[WSMDiscuss] The Kashmir Puzzle

Sukla Sen sukla.sen at gmail.com
Fri Jun 25 12:24:11 CEST 2021

"(M)ore baffling than surprising."
That's perhaps the aptest way to describe the sudden development.

<<Not the one to undergo a sudden change of heart, particularly on issues
close to his personal ideological beliefs - Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) among
one of the core issues - Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to call an
all-party was more baffling than surprising.

What has led to this sudden change of heart? Interestingly, it has happened
sooner than expected. It was not long ago that the invitees to the meeting
were vilified and incarcerated. So, is the invite an admission that the
Modi government's RSS driven agenda on J&K - post the partial abrogation of
Article 370 of the Constitution and annulling Article 35A - has failed?

There are two clear takeaways from the over three-hour meeting, reflecting
on the Centre's thinking about J&K. Firstly, the delimitation of assembly
constituencies is to be followed by elections with no time frame in sight.
Thus, return to statehood seems farfetched, and reversal on Article 370 and
35A seems improbable.

Second, suddenly, the National Conference (NC) patriarch Farooq Abdullah
and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti figured in Modi's
scheme of things. These are the same leaders who, alongside Congress, were
blamed by the hosts of the June 24, 2021, all-party meeting for having
misgoverned, annihilated and looted Kashmir. The two leaders of the Kashmir
centric parties, more so Ms Mufti, were targeted for allegedly kowtowing to
the Pakistan line.>>

(Excerpted from: <

No, let's not delude ourselves.
There's no readymade answer - as to why?
At least, as yet.

But, one thing is certain, the regime doesn't have any heart (just look at
the way the national lockdown was clamped with less than four hours notice
so as to keep the migrant workers locked up at their places of work so that
they're readily available to their employers as and when the lockdown
eases); hence, it just can't have any "change of heart".
It doesn't appear to have much brains either, even if - it must be
conceded, it has an abundance of low cunning.
So, a genuine revised estimate - on its own, cannot be the driver.

Since the virtual scrapping of the Article 370, the regime is almost
single-mindedly pursuing - or trying to pursue, the Israeli model of
(incrementally) settling colonisers in the Valley, pushing out the
traditional inhabitants. (Ref.: <https://youtu.be/dhj0EHLhbh8>.)
In the process, has turned it into a virtual prison house.
In fact, lately, the same line has, apparently, been (just) initiated in
the (only other) overwhelmingly Muslim (tiny) Union Territory of
Lakshadweep as well.
So, the "change of heart" just doesn't wash.

Then, why???

Maybe the change in regime in Washington.
Maybe the shift in weather - even if rather small, in the highest court of
the land, where petitions regarding the (virtual) scrapping of the Article
370 are pending.
Maybe both in combination.
Maybe also something else.
Imminent change in Afghanistan?

To be sure, it's going to make a dent on 56" image of the Leader and he
just can't be unaware of it.
All in all, it, however, looks more like a "trap" - in partial recognition
of the failure of the ongoing venture to attain the aimed for goals; hence,
a somewhat circuitious way.

Time will tell.

Not to mistake, people are still languishing in jail and there's, as yet,
no talk of going back to the status quo ante - quite bafflingly, that's not
even included in the "demands".
And these "leaders", perhaps, represent only a fraction of the Valley

Also look up: <https://fb.watch/6lhk_xPeUt/>, <
and, for a, rather detailed, backgrounder: <
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