Kashmir and Sri Lanka – Why tie the two?

The last few days many have tried to view the Sri Lankan issue through the spectrum of Kashmir issue. Leaving out the frivolous many who see everything in terms of Congress Vs BJP (there are enough people at both end of the spectrum), quite a few whose opinion really matter took strong stands at both end. To name a couple – Kanchan Gupta, B Raman. In fact the two got into a verbal duel where others too jumped in, which was unfortunate.

There are many angles to both issues and so any comparison of the two on twitter would not do justice to any one. In the Kashmir imbroglio, there are only two views – either India is perfect or India is a monster. I would assume, both are not perfectly valid. India, especially the rest of India, has invested a lot in Kashmir, not just in terms of money. Thousands of Indians from every corner of the country has given their lives safeguarding the borders. More are spending their youth, living at the edge both physically and mentally.

The *Aam Aadmi* in Kashmir would point fingers at real human right violation by terrorists (both homegrown and imported), “Armed Forces*, the Kashmir Government, the police. They have a genuine grouse. Not that other Indians do not have similar grouses but they do not have similar support. Very few would be able to support the Kashmir Government which is but a bunch of sycophants living off the State. The country pays a huge price to keep this bunch of sycophants in power. So when Pakistan fishes in troubled waters, they would get a few sympathetic ears. If nothing else works, they will at least take the stand “Pakistan is also a victim of  terrorism.” The (not so) funniest point is that nobody even bothers about Jammu and Ladakh.

At the same time, in Sri Lanka, the complications are even more. The Tamils are not a homogeneous lot. Few decades back there were three identifiable groups – the early Tamil settlers (Hindus), the Tamil muslims and the descendants of recent Tamil migrants (the indentured laborers). The first group did not stand by the third group during the earlier repatriation of this group. In fact the original Tamil settlers were antagonistic to the latter group.  Fratricidal wars between the Tamil groups has totally eliminated the second group – the Tamil muslims. LTTE is the only organisation remaining. The rest have become weak. The strong leaders have all been eliminated mostly by LTTE. LTTE has sided with the SL govt and fought IPKF. It has collaborated with Pakistan and hurt India. Murdered an ex-PM of India.

India has nurtured LTTE in its infancy. Entered into a few pacts with Bhandaranaike, Jayawardene and so on. There has been no consistent policy by India. Tamil politicians have exploited the issue cynically. The innocent majority have suffered the maximum. A mere passing of resolution by the Parliament is not going to help the suffering majority. What is needed is consistent rehabilitation work on the ground. There is no sane voice atleast among the Tamils in India that is talking of measured steps to rehabilitate the remaining Tamils. This is unfortunate..

The one thing that is common to both Kashmir and Sri Lanka is the cynical exploitation by the Political Class in India.

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