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Re: [Kashmir: Are We Right?]



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[Topics under debate]: GOOD GOVERNANCE
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If you say that a paranoia against the crumbling of the Indian nation is
the
only justification for the "occupation" of Kashmir by India, then it
gives
even more incentive for Pakistan and all the other separatists to sow
discord
and keep bleeding India. Because, it is a sort of good news for them to
hear
that India would crumble by the removal of one brick.

No, while it might well be true that Kashmir's separation might spark in
a
crumble, we need to also remember that a majority of the Indian
population
*want* to stay with the Indian nation. We might be seeing all the
separatists
on television and news and get an impression that the Indian system is
precariously close to disintegration (and take knee-jerk extreme steps
to
counter this process, which would inevitable make the situation worse);
but
what we don't see is the majority who wants to be part of the big
melting
pot-- because that aspect is simply not *news*. The majority's
solidarity with
the Indian nation state is revealed by the present crisis where India's
secular and diverse and democratic culture is aptly revealed in its
handling
of the Kargil crisis. Unfortunately, most of this is visible only on the

Indian media and not on the western media. The western media continues
to
search for pockets of cultures having social evils and provides an
impression
to the westerner at large, that this is India in general.

Why do we need to care about West's impression towards India? Simply
because
their buying power is much much higher, and they can alter the economic
equations and render many of the economic development plans in India
useless.
It is not difficult for an extremist to provide an interview for the BBC
or
CNN about "oppresive" practices, which would move many a heart in the
west and
make them shell out money and support in dollars to help his "cause".
And this
would severly hamper developmental efforts undertaken in India.

And an argument that India needs to hold onto Kashmir just to prevent
its
crumbling, is hence, needless to say, very dangerous. Since it gives an
impression that India is ready to crumble and is holding on together by
only
that much. In fact, when I had made a similar statement in front of a
German
friend of mine, he was of the opinion that if the people want to
separate they
should be given the freedom to separate.

And separations and crumblings of nation states are hardly democratic in

nature. Nobody really conducted a poll among normal citizens in Russia
or say
in Yugoslavia as to what percentage of the people really want to
separate and
why and how do they plan to live peacefully as neighbors later on. The
separatists even though in minority, would simply lobby for support from
ther
bigger powers and bring the whole system into shambles.

Why cannot we conduct a plebiscite on Kashmir now? (1) According to the
UN
resolution, Pakistan should have vacated the parts that it has occupied
before
the plebiscite could be conducted, and this has not happened and (2)
there has
been a huge amount of ethnic clensing of most of the Kashmiri
population,
especially the pandits, and the resulting population (especially in pok)
is
hardly representative of the original population. The Simla and Lahore
aggrements have been made *after* the UN call for plebiscite, which in
effect
is hence a much more contemporary set of modalities for future talks.
Negotiations over Kashmir should hence be confined to these agreements.



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