kashmir

Better Read my Open Letter

Two things occurred. A major in the Indian army (Gaurav Arya) wrote an open letter to the deceased Hizbul commander Burhan Wani. In it, he displayed machismo that made me remember Veeru, my childhood bully companion who would mock me with things like “Dekh yaar Saif, tu yahaan aayega to pitega to zaroor. Faltu mein tension kyun le ra hai, ghar mein baith, TV dekh. Mere ko bhi bura lagta hai tujhe dekh ke.” In response, Wasim Khan (a film director I think) wrote a fitting reply that served to stabilize my rage at Arya’s letter and after reading Wasim’s letter I could breathe a little easier. I have thought about it now for two days. The thing is, this silsila of open letters and responses is good for us to see a piece of the action and also to a degree to wake us up out of our stupor but it doesn’t move anything forward. The patriots take on side and the rationalists take another. But the truth is, while I feel no sympathy for Major Arya, I do think that an army major who is willing to engage in dialogue even if that dialogue is basically a threat, is actually trying to think through his actions. He is not yet a zombie. He is a human being still. We cannot demonize a member of our own army, or else all of us a hypocrites. Note that Wasim, while enraged did not abuse Arya. He was controlled in his response. He gave him the dignity of a human being. And if behoves all of us to do the same. I felt in his letter and maybe this is pathological optimism, that somehow Arya wanted the carnage to end. He wanted it to end a certain way, on his terms. He wanted to emerge as the unquestionable and heroic winner but he did want the whole thing to end. That was the point of the letter. To end the thing. What might be very nice if Wasim and Arya were to sit down face to face and have it out in words and maybe a few fists too. A good fist-fight never hurt anyone too badly unless they were on the other side of Mike Tyson. And for the rest of us to see what comes out of that. What understanding can they arrive at, if any. And if they cannot arrive at an understanding, then why expect the government of any country to be able to do what we ourselves cannot do. The government is after all, us. The open letter can be read here: http://www.mensxp.com/…/31469-this-indian-army-major-s-open… and Wasim’s response here: http://www.thequint.com/…/this-kashmiris-response-to-an-arm…

And what I believe (based on the name, it could be someone else!) is Major Arya’s blog can be read here where we see with our own eyes that he tries to think things through and has some reasonably good theories to offer about the conflict: http://majorgauravarya.blogspot.co.uk/