What can the Kashmiri pundits do for their own rehabilitation? From the authors point of view.
All those who have been following the Kashmir problem would understand and appreciate that it is a very complex issue and would require tremendous effort and time to get it back to a normal state.
A recent movie by Vivek Agnihotri ‘The Kashmir files’ has opened a Pandora’s box full of snakes. The Director has touched upon and opened a can of worms hidden for 32 years! In a way such a movie is a big commercial risk for any director producer. It is making most of the Kashmiri Pundits cry. It was something not known to most young Indians who are over 20 years age! Some paid ones say
‘What will happen with this movie?’ Shame on such thinking.
Now the Director and the cast took a risk and several failed actors from khan market gang had to criticize it as such a super hit like this gives them a big super shit splattered on their faces- they love it. In fact that is what- intellectual gutters they love to swim in. For them it is pure holy water.
Some say 32 years late? I say why not- ‘Deir aye durust ayee’ And when Vivek was asked on a TV channel the same ‘why’ so late, he said Spielberg made Schindler’s List in 1993 depicting the Nazi holocaust after almost 50 years. No one asked why fifty years? He also asked the anchor ‘cross your heart, will you ask the same thing if ‘Spielberg was on this chair- can you believe it the anchor man said ‘yes I will!’
Another anchor (actually they take the ship down- not stabilize it) asked how do you call it a genocide if only 1000 people were killed- Oh my god, you have the gumption to even say this! I didn’t know if there is a certain number you need to kill before it is called a genocide?
Inn 1948, the United Nations Genocide Convention defined genocide as any of five “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such.” These five acts were: killing members of the group, causing them serious bodily or mental harm, imposing living conditions intended to destroy the group.
Agnihotri saab these Indian anchors some of them are ‘addbhut’ creation of god- They are alive and kicking without a heart- so don’t waste your time. They have no heart but ‘peit palney ke liye kuchch bhee karega’- they are the ones who are a bigger problem than the problem itself. Kyun apnaa dimaag kharab kaar rahey ho sir?
Obviously now the governments of those days are very uncomfortable- especially the congress.
At Nuremberg trials the German leadership that supported the Nazi dictatorship. Of the 177 defendants, 24 were sentenced to death, 20 to lifelong imprisonment, and 98 other prison sentences. Twenty five defendants were found not guilty.
In India no one should worry as their will be no Kashmir trials- ‘aisa kabhi hotaa he nahi hai.’ And they know it. As far as emotional trauma these guys have a brain without the frontal lobe. As a whole, the frontal lobe is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as memory, emotions, social interaction. These guys are the ones who are emotionally numb and ‘inko koi farak nahi padata’. They also know nothing will happen to them – so chill!! Even if enough evidence is their nothing will happen to anyone- so chill.
Kashmiri Pundits 400,000 of them were thrown out of their own homeland and the government of the day looked the other way. Let us not go there but focus on what can be done now. People of India wanted Article 370 and 35 to go and all and sundry said it would never be possible to get rid of them, including the Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs who were displaced. BJP Government took a leap of faith and a very big political challenge and I would say political risk to abrogate article 370 and created two Union territories almost overnight as surprise element was essential for this to succeed. The troubled state came under direct governance of the central Government. A brilliant master stroke! A big political risk.
Till that moment, security forces were being attacked every day and stones pelted at the uniformed fraternity in open. What a disgrace for a nation state? Terrorism was rampant and no one was safe. After the abrogation of article 370 the command and control came directly under the central government and a free hand was given to the Armed forces and Para military to take action as deemed fit. Yet Pakistan sponsored terror did not finish completely and after Taliban taking over Afghanistan and US troops leaving Afghanistan, Pakistan tried to give a fresh lease of life to terrorism in Kashmir and they started targeting minority community being a soft target and were sure of scaring them. This today is the biggest challenge in front of the government in relocating Kashmiri pundits and other communities back to their homeland.
On TV debates most of the people expect a miracle from the government and say they want a ‘guarantee’ of safety for the Kashmiri Hindus. Though legitimate, this seems to be a very difficult proposition. In a situation where armed security forces themselves are fighting a tough battle and losing men fighting terrorists how can they guarantee security for every civilian? Most Kashmiri pundit activists on the TV debates go back into history and say that this is a 700 year old problem. They also say it is a mindset problem. Fine if it is 700 year old problem, then how do you expect it to be solved in 700 days? You got to be reasonable.
