“ There is nothing new in world except the history you do not know.” – Harry Truman

Arshad argues for unity in diversity

We The Divided

SYED ARSHAD HUSSAIN KASHANI

The strength lies in the unity on principles. Divided we are crippled. that is what has been proven in history all along. It is not the number but the strong will and commitment of the masses and leaders that leaves an indelible mark in history. Kashmir issue surfaced and erupted primarily because of the Muslim majority status of the J&K state. That is the very reason India and Pakistan fought and continue to fight for it since 1947. There are voices from certain quarters that try to give other reasoning for the dispute. They trace Kashmir dispute to 18th or 19th century status or pre Mughal era and so on. These theories have now an academic importance only. If world will try to settle the geographical status on four to five century old records, imagine where it will lead. Those advocating the same may have their own calculations and justification; however it doesn’t look some thing that is going to deliver. Geographical borders are never permanent, but timely and ever changing; history vouches for that. These changes are generally the outcome of power balance rather than any ethnic or cultural or linguistic identity. Despite religious, cultural and linguistic similarity we see Arab world fragmented into mediocre states which do not cooperate with each other. At the same time we can see USA having diverse populace working as a single unit today. USSR came into existence as a single unit out of power balance and fragmented on the same factors as well. We see Koreans divided, Yugoslavia divided, Pakistanis divided, Pakhtuns divided, Arabs divided, Hindus divided and who not. These are the hard facts. Long back we see Bharat was the state which today means around 8-10 independent states.

There are usually two thoughts today focusing on the affairs of the state. One is trying to focus on economical perspective and the other on the nationality that includes culture, language, ethnicity etc. Kashmir is a multiplicity of issues. Earlier it was almost entire Kashmir unanimous in approaching the major issues especially the disputed status. There were divisions then as well, but individuals were normally busy attending their priorities. The public in general was united. Today there is a huge change on the ground as different plans were adopted that left us divided. Today the state is fragmented especially on the political front.

Jammu, Kashmir and Laddakh today don’t represent the real prospects of a single state with all the three regions placed at a big distance from one another. This could happen with precise politics adopted, nourished and worked upon. We created different linguistic zones, Dogri, Kashmiri, Laddakhi etc. out of the same state where the aim primarily seems to be isolating Kashmiris. We are further fragmented; first by creating more districts and then these districts become hostile against each other. Since it is the people from Kashmir region that are politically more active, there we find profound fragmentation. We have mainstream camp divided in Kashmir thus marring the chances of development in this region. We have separatist camp divided in Kashmir thus inviting miseries rather any specific gains. We see people in Kashmir turning hostile to one another on various issues. Even if Islam unites us in the bond of brotherhood, but our own politics has divided us and thrown us apart.

Let’s debate, debate on issues, debate not for the sake of debate and not for wining the debate but for coming to consensus based on logic. That is only way we can seek unity which is the need of the hour.