Partitions of the mind
- Former Ranji player held, Sreesanth and others to be produced in court today
- Li Keqiang pitches for more Chinese investments as he backs trade balance
- All eyes on Narendra Modi as BJP set to discuss strategy for Lok Sabha polls
- SC agrees to hear PIL to stay IPL matches due to spot-fixing
- Monstrous tornado rips through US city of Oklahoma, 90 dead
Some partitions are territorial. Some are expressed in a polarised politics. But some act slowly, almost insidiously, to trap people in identities and create gulfs that become unbridgeable. A whole range of events over the last week, from the dangerous to the ridiculous, reminded us once again how the concept of secular citizenship is almost dead in India. This has not yet manifested itself in the kind of explosive communal politics this country has experienced in the past. But we would be living in a fool's paradise if we do not recognise the poison identity politics represents.
The events surrounding the controversy over the Amarnath Shrine are a cause of alarm for a number of reasons. First, they brought out the depth of alienation and resentment that still exists in the Valley, such that every action becomes overloaded with sinister meaning. An administrative matter acquired volatile proportions. Second, the nature of the protests in the Valley suggests a new generation of protest. The participants were young and the protests appeared to be spontaneous. But they were not merely directed against the state or India. But some appeared to use the language of "infidel", at once communally entrenching the issue, and uniting all kinds of factions in Kashmir. The VHP's violent response equally polarised the issue, and now things have reached such a pass that it will be very difficult to avoid this divisive trap.
In one stroke, these agitations have also nullified the little modest gains that had accrued as a result of the representative process in Kashmir. There has been no serious political initiative from the Indian government. The prime minister decided not to use whatever political capital he had, to follow through on his promising start on Kashmir. There are no leaders with any stature that can pick up the slack, and arguably no capable mediating figures left in national politics. Make no mistake about it: the crisis in Kashmir will only deepen, and its effect on politics in the rest of India ought not to be underestimated.
- 'Sophisticated' Indian cyberattacks targeted Pak military sites: Report
- Talkative Li quoted Weber, Hegel, Jobs, said PM is large-hearted
- Bihar food corp ends up with chaff as rice worth Rs 535 cr vanishes from mills
- In 7 lucrative minutes on May 9, Sreesanth bowled 6 balls, bookie made Rs 2.5 cr
- India and China ask border envoys to work on more steps
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held