Sometimes, it is hard to believe what one sees and hears, or even reads.
Until now, It was normal to see politicians having a change of heart and switch parties, especially before elections and the best one was, when the inner voice of Sonia Gandhi prevented her from becoming Prime Minster. But, can a change of heart happen to a terrorist? Well, the case is a bit curious.
Danish Ahmed, the terrorist who was present at the funeral of slain terrorist Sabzar Bhat, with a grenade in his hand got “disillusioned” within ten days after the funeral.
For a student from Doon School to Stone Pelter to Terrorist to now ‘reformed’ human being, Danish had seen it all. And, if he listens to his inner voice, it must be laughing out loud at his transformation; and I can hear it from a long distance.
According to some analysts, Modi government is driving a ‘permanent solution’ to Kashmir problem that has three parallel actions namely hot pursuit, freezing funds and controlling the internet and other social media. NIA raiding Hurriyat and other supporters of separatists over foreign funds belong to the second action. Seems some sort of control over virtual space too was gained. And, the government forces are pursuing militants.
Apparently, after confirming family details of Danish Ahmed, police contacted his parents to convince them about the futility of militancy. Seems they could convince parents of Danish Ahmed that if he surrenders, he would be fairly dealt under the law and the pressure from the family worked. Police spokesman said Danish Ahmed has realised the futility of joining militancy ranks and so he surrendered, though I doubt the transformation to be real. Transformed or not. One less terrorist is better news and so should be welcomed.
He was interrogated already. He accepted the fact that Hizbul Mujahedeen asked him to recruit youngsters in northern Kashmir to make it as volatile as the southern part is. However, the reason he gave why youngsters take up the gun is well shocking. Local boys join militancy to become friends with girls, who treat them as “heroes”. After hearing the story of Sabzar Bhat, who became a terrorist after failing in love, it appears becoming militant is a way to reclaim ‘love’ in Kashmir.
Whether he was telling the truth or not, it was appalling to hear this statement. True, men have done many idiotic things in the name of love and history is witness. However, this angle only highlights the importance of girl education and providing a sense of security in ordinary folks. The government may need to counter the propaganda by the separatist leaders with foreign funds. There is a need to ensure local mosques are used for truly holy purposes and nothing else. The hold and control local Imams exercise commoners is critical for the government to tackle the situation and lead the valley to normalise.
However, if the security agencies have learned any lessons from the past, rehabilitated terrorists only work for the militancy by working in the non-core but more critical part of militancy operations. They do provide logistics to terrorists. They collect funds. They continue to recruit new youngsters only to sacrifice them by living comfortably in the security provided by the government. And, whenever they get a chance, immediately they show their fangs and criticise the government and start protests.
This is not only for Kashmiri separatists, but applicable to all those who took up the gun, including Naxalites. So, what the government is trying to do by this rehabilitation programme? Who’ll ensure they will not become ‘sleeper cells’ for future networks?
Dealing with a volatile situation, perhaps the government has not taken a long term call on this situation. Maybe the government considered this as a secondary issue that can be dealt with at a later stage. In one way highlighting the transformation of a terrorist and his disillusionment with the militancy serves as a reminder to wannabe ones. And, if rehabilitation is good, one can certainly hope a good percentage of surrendered terrorists would return to become ordinary citizens.
Yes, everyone has complaints with the government, including me and you. One has all rights to protest against the government for his own problems and ideas, as long as he would not cause harm to fellow citizens.
At the same time, the message of the government is also clear. Return to normalcy or prepare to die. Danish Ahmed, wisely choose the better option. As the government is hotly pursuing other terrorist networks, the surrender of Danish Ahmed is seen as a move to inspire others to give up guns. Guns never deliver results, but a strong will do.
If one really loves Kashmir, let him first work for the development of the state. People from a developed province would never prefer violence, especially exposing their own lives. It is normally the unemployed that are brainwashed by preachers of violence who trade the lives of poor for some monetary support to their families. Most of the have become so only for that reason, though the religion angle only provides secondary support.
But, will there be many Danishes, who realise the futility of militancy and prefer to live their lives and enjoy over the uncertain zannat? We need to wait to get a clear answer to this question. The less politicisation of Kashmir issue, the better for the state.