Another 5th of February will be marked with speeches commemorating thousands of lives lost in a bid to exercise their right of self-determination in Indian occupied Kashmir. The bloodshed will be recalled and calls for solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters will be made from all kinds of national podiums.
Perhaps it is also another year we refuse to learn a key lesson from India’s brutal treatment of innocent Kashmiris: using violence to silence the voice of dissent only sustains the conflict. Hence, living another Kashmir day without taking away any lesson from the conflict for our national calamities.
There are in fact countless researches reiterating that no good has ever come out of human rights violations, abuse of criminal laws, media blackout, political violence and employment of other instruments of state repression to stifle strife. These counterproductive strategies only fan the flames grave resentment and help the dissidents in gaining sympathizers.
For those who have little faith in theories, the ground realities in certain parts of the world don’t also, prove anything otherwise!
Let’s take a glimpse at the Kashmir Conflict…
For 72 years, the Indian government has been painting its hands red with the blood of tens of thousands of Kashmiris and continues to occupy the Muslim majority state against the will of the residents despite being the world’s largest “democracy.”
Contrary of Delhi’s expectations, every new episode of state violence in Kashmir bolsters the spirit of the movement and so, makes the point even clearer that dialogue and not weapons are the means to settle this dispute.
The Case of Palestine…
The case of Palestine isn’t any different. The legacy of European colonialism has not only deprived the Palestinians of their land but also left them at the mercy of Israelis who have only increased the number of casualties in the region through the use of excessive force.
But the recurring assaults carried out by heavily armed IDF on unarmed Palestinians will never conclude the decades-long confrontation, only the recognition of Palestine as a separate state and dividing the land justly will!
And Of Course, Syria…
Syria is another theater of violence telling a similar story.
True, that the vested interests of various extra-regional actors have exacerbated the conflict but had Bashar al-Assad not used violent repressive strategies against the rebels in the first place, other state or non-state actors would have found it extremely difficult to exploit the upheaval and engage in the region with weapons that resulted in widespread bloodshed.
To bring the whole conversation to a point, the only entities benefiting from violent state repression are the big arms corporations. They continue to reap dividends at the expense of the lives of innocent people who didn’t start the conflict and who certainly have no control over its conclusion.
Thus, as a nation we need to stop looking away from the truth and see any movement for what it is worth to ensure that we do not indulge in the futile practice of using violence to suppress dissent; for what seems like a short-term victory today may become a chronic headache in the long run!