Sanjay Kak (2009)

From Times of India: “Men in Uniform are Kashmir’s Problem

“Those who use the media filter to try to understand what is happening in Kashmir should realize they’re looking at a shadow play. A curtain lies between events and us. What is played out on the screen depends on who manipulates the sources of light.”

“In fact, there is a frightening consistence about the Kashmiri chant for decades: “Hum kya chahte? Azadi!” Protests have begun for all sorts of reasons but they are a manifestation of the simmering anger always close to the surface.”

“It’s a good time to remember that the acquisition of land for the Amarnath yatra was only the spark that set off last (2008) summer’s protests. But the real fuel was widespread resentment about the fact that thousands of acres of agricultural, orchard and forest land is under occupation by the army and paramilitary forces, housing their feared camps and cantonments and vast logistics bases. The Kashmiris’ behaviour then turns out to be underpinned by a fairly straightforward political reason: we don’t need to delve into their fragile ‘psyche’.”

“But this change of guard will not alter the lives of ordinary people. They do not care if the oppressive figure of the soldier wears the uniform of the Indian Army, its paramilitary forces, or is their neighbour in brand new fatigues. Such shallow transformation is not new: people remember the ‘disbanding’ of the dreaded Special Operations Group, which was simply merged into regular police operations; or the highly public way in which the CRPF replaced the BSF in Srinagar, leaving the countryside in the Army’s iron grip.”


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