Secure in the belief that under Westphalian sovereignty rules, or state sovereignty, which is the principle of international law articulating that each nation-state has exclusive sovereignty over its territory and that external powers should not interfere in another country's domestic affairs; the BJP government is ring fencing its policy of drift in Jammu & Kashmir. The principle underlies the modern international system of sovereign states. Which is all very well as far as global diplomacy is concerned, but as the situation deteriorates rapidly in the Valley, the concern is heightened among the vast swathe of Kashmir watchers.
In the 2015 action film Point Break, eight extreme challenges dominate the canvas. For the uninitiated Ono Ozaki was a fictional eco warrior who created an extreme sport challenge comprising eight of the toughest dares in the Hollywood super action flick Point Break.
The BJP leadership has over the last few years squandered enough opportunities and lately the Rubicon seems to have been crossed in terms of controls over south Kashmir, now held by security forces. So perilous is the situation that if the security forces are removed, God alone knows what the outcome will be? When one surveys the ground reality exactly four years after coming to power in the Centre and a little over three years in the state, the BJP leaves behind a shipwreck, it is low tide and the skeletons are visible to all. Choosing to unleash majoritarian forces with a subliminal messaging of islamophobia and Muslim bashing, foregoing all opportunities for dialogue the Hindu right has distanced itself from Kashmir.
Equally in my opinion, anyone who takes up arms against his country needs to be dealt with severely, Kashmiri militants or naxals or north eastern rebels who oppose and challenge the idea and Idiom of India by taking up weapons have no room to hide or run. But there is space for dialogue to bury the recriminations, to bring them back to the right side. In the absence of any dialogue and the return of jackboots in the Valley, this has unfortunately been overlooked.
Eight massive opportunities have been disregarded by Modi.
Recalling octogenarian Governor N N Vohra who has been in office since 2008 Amarnath crisis, you need someone more agile and adroit to understand the ground siuation and provide vital inputs to Delhi and the local administration. Sending an ex-Muslim General like Syed Atat Hasnain, once Corps Commander in J & K would have worked wonders.
Unified Command meetings have never been structured under the aegis of the Chief Minister, they are held whenever the opportunity necessitates. Against the backdrop of incessant violence, it is imperative that these meetings are held weekly top contain the damage.
Removal of Shiv Mohan Sahai, ADG CID (last), a veteran of Kashmir Police, the man who stamped out local mililtancy last time round by CM Mehbooba perhaps the biggest setback. For if anyone knows Kashmir in the security establishment, then it is Sahai now ensconced in Delhi NCCS, a complete waste of a resource.
Major damper on J & K Police morale as Sahai is known to lead from the front, his exploits in Rajouri and other places are part of local folklore. His last assignment was to monitor the internet explicitly to catch the terrorist pipelines. Instead the release of the bulk of the stone peters by Mehbooba has only added to the kerfuffle.
Trial balloon of Article 35A on Kashmir permanent residency floated by centre which angered local populace and then suddenly pulled out of SC when Dineshwar Sharma was sent there as interlocutor. Winter lull of 2017-18 after the unceasing violence over Burman Wani’s death all through summer should have been used to structure some sort of dialogue with all parties including Hurriyat.
Sher and Bakra could never come together for an alliance in an earlier age in Kashmir, extreme right of Kashmir polity and Indian politics PDP and BJP respectively is unacceptable. While “Sher” signified supporters of Sheikh Abdullah's National Conference, “Bakra” connoted supporters of Mirwaiz family and their Awami Action Committee. Decades ago, before the onset of militancy, Sher and Bakra feuds were a common scene on the political turf of Srinagar, particularly in congested old city, or the Shaher-e-Khaas.
The always growing chasm between Hindu BJP in Jammu and Muslim PDP which has always practised soft separatism and mainstreamed violence nullifying Agenda for Alliance practically from day one. After all south Kashmir strongholds voted for PDP against the politics of BJP and for the politics of pro Pakistan PDP. Divide has accentuated and become uglier after the Kathua rape case.
Unable to control the rise of burgeoning Salafi Wahabism in Madrasa where clerics from UP and Bihar are preaching, even as the internet and its TOR (the onion network) which is free software for enabling anonymous communication continues to flourish in the spread of anti India pro Islam propaganda. Anti Hindia (Hindu India) sentiment has peaked as even tourists are being targeted openly now, something not seen even during the worst cycles of violence.
