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KASHMIR: A CASE FOR SELF DETERMINATION OR SECESSION?

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Hellfire, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    30 September 2017, Hellfire.

    What is a nation? Oxford Dictionary has defined it simply as - “A large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory.” A very simple and inclusive definition for a system of very complex interactions indeed.

    Etymologically, the word is the derivative of the Latin word ‘Natio’ meaning birth. So, is it merely a collection of people having similarity in terms of birth in a particular geographical location and/or social value set? Or is it, perhaps, a more complex set of interactions, all variable and independent yet intricately interlinked?

    Ernest Renan (1823-1892) in his lecture What is a Nation? (Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? delivered at Sorbonne on March 11th, 1882), famously noted In our days, a yet greater error is committed: one confounds the idea of race with that of the nation and attributes to ethnographic, or rather linguistic, groups a sovereignty analogous to that of actually existing peoples.” He further went on to attribute the existence of a Nation State to the ‘fusion of populations that comprise them’, arguing that distinction on basis of a religion, language, race or geographical distribution was a futile exercise and hoping that ethnography never have a political application due to the very fact of the intermixing of people over centuries. He noted, A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things which, properly speaking, are really one and the same constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together, the desire to continue to invest in the heritage that we have jointly received.” and went on to note, “The nation, like the individual, is the outcome of a long past of efforts, sacrifices, and devotions. Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory (I mean true glory) is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again. One loves in proportion to the sacrifices that one has committed and the troubles that one has suffered. One loves the house that one has built and that one passes on. The Spartan chant, ‘We are what you were; we will be what you are’, is, in its simplicity, the abridged him of every fatherland.”

    The past week has seen two separate regions of the world embark on a journey of ‘self determination’ and ‘forging a nation’. On 25th September, 2017, the Kurds of Northern Iraq conducted a referendum to decide on their future with Iraq. That an unofficial referendum of 2005 had already made the referendum of 2017 a forgone conclusion (98% voted in favour of an independent Kurdistan free of Baghdad’s control), the exercise is being seen in some quarters as means of negotiating with the Central Government at Baghdad in the aftermath of the defeat of ISIL. The Kurdish Peshmerga forces’ control of the areas vacated by the Iraqi Army in face of the initial ISIL offensives, was an additional dimension to the timing of the conduct of this referendum. A perceived weakening of the central authority in Iraq following the sectarian nature of internal strife continuing till date, may also have played an important part. Whatever be the reasons, the Kurds did vote and voted for an independent Iraq. The results were immediately followed by denunciations from a multitude of world powers and threats from Baghdad to despatch forces to re-establish control over the region, which enjoys a degree of autonomy insofar it’s day to day affairs are concerned.

    [​IMG]
    People march in Erbil in support of Kurdish referendum.

    Meanwhile in Europe, another referendum is being planned by the Catalans to vote over the question of ‘independence’ of Catalonia, an autonomous region in North-Eastern part of the country, from Spain. In 2014, a non-binding referendum was conducted (after the Spanish Constitutional Court had ruled against any such referendum) in which more than 80% of the Catalans had voted for independence. This time, however, Madrid has threatened to take action against those who conduct or participate in the referendum with likelihood of framing of charges of sedition against those found guilty. Additional security forces have been rushed into the region and Madrid is preparing to take all steps necessary to maintain the territorial integrity of Spain. What transpires, is a question for the future to answer.

    The question arises, when does an idea of independence from a recognised sovereign nation gain legitimacy? The mere fact that the world has evolved into a position where the national boundaries are considered sacrosanct, renders any secessionist movement redundant. However, the world also has, by and large, accepted the rights of people of self determination. These two contradictory positions render any referendum or plebiscite a difficult, neigh impossible task to carry out.

    There is no International Law which guarantees the rights of the citizens of a recognised sovereign nation, to secede from the nation. On the contrary, the process of secession from a country, by itself, is a an activity that involves the acceptance of the same by the Government of the nation affected and the international ‘stake holders’, in short - has to be within the ambit of law. The Independence Referendum of South Sudan was a successful activity (in the process of a new nation being formed) as it had the backing of the International Organisations/players thereby rendering the diplomatic and political legitimacy, as also was the result of extensive negotiations whereby the Sudanese government itself consented to the process. On the other hand, the formation of Kosovo as an independent nation, is the perfect example of a nation being formed in the backdrop of ‘Great Powers’ politics. The formation by itself was opposed by the Serbians (the affected nation) and the Russians, while supported by US and it’s European allies and the country itself recognised by over 100 nations as of date. Yet, it is bereft of the legitimacy that South Sudan has, and is not a member of UN.


