ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Gautam NavlakhaSubscribe to Gautam Navlakha

Arming the Nation, Disarming the Citizen

the Citizen Gautam Navlakha Neither in parliament nor in the media is there any attempt to question the premises of the defence ministry's geo-strategic assessment on which are based the budget proposals for defence and other departments ostensibly meant for other security operations.

Chrar-e-Sharief-Victory for Hardliners on Both Sides

The government's version of the hunting of Chrar-e-Sharief and the events leading up to it are full of holes, but more important is it that the destruction of the shrine has dealt a blow to the efforts of Kashmiri leaders such as Shabir Shah and Yasin Malik who Have been working courageously to bring the gun under control in Kashmir.

PAKISTAN INDIA RELATIONS-People s Initiative-An Idea Whose Time Has Come

a convention organised by the Pakistan- India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy discussed in New Delhi on February 24/25. Around 200 delegates in roughly equal numbers from the two sides participated. It was the largest such gathering till now. Its wholly non-governmental character and its squarely political agenda clearly distinguished it from all previous exercises.

Politics of Silhouetted Anger

Gautam Navlakha The government has played a prominent role in perpetuating and promoting communal prejudices and differences through its policies and pronouncements on Babri masjid, Kashmir, Pakistan and other issues. An enemy image has been deliberately promoted by blurring the distinctions among Pakistan, the ISI, Muslim fundamentalists and Indian Muslims creating an active sense of insecurity among Muslims and suspicion in the minds of the rest.

Kashmir At the Edge of the Possible

Kashmir: At the Edge of the Possible Gautam Navlakha The emergence of the militant organisation Harkatul Ansar holds the prospect of mindless violence of a kind one sees in Afghanistan, but the blame for this must rest squarely on the government, on its total lack of foresight. The only ray of light in Kashmir has been the manner in which the people were able to force the government to back down on the Hazratbal shrine issue. It is as though in their political mission, the Kashmiri people are beginning to push at the edge of the possible.

Criminal Silence

(student effort). If academics wanted tenure or promotion, it was important that their product should sell well and their customers should report in glowing terms upon it. Adverse comments ("You are rediculously pickie about speting" was my favourite) indicated the direction of "improvements". Grades were rising; 40 per cent in sociology got As. Content was declining; in literature, creative writing was taking over. "I can write poetry". one student explained as she with drew from Shakespeare. "Like you don't have to read tough books, or bother with grammar and all that stuff." In the early 80s I went to teach in China. In some respects that impoverished institute was a world apart from the conspicuous wealth of its American counterpart; in others ers, it had an eerie similarity. Here too, teachers were frightened of their students

Kashmir Time for Rethinking

Gautam Navlakha The capacity of the Indian state to keep off outside intervention in Kashmir remains restricted due to its refusal to accept the participation of the Kashmiri people as essential to a negotiated settlement OUR political elite has a tendency to swing between xeonphilia and xenophobia. This is evident from our response to the US president Bill Clinton's speech at UN General Assembly where he talked of "bloody ethnic, religious and civil wars' ' raging ' 'from Angola to the Caucasus to Kashmir''. Officials and commentators decry this' interference' by US in India's internal affair. Yet until recently Indian establishment bad mounted a sustained campaign internationally around the theme of pan-Islamic fundamentalism and Pakistan's proxy war against India in Kashmir Indian government had hoped that the US will place Pakistan in the list of terrorist states' moved by India's concern about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. The US refusal to do so was taken as a rebuff. And in a cynical display of self- serving patriotism members representing the CPI(M), BJP, Janata Dal andCongress(I) agreed to comprise the team of MPs sent by the government of India to the UN General Assembly to defend India's dismal human right record and claim that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Clearly, while the Indian political elite remains indifferent to the policy of suppression of the Kashmiri people (thus providing a handle to the US) it is outraged by the US criticism of India' s human rights violations! Our mishandling of the problem has narrowed our options to either initiating trilateral talks between the three parties (the governments of India and Pakistan, and Kashmiri representatives from Indian and Pakistani Kashmir) or being forced to do the same under the aegis of the UN security council and/or the US.

More Lessons from Ayodhya

Gautam Navlakha The government's response to the attack on the Sahmat exhibition in Ayodhya last month, and its subsequent actions comprise an incisive comment on its move to separate religion from politics.

KASHMIR- India Turns Clock Back

The decision to impose army rule in Kashmir, in effect if not formally, represents a tragic turn of policy, as much for India as for the people of Kashmir. Step by step the government has been moving in precisely the direction which the BJP and the Hindu chauvinists have been urging it to take.

Bharat s Kashmir War

Gautam Navlakha In the last two years a lot has been written on Kashmir But arguments on all sides have been more in the nature of assertions rather than informed reasoning. Just as most Indians instinctively recoil at the very suggestion of Kashmir's secession, among those who uphold the right of self determination, Kashmir's separation is an article of faith. A principle, however, does not have a priori application. More importantly each time a demand for separation is made it reflects on the character of the polity from which separation is sought. This paper attempts to clarify the Kashmir imbroglio by investigating its genesis in the context of the Indian state's responses.

India s Kashmir War

It is the Indian government which has provided a handful of secessionist militants in Kashmir with a mass base. Jagmohan's return to Jammu as governor signalled the unleashing of state repression on a massive scale The government's tendency to treat mass demonstrations as the handiwork of Pakistani agents and use indiscriminate force against the people has alienated the Kashmiri public from India and pushed them into the arms of militants. 7b make matters worse Jagmohan's identification with the BJP in the popular perception and his pronounced anti-Muslim measures are widening the gulf between Hindus and Muslims in the state.

A Show of Hindu Power

Gautam Navlakha The religious conference organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad at the Kumbh Mela has demanded the destruction of the 15th century Babri Masjid and the construction of a Rama temple on its site. The implications of this and other demands raised at the conference stretch far beyond the Babri Masjid issue which is, after all, only a thin disguise for the aggressive assertion of the 'Hindu Nation' concept.

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