Monday, November 01, 2010

“Let my people go.” Fate of Kashmir.

I’m no Old Testament fan. Leonard Cohen, Woody Allen, The Marx Brothers, Mel Brooks, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, MC Escher, George Gershwin, Dorothy Parker, Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and the clueless Rabbis in the hilarious Rabbi jokes are some of the Jewish folk I admire. So, why am I quoting from Exodus 7:26 wherein God orders Moses to tell Pharaoh to “let my people go”? Syed Ali Shah Geelani as Moses, the Indian State with its occupation forces in Kashmir as the Pharaoh and India’s multiple vicissitudes in the valley as the ten plagues let loose on Egypt by God somehow seem to be the perfect metaphors for the current scenario. You cannot keep an entire tribe captive against its wishes indefinitely. The Pharaoh learned it the hard way. So has the Indian State. It has tried the carrot (Special Status within the Indian Union) and stick (armed occupation) approach. Now it’s probably the time to follow in the Pharaoh’s wise footsteps and bid adios to the crisis. Give the Kashmir Valley the “azadi” it is clamouring for with a clearly agreed proviso that once it leaves the Indian Union, both of them shall have nothing whatsoever to do with each other: no military and financial aid, for instance. A clean break is most likely the best solution.