    [​IMG]
    Kosovars celebrate Independence

    What is self determination? Merriam-Webster has defined it as 1. free choice of one's own acts or states without external compulsion; 2. determination by the people of a territorial unit of their own future political status. If one was to consider these two definitions, and correlate it with what we have covered so far, then in the first case the option for a person/group of people with an alternative view remains to choose a system of their liking. As this may not be possible in an existing geographical area, the realistic option remains for the person/group of people to choose an area of suitable attributes and relocate/migrate to the said area. In the second case, we have covered the sacrosanct nature of National territorial boundaries as being an unwritten law of international relations and also underlined the requirement to be within the ambit of law, hence, is a non-starter in the present context. The second aspect we should now consider is that of Secession. Since, self determination is to be upheld as part of a democratic value system, and has international recognition and legitimacy and we have clearly reached an option for those who seek ‘self determination’ to actually realise their aim, the only odd man out remains the aspect of secession.

    Secession, as per Merriam-Webster, is 1. withdrawal into privacy or solitude :retirement; 2. formal withdrawal from an organization. As mentioned earlier, the act of secession by itself is afoul of established rules and laws and hence, has no legitimacy.

    [​IMG]

    If one was to extrapolate the aforementioned aspects to the question of Jammu & Kashmir, one truly needs to ask if it is self-determination or secession that the ordinary Kashmiri wants?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  2. Guynextdoor

    Guynextdoor Lt. Colonel SENIOR MEMBER

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    @Hellfire there is small sissy country like Italy and there is great country like India. self determination from sissy country makes sense. But great nation- no.

    case in point- if I were in Britain I would ask for independence of Birmingham post brexit (like @BMD is planning to do). But if I were in florida I wouldn't ask for independence because trump became president.
     
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  3. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Besides the three monsters - US, Russia and China; Brazil, Australia, Canada and India are the only four countries which have massive sea & ocean connecting boundaries. Of these four, the first three are in control of European descent people. India is the only country which is out of the clutches of the "white man's burden". There has been an incessant effort since the so called "independence of India" by the agents of the white man - the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to covertly enslave India under it's past oppressors - the cunning British/Europeans and the butcher Mughals, both being plunderers of the same magnitude.

    It is for this reason - the fear of a non-white race to rise up to a stature of power, that India is continuously destabilized internally & externally in order to deter every aspect of India's progress. Kashmir is one such issue in the link. Self-determination or secession is simply a patsy reason in deterring holistic growth of India.
     
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  4. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Return the Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland ie the valley of Srinagar. And evict(kill) all the post accession(1947) pork agents and intruders first from sanitized J&K and then from poK. The accession ratified and signed by the King of Kashmir is internationally recognized, binding and final. There will be nothing but just accession period.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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  5. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    @nair

    this was what I referred to.
     
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  6. ranadd

    ranadd 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    WTF did I just read!
     
  7. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Read it again, seems like you have misunderstood my statement. Else, you can elaborate on WTF!!
     
  8. Vyom

    Vyom Captain IDF NewBie

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    Any one who even entertains such a thought should be used as a impact test subject at the Field Artillery firing ranges in Pokhran, :)
     
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  9. ranadd

    ranadd 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    You have a serious condition of victim mentality.
     
  10. Hellfire

    Hellfire Devil's Advocate THINKER

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    I was bored ... so wrote this up. There is a complete project planned on moves for Indian Establishment but don’t have the time for it till Jan :(
     
  11. Golden_Rule

    Golden_Rule Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Foolish are people who do not understand, analyze and learn from history. The only recourse they take to defend their ignorance is to attack other's POV. In the sea of IDF, there are all kinds of fish, and you are the stale one.
     
  12. Vyom

    Vyom Captain IDF NewBie

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    You are a dangerous guy when bored.
     
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