Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju’s statement that the only solution to the Kashmir problem is reunification of India and Pakistan (Dec. 9) is welcome. With the advent of capitalism, the Indian subcontinent became a victim of nefarious imperial designs. The imperialists divided their colonies with the sole aim of establishing their hegemony.
Although much water has flowed under the bridge since 1947, we have people like Justice Katju in India and Pakistan who think in terms of unity and international brotherhood. Many organisations like the Indo-Pakistan Friendship Society are making efforts to bring the two nations together. Kuldip Nayar lights candles on India-Pakistan border on Independence Day every year in the hope that the two countries will unite one day.
Our self-centred politicians will most certainly ignore Justice Katju’s suggestion. India and Pakistan can think of alternatives like forming a Union, along the lines of the European Union, initially with free movement of materials and, later, people. Businessmen can rent spaces first. As mutual trust grows, they can be allowed to buy property. To alleviate the fears of Kashmiri Hindus, Kashmir should be divided into cantons like in Switzerland. Hopefully, future generations will see a union of the subcontinent. Perhaps, again hopefully, Myanmar will become part of the union.
It would have been more appropriate for Justice Katju to suggest reunification of Kashmir. (Even that does not seem plausible.) He could not have been serious when he suggested reunification of India and Pakistan. The need of the hour is attention to moral values, mutual respect and social harmony.
The remedy he has suggested is, in fact, worse than the disease. Although the world has become a global village, the trend is towards fragmentation.
The Soviet Union disintegrated into 17 states. Nearer home, Bangladesh broke off from Pakistan after a civil war.
P.V. Ramana Rao,