What did we get in the year 1947? Of course, Independence from two hundred years long colonial rule and the trauma of partition. But what else? An issue which does not seem to end forever that is the conflict regarding Kashmir.

What is this conflict? Let’s go back a little. The conflict started back in 1947 just with the partition of India. There were 650 princely states which could either be the part of India or of Pakistan (however few of them also wanted to be independent). Maharaja Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of Muslim majority Kashmir was unable to decide whether to go with India or Pakistan, therefore, he was neutral so far till October 1947 when Pakistan sent in their tribesmen. Hari Singh appealed to the Indian government for military assistance and fled to India. He signed the Instrument of Accession, ceding Kashmir to India on October 26. Since then the Kashmir conflict is unsolved. India and Pakistan had numerous wars over Kashmir: in 1947-48, Indo Pakistan war of 1965, Kargil War of 1999. Despite these, there have been infinite cases of firings and bombings. Over the recent years, the tension is only increased. And the recent Ramzan ceasefire depicts the similar intensity of the situation in Kashmir. The ceasefire is described as the “non-initiation of combat operations” rather than a complete ceasefire.

It’s been over 70 years and there seems no end to this war. This is a delicate issue in the country since independence which is why Kashmir has been majorly prone to two things: politics at both national and international level and the military activities. While mentioning about politics, one should never forget that status of Kashmir can strongly affect the elections results. In this regard, let’s throw some light over the current scenario of politics in Kashmir. The alliance between BJP and PDP broke down. BJP’s Ram Madhav said, “It had become untenable to continue with PDP government”. And therefore the breakup is usually considered to be done in the national interest. But, has it something to do with 2019 elections? Or is it actual conflict in their ideologies?

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THE BLAME GAME

According to a report by Hindustan Times dated June 13, 2018:

Civilian deaths in Jammu and Kashmir rose by a staggering 167% last year compared to 2015, official data released on Wednesday showed, underpinning the high price paid by the state while battling a surge in insurgency in recent years.

The land which is also known as the heaven of the earth is now not more than an army cantonment. From women to children, all have prone to violence. Firing at the border is a daily schedule in the state. Abduction and offence against common masses are common. Not just national, but the conflict has become an international headline too. But who is to be blamed? Is blaming one party justified? Obviously not. The power holders were both the parties. Despite the different ideologies (BJP believes in nationalist politics and believes in hard politics when it comes to let’s say terrorism and on the contrary PDP clearly believes in soft politics) parties decided a coalition government back in 2015. They were aware of this difference then as well. They rather probably agreed for a coalition knowing how they will have to cope. In such a case, it would be unjustified to say that BJP broke alliance in the national interest as the first question that arises is if there was such a great problem between the two parties then what was the BJP doing for three years? Why did it wake up after such a long time especially when we have Lok Sabha elections lined up next year? If PDP is to be blamed, BJP is equally responsible for the condition of Kashmir or vice-versa. Since it was a government of BOTH and not just a single party. Also, one should not forget that the break-up of the alliance is a major disappointment for the people who voted to make the situation better but the back off of the government in a way presented both the parties’ disability to handle Kashmir. This will make people lose hope in the political parties.

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IS THIS A STRATEGY?

Never should we forget that 2019 is a significant year as it schedules the Lok Sabha elections. Where on one hand it can be argued that the alliance between BJP and PDP was just an attempt to acquire power in the valley as both the parties already knew about their conflicting ideologies and methodology, on the other hand, it can also be argued that the breakup of this alliance may be a strategy or preparation of BJP for the next year’s elections. Since the Modi Magic has somewhere started losing its impact and the worsening condition of Kashmir would have added more power to the voice of opposition. And also Obviously, people have been questioning government’s ability to curb the violence in Kashmir and to establish peace (considering the constant violation of ceasefire resulting in the growing repulsion towards military and officials of central government). This would, for sure would have affected BJP in the 2019 elections and decrease their probability of coming to power. Therefore, it can be argued that probably BJP stepped back, making it a safe play for them, putting up the blame entirely on PDP.

Whether it is done in the national interest or is a strategy, we can only contemplate upon. But the fact remains the increasing tension in Kashmir and therefore such cases of falling government and instability in the same would only make it worse.

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