Prior to elaborating on the matter of Kashmir, let’s visualize how the strategy to divide and execute actually works, with reference to the most recent disheartening cases from 2018–19. The state of Nagaland suffered from one of the worst monsoon seasons during July–October in 2018, which received negligible attention from the rest of the country (including its North Eastern neighbours). I’ve heard people comment “What is Nagaland?”. Not as in ‘Where’ but ‘What’. Questions like these validate the argument of this article through which I wish to convey to my readers ‘the division amongst Indians’ in a gradually dying democracy.
To strengthen the argument, let’s focus on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 issue (that I wrote about earlier this year). An overwhelming majority of the Assamese people took to the streets across the country because CAB hurt the sentiments of the people. But it did not receive the necessary support from the rest of the country. This is the effect of the growing number of disinterested and passive citizens in a dying democracy. Very few from the ‘other’ states voiced their concerns as the state of Assam was seemingly isolated in its fight to save democracy.
Regardless, elections arrived, and everyone forgot about CAB (including the Assamese who took to the streets). The same set of motivated Assamese people who chanted “this is a raging fire, and it shall rage on” became dedicated to chanting “Modi Regime, Once Again!”. It was dumbfounding for someone like me, who took to the Parliament street multiple times, opposing the CAB. I am, to date, unable to grasp the rationality of such a diametric contradiction.
Moving on to the floods in Assam (yes, the ones occurring every year), the most recent one in July 2019 was particularly devastating, but a generalized response from the majority of the rest of India is quoted in the following remark: “It happens every year so why bother?”. The fact that citizens of the country raise the question ‘Why care?’ with regards to the suffering of other citizens validates my argument highlighting the strategic division and isolation of different regions within India.
This substitution of the word ‘us’ with ‘they’ is exactly what was envisioned by the fascists dictating from the capital. Unfortunately, a large section of the readers of this article will question my ideology to be ‘leftist’ or my political allegiance to be with the Congress whereas I’m no more than a man with ‘centrist’ ideology who lacks the criminal qualifications to have allegiance with any political party.
I’ll start with the blatant hypocrisy regarding our opinion of Kashmir and Kashmiris. I have recorded the following statements from people I call friends: “Haven’t they always wanted to be a part of Pakistan?” To quote, the same set of people: “Why aren’t you happy with the integration of Kashmir?” Therein lies the hypocrisy when we specify Kashmiris as ‘they’ instead of ‘us’ simply because much of these hypocrites never considered Kashmiris as Indians but now rejoice at the degraded idea of ‘integration’.
From the comfort of their couch under the watch of their family, a vast majority of these hypocrites don’t even know what the word ‘integration’ actually means. The least of their concerns is what the word implies to the affected Kashmiris. Some of the people I know even entertain the depraved idea of now being able to “marry Kashmiri women”. To them I ask, who are we to decide the fate of an entire populace sitting in our homes unaffected while Kashmiris are enduring the worst of human rights violations? To the readers, are you willing to sacrifice your morals based on the limited understanding of a friend, relative, or colleague?
I believe Kashmiris have already endured a significant amount of losses since the last few decades, sacrifices that have undoubtedly gone in vain. The special status of Article 370 was among a fraction of promises made to the Kashmiris, that being their idea of integration and co-existence with India. A few of my misinformed friends ask “Shouldn’t the law be equal for all citizens?”, to which I put forth “Are you against caste reservations too?”
In the simplest of comparisons, just like caste reservations are a way of affirmative discrimination to empower equality, every state of India that has border conflicts (be it Arunachal Pradesh or Nagaland) has special provisions. Kashmir wasn’t thriving on its special provisions but barely surviving alongside citizens who neither accept Kashmiris as Indians nor entertain the idea of their Independence. These people who talk of equality grossly misunderstand the terms and conditions attached to the idea of unity and integration.
The circumstances created during the isolation of Assam are happening to Kashmir right now. Arousing false nationalist spirits and a misguided sense of patriotism, a bunch of very powerful fascists have isolated Kashmir to such a degree that much of the country is either celebrating this degraded and forceful integration of Kashmir or are silent because they consider it to be the concern of ‘others’. To the former, I warn you that after this fascist regime has brutally massacred the will and freedom of Kashmir, they’ll come after you as your fellow citizens rejoice. To the latter, if there ever was a time to realize the intentions of the government and raise your voice, that time is now.
I fear, Assam will face a similar style of execution headed by these fascists, and so to my fellow Assamese who are absolutely fine with the ongoing situation in Kashmir, be warned that CAB is coming our way and neither Kashmir nor Delhi will stand with us. To all Indians reading this, know that your utter disregard to the crisis of another region will cause every region to crumble under this tyranny. Be warned.