Farooq Abdullah’s speech to farmers in Delhi was a repeat telecast of his father’s speech to farmers in Kashmir once upon a time. A proof that history really repeats itself. First time as a lie and second time as a lie. Then to farmers, and now to farmers. That makes the repetition complete, logical and historically authenticated. Addressing a crowd of landowners at Jantar Mantar, the former chief minister of the state mixed all elements that have shaped our politics since 1947. Fight for rights, stand against communalism, solidarity with the deprived, reassurance of loyalty to India, re-application that we are yours even if you stamp your boot on our face. It was good to note that Farooq tries to pull the Muslim stereotype from a fanatic frame and present it in a liberal, secular, peace-loving mould. Saying that Muslims are not against Ram temple is being realistic. Dismissing the hate politics of the Sangh Parivar to divide India on communal lines is a good move. It helps clear the road for a better, secular, democratic system to take roots. But in a bid to emphasise these universal ideals of co-existence, you can’t abuse the existing truth. The argument that `Kashmir was — and will remain — a part of India’ will be supported by Physics, not by history. Going by the law of force and counter-force, it’s like that. Going by the imbalance of power around the fulcrum, it sounds irrefutable. Action-reaction logic proves you right. But the facts of history go against it. The problem is this. Physics doesn’t know justice and rights and fairness and kindness. Physics operates through force. A good but weak is physically bound to fail against a bad but strong. The world proves the same argument. Simply put might is right. Physics is what is, justice is what should have been. So we don’t refute this part of your statement that Kashmir was and will be a part of India. Physics sustains the relation and physics alone can change it. Till then, it is what it is. The second component that `Kashmiris will live and die for India’ again echoes your father. He knew the lie behind it, but sold it to Delhi over and over again. This part will be refuted even by physics. Physical submission is a physical fact. Willing to live and die for someone or something is a moral, emotional and spiritual expression of one’s love and loyalty. There is no voting for that. We can have identity cards, not allegiance cards. Nothing documents your devotion towards the nation you belong to. Figures signify bodies, not souls. Who mandates you to put Kashmiris as voluntary martyrs of India. Kashmiris may live and die in India, but they can’t live and die for India. It’s a hollow belief you yourself know the truth of. Poor Kashmiris have been already auctioned to many bidders. Don’t add more. Even those who peddle saffron as opium and swear to die for it, won’t actually die. To sell their slogan, they need to live. Milking Delhi this way is good, but selling your fellow Kashmiris as voluntary dead bodies further pains an already pained people. We too can stand by farmers, support their cause, but can’t offer our lives. If dying for India wins you the lost seat, offer yourself, but spare us. We have a life to live. Published in Daily Times, December 3rd 2018.