While the rest of the world is unveiling its bout of sexual harassment controversies, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah has been cooking up a storm. For those of you who are not familiar with the issue, Farooq Abdullah came out saying that he strongly believes that PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) rightfully belongs to Pakistan. The Indian population was duly shocked. Though, this is not the first time Mr. Abdullah has landed himself in hot water, this statement has set the India and Pakistan rivalry on fire, sparking the following questions:
- Does this mean that Kashmir’s governance is leaning towards Pakistan?
- If a portion of land is occupied by members of a particular nation, does it belong to them or to the nation within which boundaries it remains?
- What is the reaction at India’s Centre to Mr. Abdullah’s statement?
Delving into these questions would require an entire thesis. However, to put things in a nutshell, it sparked panic and discussion across the nation questioning the actual nationality of PoK. Mr. Abdullah basically said that India cannot claim it ‘like inherited property from its father’.
This fire was poked at, yet again, when Farooq Abdullah dared the Centre to hoist the Indian national flag in Lal Chowk, in the heart of Srinagar. This statement came after the Centre stated that they aim to raise the Indian flag in PoK. According to Mr. Farooq, it will be impossible to do so in PoK since it would be just as difficult to do the same in Lal Chowk.
While the nation is rallied in confusion, anger and heat at the heart of this controversy, it is safe to acknowledge that it will be a rough battle towards settling the Kashmir debate. Yes, it hurts our national sentiment to hear these comments, yet it has made me wonder what the people of Kashmir really feel. Is it right to force people to identify as something they may be confused about? This is where, I feel, we lack in politics.
Politics has become such a bad word that people assume that one needs to be forceful and cunning to be a successful politician. Why can’t we make an effort to understand the actual sentiments of the people while easing them into the idea of India being a nation for the free. Though Mr. Abdullah’s comments seem pro-Pakistan, what do we Indians actually feel about the India vs Pakistan situation in Kashmir?