Was interlocution on Kashmir all thunder, no rain?
The story of much hyped interlocutors on Kashmir will end on October 12, when they will be submitting their final recommendations. It remains to be seen, and only time will tell whether the recommendations will be unanimous or marred by the eccentric behaviour of the individual members.
The blue print of the report is almost out with the chief interlocutor Dilip Padgaonkar in a recent press conference saying that their recommendations will not disrupt the special constitutional status of Kashmir within the Indian Union. ” Our agenda is to seek permanent political settlement within the framework of Indian Constitution,” Padgaonkar said. This means that the recommendations are likely to satisfy a lot less people than we actually believed.
Interlocutors on Kashmir from the day one had no roadmap and for more than eleven months of their formation they have done nothing beyond wielding an imaginary magic wand to get to some sort of inter-regional consensus on the state. Their methodology to asses and compute the sentiments and aspirations of people of Kashmir seem to be a myth. They kept changing postures and their language in every region of the state, wooing tiny stake holders to influence the aspirations of the majority of the state. The controversies and open confrontation among the interlocutors is the indicator of their futility in arriving at any just and genuine settlement of Kashmir problem.
They lack authority, was the perception of common Kashmiri from the day one; but that they have truly no authority and responsibility regarding implementation of their own recommendations is articulated in the words of the chief interlocutor, when he said, “We are only to make recommendations. It is up to mainstream as well as off-stream politicians to arrive at a solution acceptable to people.”
In a recent article in Times of India Padgaonkar after highlighting the sufferings and day to day ordeal of the people during last two decades recommended a political settlement for Kashmir, with its special status intact and empowerment of all the three regions of the state. But this by no means is enough. Padgaonkar should bear in his mind that the Kashmir issue is beyond his newly propounded theory of ‘Insaniyat’, ‘insaf’ and ‘izzat’. Instead, it reflects the genuine aspirations of millions of people, torn between the two independent countries with extreme hostility towards each other and thus requires a unique settlement .