In less than a week, Kashmir has seen seven execution-style killings. Ethnic cleansing, genocide and targeted killings are making a comeback in Kashmir. The Islamists, under the banner of ‘The Resistance Force’ – which is an Islamic terror organisation funded and supported by Pakistan are growing from strength to strength. Hindu and Sikh minorities have begun doubting their safety in Kashmir. Many have started packing their bags and moving to safer havens. Any place is safer than Kashmir. The reality is, terrorists have adapted to the new normal in Kashmir. They are operating despite the revocation of Article 370.
Non-Muslims are being hunted down deliberately. They are being slaughtered in public glare. The terrorists are sending an open message to the Indian state – you might have abrogated Article 370, but those who have fled Kashmir, or those who have been driven out since the 90s should not even dare come back to the valley. The Islamists are marking their territory. They are showing Indians how they still control Kashmir and the lives of innocent non-Muslims and patriots, apart from having an overwhelming backing of the valley’s ubiquitous Islamist society.
To bring long-term, lasting and permanent change in Kashmir, and to rid it off Islamic terrorists and their sympathisers, a mere constitutional amendment will serve no purpose. It needs to be accompanied by a sweeping crackdown across all layers of Kashmir’s Islamist society.
That crackdown, which should have come right after the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, has sadly still not been effectuated. It is still not very late. The Modi government needs to get its act straight in Kashmir and needs to stop trying to woo a society that is inherently tilted against India. Here’s what’s needed to be done:
Overhaul of Kashmiri Bureaucracy
A system that controlled Kashmir before August 5, 2019, is, unfortunately, the same system that is administrating the valley to this very day. This should not have been the case. It is hardly a secret that terrorists, the Hurriyat and Islamists at large were aided by their sympathisers and stooges in Kashmir’s bureaucratic setup. This same system was inherited after the abrogation of Article 370 as well, and while it is indeed true that some have been weeded out of the system, a majority of terror sympathisers and Islamists continue to serve as bureaucrats and administrative officials.
It is now time to completely overhaul Kashmir’s bureaucracy. The system must be filled with patriots, and there must be an overflow of non-Muslims in the posts that are vacated. Minorities must be given excessive representation in Kashmir’s administration, and the change will begin showing itself in no time.
Re-Education of Kashmiri Youth
A curriculum specific to Kashmir must be rolled out by the government. This curriculum must aim at exterminating all radical thought out of Kashmir. All terror sympathisers in Kashmir need to be subjected to mandatory re-education and training by the government. While the older generation in Kashmir will not pick up arms against India, even if they harbour hatred against it, the youth most certainly will. Kashmir must be insulated from the outer world for a specific period. In particular, all ties between Pakistan and Kashmir must be snapped.
Kashmiri youth must be subjected to mandatory re-education. We understand that the word ‘re-education’ has been polluted by China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims, but that is a Communist dictatorship oppressing all people violently. What we are suggesting for Kashmiri youth is a peaceful, yet stern re-educational programme that will drive them away from radicalism and extremist thought and will make them see the futility of picking up arms against India. The Modi government needs to convey to all Kashmiris that the moment they choose to pick up arms against India, they dig their own grave. It then becomes the Indian state’s responsibility to put their bodies in those graves.
Security Must be Provided to Kashmir’s Minorities
It is a prerequisite to provide security to Hindus, Sikhs and all other non-Muslim minorities living in Kashmir. Until and unless the Modi government ensures their safety, the long-term plan of retaking Kashmir from the hands of Islamists will not achieve fruition. It will also be impossible for the government to rehabilitate Kashmiri Pandits in a valley that rightfully belongs to them, and not the marauders who happen to stake claim over it today.
Without the return of Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmir will never be normal. Sadly, previous rehabilitation attempts have failed – some violently so. The Indian government has been a disappointment when it comes to settling Kashmiri Pandits back in their homeland. And it will not happen on a concrete basis unless the Indian state ensures the safety of each and every non-Muslim resident of the valley.
The Responsibility of Kashmiri Minorities
Despite all the odds, the minorities of Kashmir must come together. They must show their strength. They need to make their case before the whole world. They need to tell their story to everyone – of how they have been hounded in Kashmir for being non-Muslims, and how they have been hunted down for being kafirs.
— Sanbeer Singh Ranhotra (@SSanbeer) October 8, 2021
After the killing of two Hindu and Sikh school teachers on Thursday by Islamic terrorists in Kashmir, the Sikh community of the valley has risen up. During Supinder Kaur’s funeral journey, the Sikh community of Srinagar mounted a massive protest against terrorists and demanded justice for their slain sister. Such protests need to become the order of the day in Kashmir. Terrorists need to be told that their actions will have consequences. The government, meanwhile, needs to ensure that the terrorists responsible for the monstrosity are dispatched to hell immediately, while their organisation is dismantled and its supporters crippled.
What is also required is for the nonsensical concept of ‘Kashmiriyat’ to be put to bed for once and for all. This imaginative concept is, in fact, used as a one-sided coercive tool to silence Kashmir’s minorities. It is a lie and must be done away with immediately.
Finally, no solution will be permanent unless Pakistan is neutralised. India needs to deal with Pakistan. The terror state must be made to pay. There is no other way around it. For the sake of Rishi Kāshyap’s holy land which has been polluted by terrorists and which requires immediate cleansing, Pakistan must be made to pay disproportionately for all that goes wrong in Kashmir.