FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Lesson in Diplomacy for India’s Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty

It is detrimental to democracy when the Consul General of India to New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, asserts that in order to facilitate the return of the displaced Pandit community, India will build settlements in Kashmir.

This sort of deleterious rhetoric, when employed by diplomats and policy makers, becomes the authoritative discourse of officialdom.

In the current prevailing “culture of fear,” such rhetoric gives further impetus to forces of bigotry and intolerance. The fear of the “other” must be addressed boldly and courageously by rational people not just in the international community, but in mainstream Indian politics as well.

The private gathering at which Consul General Chakravorty voiced his polarizing “diplomacy” in a forceful manner was held in New York City.

His rhetoric was bolstered by a couple of Bollywood bigwigs. Right-wing Bollywood directors and actors, who regale their rapt listeners with disingenuous claims of reviving “Kashmiriyat” through their craft, fail to historicize the concept.

It would behoove sycophants of the BJP in Bollywood to seek a cure for their ignorance.

In the turbulent decades of militancy and militarization, a large constituency of Kashmiri Muslims, at great risk to their lives, kept alive a cultural and religious identity that these phenomena were not able to do away with.

The display of national chauvinism and brazen breach of trust by the Modi government has destroyed the vestiges of Kashmiriyat that we had sought to protect.

Kashmiryat is the unacceptability of any political solution that does not take the aspirations and demands of the Kashmiri people into consideration.

Kashmiryat is the sanctity of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, which was ratified in 1951 and was an enormous leap toward the process of democratization.

I take great pride in the conviction of my ancestors who climbed every mountain and forded every stream to relay their political message of regional pride, Kashmiri nationalism, and assertion of people’s power.

The cultural identity of the Kashmiri people has been damaged by the erosion of our democratic and autonomous institutions.

We have faced the terrors of insurgency and counter insurgency. And, now we are facing irreparable damage wreaked by authoritarianism.

The nationalist chauvinism, religiosity, and triumphalism after the revocation of the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir in the “New” India, which I don’t recognize, is demoralizing and reprehensible

.

We acceded to India in 1947 when communal frenzy was raging throughout the subcontinent. Our ancestors thought that India represented the ideals of secularism and democracy. They believed that, despite temporary aberrations, Hindus, Muslims, and communities would unite.

And, the faith of our ancestors in the ideals of secularism and democracy led them to believe that there would be rule of law and a democracy where religious persecution would cease.

I was raised to not discriminate between Hindus and Muslims. I was taught that the life of a Hindu was as sacred as that of a Muslim, and any harm to a Hindu should be prevented at the cost of our lives, because our religion taught us that it was our duty to defend and help our neighbor, who may be weak.

Today, I see the government of a democratic country deterring the growth of democracy and depoliticizing the people of one of its federating units.

The younger generation of Kashmiris has been disfigured by the inability of national security apparatuses and nation-states–either secular or theocratic—to recognize their political, socioeconomic and cultural aspirations.This generation of Kashmiris is war-weary, embittered, and despondent.

I would hope that we, Kashmiri Muslims as well as Kashmiri Pandits, crave a world in which social justice, political enfranchisement, cultural pride, and self-realization are the order of the day.

I would hope that instead of exacerbating divides, rational Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits could work together to connect, promote social justice, and care for those affected by humanitarian disasters.

Some of us have always believed that the revival of pluralism could be the antidote to the orthodoxy of ethnocentric politics. It could also have been the antidote to the implosion of religion and government.

More articles by:

Nyla Ali Khan is the author of Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism, Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir, The Life of a Kashmiri Woman, and the editor of The Parchment of Kashmir. Nyla Ali Khan has also served as an guest editor working on articles from the Jammu and Kashmir region for Oxford University Press (New York), helping to identify, commission, and review articles. She can be reached at nylakhan@aol.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 24, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
A Letter From Iowa
Jim Kavanagh
Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Camp by the Lake
Chuck Churchill
The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It?
Robert Hunziker
A Climate Time Bomb With Trump’s Name Inscribed
Andrew Levine
Trump: The King
Jess Franklin
Globalizing the War on Indigenous People: Bolsonaro and Modi
James Graham
From Paris, With Tear Gas…
Rob Urie
Why the Primaries Matter
Dan Bacher
Will the Extinction of Delta Smelt Be Governor Gavin Newsom’s Environmental Legacy?
Ramzy Baroud
In the Name of “Israel’s Security”: Retreating US Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding
Vijay Prashad
What the Right Wing in Latin America Means by Democracy Is Violence
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Biden’s Shameful Foreign Policy Record Extends Well Beyond Iraq
Louis Proyect
Isabel dos Santos and Africa’s Lumpen-Bourgeoisie
Nick Pemberton
AK-46: The Case Against Amy Klobuchar
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Promtheus’ Fire: Climate Change in the Time of Willful Ignorance
Linn Washington Jr.
Waiting for Justice in New Jersey
Ralph Nader
Pelosi’s Choice: Enough for Trump’s Impeachment but not going All Out for Removal
Mike Garrity – Jason Christensen
Don’t Kill 72 Grizzly Bears So Cattle Can Graze on Public Lands
Joseph Natoli
Who’s Speaking?
Kavaljit Singh
The US-China Trade Deal is Mostly Symbolic
Cesar Chelala
The Coronavirus Serious Public Health Threat in China
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Must Remain Vigilant and on Guard Against US Hybrid Warfare
Robert Fantina
Impeachment as a Distraction
Courtney Bourgoin
What We Lose When We Lose Wildlife
Mark Ashwill
Why Constructive Criticism of the US is Not Anti-American
Daniel Warner
Charlie Chaplin and Truly Modern Times
Manuel Perez-Rocha
How NAFTA 2.0 Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico
Dean Baker
What the Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace With Productivity
Mel Gurtov
India’s Failed Democracy
Thomas Knapp
US v. Sineneng-Smith: Does Immigration Law Trump Free Speech?
Winslow Myers
Turning Point: The new documentary “Coup 53”
Jeff Mackler
U.S. vs. Iran: Which Side are You On?
Sam Pizzigati
Braggadocio in the White House, Carcinogens in Our Neighborhoods
Christopher Brauchli
The Company Trump Keeps
Julian Vigo
Why Student Debt is a Human Rights Issue
Ramzy Baroud
These Chains Will Be Broken
Chris Wright
A Modest Proposal for Socialist Revolution
Thomas Barker
The Slow Death of European Social Democracy: How Corbynism Bucked the Trend
Nicky Reid
It’s Time to Bring the War Home Again
Michelle Valadez
Amy Klobuchar isn’t Green
David Swanson
CNN Poll: Sanders Is The Most Electable
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Dire Need for “Creative Extremists”—MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Jill Richardson
‘Little Women’ and the American Attitude Toward Poverty
David Yearsley
Watching Star Wars in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail