The volatility of Kashmir conflict again stares the world in its face like never before. The recent attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama suddenly made war hawks out of common men. In Indian mainland, everybody seems to be crying hoarse about beginning a war against Pakistan as the Indian media has been able to ratchet up the emotions of common masses to a degree, where they seem to settle for nothing less than a direct military confrontation.
By: Anjum Husain
The volatility of Kashmir conflict again stares the world in its face like never before. The recent attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama suddenly made war hawks out of common men. In Indian mainland, everybody seems to be crying hoarse about beginning a war against Pakistan as the Indian media has been able to ratchet up the emotions of common masses to a degree, where they seem to settle for nothing less than a direct military confrontation. It’s a tragic scenario that in the aftermath of this suicide attack, very few sensible voices advocating to tread with caution and employ some rationale have easily lost in the thick air of cries for war. In today’s world, many generations are witness to the destruction wrought by wars in our side of the globe. The stories and scenes of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen etc. are before us. Needless to say that in a war, there are no winners. War leaves behind a legacy of plain losers. We don’t gain a thing by launching wars, we just lose everything. Those who advocate for war are either totally naïve and ignorant about the repercussions of war between two nuclear armed countries or they ride on emotions fanned by the media hell bent on winning the TRP (Target Rating Point) for their media houses. Today’s capitalist and materialism driven society makes these media overlook the cost of war in the 21st century. How easily the people of India have been made to buy the war rhetoric! The essential job of the fourth pillar of democracy was to dig deeper and ask questions. Their fundamental job is to ask questions with an intention to bring forth the truth. The society will provide answers. Playing with people’s sensibilities and making them buy answers belittles their worth as messengers.
What, contrarily, has been done in the current situation is that those “who raised questions and fears, have been silenced”. They have been dubbed as anti-nationals for simply taking a stand that terrorism has no national, communal or religious denomination. Since when have wars provided a solution? The two neighboring countries have come face to face militarily a couple of times in the recent past (notably in 1965 and 1971). Who won what and who didn’t lose precious lives?
Here in Kashmir, blowing war trumpet leads to absolute panic and frustration. And it has been done to us many a time in the past. This time around, it looks all the more frightening because from the man in the street to the retired generals and to the man holding the top most post in the parliament, all have been heard calling out for an all-out confrontation. The word set into currency is revenge. Does taking revenge make humans happy? How does one term killing more human lives in response to lives already lost, revenge! It’s lost on common sense that if talks fail, how would battling it out militarily succeed in settling the score? America’s military intervention in Afghanistan for 17 long years saw the force they were up against growing stronger by the day. They finally ended up talking to each other. Another intervention in Syria proved futile for the American governments. The result is there for all of us to see. Diplomatic parlays, on the other hand have always borne fruits for both sides. Efforts must be made to bring people closer to each other. The region will flourish. Brainstorming by sensible people from both sides will eventually zero in on a viable solution to the Kashmir imbroglio. In the upcoming cricket world cup, the teams of these two countries must play each other with absolute love and respect and thus send positive vibes across. Why Navjot Singh Siddhu, Sunil Gavaskar and the likes insisted on playing is because they know the value of people to people contacts. They have spent time with players and people from other countries and hence know the value of these bridges.
Building up war rhetoric and spreading enmity and hostility serves the purpose of politicians only. If they have nothing in their kitty to present to people to strengthen their grip on power for few more years, they would resort to creating issues to deceive the gullible masses into extending them the electoral gains. The media needs to delve deeper into such issues and be realistic and humane in doing justice to their responsibilities because at the end of the day, the world will never forget the peace messengers and it will never forgive the warmongers.
Author hails from Kashmir is a social activist and Columnist at Wilayat Times