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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,
        My apologies for the delay.
        You are right when you say that the communications seem to be
rife with
confusion. Here is another attempt to sort the same out.
1] If you are not talking about Kargil alone and are instead talking
about
the overview of the whole Kashmir situation, about the ultimate aim that

might be achieved one day far in the future, then it is the freedom and
welfare of the Kashmiri people [all Kashmiri people inside our borders].
How
it is to be achieved, what THEY want, how may they be able to express it

openly and peacefully, these are the questions that stump me. While you
were
talking about the question in its entirety, I was talking about my
opinion
on what is happening now and what seems to be the most probable scenario
in
the decade to come. I do not claim any sort of expertise on the
question.
Whatever information I have, is culled from different sources, some
secondary and some primary. Believe me, it is scant information indeed
when
one considers the enormity of the question.
2] Self - Determination? Yes, the idea needs to be considered. It is
neither
right nor practical to force anybody to become a part of one's country
and
polity. It is not the idea of self-determination that is the problem,
Chirag, it is the logistics of applying this idea to practical
realities.
How does one ensure that each individual has her/his say? That the
opinion
expressed is a considered and rational one, not one formed as a result
of
propaganda by either side? That the expression of the same opinion is
not
influenced by strong arm tactics and threats? From where I stand, it
seems
that just providing the environment where a free expression of intent is

possible is going to be tough enough. Those who have migrated from
Kashmir
need to feel safe enough to return; those who have spent the formative
years
of their lives hearing about the atrocities of GoI need an incentive to
look
beyond the barrel of their guns; those who have slipped across the
border
need to be pushed out along with their assortment of weapons; those who
are
still in Kashmir need a sense of normalcy that only the absence of
daily,
frequent violence and resumption of economic activities brings. The list
is
close to endless and like I said before, it is these questions that
stump
me. If you have any ideas or suggestions, do share them.
        These two were the only two points that you raised. The rest
were comments
on my letter. Let me deal with them now.
1] You wrote:
"You had said that the end we are fighting for can only be Bharat Maata
--
neither the freedom nor welfare of Kashmiris, nor those of the rest of
the
Indians."
Chirag, please reread my words. I have NEVER said that the end can only
be
Bharat Maata. My exact words were that in Kargil the soldiers 'are
fighting
for the safety and security of other Indians and for the sake of the
territorial integrity of Bharat Maata'. Then I went on to say that they
are
'not fighting for the freedoms of other Indians.' I still say that
Chirag.
The army does not fight for the civic freedoms of the citizens, it is
not
its job.
2] You wrote:
"I don't find a place for blind patriotism"
Let me quote your words in the letter before this one:
"Yes, blind patriotism may have its place in a military environment -
-."
This statement was the only reason I included the words 'a point with
which
you concur'. Incidentally, out of sheer curiosity, how is 'blind
patriotism'
defined? I picked up this phrase from Vamsi's letter [that too in an
attempt
to be sarcastic] and have found myself talking about it since then. So,
albeit a little late in the day, what is 'blind patriotism'? If, as your

letter seems to suggest, it is the same thing as nationalism, just say
so.
If it is anything else, do let me know.
3] You wrote:
"Frankly, I am a little confused. I am a little unsure of how this
position
fits with the position you have taken on Kashmir. There you seemed to be

saying that it's okay if the fighting isn't being done in the people's
interests but for the glory of Bharat Maata, the deified nation."
Chirag, the confusion stems from the assumptions you seem to have made
about
what I said. Again, read my words once more. I do not know what I seemed
to
be saying, but what I definitely DID NOT say is the idea you have
attributed
to me. Could you explain how you reached the conclusion that you
obviously
did? Then, maybe I could help.
4] You wrote:
"Well, here again, I don't think this quite fits with your position on
Kashmir. And war is very different from normal civil life."
Chirag, what position according to you do I have on Kashmir? Here, I am
confused. Frankly, Chirag, what seems [just an assumption] to be the
problem
here is that because I wrote that I do not consider that we are fighting
for
the freedoms of Kashmiris in Kargil, you made a couple of assumptions
regarding my views on the whole issue. These assumptions, though never
clearly stated and only implied, seem to cover a vast gamut of subjects.

Unless I know what thoughts and positions have been arbitrarily
attributed
to me, I fear we will keep on wandering around confused. Like this
comment
about war being different from civil life, or the one about such
situations
not arising daily. Well, either you are indulging in a bit of rhetoric
or I
seem to have missed the letter where I apparently wrote things to the
contrary. Kindly help me out here, Chirag. I feel like I am shadow
boxing.
        If it would help any, let me state a few things. At the point at
which you
joined this debate, Vamsi and I were talking about the soldiers in
Kargil.
So, the comments made were focussed on that particular issue and event.
Secondly, do try to distinguish between words actually written and words

that 'seem' to be the logical corollary to them. Maybe then we can sort
this
whole thing out.
        One last thing Chirag, I only acknowledged that using rhetoric
necessitates
unnecessary explanations. Emotions and rhetoric, while not the most
precise
tools one may command to explain a point, have still not been dismissed
as
futile.
        I hope that I have been able to help out somewhat with your
confusion. I am
still confused as to where most of these assumptions regarding my views
are
coming from. Hoping to have the same cleared up,

               Regards,

                      Ritu



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