Speaking at the release of “Kashmir as I see it – From within and afar”, a book written by Ashok Dhar at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) here, Ramesh said he was happy that finally a politician had been appointed as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
“Only a politician would do justice to the governor’s job in Kashmir, as he would be able to understand the people’s problems, unlike bureaucrats appointed as governors,” he said.
The Congress leader remarked that in his book, Dhar, a former director of ORF Kolkata, had further complicated the complex Kashmir problem by going back to the Mughal era.
Speaking on the occasion, Dhar said, Kashmir’s alienation started on October 6, 1586, when Akbar seized the sovereignty of Kashmir by cheating.
The author said Kashmir’s problems could be and will be solved only by Kashmiris and underlined the need for maintaining the spirit of ‘Kashmiriyat’ and making the new generation understand ‘Kashmiriyat’.
Moderating the event, ORF Chairman Sunjoy Joshi said while there was Kashmiriyat on the one side of the debate on J&K, on the other was the phrase “waquv tsatun”, which meant a low-grade carpet that pulled everyone down to its level.
“Kalhana’s Rajatarangini shows that even 12th century Kashmir was rife with this deep and toxic mistrust between the rulers and the ruled, and between the rulers themselves. A mistrust that has became a part and parcel of the troubled history of the land and lives on into the present,” said Joshi.
He said Dhar’s book was steeped not in the “nostalgia” of a lost homeland but in the pain and conflict of the dying and fading Kashmiriyat.
Manoj Joshi, ORF fellow and commentator, said the Kashmir issue and violence would continue to linger till the political interests of the governments in New Delhi and Islamabad get aligned in one direction.
The book has been published by Rupa Publications, with a foreword by former Foreign Secretary Krishnan Srinivasan.