SHOCK AND AWE IN PARADISE…

Social media is abuzz about the developments in Jammu and Kashmir. From serious political comment to flippant jokes, the news breaking over the future of the once geographical entity called the State of Jammu and Kashmir has created ‘shock and awe’ – I daresay, more awe than shock. Shocked as everyone is, people across the national and international spectrum cannot but admire the guts of the political executive of the Republic of India for taking steps which were till today, the equivalent of assured political hara-kiri. The timing has also been perfect. Riding the wave of pro-incumbency, this big-bang decision has been a responsible gamble. I say this because the government has a full five-year term to stabilise the situation and claim its fame in the annals of Indian history for addressing a vexed problem that defied resolution for over seven decades.

Without crystal-gazing or going into historical, political or legal discourse, I propose to outline a few striking features of this bold move from the perspective of a citizen. The polity of India returned a government to power with a thumping majority. Of what use is a thumping majority if big decisions are not taken? There is no need for any majority if we are happy to cruise along with toothless coalitions, mindless consensus and frustrating status quo. Not this time. Firstly, the status quo, the alteration of which was even a taboo in discussion has not just been disturbed but completely re-engineered. If this was a crying need for national cohesion, then the popular mandate has been forcefully utilised. We, the people, have given our representatives this mandate.

Secondly, the timing has been responsible. If there has been any miscalculation, the government has a full five years to press the ‘reset’ button. If there has not been any, it still has a full five years to consolidate and bring normalcy back to the troubled region – people who swear by the ideals of their beloved, lost Kashmiriyat will rejoice at the chance that this provides to restore the Paradise on Earth. The homeless will hope to return. The jobless will aspire to earn a living without resorting to the gun. Children will perhaps outlive their mothers if peace returns. We, the people, must expect no less.

Thirdly, the preparation has been worthy of unqualified commendation. Not only has security of citizens been ensured, the surprise element has been stunning. Despite warnings from several quarters about the disastrous fallout of drastic political changes in Jammu and Kashmir, not a drop of blood has been shed – this by itself is a superlative achievement. It is not a miracle by any stretch of imagination. It was a result outstanding preparation to deal with any blow-back, no matter what. This included deft political signalling and excellent strategic communication – adequate clarity that something serious was afoot but ambiguous of what exactly was brewing. Definitely sound strategy. We, the people, must believe in those we have entrusted the responsibility of governance.

Fourthly, there has been a demonstrated will and ability to find a solution to such a vexed problem. So far, open source discussion revolved around abrogation of Article 370 but not much of what was the alternative in its place. The current formulation has pulled the carpet from beneath the feet of those who never envisioned anything beyond the status quo. What after abrogation of Article 370? The proposed solution is not a shot in the dark. It is proof that adequate thought and strategising has gone into this move. It is a solution – only time will tell whether it is the best solution. That a plan has been thought out beforehand is by itself reassuring. We, the people, must hope that a lasting solution is found for peace to return to the region.

Finally, we will do well to remember that nobody will solve our problems. No United Nations, no superpower, no divine intervention. We have to be the architects of our own destiny. In the words of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, “Jodi tor dak shune keu naa ashey, tobey ekla cholo re” – If nobody heeds your call, walk alone. We, the people, have the power and confidence to walk alone.

May the apples blossom, may the birds chirp in the Chinars, may tourist-filled shikaras glide silently through the serene waters of the Dal Lake and may holidaying in Paradise become a reality once again. We, the people, must harbour this hope in our hearts.   

32 Replies to “SHOCK AND AWE IN PARADISE…”

  1. Totally agree with the views. I hope the bold decision taken by the government, pays off and Kashmir emerges as a true jewel of the Indian crown

  2. Very well written Sir. “Of what use is a thumping majority, if big decisions are not taken? ” Aptly puts all things in the right perspective.

  3. Early days! Keeping fingers crossed!

    Let us see how it plays out. This will go to the Supreme Court and possibly , ICJ.

  4. Dear Admiral. Very well written. Very happy that the Govt has taken such a bold decision and the strategy was awesome. Waiting to see how things are going to unfold in Kashmir in coming weeks. Hoping for the best.

  5. Nicely articulated sir. Whilst earlier also, the parties had brute majority to take such tough n supposedly politically incorrect decision, the present government has taken the bull by horns so as to say… if all goes well in the near n foreseeable future we would see a drastic reallocation of financial resources to various ministries, I think.
    It’s always a pleasure to go through the megaphone…

  6. Abrogation of Article 370 is a well thought of move by Govt. Hope it will correct the historical blunder.
    A nicely analysed article sir.

