The morbid memories of Kashmir

THE CYNICAug 23, 2016 | 16:42

The morbid memories of Kashmir

Intellects greater than mine have dissected and analysed what is happening in Kashmir and what has been happening in the Valley.

To them and to any and everybody who cares I have but one humble question - what will come of it - What is the solution? To my simplistic mind there seem only three possible outcomes based on the assumption that neither India nor Pakistan would hand over land to the other - not without a war and that certainly is not an option one should be wishing for.


So in a relative, or subjective, scenario of peace there are these three options:

1. The part of Kashmir under Indian control, not including Jammu and Ladakh, is evicted from the Union of India.

2. The entire, pre-accession, princely state of Jammu and Kashmir becomes an independent country.

3. Things remain as they are.

Anything to do with Kashmir has to do with some powerful and some powerless forces. These are the actual stakeholders, and at the risk of sounding politically very incorrect, the total number of such parties involved in Kashmir are 6, as given below:

A. The Kashmiri Muslim population - on both sides of the LoC

B. The Kashmiri Pandit population - in the Valley and expelled

C. The Hindu dominant and Muslim minority population of Jammu

D. The mixed Buddhist and Muslim population of Ladakh

E. The State of India

F. The State of Pakistan

For any of the three possible options mentioned above, the various parties, A through F have to be on the same page.

If you take option 1 as the way out there would be support of A and F but B, C, D and E would vehemently oppose it.


If you opt for option 2, possibly only A would fully agree to it with some miniscule sections of C and D also agreeing.

B and E would be firmly against while F, just to spite E, may make some initially positive noise but would not want to hand over POK to the new country.

To resolve Kashmir the memory of Kashmir has to be reorganised. 

Under the circumstances option 3, of status quo, is what is the most likely in the foreseeable future... which means nothing will change. From time to time people will die, from time to time there will be a semblance of peace and from time to time a great cry will rise and subside.

The harsh certainty is, that nothing in Kashmir can change since A through F cannot be on the same page at the same time.

In reality, it is not about the land nor is it about the people of that land. It is about memory and memory is a vicious beast that does not let go - the memory of dead dreams; the memory of dead people; the memory of lost homes; the memory of broken families; the memory of ambush; the memory of slighted ego; the memory of lost dignity; the memory of what could have been.


The morbid memories of Kashmir keep mounting and there is no mechanism in sight that can break the cycle. To resolve Kashmir the memory of Kashmir has to be reorganised.

There are too many perpetrators of bad reminiscence in that once beautiful land. And that in itself is the worst kind of memory to close ones eyes to.

One has to wake up to the sadness of its collective memory to even dream of a Kashmir not haunted by the wailing melancholia of irreparable loss.

Last updated: August 23, 2016 | 21:06
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