T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Vol II Issue I

The 1st Anniversary Edition

May 2003

I N S I D E


Spotlight 

Romeet K Watt

 

Editorial

 

Feature     

K.T.N.S

                   

View Point      

K P S Gill

 

On Track

Sumer Kaul

         

Exclusive

Spl. Report

 

Analysis

Sawraj Singh

 

State Craft

Yashwant Sinha

 

Perspective

M V Kamath

 

Last Word

Ram Puniyani

                            


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E D I T O R I A L

Idea of India is bigger than Kashmir

What others say......


Kashmir, we all know, is not just another state. For most Indians, it's an article of faith. From different premises, different shades of political opinion in India have arrived at a ‘consensus': The country cannot survive as a unified republic, much less a secular one, if Kashmir ceases to be part of it.

On the left, this has to do with the question of religious identity. The only Muslim-majority state in this country, Kashmir's existence as part of India is proof that religion is not the basis of our nationalism — a rejection of the two-nation theory, which led to the Partition. Hence, no settlement which re-opens the question of the state's accession to India. On the right, Kashmir is not so much about people as about territory — an integral part — indeed, the crowning head — of the sacred geographical body that is Bharat Mata.

And there has stood the matter for more than half a century. A time in which New Delhi has fought three wars, suffered tens of thousands of army and civilian casualties, and generally made itself extremely unpopular with the people of the state. Surely, it's time to take a fresh look at Kashmir — and not through the prism of nationalistic anxieties. For starters, the  integrity of a Union that calls itself democratic  cannot be maintained by force of arms but only by moral and political suasion. Two, India's secularism, if it is to mean anything at all, cannot be a function of what the Kashmiris may or may not do. Third, Kashmir's alienation from India has secular rather than religious roots. Militancy in the Valley has in recent times acquired religious overtones — thanks to Islamabad — but it was for long an indigenous and se-cular movement, directed at New Delhi's cynical high-handedness. In that sense, Kashmir is no different from the North-East. Just as no one has suggested that the North-East is alienated from mainstream India because it's Christian, no one should suggest that Kashmir is estranged because it's Muslim. And finally, the idea of India is bigger than the sum of all its parts. To think that the future of India depends on the future of Kashmir is to betray a lack of faith in that idea itself.

 

[The Times of India]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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