Kashmir echoes

It is a bit late, but this has to be addressed: Barack Obama’s abominable views on the Kashmir issue.

“Kashmir in particular is an interesting situation where that is obviously a potential tar pit diplomatically.”

This is not a goddamn zoo that you find it innerestin’. Keep your day job and try diplomacy within your country. And if a special envoy is needed, we will ask. You cannot send one. This is not Iraq or Afghanistan, okay?

Here is the so-called argument he would make to us poor idiots:

To the Indians:

“You guys are on the brink of being an economic superpower, why do you want to keep on messing with this?’

Messing with this? Kashmir is in India and we, including the Kashmiris, are dealing with it, with great difficulty and a lot of heartburn. Being an economic superpower only makes it mandatory to share this with everyone who is still a part of India.

To the Pakistanis:

“Look at India and what they are doing, why do you want to keep being bogged down with this particularly at a time when the biggest threat now is coming from the Afghan border?’’’

Yeah, like hell. Today’s headline read: ‘US airstrike kills 40 Afghans at wedding’. These were civilians, not the Taliban. And the Taliban is what your country helped buffer.

Why is Obama trying to play the two countries against each other?

He added:

“I think there is a moment where potentially we could get their attention. It won’t be easy, but it’s important.’’

You got our attention all right, but it is not important for you. Not important. There are only three parties here – India, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

The USA always does this – enters the picture, plays one against the other and then tries to act peace-maker.

And all these Indo-American and Pakistani-American organisations should just shut up and enjoy their expat status and demand more rights for themselves in that country instead of dashing off letters to the US administration to save groups of people within our borders.

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Today, Kashmiris were to march to the Jamia Masjid to pay tribute to Jammu martyrs who were killed by rioters on this day in 1947.

A day ahead, there was an undeclared curfew. I do understand that the police force has to consider the possibility of trouble, but you must announce a curfew. It cannot be undeclared.

The police denied it, but a report quotes a CRPF officer as saying, “People were not allowed to move out of their houses.”

Senior leaders were also arrested.

It is said that the election boycott was to be announced and also the pro-independence intent of the separatists.

It is ridiculous to assume that putting them under house arrest is going to stop people.

The chairman of the All Party Hurriyat Conference separatist group, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was under house arrest said:

“The imposition of curfew to prevent a peaceful protest is proof enough that India does not allow the freedom of expression to anyone except the pro-India groups.”

The latest news says that it is the separatists who have called for calm. Syed Ali Shah Geelani said:

“Let farmers harvest their crop at ease...no examination or marriage should get affected.”

In the past two months, about 40 people have been shot dead by security forces and hundreds injured in protests that have become an embarrassment for the government. (Source: Reuters India)

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Kashmiri poet Rahman Rahi has been awarded the Jnanpith award.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “The award fulfils a very important role in presenting to the world the rich treasure house of writing in the Indian languages.”

Indeed. Isn’t that why people still asked the poet, “Kashmiri people write poetry too?” Mr. PM, before we go on to applaud the human spirit and all that jazz, let us learn to get rid of these stereotypes. And they will persist until you and any government decide not to demonise a people.

Here is a poem of Rahi in translation:


Give up questioning your destiny and hope of eternity,
if you can get hold of a few moments, enjoy them.

The much-trodden city road penetrated the dense woods
just as doubts wormed into the, mantle of my faith.
Opening the eyes exposed my dreams to the evil eye.
Many surging vernal breasts became scorched wilderness.
Take a look around and you see a sizzling fair,
Reckon a thought and a lone crow in the void.
The days gone by I longed to create stars,
I rack my brains now to give myself a name.
All beliefs are like withered greenery on the uplands,
All consciousness is like an infuriated serpent.
All gods are mine own shadows,
All monsters like my animated self.
Halls appear to be furnished with the gibberish of monkeys,
Comb the forests to robe saints.
What kind of steering and whither the shore,
The boat is drifting unguided in the dark.
O danseuse, circle round him disrobed.


  1. FV:

    If Obama is willing to bring the plight of the Kashmiris into the limelight, what's wrong with it? Are we so petulant about external mediation that we don't want a problem to be solved? Why did we accept US mediation in Kargil?

    Come on, what we don't like is him making these statements upfront. We would like them to be discreet and operate behind the scenes. That is all. Our usual hypocritical behaviour as Indians.

  2. I'm still scratching my head over how come USA elects someone whose first name is after Prophet Muhammad's mythical horse on the ascent to Heaven, the middle name the same as the Iraqi dictator, and the last name rhymes with the famous terrorist of Tora Bora!

  3. PS:

    "Why did we accept US mediation in Kargil?"

    The WE is the GOI. I speak as an Indian citizen, and I think at least some will agree with me on this.

    I am surprised you talk about not wanting mediation as "we don't want a problem to be solved". Come now, we have seen that Camp David handshake and its superficial intent.

    Obama, and other US leaders, tend to assume it is their given right to interfere. I don't accept him referring to the crucial issues as "messing". Whether his words are upfront or discreet would be the same for me.
    - - -

    They haven't yet elected someone who looks like the man in the New Yorker cover...and he will be expected to play it down/nullify it as much as possible. Wait and watch.

  4. FV:

    Point taken about We and the GOI. But it is the GOI that decides the Indian position, not We. And did We protest about Kargil ceasefire? Perhaps not,because it was in the favour of the GoI.

    What's wrong if the US can nudge India and Pakistan into finding a solution for Kashmir? Is our(as in WE) ego bigger than peace and solace for the Kashmiris? Nah.

  5. PS:

    Not ego, but self-esteem. The US does not have a history of bringing about long-term peace. The Kashmir issue is far too complicated for even the two countries. You mean to say after all these years all we need is a nudge?

    Yes, I am cynical...


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