Britain and entire Europe has been struggling to preempt lone wolf attacks but have not succeeded. Anybody who has ever been involved with security would agree that this is something which is desirable but not implementable.
Today there is not only a ray of hope, but a beam of hope which must not lose momentum. Remember the biggest difference is that during the exodus due to genocide the government was not with you- many claim they were against the Hindu and Sikh minority and today you have full support and backing of the government at the center as well as at the local level. The balance is in your favor.
Call from History
Talking of history let me take you just 80 years back. At the beginning of World War 2 one of the first nations to go was France. It was Hitler’s Blitzkrieg which rammed into France with such ferocity that the entire nation crumbled and for the rest of the War it was known as occupied France. The situation was much worse than what is in Kashmir today. They had been conquered lock stock and barrel.
The German forces with heavy armored tanks, guns and infantry occupied most of the country from June 1940 to Oct 1944 a full four years of Nazi dictatorship. House to house search to keep civilians in check was the norm. There were no human rights, no media and no help as there was no government.
The Germans seized about 80 percent of the French food production, which caused severe disruption to the household economy of the French people.
French farm production fell in half because of lack of fuel, fertilizer and workers; even so the Germans seized half the meat, 20 percent of the produce, and 80 percent. Supply problems quickly affected French stores which lacked most items of the Champagne.
The administration answered by rationing, and creating food charts and tickets which were to be exchanged for bread, meat, butter and cooking oil. The rationing system was stringent but badly managed, leading to malnourishment, black markets, and hostility to state management of the food supply. The official ration provided starvation level diets of 1,300 or fewer calories a day, supplemented by home gardens and, especially, black market purchases.
Hunger prevailed, especially affecting youth in urban areas. The queues lengthened in front of shops.
In comparison,Kashmir is much better off. You don’t have enemy forces controlling you but your own forces protecting you with a sympathetic local administration.
What did the French do?
They had nowhere to go. They had no support and they were prisoners of the Nazi Government in their own country.
They cried, suffered but didn’t sit tight and wait for providence to liberate them. They started coordinating with Allied forces especially the British. They did more than their bit. They resisted the Nazi occupants in their own way in France which was called ‘occupied France’. Situation was as bad as and even worse than what is happening in Taliban today.
They provided first-hand intelligence information, as they knew the lay of the land very well. These men and women came from all economic levels and political leanings of French society, including, academics, students, aristocrats, conservative Roman Catholics (including priests and nuns), Protestants, Jews and liberals. It was their fight. It is estimated that they were anywhere from 75,000 to 200,000 men and women who at the risk of their lives fought the massive German occupying army for four long years till they were liberated by the Allied forces after Normandy landings.
The French people played a significant role in facilitating the Allies’ rapid advance through France following the invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. They provided military intelligence on the German defenses known as the Atlantic Wall.
Their work was politically and morally important to France both during the German occupation and decades that followed. It provided the country with an inspiring example of the patriotic fulfillment of a national imperative countering an existential threat to French nationhood.
God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them for you.
What can be done?
With article 370 gone Kashmir is already liberated
The Kahmiris going back home must appreciate that government and the entire administration including police and security are with them and that in a legal constitutional terms.
Organize yourself and you are at least 200,000 and that is a good number to reckon with. Our weakest link there may be human intelligence and since it is your area, you can be the best to provide useful information against impending attack by terrorists.
Former DGP of J&K Police Shesh Paul Vaid has favoured arming the minority Hindus and vulnerable sections among the Muslim community in the Kashmir Valley so that they can protect themselves from terror attacks. This could be looked at self-defense capability to be built up. He added, “Village Defence Committees (VDCs) can be constituted in the Valley. However, this formula requires detailed planning. Forming VDCs in the Kashmir Valley is difficult, but not impossible.” If successful, these could be replicated at Town and city level too.
As reported in India Today.
This armed conflict with terrorists by Hindus may be far-fetched and impractical but a resilient mind set with intention to coordinating with the administration and within the community will definitely save the situation.
Remember there are no free lunches and freedom is never for free.