Sandeep Chakravorty, India’s Consul General to the New York City, had made some remarks in November 2019 that had left the global Islamoleftist camp led by people like Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan fuming. The senior diplomat had wondered why India can’t follow the Israel model for resettling displaced minorities in Kashmir. Given the recent attacks on Kashmiri minorities by Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism, Chakravorty’s suggestion may be the only practical solution.
What Chakravorty had said
India’s Consul General to the New York city had said, “I believe the security situation will improve, it will allow the refugees to go back, and in your lifetime, you will be able to go back … and you will be able to find security, because we already have a model in the world.”
Chakravorty had added, “I don’t know why we don’t follow it. It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it.”
The Consul General had also assured the Kashmiri Hindus, who were displaced from their homes in the Valley after the anti-Kashmiri Pandit pogrom in 1989, that they can retain their culture despite their sufferings. He again gave the example of the Jewish nation of Israel and said Jews “kept their culture for 2,000 years outside their land, and [then] they went back.”
Chakravorty had concluded, “We all have to keep the Kashmiri culture alive. The Kashmiri culture is the Indian culture, it is the Hindu culture. I feel as much Kashmiri as anyone else.”
Islamoleftist camp gets outraged
Chakravorty’s remarks naturally enraged the global Islamoleftist camp. Qatari-funded television station Al Jazeera, which is alleged to have a pro-Qatar bias reported, “Anger over India’s diplomat calling for ‘Israel model’ in Kashmir.”
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan too had tweeted, “Shows the fascist mindset of the Indian govt’s RSS ideology that has continued the siege of IOJK for over 100 days, subjecting Kashmiris to the worst violation of their human rights while the powerful countries remain silent bec [sic] of their trading interests.”
Attacks on Kashmiri minorities
Pakistan’s Prime Minister had opposed Chakravorty’s proposal in 2019. However, this year, Pakistan-sponsored terror elements have mercilessly targeted Kashmir Pandits, Hindu migrants, and Sikhs in the Valley. Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs have already suffered a lot and the new wave of targeted terror attacks is again forcing them to flee the Valley.
Article 370 and Article 35 were scrapped by the Indian Parliament two years ago. However, it really doesn’t seem to have made life easier for minorities in Kashmir.
So, if we practically analyse what Chakravorty had said, then it seems that greater security to Kashmiri minorities is absolutely necessary to protect them. The talks of implementing the ‘Israel model’ upset the usual suspects.
However, it is the duty of the Indian State to protect the vulnerable classes of citizens. And we are not really comparing the Israel-Palestine situation with the Kashmir situation. The dispute in Palestine is a territorial dispute whereas the dispute in Kashmir is not territorial as the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India.
The issue in Kashmir is that of Pakistan-sponsored radicalism and terrorism. Therefore, protecting Kashmiri minorities with properly guarded enclaves to keep them insulated from targeted killings is even more highly warranted. In fact, former Jammu & Kashmir DGP SP Vaid had even said, “There is no harm in giving arms training and providing weapons to the minority Hindu community as well as to the vulnerable section of the Muslims in the Kashmir valley.”
Therefore, despite protests from people like Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, India must consider Chakravorty’s suggestions in face of growing instances of targeted terrorist killings of Pandits and other minorities in Kashmir.