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When things fall apart

india Updated: Aug 15, 2008 21:33 IST

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Barkha Dutt in A hardwired dispute (Third Eye, August 9), has rightly pointed out that if the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir is not defused in time, and the insidious relationship between politics and religion not effectively ruptured, the consequences would be tragic. Unfortunately, what our adversary across the border could not achieve in the last 60 years, we seem to have done in less than six weeks. The political games should stop and national interest must be prevented from serving as political fodder.

RK Malhotra, Delhi

II

Barkha Dutt has rightly described the movement in Jammu as the manifestation of anger against the Kashmiri Muslim hegemony as well as the Kashmir-centric attitude of the state and central government. Hindu majority Jammu has not been witness to any retaliation against the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, or repeated attacks against innocent people and soft targets over the past 19 years. The protests are clearly aimed at denying Hindu subjects their legitimate rights. It is a pity that civil society and the media have failed to counter the pan-Islamist propaganda in Kashmir.

Lalit Ambardar, Delhi

III

It is only the political parties and their vested interests that have pushed Jammu and Kashmir into such chaos. Our politicians have drawn an invisible line of suspicion and hatred, which is fast moving in the direction of communal polarisation with both the communities expressing their anger at being pushed to the margins. Whatever be the BJP’s frustration in J&K, or the Congress’ fears of the impending electoral outcome, they have displayed extreme incompetence in handling what is essentially a non-issue to the extent where it is now threatening to dismember the state itself.

Ved Guliani, Hissar

IV

History has taught us that if timely interventions are not made, issues related to the state of J&K have the potential to assume dangerous proportions. The current Amarnath Shrine Board land row is the manifestation of a deeper simmering discontent, especially in Jammu. Jammu is a strategically-located city, but somehow its importance has been dwarfed by the Kashmir dispute. It’s time to undo this anomaly by giving Jammu a greater role and voice in the affairs of J&K, else we may soon have another separatist movement to deal with.

Chintan Puri, Faridabad

Fit for life

Sumana Ramanan in Getting a gold is really nice… (Chain Reaction, August13) has asked a relevant question. Sport not only provides us physical strength and vigour but inculcates the spirit of sportsmanship, punctuality and obedience in us. The writer is right in saying that, if taken seriously, a regular dose of sporting activity can make us a ‘happier and fitter’ nation.

Namita Sengar, Delhi

An infantile republic

India celebrated its 62nd Independence Day, but all the pomp and show pales into insignificance, given the fact that we have been unable to find any meaningful solution to stop the violence in Jammu and Kashmir. It is pathetic to learn that even after 61 years of being a ‘mature’ nation, we are still fumbling immaturely when faced with a land dispute. What’s sadder is that we continue to fall prey to communal pressures and are easily misguided by politicians who only wish to further their divisive agendas. But why just blame them? Why can’t the people of this mature democratic Republic learn to cultivate the habit of meaningful and peaceful protest?

Prashant Malaiyya, Vellore

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