Kashmir Turning into Political Black Hole
India is floundering in a mess of its own making, whose seeds a short sighted leadership had unwittingly planted, post partition, after being in complete denial about ground realities. Successive governments, following in their footsteps, have only aggravated the situation. Consequently, Kashmir is on the brink of turning into a political black-hole, a point of no return that bodes ill for the nation’s identity and even its very survival.
How can a mere four out of 10 districts in the Valley, hold an entire nation to ransom. Pakistan is doing all it can to throw a roadblock in New Delhi’s march towards global ascendency and derailing its economic progress.
Although peaceful co-existence as a concept in the current context is well past its expiry date, it is still being bandied about as a panacea for all that is bedeviling the country, but has little to do with existing circumstances and a radically changed scenario, given the extreme hostility and irrational hatred so aggressively fostered by Islamabad, post a crippling defeat in the 1971 war.
India is facing the gravest crisis in its 70 years of independence, testing the very limits of statecraft. Islamabad is openly boasting about planting its flag on Srinagar and hinting at some kind of a limited war, notwithstanding a series of humiliating defeats which ended with Kargil. How can a mere four out of 10 districts in the Valley, hold an entire nation to ransom. Pakistan is doing all it can to throw a roadblock in New Delhi’s march towards global ascendency and derailing its economic progress.
Today the issue is not about Kashmiri independence or separatism as much as it is about negating the idea of India and its pluralistic society, which welcomed the persecuted Jews, Persians, Christians and Muslims with open arms, even after suffering centuries of ravages inflicted by barbaric hordes from Central Asia and Mongolia.
Separatists and fanatical elements have a sinister one point agenda. Having terrorized and driven out the Kashmiri pundits, their long term goal is to force an exodus of Buddhist, Sikh and Shia minorities from its soil and impose a puritan version of Wahabi Islam, which would marginalize women and reduce them to the status of chattels. They could also be stoned to death for minor indiscretions, harking back to barbarism of the medieval ages rather than their empowerment under a modern outlook.
…it would be a futile exercise if India does not raise the matter of Balochi oppression in global forums like the United Nations or European Rights Commission aggressively.
And what are the so called separatists, without a fig leaf of legitimacy or following among Kashmiris. While these hate-mongers live highly pampered and privileged lives, thanks to the largesse of successive governments, it is the hapless security forces which have to bear the brunt of public wrath and a vicious cycle of violence, at their instigation. Why provide them with passports and free foreign travel so that they continue to heap abuses on India at every opportunity in international forums.
Nowhere in the world does any government permit such profligacy, not at least with its eyes open. Paradoxically, the left leaning intellectuals and their compatriots in the mainstream media, besides think tanks and NGOs, keep insisting on dialogues and yielding to the more toxic elements, against all cannons of logic or rationality.
This assertive and highly visible segment of public opinion always places the onus on New Delhi to prove its sincerity and intentions. They have no compunctions in jumping to Pakistan’s defence on TV channels, employing half truths or ambiguous statements. This is what keeps separatism afloat.
Some of these commentators, in a news hour debate, even pooh-poohed Prime Minister Modi’s forthright denunciation of Pakistani Army atrocities on the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK, in his historic Independence Day address, from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Significantly Modi, the first to condemn the oppressive policies as the chief executive, clearly told Pakistan that it has no moral authority to point fingers at India on Kashmir.
Yet this did not prevent one of the commentators from harping on how Pakistan would up the ante and blame India for involvement in and inciting acts of violence in PoK. The warped logic, loaded heavily in favour of our western neighbour, not only discourages resolute action against sponsors of terror but also emboldens them into wrecking greater depredations on our soil. Above all, these commentators are questioning our legitimate concerns about protecting our homes and hearths.
China, which has supplanted the US in Islamabad’s scheme of things and holds centre-stage, has even more sinister strategic ramifications for India.
However laudable Modi’s statement may be, it would be a futile exercise if India does not raise the matter of Balochi oppression in global forums like the United Nations or European Rights Commission aggressively. Encouraged by the acquiescence of United States for far too long in its acts of omission and commission, Pakistan has become so habituated to having its own way that it continues to spite India while committing genocide on its own soil, with hardly any global censure or sanctions.
Islamabad has also realized that beyond offering platitudes and registering routine protests after terror attacks, the political establishment in India and its diplomatic arm is too confused and craven to act in pursuit of national interests, as borne out by a pathetic 30-year old record. In its eyes New Delhi is incapable of standing up for itself and surrenders at the first opportunity.
But will sundering Kashmir from India really serve any purpose? Nothing could be father from the truth or fraught with more dangerous consequences. Once that happens, even if hypothetically, it is bound to encourage the ISI to try and dismember India. Kashmir is of course a part of grand design to plant the crescent flag on vast swathes of territory stretching from Arabia to Europe and closer home from West Bengal, UP,and Bihar to Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, etc.
Lately China, which has supplanted the US in Islamabad’s scheme of things and holds centre-stage, has even more sinister strategic ramifications for India. One wonders why New Delhi is not exploiting its vast economic leverage with China, which scoops a staggering $47 billion in revenue from yearly trade with India, to try and dissuade it from an equivalent investment in mineral and oil rich Balochistan, a part of undivided Kashmir, and by implication India. It could have economic consequences, China could be told. Who knows, it might listen. But the initiative lies with the Modi dispensation.
The UPA government, under whose 10-year watch Islamabad become more and more assertive and defiant, allowed matters to slide irreversibly. The dispensation even prevented the Indian Army from retaliatory firing, which allowed greater numbers of terrorists to infiltrate India. PM Manmohan Singh’s highly damaging statement about India’s alleged involvement in Balochistan, caused the country to be named and shamed in Sharm-el- Sheikh incident, marking the lowest ebb in relations.