The missing word

It is simply dishonest to write about the problems in Kashmir without mentioning terrorism

Sandeep called it woolly. That is just one of the problems with Radha Kumar’s article. The woolly part is the comparison with the open borders with the European Union.

Many in India rightly fear security threats to the bus service, and the potential for its misuse. Yet the likelihood that the bus service will improve security is greater than the likelihood of its misuse. An increasing number of countries — and groups of countries, such as the European Union and the Organisation of African States — have found that soft borders can help reduce violence and pave the way for lasting peace. [IE emphasis added]

Conveniently, Kumar does not care to explain how those two likelihoods can be compared. Citing the European example does not help — no one is pursuing a proxy-war in the European Union. Besides, the Schengen treaty that softened Europe’s borders gained momentum only after the external enemy — the Soviet Union — had been defeated. Africa is even worse — the practicality of imposing reasonable border controls apart, soft borders have done nothing to prevent tribal and military incursions, incessant guerilla warfare and even genocide. And it is dishonesty that stands out in the choice of words

This, of course, means that there will be spoilers. The armed and criminal groups that benefit from Jammu and Kashmir’s isolation have already threatened to disrupt the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service. Worse still, they have begun to assassinate the civic representatives elected in the recent municipal polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Ten elected representatives have already been killed; this has led to an equal number resigning in panic, and publishing “apologies” to the militant groups for having stood for election. [IE emphasis added]

The appropriate word to describe the causing of fear in the minds of people and the carrying out of political assassinations is terrorism. Calling it anything else is dishonest. And dishonesty cannot be the basis of a sustained peace.

4 thoughts on “The missing word”

  1. There is no doubt that it is terrorism but its just a tool in the larger gameplan.dont just look at it as a bomb explosion or an assassination of political leaders.if they succeed in putting the fear into the elected representatives then they are winning.its a war! lets fight with our nuerons rather than with our tears & screaming. thats the only way to do it. First step -protection of the elected reps. rest of the steps on the way.

  2. Hey Jagadish:
    I thought it was The Hindu which broke the news of the Bofors scandal, Chitra Subramanian and N. Ram. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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