One thing that was common across supporters and detractors of the Modi Government was their perception on the way the Modi government handled Kashmir, if not Pakistan.
To the observer, there was a paradigm shift in the policy related to and with Pakistan. But, one shall accept that the way Kashmir was handled and is handled remained – almost same.
No doubt, the government that is ruling Jammu & Kashmir is a democratically elected one. Then, even the government of Nitish & Laloo is also an elected one, perhaps with more majority and clear mandate. The difference lies in how the administration functions in J&K. While the problem of terrorism in Punjab was successfully dealt with by the combination of Narasimha Rao and KPS Gill. Even the best of Indian Prime ministers, Narasimha Rao couldn’t overcome the pressure by the then government of United States of America and was too restrained in how he handled Kashmir issue so unlike from the way Punjab was treated.
But, there is a learning for all how terrorism in Punjab was defeated. It needs above all, a political will to resolve the crisis at hand. To solve a problem that affects a greater population of – the state residents. Like any maintenance engineer or a doctor does, all the government has to do was to ‘acknowledge the problem’. Ignoring the problem only leads to deteriorate the situation further. The legacy left behind the erstwhile Congress government was fostered with careless indulgence in power politics, since the partition of India.
Pakistan wants the issue of Kashmir as a freedom struggle. Pakistan calls for plebiscite since ’91 but rejected the call when Nehru went to the UN requesting intervention. The Sunni religious authorities want it as a way to establish their supremacy on all second rate humans, i.e., whoever are not their followers. Feudal lords of Kashmir, who are backbone to all parties, from the Pakistan to the Sunni mullahs to the local state government want status quo to enjoy their power and exploit the workforce of Kashmir that is largely poor and uneducated.
What is that being done in Kashmir that is different from the rest of India? Is it only AFSPA and blocking Television? For a fact, the state of Jammu and Kashmir gets a royal chunk of funds allocated from the Government of India. The figure is simply unbelievable per capita allocation and this good money is being spent on a state that is arguably under occupation, instead of spending the same on constructing toilets or providing more security to our political leaders, who are afraid of their own shadows.
In the history of mankind, it was never recorded that a country spent more money on the occupied territory. In fact, Congress established a system of largesse that all parties of Kashmir are happy with the frequent unrests, including those who cover and report them. In a country, where the funds provide to help the victims of natural calamities were gulped down the pot bellies, this establishment in the state of Jammu & Kashmir had matured to such an extent that it is really impossible to dislodge this system. Even the other side of the border, same story repeats – perhaps in a more brutal manner.
Ever wondered why any society prefers law and order? Let us find out! In a stable society cost of policing is almost nil. Losses due to economic crises are nil. So, advanced societies tend to be stable and stable societies tend to progress. And, in an unstable society, there would be sudden increase in un-planned expenditure on providing manpower to police and temporary relief material/equipment to the victims. Of course, every seller gains from the hike that follows an unrest only to milk the desperate citizens. So, there exists a good business environment for those businessmen with a predator attitude.
Now, who benefited from the unrest in Kashmir in the last many decades is anybody’s guess.
Without doing anything all separatists live their lives luxuriously, including the notorious sister of Hafiz Sayeed, who looks poor in comparison with other separatists. As far as government officials, they do get their cut, irrespective of the state and the party that rules. The moment army is out of barracks, costs multiply – from setting up infrastructure to sustain them for long time periods.
Even if the then Prime Minister of India, Narasimha Rao had another reason to restore peace to Punjab, he did it in a correct way.
What Narasimha Rao did?
Narasimha Rao simply did nothing, for which he was always falsely accused. He let the police do their job of punishing those who try to create unrest in the society. He let the BSF do their job of protecting borders and seal them. And he let the election commission do its job – of conducting elections in which voters can come out and vote without fear and elect some government of their choice. In no time, peace returned. Suddenly the demands of separation were restricted to the cries from distant foreign soils.
Most of the separatist movements in the world happen only due to the personal ego of few leaders, who feel they were above their own people. If people get the power, the very leaders would be booted out.
It is high time to put the drama that was being carried out in the Kashmir. Let the borders sealed. Empower the police to do their bit of duty without fear and consequences. Put a full stop to those mullahs, who give calls of fight from the speakers of mosques. Now, there prevails a situation in which none cares about the police or the authority! All the talks of occupation and oppression are nonsense and become void when one sees kids coming into streets and throw stones on – the army, not even the regular police. I wonder in which Indian state stones are thrown at police. Even the former policemen fear the police!
The way American police kills blacks is far more serious than the way Kashmiri police fires pellets. Yet, our reporters talk about atrocities in Kashmir. Those reporters and writers asking for Azadi should be sent to watch either Syria or Pakistan for a week to understand what happens to Kashmir, if it is not part of India. Indians still feel Pakistan their part and it is evident from the way people expressed anguished when school children were attacked in Peshawar.
So, it is high time to remind the army and BSF about their primary job – that is of guarding the borders. Seal the borders in the most effective way.
Let the police feel like – The Police. Let them have their way in establishing the law and order. In six months there would be peace. Let the police take action against anyone – I repeat anyone – trying to create an atmosphere of animosity or unrest. If it is okay to arrest entire family for the sin of one person consuming alcohol in Bihar, it would be equally okay to jail those religious authorities if they misuse religious places to incite anti-national sentiments in common citizens.
[Allow television network that is allowed in all other Indian states. Let them see how Arnab and Barkha fight their opponents, for their own survival. I had to salute the vision of Karunanidhi, who gave free televisions to the poor in Tamil Nadu. In a way the move envisaged that SUN TV channels would be watched over the free TVs. Of course, Amma changed rules after coming to power was another high level move in political chess. But, television corrupts – in true sense. Television increases ambitions of viewers to imagine something to which they were not exposed. It breaks the barrier in thinking and builds up self-confidence. People get motivated towards a life that is free of troubles. At its worse, television makes people forget their problems and prepare them fresh to face another day full of challenges. All said and done, it is a medium of art and art affects human life more.]
Hope someone in the Modi government would read this piece of advice and act on it. Yes. By solving Kashmir problem They may not get the Modi government elected in the next elections. But, winning elections is not everything. Even Narasimha Rao didn’t win elections in 1996 and people realized their folly only after a decade. Same was true in case of Churchill, who remained in annuls of the History, despite losing elections – of course, after winning the war.
So, it is for the current set of leaders of the nation how they would like to be remembered by the future generations.