Huffington post (November 14, 2012) reveals that Kashmir’s beauty has not diminished and sinisterly paints uprising since 1989 as a "conflict" to mislead well informed international community who do know Kashmiri’s anti-India feeling and its yearning for independence. Though Kashmir has been busy fighting Indian army with bricks and stones right from the day Kashmir was occupied on the fateful morning of October 26, 1947, the newspaper points out “that the area had been considered dangerous to foreigners since six western tourists were kidnapped in 1995 allegedly by an “Islamist group”. The claim disproved by two investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark who in their book ´The Meadow: Kashmir 1995´ claim the Westerners were murdered by militants who worked for the Indian army.
Indian media circles highlighting Kashmir’s stage-managed council elections, as claimed, 90% turnover a percentage unprecedented even in India’s capital Delhi since the day it got independence from British. It is argued, that if India expects international community to accept this as a factual political reality then what holds India to allow a promised plebiscite under UN supervision; a confident India should win it hands-down!
Omar Abdullah, the imposed Chief Minister stated that the aforementioned elections are held only to run the day to day government affairs and it cannot be considered as an alternative for a permanent political solution. He further stated that India and Pakistan have to find a solution to this long standing international problem.
Rohit Pradhan of Indian Express (November 15, 2012) brazenly creates an impression that Kashmir as conquered land suitable to the psyche of Indian fundamentalist lot using brute force for "improved security" is fair and square. The death of a Kashmiri meriting no mention and the gains acquired, at the cost of Kashmiris misery, are irreversible and not to be compromised. The "gains" referred to by Pradhan create a choked atmosphere to keep people away from the roads helping ambitious India to tell the world that "Kashmir is peaceful".
Pradhan talks of tourism, better economic conditions, unemployment and other populist measures, to ensure that the pains inflicted and the scars of two generations wiped out are simply brushed under the carpet to tell the world that Kashmiris are docile, enduring, forbearing and susceptible to harsh methods of treatment. He further says that "Indian growth story" will remain a challenge for the fragile security situation to limitations on land ownership under article 370. The removal of article 370 will open the floodgates, as Pradhan believes, for a few million simply to walk into Kashmir facilitating a plebiscite in favour of India which explains the reason of a re-discovered pilgrimage in tens of thousands that till few years back had pilgrim rush confined to less than a hundred Sadhus (the nomadic religious creed).
Indian intelligence at work disrupting a rare normal life engineering sectarian clashes to project these as law and order situation warranting imposition of curfews to stop two stone-pelting pay-roll mobs as a security measure. And as reported, (Indian Express: Nov 30 2012) no one was hurt, religious and political leaders house arrested and no prayers allowed in the mosques as a precautionary measure. This is done to manipulate and justify routine curfews that have become part of a life-style in Kashmir. People can count curfew-less days on their fingertips for the last three decades.
Indo-Pak parleys are on and peace initiatives discussed on regular intervals include MFN (Most Favored Nation) status, a much talked about "aman ki asha" (hope of peace); surprisingly both sticking to their respective stand reiterate that Kashmir, without spelling out the modus operandi, needs a solution. Trade between the countries (largely on Indian terms) has gone up reasonably; cultural invasion a reality and intended sports activities on the cards, again on Indian terms, thought to boost up the low Pakistani morale, more importantly Indian bollywood providing entertainment to culturally starved, bullied and scared Pakistan. Many, as argued, have reservations and doubt ´seemingly good intentions´ especially when the emboldened hidden wish of undoing the partition of 1947 has fervently resurfaced.
While the exchange of official goodwill visits strengthened by charismatic Kapoor belle to cement nostalgic cleavages; the skirmishes across the cease-fire line are reported by Indian army almost on daily basis and Pakistan, perhaps, stealing the popular phrase "Don’t mention the war" from John Cleese hilarious BBCTV series Fawlty Towers to brush aside Indian claims as comical outbursts, largely helps it to stay cool.
Press TV reported (November 21, 2012) discovery of new unidentified graves in Lolab area of Kashmir, situated close to the cease-fire line, terming it as an ugly hidden truth and a horrible story. According to the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir, "there are more than 60,000 graves dotting the Kashmir landscape and every grave has a story - a tragic story - to tell". The report refuting army claim the graves carrying foreign militants but the graveyards investigated carried the bodies of mowed down Kashmiri youth in fake encounters between 1990 and 2009.
Kashmiris guided by their faith and tradition believe that suicide opens the door for hell in the hereafter and in spite of the tyranny and extermination faced, suicide used for military purposes is an unknown phenomenon. A sizable majority of men, women and children in Kashmir are suffering from trauma, psychological disorders and mental illnesses. A lone fighter Dr Mushtaq Margoob, a psychiatrist, of downtown Srinagar city is faced with a stupendous task to bear the brunt of thousands of these patients in the absence of availability of right medicines and facilities.
All processions banned for the last thirty three years for fear of turning these into anti-India processions a matter of concern for occupying forces and strangely enough, India believes that International community is daftly ignorant about the ground reality. By resorting to these harsh and inhuman out of date tactics, military junta believes it can continue unabated to put a lid on such a state of affairs.
An attempt made by a Kashmiri youth (First Post, November 23, 2012) to self-immolate shows the degree of extreme frustration and Indian military regime behaving like an Ostrich believes that suppression, continuous curfews, browbeating with the show of military might and gagging leadership will break the will of people yearning for eventual cherished independence of their motherland.