Vantage point

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On Kashmir

Recently, there have been several articles in the media sympathetic to the cause of Kashmiri "azadi". Their arguments seem correct, from a moral and factual point of view. They just miss to apply a realistic perspective.

Reading those articles, which are directly or indirectly, appealing to the Indian state to let Kashmir go, makes me wonder if they think it is America/Britain/France/Australia ruling Kashmir. What makes them expect that the Indian people would be outraged by atrocities committed by their government in Kashmir, when such atrocities, albeit on a smaller scale, are carried out even in the rest of India with ease?

Random arrests and detentions, torture, custodial deaths, rape by men in uniform, failure to provide security or any economic improvement, etc etc. Everything happens on a daily basis even in India. There are no real institutional checks-and-balances against these excesses. Yet there is no mass movement to overthrow the current system of governance. In fact, perpetrators of these excesses in the rest of India enjoy positions of power and influence quite easily.

Why then, would the Indian people even pay attention to the demands that Kashmir be let go for the reason that our government is carrying out these atrocities?