Sunday, 22 September 2013

Afzal Guru's book of letters and Jihadist Propaganda

Today I saw news about a book of compilation of Parliament attack co-conspirator Afzal Guru that has been released in Srinagar. He is being portrayed as a martyr and his letters(real or fictional) are exhorting people to "propagate martyrs' mission, because its the blood of martyrs that has kept resistance movement alive".
Unfortunately the youth of the valley today do not know of 1947, 1965, 1971. 1974 or recognize the violence against the Kashmiri Hindus as the first consequence of this "armed struggle" as it is glorified. They only know of the bloody violence starting 1989 and see everything from the prism of this violence. 

I am of the opinion that separatists survive on violence and international exposure for support. All humans value freedom and separatists appeal for "freedom" seems to get them instant favors in both capitals around the world and among the population of those countries.The voice of Kashmir's refugees is completely drowned out. Only those who have some Idea about the real history of Kashmir'a accession to the Indian Union and those who have a stake in the survival and prosperity of all the people of this union and by extension the entire subcontinent are able to realize the hollowness of these separatist arguments. Plebiscite and right to self determination argument was a non starter even when Nehru mentioned it because you could not have the losers of this so called  plebiscite living as refugees at worst or second class citizens at best in what ever is left of J&K after this plebiscite. This was realized by the leadership in New Delhi even in early 1950's. It is the leadership of J&K which failed to look beyond narrow interests and join the national mainstream without special terms and privileges that has lead to the current situation in the valley.

There is no right to self determination for the people of J&K it applies only to European colonies not to democratic states. But there is a right to return as per the UN principles of Human rights for refugees and Kashmiri Hindus have it.The real worry is the youth of valley for me who are easily radicalized and turned into cannon fodder by the Rawalpindi establishment which has its own axe to grind. The proxy war being fought in the valley has resulted in huge toll for the people of the state and the security forces alike while Rawalpindi can keep the fires burning at very low cost to itself. The task of security forces has been of finding needle in a haystack and the result of their heavy handed actions is that more and more youth are getting radicalized. Even to this day when a Hizbul militant is killed then processions take place in his village and he is hailed as "martyr". Old separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani visit such places and egg the villagers on while continuing to receive favors from Pakistan.When a J&K policeman or an innocent civilian or a public representative is killed by the militants then no protest take place. It is difficult to tell truth from propaganda when every unexplained incident of violence is quickly blamed by the separatists on the security forces and the state and national media plays it out every protest at that moment without following thrugh the entire investigation. I am sure excesses have occurred in the state at the hands of the security forces but in a destabilized environment that exists in the valley our institutions which cannot deliver even in calmer places are bound to fail.

There is no quick solution to this problem because Rawalpindi is secure and smug that no heavy action is possible from Indian security forces because of its Nuclear umbrella hence there is no reason for it to stop the violence. But there a fair bit which can be done to deny space to the separatist ideology in the national and international forums. Some people are doing that part and I appreciate whatever they have done so far. I wish more people come out in open to confront this victim hood perception that the separatists portray and the impossibility of the self determination argument they make.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Zubin is not Nero separatist leadership in valley is

This opinion piece appeared in The Hindu Zubin Mehta and the unequal music.
I was long expecting someone will try to make this Nero analogy. But unfortunately it doesn't stick on Zubin. It does stick on the separatist leaders who have lead the common people of the state to meaningless conflict, death and destruction while accepting diamond studded watches as gifts from Pakistani mentors across the border. Soon someone will argue that the Sindhu festival in Ladakh and the Amarnath yatra should be stopped. Zubin is an artist of world renown, the valley is fortunate to have him perform in Srinagar. Kudos to German embassy for arranging this in spite the terror threat and I salute the artists who came. Get over this separatism. The root of violence is not the Idea of India. It is the destabilization engineered by the ideologues in Pakistan. The same people who destroyed Afghanistan. There is no legitimacy in separatism in valley just as there was no legitimacy in separatism in Tamil Nadu. Get over it.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Fictions of Mirza Wahid

The novelist and Journalist from Jammu and Kashmir Mirza Wahid paints a very one sided picture of Kashmir with the militants and separatists as victims where as the security forces as "evil". May be loss of his family members and seeing death and destruction up close has gotten him to this victim mentality. What is missing from his account though are the atrocities committed by the militants and the silence of the separatist when targeted killings of those who do not agree with separatist ideology takes place at the hands of these Pakistan trained militants. The state of the Kashmiri Pundits who are refugee in their own country is hardly mentioned. His interpretation of Kashmir being separate from India is purely fictional too and reflects the unfortunate identity crisis that the youth in Kashmir are going through. The cause of this identity crisis is the failure of political leaders of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and central  government in 1947 to  bring about a merger with the Union of India without this autonomy provision which has left identity issues in the minds of the youth. Fact is that J&K merged with the Indian union under legal provisions of Indian Independence Act. The decision to merge with India rather than Pakistan was taken by J&K to save itself from destruction and occupation by the Pakistani invaders. That is when the Indian Army first went into the state to liberate not to occupy. There is no question about J&K being separate from India. Even the constitution of J&K recognizes this fact.

It is unfortunate that the State has seen so much violence since 1989 but the cause of this violence is Pakistani military which used a proxy war strategy to engender separatism in J&K. The first victims of this violence were the religious minority population of Kashmiri Hindus who were ethnically cleansed from the valley. 500,000 of these are living as refugees in their own country today this happens no where in the world. But because of the fear of violence from Pakistan sponsored terrorists they are forced to abandon their homes and live in slums in Jammu.

The death and destruction in J&K is heart rendering but what does one expect to happen when terrorists from all around the world driven by violent ideologies are pushed into the state by Pakistan to cause this very death and destruction. The security forces are not robots they are also human and thousands have laid down their lived to prevent the terrorists from running amok the way Taliban did in Afghanistan. For those who are moved by Mr Wahids fictional stories I would recommend read Vidya Bhushan Dhar’s work also to get a view of what really happened to the Kashmiri minorities when the violence in the name of religious ideology started in Kashmir.