Academic and Contextless

Academic and Contextless
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Mehbooba Mufti, after holding an all parties meet of the “mainstream” spectrum of the political class , has pitched for a “Ramzan ceasefire” in Kashmir. Parallels have been drawn with the Ramzan ceasefire that took place during the Vajpayee years. But, both on the face of it, and at a deeper level, this is a flawed parallel. The reasons pertain to context then and now. The political conditions across the subcontinent were rather different then and there was a wee bit of an aura of statesmanship and thence desire for peace , without and therefore without. The international context also lent itself to peace and peaceable relations between arch antagonists, India and Pakistan and thereby Kashmir. But, this time round, the context appears to be defined by a certain aggressiveness and bellicosity which does not brook even the talk of peace, sadly. The pitch for “Ramzan ceasefire” contemporarily, then operates in a vacuum. Moreover, the obvious question that arises is: what after Ramzan? Is the pitch for this “ceasefire” going to lapse after Ramzan? If so why and what would this particular hiatus achieve? All this is to put matters into perspective, a real one. The need for peace within and peaceable relations without is exigent and important not only for Kashmir but also South Asia. But, peace cannot descend on the region in a vacuum. This is to state the obvious. What is needed is developing and working toward a context which would lend itself to peace, in the most expansive sense of the term. For this, both India and Pakistan have to and must enter into a sustained dialogic paradigm. This is the large , macro reality which must happen before anything else can be achieved. But, unfortunately, things in South Asia do not look too sanguine for this development to come to pass. However, this does not mean that sober and well meaning minds and people across the fatal divide must cease trying. All attempts must be made to crystallize a peaceful and peaceable paradigm between the two arch antagonists. The rest are corollaries that will perhaps inevitably follow. The grist and mill of this potential paradigm must be to resolve all outstanding conflicts between the two , which includes Kashmir, in a way that redounds to the benefit of all. There is no other way other than this to realize and achieve peace , within and without. Let sober minds not rest and keep on trying for this end goal. The rest is mere patina.

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