So, the policy of drift in Kashmir has come to such a pass that nobody trusts or believes the Centre anymore, the trust deficit singular as youth take to the gun all over again. It is said that so many people are sponging off the Kashmir militancy industry that no one wants it to end. Crores coming from India, Pakistan and till recently Saudi Arabia have meant that the Valley is flush with cash. PM Modi had a singular opportunity to if not solve Kashmir, at least ensure that peace returned to the Valley like say in 2012, one of the best years in recent times. Unfortunately, he has squandered it. Perhaps he should learn from his own ideologue and Sangh Guru from the past - M S Golwalkar.
When Maharaja Hari Singh, under the influence of his Rajguru Swami Sant Deo who floated the idea of Dogristan, chased away Congress President Acharya J B Kripalani, sent Viceroy Lord Mountbatten trout fishing and even made Gandhiji wait before seeing him, then Sardar Patel reportedly convinced RSS sarsangchalak Guru Golwalkar through M C Mahajan to visit him to convince Hari Singh to accede to India. Of course Gandhiji played a huge role in convincing Hari Singh too.
According to late Madhavrao Muley, who was then Prant Pracharak of Punjab and J&K, Golwalkar could convince the Maharaja about accession with the Indian Union. The Maharaja sent the accession proposal to Delhi and Guruji directed the RSS workers in Jammu and Kashmir to shed the last drop of their blood for the security of Jammu and Kashmir. After issuing these directions he returned to Delhi.
Muley had given the detailed account of this historical fact in the book titled “Shri Guruji Samagra Darshan”.
According to Madhav Rao, “Union Home Minister Sardar Patel, had told Mehar Chand Mahajan, Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to prepare Maharaja Hari Singh for the accession of the state to India. Mehar Chand Mahajan conveyed the message to Guruji requesting him to meet the Maharaja and prepare him for the accession. Mahajan had arranged the meeting between Guruji and the Maharaja”.
“Guruji reached Srinagar by air from Delhi on October 17, 1947. The meeting took place on the morning of October 18. During the meeting prince Karan Singh, with his plastered fractured leg, was present while lying on the bed. Maharaja's contention was that ‘my state is fully dependent on Pakistan. All routes pass through Sialkot and Rawalpindi. Lahore is my airport. How can I have relations with India?’
Guruji made him understand by saying ‘you are a Hindu king’. By acceding to Pakistan your Hindu subjects will have to struggle against grave difficulties. It is correct that there is no road, rail or air link with India but it can be set right quickly. In your interest and in the interest of Jammu & Kashmir State it is better for you to accede to India.”
Prime Minister Mahajan too supported Golwalkar and said to the Maharaja that he was right. We must accede to India. At the end of their meeting, the Maharaja presented a ‘Tosa’ (best quality Pashmina Shawl) to Guruji and conveyed his readiness to accede to India.
After a period of eight days, the Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession with the Indian Union and thus, the Princely state of J&K became an integral and inseparable part of India. The then RSS Chief Golwalkar Guruji played a very crucial role in convincing the Maharaja and securing the merger.
This fact is not highlighted in public domain so very little is known about it. But it can safely be said that both Gandhiji and Golwalkar played a part in the accession as they appealed to different strands of sentiment in Hari Singh.
Instead of that one is ready to endorse former CM Farooq Abdullah’s train of thought – “The BJP government at the Centre instead of helping us get out of this vortex of violence is watching as a mute spectator. They seem to have given up on the state and have so far failed in bringing in a workable, practical and sensible way-out. When it comes to Kashmir, the present leadership of the BJP is so dogmatic in their approach that they are not ready to listen to reason.”
Blaming the state government as well as the Centre for the rapidly deteriorating situation, Abdullah said deaths, communal polarisation, chaos and anarchy have engulfed all the three regions of the state. “Under the present PDP-BJP government, the people of the state are being pitted against one another along regional and religious lines. This is being done with a design to seek specific political dividends by the ruling regime,” he alleged.
Expressing concern over the deteriorating law and order scenario in the state, the former chief minister said that frequent killings had led to a situation where the youths were being pushed into an area of confrontation and that they would subsequently become the victims of this conflict. Yes, what he is saying is pure play politics, but everything that he has said is absolute truth. Truth so unpalatable that no one wants to deal with it.