KASHMIR AFTER 20 YEARS

KASHMIR AFTER 20 YEARS
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah inspecting the guard of honour inside the Civil Secretariat on his first day in office after taking over the reins of the state. Shehjar photo by Raman Raina

The Non-violent intifada movement which is going on right now in the Kashmir valley replacing the violent dreadful militant acts has helped the Pakistan and the separatist forces to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir. Also it should be crystal clear to India’s political and media establishments that higher voter turn out in Assembly Elections does not mean end of Kashmir Movement for self-determination. But with the passage of time it is becoming more mature and tactful in its operations, spreading its wings at the International level. Major emphasis is being made to impress upon the foreign countries that Kashmir’s self determination movement is legitimate enough to garner International support especially at the intellectual level.

Right now our central Govt. is in the situation of paradox because all the elements of state politics, the state govt., the opposition PDP, Hurriyat and the local bar council all have revocation of AFSPA and demilitarization as their main demands. But in reality both the state and the central govt. understands the existential need to preserve the military presence .The central Govt. knows that any laxity in the security operations in the state may lead to catastrophic results. Even the civilians in the valley know it very well that the very survival of the civil society depends upon none other than security forces but ironically join the fundamentalist forces to demonize them.

 

Inside view of the present lull have two aspects_____separatists have been trying to bring home to public that organs of Indian state are not only indulging in extra-constitutional violence but are also perpetuating a moral debasement of Kashmir society which infact is vice-versa. The introduction of promiscuity into society by the terrorists has taken its toll on the society. Militarisation of social milieu in valley has played havoc with the age-old tradition and values. The Kashmiri society proud of its Kashmiriat trait has reached to a critical situation. Around 47.77% of Kashmir consumes different types of drugs with female drug addicts being the literates of an age group of 18-33 and from urban as well as village background. The GOI has been making all types of sacrifices and every possible thing to motivate the fundamentalists to accept that their being with India is the only alternative available to them. To win their hearts the GOI has been soft in fighting the menace of terrorism. All these appeasements have not rendered any beneficial results so far. On the other hand, when the fundamentalists start realizing impact of efforts of GOI on overall development of the state, the vested interests come in reinforcing with slogans like autonomy, self rule, demilitarization .The worst thing is that GOI does not out rightly reject these ideas and instead play hide and seek more under the influence of world powers whoso ever they may be.

 

In this cress-cross like situation Kashmiri Hindus are the worst sufferers. Their proud contribution to the socio-cultural aspects of the place has suddenly become irrelevant. In our own country we have become slaves The turbulence which the pundits of the valley in the wake of armed militancy and genocide and the consequent mass exodus is the great blot on the entire nation. The Indian nation has failed to protect the community from brutalities of worst order. All said and done it is a stark fact that even after 20 years of migration no serious attempt so far has ben made for the return and rehabilitation of Pandits in the valley. No political party or leader would care for them as they do not form a formidable vote bank .History is witness that this community has suffered repression for ages together but they have never accepted the defeat . The new generation of Kashmiri hindus have breathed in new life into this community. With their share grit and determination, perseverance and hard work they have made a name in almost every field. They are fighting for political reservation for Pandits in State Legislature, Parliament and other constitutional bodies. Recently by contesting elections in the state they have dared those who have driven their parental generation away from their birth place. They no longer are ready to accept the dictates of fundamentalist forces but still a lot needs to be done because terrorists have already won as an atmosphere has been created in the valley where an Indian cannot claim to be Indian.

 

On the other hand the separatist mind articulates its point fervently. A strange hope of self-independence has started pervading the thinking of separatist echelons. They also understand that Pak Govt. is grappling with the worst ever crisis, hence should stop looking towards Islamabad and think independently to charter their own course. They also sense some ray of hope in the present foreign policy of USA. Separatists have also not missed the success of Pak govt. to tone down India’s assertion on 26/11 Mumbai attacks. In the recent years there has been observed considerable U-turn in attitude of rank and file of separatists. Now instead of provoking people for terrorist activities they urging people to fight for their right of self-determination .It is in tune with this upcoming.

 

Mindset that JKLF chairman and one time hardcore militant, Mr. Yasin Malik had come up with a stirring statement in Lahore ,that he saw J&K as an independent and secular state in the future .”Here one may pose an obvious question to Mr. Malik that after driving away K.P.’s and vandalizing their properties and places of worship what type of secularism he is hoping for in the valley? One get surprised over the Union and state govt.law and order machinery that those militants who were dreaded as the butchers of pandits have now become heroes. They are the upcoming political leaders and consider themselves no more militants but the believers of truth and non-violence and staunch followers of Gandhian Ideology as told by Yasin Malik in one of his interviews. Militancy may be their past but the scratches of wounds inflicted by them on the innocent Hindus are yet to be healed up.

 

This metamorphosis of local leaders and dreaded militants like Bitta Karatey (Farooq Ahmed Dar) and Yasin malik into important political leaders of state cannot be ignored. At the same time they are toiling hard to publicize their cause howsoever illegitimate it may be for the rest of Nation that in one of the meetings at Harvard University, Yasin Malik was introduced as a freedom fighter. Going abroad a perception is being created about Kashmir that people are struggling for independence, justice and peace. However a common consensus has started developing among the separatist forces that Kashmir despite serious threat to International security; warranted increased and creative efforts not only by India and Pakistan, the leadership of J&K and the International community especially U.S.A. but the separatist forces including so called mujahiddin’s should also be included in the peace talks. They have now realized that roping in the International community can be a great help in solving Kashmir issue in their favor.

 

The present separatist nuance going on in the valley seeks moral authenticity and uprightness to a regressive anti-freedom movement. They are calibrating its interventions to remain relevant even if Pak vacillate or even collapses. The central Govt. if it has any inclination to diffuse the situation and solve the Kashmir crisis should stop fiddling with dangerous ideas of self rule and have serious inspection of withdrawal of AFSPA as demanded by state govt. Ideological compromises eventually are harmful for territorial integration as observed in the partition of 1947.While opening the Pak chapter ,this country has been successful in maintaining a high degree of military pressure on India ,which that country has deftly used to perpetuate a sense of insecurity in J&K. It has waged a religious war against India, commencing with the invasion of state in 1947 with its latest phase unfolding in Jehad in 1990. The Indian political class must take a note of the political agenda of Pak. Even the civil society of Pak in spite of protestations is largely fundamentalised. Any compromise with this dangerous country will drive India to second partition, as Hussain Haqqani, now ambassador of Pak in USA has rightly visualized in his book that Pak still has an unfinished agenda in Afghanistan and Kashmir and Indian policy makers should take it seriously enough to take tough stand against their enemies be it inside the country or outside it.

*Rajesh T Bhatt (Yajin) (freelancer), a Kashmir valley resident from Anantnag, Education: Post graduate in computer Science, working with Telecom sector for last 8 years. Father retired from defence services. Presently living in Delhi with his family.

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Comments
Mr Bhat has correctly analysed both overt and covert acts of pan-Islamic seperatists during two decades to hunt out and keep away KP's from Kashmir.Will somebody in Delhi understand?
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