Kashmir. It is pertinent to note here that New Delhi’s “rebuff” or aversion to dialogue comes in the context of the appointment of a interlocutor over Kashmir. That New Delhi refuses to hold Pakistan as a key stakeholder and hold parleys with it renders inerlocution a jaundiced and a slanted exercise. What can be culled from New Delhi’s stance and posturing is that it’s default reflex is conflict management and containment. The wish (vain)that undergirds this approach is that if the conflict is managed for long enough a period, it will go way. But, this wish flies flat against reality. The conflict in and over Kashmir is real and it cries for resolution. Historical reality lends itself to the conclusion that , sooner or later, conflicts , like the one in and over Kashmir, can only be resolved by talks and dialogue which includes all stakeholders. History and the historical process cannot be wished away. Prudence and sobriety would then suggest that the nettles of conflict resolution be grasped and the process of history be given a shove. Delay , on the contrary, means postponing the inevitable. Let powers that be inject a sense of proportion and history into their perspectives and world views and give sustainable and durable peace a chance.

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