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Re: Freedom and Welfare or Bharat Maata?



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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Dear Chirag,
        Things are much clearer from where I stand. Let me see if I can
return the
favour.
A] Let me start with a sentence of mine - "Indians are standing up for
the
sake of the safety and security of other Indians, and for the sake of
the
territorial integrity of Bhaarat Maata. Not for the sake of freedoms of
other Indians - -. The people of J&K anyway do not enjoy much freedom
[it is
hard to that with constant shelling, bombing and other such activities]"

Like you, I would deal with the semantics later. I was not saying,
implying
or even thinking that it would be okay if we loose control of the
sector. I
was simply stating the reasons [according to me] why the soldiers were
fighting, what they were fighting for. The comment about the freedoms
enjoyed [or not enjoyed] by the people of J&K did not, explicitly or
implicitly, indicate any approval of the situation. It was merely a
statement of what I believe would be the situation in Kashmir once the
intruders are pushed back, the LoC is reestablished and the Kargil
confrontation comes to an end.  The statement would not even have been
made
had I not been attempting to be sarcastic.
        You are right when you say that no battle should have an aim
different from
the aim of the war. But I was talking of the reasons why the soldiers
fight,
not the reasons why we [the polity along with the Govt.] are engaged in
the
battle. And, yes, what they believe is because of the failure of the
Govt.
to articulate [or even plan] properly what they are doing and why.
        IF the Government has a definite plan to tackle this situation,
it needs to
be articulated. If it doesn't, one definitely needs to be formulated.
B] I agree that the insistence on Kashmir being an integral part of
India,
placed above insistence on securing the freedoms and welfare of the
Kashmiris, has worsened the situation.  A well-formulated and properly
articulated policy would not only help garner international support but
would also help the govt. to convince the people of the state that their

welfare is the primary goal and that they would be heard without
prejudice
or coercion.
C] You ask me why I do not consider the attempts to reach normalcy [e.g.

Kargil] to be attempts to eventually secure the F&W of the Kashmiri
people.
It is because I have found no reason to believe that the Govt. of India
has
any long term, coherent plan of action formulated specifically to ensure
the
welfare and the freedoms of the people of Kashmir. What is happening in
Kargil is defense against external aggression. Once the Kargil
confrontation
is resolved, we return to the same situation that prevailed in the
beginning
of May. There will still be terrorism, a sense of distrust in a growing
portion of the populace towards the Indian Government, continuous
attempts
to internationalise the issue - the same chaos that has prevailed there
for
more than a decade now.  The Battle of Kargil, no matter how valiantly
and
bravely it is being fought, does not hold the answers to the problems of

Kashmir. The army will protect us from external aggression and guarantee
our
physical safety and security against the same. That is all it would do,
and
that is all it is supposed to do. We, on the other hand, have not been
able
to ensure the F&W of the Kashmiris before the Kargil confrontation
started,
we have no concrete plans on how to ensure the same [at least none that
I am
aware of] once the Kargil conflict is resolved. Knowing this, I find
myself
unable to consider the Kargil confrontation as another battle in a long
war
for the welfare and the freedoms of the Kashmiris.
D] On to the semantic confusion now. There was no contradiction in my
statements, at least not as far as I can make out. The army fights for
the
'safety and security of the citizens', the physical safety and security
of
the people against external aggression. It safeguards the territorial,
and
to an extent, the political sovereignty of the nation [and that does
include
the people of the nation]. However, that is the extent of its role. What
we
do with this sovereignty; what values we uphold as a polity and what
freedoms we choose to pursue is a separate issue altogether.  The fight
for
the civil freedoms and welfare of the citizens is a political process, a

fight that we, the polity, undertake. It is not the army's fight. The
army
does not 'fight for the freedoms of other Indians'.
        And, Chirag, the soldiers are not 'merely securing the F&W of
the people'.
They are securing the sovereignty of our polity; a polity which may or
may
not choose to secure the freedoms and welfare of all its members.
E] Patriotism and Nationalism - These are issues on which we seem
destined
to disagree. Unlike you, I consider neither of these to be unnecessary
or
coercive. Again, none of these forces advocate the deification of the
nation, at least not to the extent of reducing human beings to the level
of
mere facilitators to a greater end [that is what Fascism and Communism
do].
Nationalism is the sense of belonging to a particular nation, with
common
history, culture and values. It indicates a feeling of 'one people, one
history, one culture, one future'.  Unless it is completely perverted,
it
places as much importance [if not more] on fellow nationals as it does
on
the Nation itself.
        As far as Patriotism is concerned, well, Shaw said it best. It
is a
conviction that your country is the best simply because you were born in
it.
Again, I see nothing negative in this conviction and emotion.
        Being Patriotic or a Nationalist also does not automatically
translate into
being without reasoning faculties.
F] You say;
" When you said the Kargil fighting was being undertaken not for the
freedom
of the people, but"the safety and security of other Indians and for the
sake
of the territorial integrity of Bharat Maata", and then you said the
freedom
of the Kashmiris wasn't relevant here, I assumed you meant the same for
the
whole of the Kashmir problem. Because to me every battle against the
subversive militants is one step in the war against them."
        First, I NEVER said that the freedoms of the Kashmiris are not
relevant.
What I did say was that the army is not fighting for the freedoms of the

Kashmiris and that I do not consider the Kargil confrontation to be a
fight
for the F&W of the Kashmiri people. I have already given the reasoning
behind both of these statements. The assumption you made was way off
base,
and most of what you assumed from that point on was equally erroneous.
[And
this what I meant by my comment on things that 'seem' to be a logical
corollary to statements actually made. My comments had the same
reasoning
behind them since the beginning. You assumed differently. Your
assumptions
'seemed' to be the logical corollary to my words; in fact, they were
anything but that].
        You also said,
"I admit to some confusion on my part. But I believe it does stem in
some
measure from some confusion on your part. As far as I was concerned, you

said some contradictory things in that first post, and I responded to
some
of those statements and ignored what I considered to be contradictions.
If
your real positions are those I ignored, then perhaps you should
reconsider
the ones I did respond to."

My response:
        Chirag, is it just me or do you have a tendency, when faced with

contradictions, to blithely assume the worst instead of asking for a
clarification? I am curious.

        Well, I hope that this missive helped clear up some of the
confusion. As
usual, do let me know if further clarification is needed.

                                 Regards,

                                      Ritu



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