War Hysteria And The Kashmir Dispute


Be it conventional or non-conventional, the war in both terms is a great catastrophe for the humanity. When we turn the annals of human history great wars have been fought to colonize and conquer the territories but all ended up with the massive humanitarian crisis. The first and second world war may have redrawn the world map and christened new world powers but they remained black spots on the face of humanity. To satisfy the conscious of few dictators millions of innocent people were killed. The war is a kind of fire the more you play with it the more it will burn your values and principles which synchronize our universal concept of humanity. Once the Europe was epicenter of war madness, the entire continent entangled and engulfed in this fire for years and paid a huge human and economical price for it. However they learnt from their past mistakes and today their peace has become priceless as compared to other parts of the world where anarchy and violence have ceased the very sanctity of life.

The Middle East and South Asia are the two unfortunate parts of the world which unfortunately are still caught up in the cacophony of political instability, deadly violence and there is every possibility that it may catapult anytime into a major military clash of all the times. The recent skirmishes at the LOC between the two nuclear-armed countries India and Pakistan in the disputed territory of Kashmir is one such fault line in the Asia which can trigger anytime a full-fledged war if the hawks from both the sides are not stopped and ignored.  The escalation at the border after the Uri attack and the current uprising in Kashmir are deeply rooted in the chequered political history of the sub-continent. But among all the outstanding issues the major bone of contention between India and Pakistan has always been an unresolved dispute of Kashmir, and so far both the countries have fought three wars since their independence in 1947 over the control of Kashmir.

In this epic clash of titans the main victim are the poor Kashmir’s of both the sides of border, who after the series of broken promises and the denial of choice and justice since 1947 have become the most vulnerable and politically prosecuted population in the south Asia. The frenzied mob of both the countries charged with the ultra-nationalism antics sitting in the news studios leaves no chance and opportunity to push the nuclear-armed neighbors for war. Actually, they have no idea and experience of war, for them including few retired military generals; it’s just a prime time infotainment. Their warranting at every crisis is not going to help the people and the country but certainly they are helping TV channels to score their best TRP business.

The alleged surgical strike on the terror launching pads at the LOC after the deadly Uri attack was on the cards but the way it’s celebrated to score the political points is disgusting and dangerous in the entire region. It was really sickening to see how the so-called fourth pillar of the state was beating the war trumpets 24/7 from their cozy studios as the war has begun. First I don’t believe today media is the fourth pillar of state because most of the media houses are owned by the corporate mafia who have no interest and are never bothered about the other day to day issues which matter the common people.  Their media machines can be hired for services to spread lies, the more you pay them the more effective and potent your propaganda campaign will be. The journalists and the prime time anchors have become agents and stage actors who act on the written script to woe and then hoodwink the audience on petty issues. For them, Kashmir dispute which is a humanitarian issue also is like a real estate business the more noise they create instead of news the more they mint money on the new template of nationalism. Rhetoric, propaganda, demonize and delegitimize the aspirations of people are their prime time duty as they can’t speak to power.

However,  a good  and prominent section of people in both the countries are speaking up against the warmongering and human rights violation in the Kashmir, they are highlighting the dangers of spreading hate through keyboard activism and the real cost of war and the loss of countless lives. I don’t believe that any sane voice in the world will appreciate the brutalities committed against the Kashmiri people by the Indian state but the way national media has unleashed a vicious companion against the hopeless, hapless and helpless people they have become the most misrepresentative and misinterpret people in the sub-continent.  To counter this war hysteria and anti-Kashmir campaign we also need to make an effort to make the general population in both the countries aware of these tactics by writing and speaking back to the power.  We must find allies who share the same burden in the world to support our cause, which I believe shouldn’t be that hard since it’s a humanitarian issue in nature. Kashmir issue today has become so important to solve for peace and stability in the region otherwise millions of innocent people will die in the immanent nuclear apocalypse.

In Kashmir since the armed resistance began the Indian state is at war with the people especially whenever any public uprising erupts there, to crush this sentiment  the humanity is shamed by killing, maiming and pelleting children, women and elder. By putting entire population under siege and use all lethal or non-lethal weapons to force people for political surrender will only catalyst animosity and violence. For the dignity and honor, the aspirations of people in the valley should be respected and discussed not bludgeoned and misinformed by the war media networks busy in choreographing war theatres in their studios. For them, Kashmir is always a war story, a threat to the national security and twisting facts is considered to be harmful for the nation is what they portray in their talk shows. Instead of criticizing the government policies in Kashmir these media machines should drive public opinion against the inhuman acts, humanitarian crisis, and aware people about the importance for a peaceful settlement of the dispute but unfortunately they fan jingoism and war hysteria. The media and the nationalist hawks have unofficially declared war against Kashmiri’s which makes them vulnerable and insecure in both home as well as outside the state.

In the present state of deadlock, the two neighboring countries should sit and talk instead of indulging in war gimmicks so that to find a  permanent peaceful settlement of the Kashmir dispute because it’s not only in the interest of Indo-Pak but broadly a big relief to the 1.45 billion people living in the South Asian region. By all calculations and deliberations, the war hysteria stoked in both the countries is not only unfortunate but highly irresponsible reflected by the fact that some Indian anchors vocally demanded their Prime Minister to launch a military attack on Pakistan without knowing its repercussions. The biggest collateral damage in any war adventure will be the poor people in both sides of the border, who unfortunately matter only in the times of election and not in the policy making.

Thus it is in the interest of entire South Asian to stop playing with the fire, and ignore war hawks who are trying hard to stir up the negative emotions of the masses so that to divert the world attention from the Kashmir dispute which needs immediate political solution. The more we delay the more destabilize will be region as well Kashmir which the hawks in both the sides of border envisage. It would be more prudent to concentrate on raising awareness of the destructive nuclear war and the importance of Kashmir dispute among the people in both the countries so that we live amicably and not with the animosity.

Mir Liyaqat Nazir is born and brought up in Kashmir; he is currently pursuing his PhD at the S.P. Pune University. He frequently writes on the ongoing culture of conflict in various daily and weekly news papers and also blogs at the mlnazirblogspot.com. The author can be reached out at [email protected]

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