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.