By Shailendra Aima
The separatists’ shrills and yells that were till a few weeks ago confined to a few pockets in the Valley have now definitely descended on Delhi. Thanks to the Indian State and to some over-enthusiastic members of the capital’s ubiquitous “civil society”! To be on the side of the ‘poor’ Kashmiri, is perhaps a fashion statement. Leading the fashion show are the old familiar faces that did their best and even doctored documents to save S.A.R. Geelani from sure gallows in the wake of his involvement in the attack on the Indian Parliament.
The same Geelani was seen on Aug. 7, leading a protest demonstration, a night long sit-in, to protest India’s crimes against humanity in Kashmir. Geelani was ably assisted by some professors of Kashmiri descent from US universities who thronged Delhi at the nod of hidden though readily discernible puppeteers.
Some naive Kashmiris, having been banished from Kashmir, thought this protest a great opportunity to find the lost sibling. They decided to revisit the Kashmiri Kumbh at Jantar Mantar in the heart of Delhi. To their credit, they realised soon that they were sharing the dais with persons who had no inhibitions even in the capital city to flaunt Jihadi and anti-national colours. They did not loose nerve and quickly asserted their pro-India commitment, only to be quickly shunted off to the nearby police station by Delhi’s security establishment that stood guard to protect the freedom-chanting Kashmiris!!! Little wonder that Jantar Mantar kept reverberating with yells of Azadi and Nizam-e Mustafa.
On Sunday, Aug. 8, in Jammu, at the invitation of Panun Kashmir, concerned citizens met to deliberate upon: Making sense of what is happening in Kashmir. Giving the presidential address, the octogenarian political scientist Mohan Krishan Teng opined that Muslim separatism is destructive of the unity of India and of the secular character of its social and political organization. He warned that whichever variant of this ideology confronts the polity, whether the demand for secession of Jammu and Kashmir from India, or the creation of a separate Muslim sphere of power through demands of Greater Autonomy or Self-Rule, it aims to destroy Indian Unity and to wreak Indian sovereignty.
Dr. Teng asserted, “Any compromise which places Jammu and Kashmir half way from India will lead straight to another partition of India. It is time we all realized that concessions to Muslim separatism will lead to balkanization of India.”
The Panun seminarians did not fail to empathize with those who suffered Nature’s tragic fury in Leh (the toll at the time of writing was 150 dead, 500 injured and 300 missing). The participants pledged all possible help to the victims of the cloudburst; they also regretted the current loss of lives in Kashmir and prayed for restoration of normalcy in the Valley.
Mr. M.M. Khajuria, ex-Director General of J&K Police, averred that the present rioting in Kashmir appeared to be yet another attempt by Pakistan and its stooges in the Valley to demoralise the Indian State. He said the
“Quit Jammu & Kashmir” call given by Tehrik-e-Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani amidst the ongoing disturbances in the Valley exposed the political dimension of the conspiracy hatched by Islamabad and its local collaborators. Mr. Khajuria said this vicious slogan could be dismissed as a gimmick or prank but for the fact that the extremist fringe was holding a sizable section of the population in the Valley to ransom and causing severe dislocation of the economic, social and political life. This, as intended, was attracting international attention and providing grist to Pakistani propaganda mills.
Mr. Khajuria urged the governments in Delhi and Srinagar to take all necessary measures to effectively deal with the disturbances and challenges to national integrity. There was an urgent need to review political and strategic formulations to break the cycle of violence and isolate the mischief mongers. He said the “anti-national elements have for long got away with making such pernicious demands and indulged in rank adventurism unchallenged which gave their fulminations disproportionate importance. In such affairs, the nation’s silence can be misconstrued. Challenges to integrity of the country and unity of the nation have to be faced openly, boldly and squarely. We, therefore, reiterate that Jammu & Kashmir is not only an integral part of India, it is India. The option to quit rests with those who feel otherwise”.
One wonders why there appears a total disconnect between Delhi and Jammu on issues concerning national unity? Delhi allows anti-India protests and goes all out to save those charged with waging a war against the nation. It supports ideas and influences inimical to the nation’s unity and works in tandem with those who support balkanization. Conversely, Jammu, forsaken and forgotten, denied and drained, pushed with its back to the wall, frets and fumes, frowns BUT fights. It persists despite the gravest provocations to preserve its plural yet valiant character.
Eminent social scientist Prof Hari Om explained the above and exposed the destructive nature of Delhi’s self-inflicting ethos. He asserted, “In fact, besides the involvement of Pakistan, it is the outlook of the Indian establishment which is sustaining the current strife in the Kashmir Valley”. Prof. Hari Om pointed out that the “statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Aug. 6 in the Rajya Sabha, is nothing but a blend of contradictions; instead of assuring the House of Elders that New Delhi would change its strategy in the changed circumstances to controvert the pernicious influence of Pakistan and defeat its evil designs on Kashmir, Shri Chidambaram raised the issue of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and reduction of security personnel in the state”.
Prof. Hari Om felt that the Union Home Minister had been influenced by “the decision of the Omar Abdullah-led coalition government to abdicate its authority in favour of Geelani, as also by the PDP president and Leader of the Opposition Mehbooba Mufti’s suggestion to Omar Abdullah that the state government should use the good offices of Geelani in order to douse the fire in Kashmir”. The situation has climaxed to the point where the Indian establishment prefers to silence persons like Union Home Secretary GK Pillai and Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh who had put things in perspective by exposing those responsible for the current anti-India strife in Kashmir. The “Indian state seems pitted against its own people and civilization and is in a self-destructive mode”, he said, adding, “Jammu is the focus, it is the battlefront for saving India and the very thought of Indianness.”
Dr. Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman, Panun Kashmir, said it was the time the nation recognised the “extremely regressive content of the movement which is holding whole of the Kashmir Valley in its grip. It is time the whole nation delegitimised the public mobilizations in the Valley by emphatically stating that the strife in Kashmir is basically driven by an ideological content which negates the freedom of mankind, breeds hatred and aims to destroy pluralism based on right to equality. It is time all of us reiterated our commitment to the indivisible unity of India and proclaim that nobody, even the brute majority, has a right to negate it. It is time the message goes loud and clear that nobody has the right to change or seek exceptions on the basic structure of the Constitution of India”.
Dr. Chrungoo said the “forces which are ruling the roost in the Valley have already brought about the genocide of an entire community of Kashmiri Hindus. These forces have to be defeated ideologically and denied the respectability of a legitimate political movement. Government of India has to correct its policy formulations and realize that concessions to communalism and separatism have been self defeating. The situation in Kashmir cannot be salvaged through flirtations with variants of separatism and communalism there”.
He warned that, “a disease cannot be cured by nourishing it. We are witnessing a situation where sovereignty is being used to wreak sovereignty.”
And with prophetic doom, even as Dr. Chrungoo urged the State and Central Governments to provide full security of the minorities living in the Kashmir Valley, the media reported a fresh bout of displacement of Hindus from the Valley!!!
The seminarians were specific and unanimous on three issues – there is a basic structure of Indian constitution which nobody has the mandate to dilute even marginally; the ideology of the separatist movement needs to be countered and delegitimised; and the Government of India should abandon forthwith all those policy formulations which serve as a psychological fuel to communal separatism in the Valley and elsewhere.