Friday, January 2, 2009

Kashmir Election, 2008

This in response to a post about J&K Election by a Kashmiri at the blog named Indian Muslims

High voter turnout does not mean that the common Kashmiri approves of Indian rule or that he does not have a separate set of feelings, it just means that he wants, while India is ruling, let there be a good rule. And then we can proceed to discuss the root meaning of the term "Democratic Governance".

"Can anyone honestly believe public sentiment has changed so dramatically in a matter of months?"

That sentence could easily have been:
"Can anyone honestly believe public sentiment has changed so dramatically in a matter of months? So what's the point of elections when we know what they want?"

Maybe that was the reasoning of separatists' call for boycott. And like everyone else they too do not care about what the UN thinks.

So the question remains: After that public show of anger by Kashmiris, why did India proceed with the election. What was it that the people running and managing these elections knew that the people in media did not know and did not report. What did the people who voted know?

No election. Governors rule. Frustrated with the Kashmiri protests India sends in some more troops. More people die. Terrorist Attacks. More die. More protests. Every one in a loop. Some years later a not so great election, Omar, some years older and not "young" anymore, becomes the CM and we get to read this post(not actually a post about J&K poll but) about "Kashmir polls" with almost its every line unchanged. And you read and write the same comments. What a waste of life and time!

So maybe everyone involved just decided to do something about it and not go through the hoops again. I think common kashmiris, most of whom were not dragged to the polling booth, deserve to be commended even if they voted only for good governance. India did a fine job at holding the election, but the government should not go into too much of a self congratulatory mode. Instead the government and all the parties involved should see this as an opportunity for peace, solution and reconciliation.

In the end, at least, it could well mean the end of "gun culture".

"Wherever a government has come to power through some form of popular consent, fraudulent or not, and maintain at least an appearance of constitutional legality, it is impossible to produce a guerrilla outbreak because all the possibilities of a civic struggle have not been exhausted."

- lines of Che Guevara, a figure seen as a hero by almost every armed or unarmed rebel on the planet, even Kashmiris ones love him and quote him - Maqbool Bhat is believed to have been an admirer. These lines help understand the fear of normalcy eating separatist politicians, the simple hopes of common people and the consequences of Indian stupidity of 1987.

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