Editorial

Crackdown in Kashmir is a Must

Yatindra Bhatnagar

The Government of India has had enough. The previous Congress government was always hobnobbing with the separatists (meaning traitors) of Jammu & Kashmir state and gave them all the opportunities and also money and other facilities to carry on their anti-Indian activities at will.

This government has said, enough.

In the recent past several raids by National Investigation Agency (NIA) have been conducted on the homes of separatist leaders accused of aiding and funding terrorist activities in Jammu & Kashmir state. Stone-pelters have for a long time been given money to do that. For some time after demonetization it had slowed down and stopped. Now again it has been resumed, though, not as frequent as before.

The government has sent a clear message; it’s not going to be business, as usual.

And now, Farooq Abdullah, former Chief Minister, the Member of Parliament and still the President of the National Conference, though a fading politician has come out openly to criticize National Intelligence Agency’s raid on separatist dens and arrest of some Hurriyat (separatist) leaders. He wants those arrested to be released.

Why should he be mad if he is a patriot and opposes separatists?  Obviously he is not. He sees no gain in remaining silent or welcoming the raids. That exposes his real intentions: let the state remain unstable, and let separatists keep pressure on the government. This is dangerous, anti-national and Abdullah should pay for this policy. He has otherwise become irrelevant and he should better keep quiet.

The time is fast coming when he will lose all the remaining political clout and may also lose his seat in Parliament.

Look at what he said, recently: “I will consider these raids (valid) only if something substantial comes out. If it is just to scare them, then… I would like to tell the Government of India that no matter how much atrocities they commit, people here (in Kashmir) will not sell their ideals.”

What the ‘ideals’ Mr. Abdullah? Keep Kashmir ‘separate’ from Mother India? Keep milking India to enrich a few political families - such as yours – rich? To keep the common people in the state poor, uneducated and anti-national? To keep denying the people of the state all the benefits of development and closer relations with the rest of the country?

Abdullah also said: “Hurriyat leaders should be released so that they can tell Home Minister what they have to tell.” There is no gag order on them in jail. What was stopping them before they were arrested? 

Jammu and Kashmir state has suffered not because ‘outsiders’ but their own leaders who want the “special status” to continue depriving the common people all the fruits of full integration – economic, political, emotional, educational and spiritual – with the rest of India.

Farooq’s father and the “Father of the Special Status” Shaikh Abdullah (who was always reluctant to acknowledge that he was an Indian), had dreamt of “an independent Jammu & Kashmir state with himself as undisputed Emperor.

In a first correct decision by Nehru’s government, the Shaikh was arrested for anti-India acts but subsequently weak-kneed policy and the policy of appeasement made him again the Boss whose policies further alienated Kashmiris. That policy gave rise to more aggressive separatism and Islamic terrorism that resulted in systematic ethnic cleansing and exodus of nearly half a million Hindus (Pandits) from the state. These people became “refugees” in their own state and country.

The Kashmiri mosques had issued a warning to all Pandit (Hindu) males to leave the state - and leave their women too – or convert to Islam.

This happened when Congress government was in power at the Center and Abdullah and his family in J&K state.    

During Shaikh Abdullah’s rule Ladakh – predominantly a Buddhist region of the state – saw huge influx of Muslims, instigated and organized by Abdullah government. They not only settled in Ladakh but also started vigorously to convert Buddhist girls and marry them.

This resulted is severe decrease in Buddhist population that is now reduced to 51%, just slightly in in majority.

No wonder there have been unrest among the Buddhists and recently the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) decided to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the growing feud between Buddhists and Muslims. The discord appears to have intensified after a 30-year-old Buddhist woman married a 32-year-old Shia man last year after converting to Islam.

The Buddhists here feels that the state machinery is consistently ignoring instances of conversion of Buddhist girls to Islam through wedlock.

Young Buddhist girls are being lured by Muslims in various parts of the region by posing as Buddhists. However, girls learn after marriage that they've married Muslims, a Ladakhi official said. The allegation is that the girls are forced to state that they did so of their own free will.

The cross-borders instigated terrorism, the activities of separatists, and the Muslims in Ladakh are all dangerous to the state in particular, and to Indian nation, in general. Modi government has to do something positive to handle this situation and put the state on the right course of stability, integration and nationalism.