Fresh and Novel Approach is Needed

Fresh and Novel Approach is Needed
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The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, N N Vohra, in the inaugural session of the Assembly session 2018, has, pared to essence, made a pitch for peace. Vohra, among other things said that “those who had refused to be part of the peace process and not met the Centre’s interlocutor, must come forward and engage in dialogue”. The Governor also called for “tough and targeted action by forces so that violence does not disrupt the lives of people”. Decoded, Vohra’s assertions, to repeat, amount to a plea for peace. There is not even a quibble with these; there is consensus within and without, regarding the need for peace in Kashmir. But, regardless of the honourable man’s well meaning pitch, he seems to be eliding over or missing the larger picture. The broader canvass in Kashmir is that the conflict that defines it and which is all pervasive, in many senses, is not a mono-focal one. Disaggregated, this means that the picture in Kashmir is variegated, nuanced and complex, so much so that it does lend itself to any “neat” solutions. These very nuances and complexities suggest that a larger, holistic view be taken of the conflict and a conflict resolution paradigm be instituted that redounds to the benefit of all stakeholders and not merely a select few. And, if this paradigm is instituted, it must be complemented by measures that that should be meaningful, underpinned by a genuine desire for peace .In terms of the dimension of “lost trust”, referred to by the Governor, it is not entirely clear what he means. Historically and even contemporarily, New Delhi has devised and crafter a power political process and paradigm in and toward Kashmir wherein local honchos who appear to disavowed all autonomy and discretion and have chosen to be Delhi’s managers in Kashmir. And, this arrangement appears to be fine with Delhi, whose major concern or worry appears to be managing the conflict in Kashmir, than anything else. This arrangement has created conditions of artificiality in Kashmir where there is a natural disconnect between these honchos and the people. The implication here is not that altering this arrangement (which might not be actually possible given the assorted vested interests that have latched on to it) would lead to peace in Kashmir but rather it is a call for a fresh approach for and toward Kashmir. The summum bonum of this approach must and should be a principled dialogue in which all stakeholders are not only invited but also represented and their interests sated. It is this bold and beautiful approach that will lead to peace within and without. And it is towards this noble endeavour that honourable men must devote their energies to.

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