July 29, 2009

Notes from our Conversation with Yusuf Tarigami

Filed under: Conversation,J&K,National Security,Politics — loggers @ 1:24 pm

About Yusuf Tarigami:

-3rd time MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) from Kulgam

-Head honcho, CPI-M (Communist Party of India- Marxist)

-Won his election seat by a 200-vote margin


-We addressed Tarigami by saying “a-salaam walakum.” This prompted his comments on how people’s mannerisms carry religious connotations, pointing out that even popular ringtones are increasingly religious in nature. He stated that religion, a force meant to unite people, has become a dividing force between the people of Kashmir.

– T drew similarities between quit Kashmir (National Conference movement) and Quit India (Indian National Congress movement) in 1947, in that they both had a plural agenda, and an ideological common ground.

– Biggest challenge before the region is saving the fragile unity from further disintegration. For this to happen, discontentment needs to be recognized (“Not communalism, but ‘majoritarianism’ in India, is the biggest issue”)

– According to T, Kashmiris have remained sensitive about their identity, due to their sense of insecurity, and their sense of belonging

– Militancy is now being seen as counterproductive by Kashmiris, and this is an opportunity to fix the trust deficit that exists between the various stakeholders involved in the Kashmir issue. “Kashmir cannot forever be on a hostile map”.

– Peace in Kashmir can only come after peace between India and Pakistan. However, T said that “Pakistani claim [on Kashmir] is contrary to our ethos and the emergence of Pakistan is a harsh reality”

– Democratizing existing political and administrative structures is important. The panchayati raj system for instance, is a bit autocratic.

– District development authorities that exist in Leh and Kargil may be models for replication in Kashmir and Jammu.

– Politics is a reflection of economics. Political and economic development can be simultaneous. However, economic development needs to be sensitive to the Kashmiri eco system, and agriculture based industries “can be worked out”

– On water resource division, T said that “We [in Kasmir] are not getting our dues”.


1 Comment »

  1. Guys, although they say that every writing is autobiographical. Well, it reads like a summary of a monologue.

    Comment by Aviad — August 5, 2009 @ 7:07 am | Reply

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