An unconventional approach to unravel "The Kashmir Issue"
10 May 2016: Justice T S Thakur released Unravelling the Kashmir Knot by Dr Aman M Hingorani at India International Centre, New Delhi. In the audience were several dignitaries including Dr Karan Singh, former Sadar-i-Riyasat, Mr Jagmohan Malhotra, former Governor, Jammu and Kashmir, judges of the senior judiciary, senior lawyers, and representatives of various embassies, senior journalists, artistes and activists.
The opening remark was made by Mr Vivek Mehra, MD and CEO, SAGE Publications, India. Addressing the gathering, Mr Mehra talked about the genesis of SAGE in Kashmir by the founders, Sara Miller McCune and George D McCune. This book, in many ways, is a tribute to their vision of disseminating knowledge and to the spirit of Kashmir.
Justice T S Thakur, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India released “Unravelling the Kashmir Knot” by Dr Aman M Hingorani in the presence of Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Hon’ble Member, International Court of Justice at The Hague, Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji, Former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Mr M K Raina, Renowned Actor and Director, Theatre and Films, and Cultural Activist and Mr Vivek Mehra, MD and CEO, SAGE Publications at an event held in New Delhi.
Introducing the book, Dr Aman M Hingorani said that the book “challenges the national and international discourse on the Kashmir issue right from its inception till date and suggests a complete change of approach towards handling the issue. It relies on declassified British archives to show how the Kashmir issue is an end product of a particular brand of British colonial politics. It narrates the utter failure of the political leadership in undivided India, and later in the divided sub-continent, to rise to the challenge. The book discusses the inadequacies of the current proposals to resolve this vexed issue before outlining the possible way forward on Kashmir.”
Dr Hingorani pointed out that it was India which raised doubts about the unconditional nature of the accession of the state to India and internationalised the Kashmir issue by taking it to the UN. He proposed that as a prelude to win the trust and confidence of the people of the state, India should first make a legal reference to the International Court of Justice so as to confirm, as it were, its title deeds to the state. It is only when no one can claim that it is a freedom struggle underway in Kashmir that steps by the Indian government to reclaim moral authority in the state can be effective. The author added that three chapters of the book are devoted to how the Indian State can win back the love of the people of Kashmir.
Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Hon’ble Member, International Court of Justice at the Hague highlighted that the well-researched book laid bare facts which the post partition generation must know, and said that the book will make compelling reading. Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji, former Permanent Representative of India to United Nations referred to the parts of the book that dealt with international law and politics to proposition that India must push to be a member of the UNSC. Mr M K Raina, renowned director and actor who has worked in Kashmir for the last 16 years as a cultural activist, termed the book to be an “epic” and a must read not only for each parliamentarian, journalist and political leader but also for the separatists and people in Pakistan to understand how they have been used as pawns for geo-political reasons. Mr Siddharth Varadarajan, senior journalist, outlined the novel legal argument made in the book and detailed three areas where the book broke new ground from the massive literature on Kashmir.
Justice T S Thakur, in his concluding remarks, said that a purely legal solution will not by itself resolve the Kashmir issue and that it is by love that India can hold Kashmir. Justice Thakur recalled the peaceful times in Kashmir and said that we must treat Kashmiris in the same manner in which we treat other citizens of India.
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