  7. Abrogation of Article 370 is a well thought of move by Govt. Hope it will correct the historical blunder.
    A nicely analysed article sir.

  8. Incisive analysis and very well summarized Dasu. Bold step and good timings by NaMo government ! He has truly walked the talk…
    And yes destiny of a Nation is written by it’s own people. Amen

  9. Dear Dasu, very well articulated. You are right. We all are the Stakeholders. We have selected this Govt. They are bold because we have emboldened them with the requisite strength as a Majority. We must continue to strengthen them by supporting them.
    The Narrative needed a change since long. We were always defensive and Pakistan, the Aggressor, the Creator of this situation and the Perpetrator of evil there, was always on the offensive. We must now take the Narrative to the other side of the LoC. It’s time we all got together as a Nation and starting asking for the rest of our Kashmir, the POK.
    The game must stay in their half now. We have sealed our Goal Posts. The only Goal Posts where Goals need to be scored now are across the LoC right on the long forgotten International Border, or even beyond. It’s important to keep some No Man’s Land as a Buffer beyond your own line. Thanks for the intellectual stimulation. Regards
    Gurpal Sangha

    1. Only PM Modi could do that. Master stroke, well timed and executed with precision. Expect more… Next should be Uniform civil code, logical conclusion to Babri Masjid issue, unemployment and many more. . We are with u PM

  10. Sir, couldn’t agree with you more. The boldness, timing and execution of this daring move are worthy of unabashed commendation. Whilst ‘Father Time’ will be the final judge, it is every Indian’s fervent hope and prayer, that, in the times to come, there will be reason enough for an Indian ‘Milton’ to pen down……Paradise Regained

  11. Sir
    The long pending action required for J &K has finally been taken aptly as written with a perfect timing. Even internationally the timing has been excellent with Britain embroiled in the Brexit issues and change of PM, USA with the shootings, China with Hong Kong, the Middle East with Iran and Pak in financial doldrums as such.

  12. Beautiful narration Sir. We must be proud of our Government to take this long pending decision with
    detailed strategic planning and masterful execution. Now that we have taken the plunge, we need to ensure peace and harmony returns to the Paradise.

  13. Usual clarity of thoughts put across. It’s a bold step surgically executed. The remaining period of this term becomes crucial. Much of work to do now for all to reset the path to the ‘ heaven on earth’

  14. Very well written, Admiral Dasgupta. Yes, it is now and in the days to come, as to how the Government at centre handles the situation to settle the issue once and for all. I am sure the political experts have a well thought out plans to execute. Best

  15. Sir
    Insightful analysis.
    A bold step that shows the self belief and courage of the government as also of New India.
    Sure the countrymen will support the government in handling challenged that may emerge in its implementation .
    This is a typical khudee ko kar buland itna ……moment
    Jai Hind

  16. It certainly is a historical decision which has been beautifully implemented. The timing, preparation, method of execution and the alternative to scrapping Art 370 itself highlights that it has been well thought out. Need to now consolidate and repulse any counter attack (legal). Sir as usual, the article elucidates the vexed issue in a very simple and comprehensive manner.

  17. As always, very well written. The Govt of the day has rightly been given credit for the boldest move to remove a sociopolitical thorn that seemed impossible to extract.
    Yes, only time will tell what course corrections are to be to ensure Kashmiris are mentally merged with the mainstream India. I am sure with four more years in hand the Govt will do that well. 👌👌👌👍

  18. Hi well written. However I thought you might also write a few words about the cons raising out of it , if at all there could be any

  19. Well said Admiral. This is a watershed moment. You are absolutely right- history has proved that the destiny of a nation is written by its people and no one else

  20. Nicely summarised Sir…. A bold and (visibly) planned decision which should alleviate the suffering of two groups directly affected by the situation – the soldiers and the Kashmiris…
    Waiting for the Paradise to be regained…

  21. Biswajit..u hv hit it on the head..
    Needs nerves of steel to do this..If 370 hasnt augured well, why not try without it?..Y is Im the dim and OIC worried and angry about our internal matters..

  22. Very well articulated Admiral. A bold move by the Govt…well played as well.
    If the security situation remains in check….no blood shed….or mass movement…we have a winner at hand.
    Wait and watch time…..

  23. Excellent piece sir. Bold and courageous move indeed. Let us hope that this radical step does not fall foul of the courts because the naysayers can be expected to take legal recourse. In the meantime, challenging times lie ahead in the valley.

  24. It’s a bold and a well thought out gamble. It’s premature to say how it will pan out. But it’s a brave step certainly .,

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