Comments by Arundathi Roy have always annoyed the Indian government,her latest one on Kashmir is only an addition to it! I have listened to her and Gautam Navlakha on the issue of "Violence by State". I appreciated their views which strongly opposed the use of violence by the government in many parts of the country and criticised the apathy shown by government towards a large section of its people over the years. But, i start sensing cynicism in their words when they get extreme with their criticism of the Indian government. I start suspecting their belief in democracy. Its ironical, these people speak against the only system which gives them freedom to speak! How can a person speak of peace and secession at a time and still be considered logical?
I ,personally, also do not support the use of violence by state against its own people. But unfortunately, also, find no other way out in situations like Maoist violence, North East India and Kashmir insurgency.The government was left with no choice other than to use force. Use of force leads to mistrust among the people in the government agencies which makes the condition prone to speculation. Speculation and Mistrust lead to misery and loss of human life. This can be brought under control by strong political will and government action. This is a proven fact, we have examples like Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and many parts of North East India. Thus, there are ways out of such situations.
My point is a little different. I feel, we should look at these issues from the point of view of the lessons that they teach to India as a nation. If we look at Naxalism,Maoism,NE insurgency we can see that the root cause of these problems is negligence by the government on the economic front. Our development plans were not comprehensively covering the country and were focused on some parts of the country. We have realised the problem and, hence, find development as a default agenda in the manifesto of all political parties. Although, implementation of the plans is debatable,but,that then becomes a political matter and encourages us to participate in the political process to set our system in order. In any case, the learning is very good. We as a nation have learnt that we cannot develop by focusing on some sections/regions of the society/country. We need to take all the people along with us. I hope,we soon see the implementation also!
Now,let us consider the Kashmir case. The only reason,i find for insurgency in Kashmir is religious. We,as a nation,believe in the concept of secularism(at least by the constitution). If India agrees to secession of Kashmir from the union, what lesson does it teach to our coming generations? I feel that they would be:-
1) India respects the views and aspirations of various communities.
2)Muslims do not consider themselves to be Indians. As and when Muslims get majority status in any state, they will break India.
I will be happy with the first lesson,but,will never like India to learn the second lesson. We have seen it once during Partition in 1947 and are trying to forget it as a nightmare. But, problems like Kashmir forcibly remind us of that time.
These are my personal views and would appreciate your comments on it!