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What is the possibility of reconciliation in Indian Kashmir?

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Two years ago, India had abolished the special status of Kashmir, after which there was a lot of tension in Kashmir. DW spoke to a number of Kashmiris, many of whom seem to be angry with the Indian government. “Like everything in Kashmir, I am a shadow of my past,” says Shabbir, 58, a sailor in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir. ” Shabbir (name changed), used to own a traditional yellow shikara boat on Dal Lake. The floating market of the lake was Shabbir’s main means of livelihood. This was until the Indian government on 5 August 2019 decided to annex the Indian-administered Kashmir. The semi-autonomous status was not decided to end. Shabbir lost his livelihood as well as his yellow boat when the region lost its special status and a tight security shutdown. Says, “I had no choice but to go to work with a relative on his boat. I have two daughters who want to get married. Government officials say things are getting back to normal, but I don’t see it. There is no hope and no trust. I will never be able to forget what happened.” Kashmir’s ‘segregation’ has been the subject of dispute between two nuclear-armed countries like India and Pakistan, the Muslim-majority region since 1947.

Kashmir has witnessed a spate of insurgency over the past few decades, as well as mass exodus of thousands of Hindus or Kashmiri Pandits, massive militarization and security lockdowns, as well as human rights abuses. Fahad Shah, the founder and editor of The Kashmir Walla, says Kashmiris are isolated. “To understand separation you need to understand how a small Kashmiri child grows up.” Shah says, “During the 1996 elections, I was a little boy and I remember the army coming inside my house and taking the people there to vote. I remember sitting in the courtyard with my mother and asking her not to ruin the house. You see a whole series of escalating actions in Kashmir, you see the attacks and the killings. A young mind in Kashmir gets curated right from the start. You start to learn that normal people don’t do this and that doesn’t happen under normal circumstances.” ‘No question of reconciliation’ Athar Zia, a political anthropologist at the University of Northern Colorado, does not think reconciliation with the Indian government is possible. Talking to DW, she says, “If someone holds a knife to someone’s neck, I don’t think it is a state of reconciliation. I don’t think there is a post-reconciliation world in Kashmir. It’s a state of constant humiliation.” .

If we think that Kashmiri people will forget their wounds and reconcile with them, then it will be a mistake. People don’t forget such wounds.” Jia calls what is happening in Kashmir “slow massacre of people” and “murder of young boys”. She says, “These are war crimes. They, the Indian government, are building these roads of cultural imperialism. Kashmiris do not see any hope for themselves from India, so there is no question of reconciliation.” Attempts at reconciliation A violent insurgency and fear of persecution drove thousands of Kashmiri Hindus from their homes in the early 1990s. According to government figures, around 520 Kashmiri migrants returned to the region after the abrogation of Article 370 Media reports say that the administration in Jammu and Kashmir is expediting work to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Hindus. The author, Rahul Pandita, was 14 when he fled Kashmir with his family. In a conversation with DW, Rahul Pandita says, “I am also pessimistic about reconciliation and the return of Kashmiri Pandits. We talk of reconciliation or the so-called return of Kashmiri Pandits, but we must remember that today’s Kashmir Valley is 10 times more radical than the 1990 Kashmir Valley.

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According to him, “Expecting Kashmiri Pandits to very cautiously leave their better lifestyle in the rest of India or the rest of the world and go back to this radical valley, where there is no guarantee of their safety. Asking them this is atrocities against them.” Is.” Referring to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in South Africa and Rwanda, Rahul Pandita says that the first requirement of any reconciliation is the acceptance of history. The escape took place. Thirty years after the exodus, there was no such confession, not even in private conversations.” Government figures show the number of Kashmiri Hindus killed in the 1990s was 219, but Pandita says at least 700 people were killed in the violence. Pandita also says that not a single guilt has been proved so far. He says, “Unfortunately this government is also not serious about giving any kind of justice to Kashmiri Pandits. It is pointless to expect them to be part of any reconciliation.” Photos: Tulip Garden of Kashmir According to Zia, India’s political structure has “weaponized the pain of these two indigenous communities”. I want to make weapons. Do the Kashmiri Pandits want to come together and live in the towns surrounded by the army, or do they want to come back as people who want to live in the neighborhood with the majority community?” “People have to rise above these conspiracies of the same Machiavellian policies that these governments have implemented,” says Zia.

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