A pragmatic suggestion on Kashmir

IN the article ďAutonomy for KashmirĒ (Dec 13), Mr H.K. Dua has analysed the Kashmir problem in a practical manner. It is now evident that India and Pakistan, more unwilling than willing, cannot possibly find a mutually acceptable solution. The many theoretical solutions being spoken about, like freedom for united Kashmir, accepting LoC as international border, complete Kashmir going either to India and Pakistan etc., all seem to be castles in the air.

To win back our alienated Kashmiri brethren, the least we have to yield, as suggested by the writer, is to grant some autonomy to them and fulfil the promises made so far. Our politicians must realise that we have to handle Kashmir with kid-gloves and just cannot get away with making hollow promises, taking the people for granted. Mere vote bank politics wonít do there.

But there is another apprehension; granting autonomy to one state will give an impetus to latent demand of other states which had been making such demands, thus starting a chain reaction. Are we ready for a federal system of governance?

Lt-Col Bhagwant Singh (retd), Mohali



The article brings into sharp focus the festering wound which has been bandaged without proper treatment and blood oozes out of it whenever there is a stir. The healing touches have been applied from time to time but the cut remains uncured, and the wound still raw and palpitates with pain, sending tremors across the borders time and again.

It is clear that a vast majority of the Kashmiri people wants greater autonomy and Indiaís major concern is to grant the same within the framework of the Indian Constitution. It is a hard fact that a settlement with Pakistan is needed to stop cross-border terrorism and at the same time, a process of winning over the Kashmiris through greater autonomy and packages must continue.

Dr J.S. Anand, Principal, DAV College, Bathinda


The successive governments at the Centre never gave the Kashmir problem a serious thought except for issuing statements and granting concessions to suit short-term goals. There is need to identify core issues as people in Ladakh and Jammu have different aspirations and those needs to be addressed separately. Further, Hurriyat is not the sole representative of the people of Kashmir, though its presence cannot be ignored.

The rulers in Pakistan have vested interest in keeping J & K issue boiling. People-to-people contact will ease tension as is evident in recent confidence-building measures. This does not mean that Kashmir will become non-issue.

With this backdrop sincere efforts should be made to identify the effective pressure groups and hold dialogue with them to grant autonomy for Kashmir without further delay.

Prof G.K.S. Sidhu, SD College, Barnala


Factors other than those mentioned by the writer will also need to be taken into account. Autonomy cannot be denied to a people in principle. However, autonomy many times results in demands for full independence. Hence, safeguards need to be built against such a thing. Particularly, incitement by the neighbours in this regard cannot be ruled out. Therefore, necessary safeguards should be provided.

Dr Subash C. Jain, Gurgaon

Neglected Rafi

Apropos of the news item, ďMohd Rafi neglected in his own villageĒ (Dec 23), Rafi occupied a unique place not only in the world of playback singing but also in the hearts of his numerous fans who literally worshipped him. I wish that the state government takes the initiative to preserve and maintain the house of Rafi as a befitting memorial to a deserving son of Punjab, who shone like a star on the national level for four decades.

Rafiís personal belongings such as his LPs, tabla, harmonium, tanpura as well as various prizes and trophies can be kept in the memorial. This can serve as a source of inspiration to future generations, especially to those youngsters who are blindly following pop music and neglecting their own tradition. If the government takes the initiative and involves the playback singerís family to keep Rafiís memories alive, we will not lose such a versatile singer to the dusty haze of time.

Prompt remedial action is needed to institutionalise Rafiís memories.

Let us take the opportunity on his birthday, today, to pay a tribute to the singer par excellence.

B.D. Sharma, Chandigarh 


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