Pregnant and Palpable Tension

Pregnant and Palpable Tension
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A palpable sense of tension has descended upon Kashmir with the impending hearing by the Supreme Court of India over the hearing of the potential abrogation of Article 35 A. It may be recalled that the said Article, among other things, defines and accords residency rights, to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir. Its abrogation would axiomatically have demographic and thence political and economic implications on Jammu and Kashmir. The general backdrop of the hearing is politics, politicking and ideological proclivities of a certain political spectrum. The tension that has gripped Kashmir amidst the putative hearing adds another layer of uncertainty to Kashmir and in the lives of Kashmiris. In any case and by any measure, the attempt to abrogate the said article cannot and is not premised on prudence and sagacity. It appears to be in the nature of an in your face political smack on Jammu and Kashmir and its people. If powers that be succeed in abrogating the article in contention, the consequences can only be deleterious as it, among other things, would create a fundamental uncertainty among the denizens of Jammu and Kashmir, especially, the Kashmir region, which is the centre of gravity of the entity. By its very nature, speaking philosophically, uncertainty is a condition which can go anywhere and from the perspective of larger realities that obtain here would mean and imply their intensification. Moreover, there are both ideational and material implications involved here. The former pertain to identity and the latter to economics or political economy. Identity, a politico emotive condition is a powerful abstraction that people fundamentally hold dear.( Its potency can be observed from the gale of populism that has hit many parts of the West, including the United States). In terms of political economy, the potential abrogation of Article 35 A, would alter dramatically the distribution of economic and political power in Kashmir. This would gel into identity insecurities and the attendant conditions that would emerge would be insalubrious for everyone. Prudence and wisdom then dictate that the said article not be tampered or tinkered with. In the final analysis, what Jammu and Kashmir is a paradigm and grid that redounds positively for its peoples and , broadly speaking, the peoples of South Asia. This can happen when and if a robust paradigm smelling of roses is instituted. And, in turn, for this to happen, what is needed is farsighted statecraft; not politics and politicking.

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