Delicate Time(s)

Delicate Time(s)
  • 1
    Share

The Pulwama attack and its aftermath have elicited a range of reactions at multiple levels. While the immediate brunt, in terms of the fear generated, has been borne by Kashmiris domiciled and resident elsewhere, other than Kashmir, for purposes of business, trade and education, there are other issues that have the potential to spill over to something insalubrious. These issues and the fear and anger generated can be, to some extent, traced to electronic media channels that, to repeat a hackneyed cliché, in their quest for ratings and upmanship. This is dangerous. By fanning emotions and generating fear, bottoms up demand for escalation beyond a point can be created which will be deleterious for all peoples constituting the firmament of South Asia. In the final analysis, regardless of the import of a given event or incident, it is its interpretation and how it is presented that determines public attitudes toward it that matter a great deal. In this sense, the New Delhi based electronic channels have been delinquent, grossly so. The victims have been hapless Kashmiris resident in many places, other than Kashmir. Thankfully, there have been no casualties so far. The hope is that the current anger and rage driven conditions will dissipate and mellow down without any serious incident. There are also other issues of serious import involved here. The reference here is to the relations between India and Pakistan, both nuclear armed but estranged neighbors involved in a conflictual and adversarial relations and dynamics. The danger here is that if the delicate conditions that obtain in South Asia now, are not handled well and if a surfeit of emotion, rage and anger determined and hardens attitudes, the consequences will be tremendously negative and deleterious for the peoples of the entire region. The time(s) then behoove powers that be across the Indo Pak divide to take recourse to sobriety. All this points to an exigent need for prudent and far sighted statecraft that does not cave in to emotion and is not determined by the drift of events. There then is a double issue and need to deal with it. One is the obvious safety and security of Kashmiris domiciled and resident elsewhere and the overarching need to prevent the slide of events into something disastrous. The peoples of South Asia do not need overt hostilities that could turn fatal. Hope good sense prevails.