The outrage that has followed the killing of Amarnath pilgrims has followed the standard line of blaming the liberals, leftists, secularists, co-opted MSM, opposition parties and one important recent addition to this long list of “villains” – Rajnath Singh who is the favourite whipping boy of the RW-keyboard warriors. He has been called Ninda Mama (to rhyme with Chanda Mama and because of his tendency to use the phrase “Kadi Ninda”), inefficient, closet-secularist, weak etc.
Yesterday, some of the RW-keyboard warriors were particularly brutal in their attack on Rajnath Singh for having invoked “Kashmiriyat” forgetting that PM Modi had himself invoked not just “Kashmiriyat” but also “Insaniyat” and “Jamhooriat” – the oft quoted trinity when referring to Kashmir, first invoked by Atal Behari Vajpayee. (See screenshot below).
These three words mean nothing in today’s Kashmir:
“Kashmiriyat is the ethno-national and social consciousness and cultural values of the Kashmiri people. The term Kashmiriyat has come to signify a centuries-old indigenous secularism of Kashmir*”
“Jamhooriat is the belief and trust in democracy and democratic process”
“Insaaniyat is Humanity”
Kashmiriyat died the very day Islamists hounded out the indigenous Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley. Jamhooriat (Democracy) is a joke and Insaaniyat dies a million deaths every time a police officer is lynched or innocent pilgrims or citizens are killed by terrorists with active support from local jihadis. If reports of a few Kashmiris laughing at the pilgrims writhing in pain is true then we might as well bury this thing called Insaniyat and with it the other two – Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriat.
Having said that, the question one needs to ask is why is Rajnath singled out and not Modi? Either people are scared, or their devotion (I don’t like the word Bhakt) to Modi is so strong that they cannot bring themselves to criticize Modi or some of his decisions, but in this case he has to be called out for the ham handed manner in which he and his government have handled Kashmir.
While getting into bed with the PDP was bad enough, staying in bed with them despite the repeated intelligence failures, the PDP’s wooly stance on the Hurriyat and other separatist elements, and the monumental governance failures of the State Government is unpardonable. “The desire to stay in power seems to be more important to the BJP than doing what is right for J&K and India”
There are four clear interventions that the BJP could have done or could still do but will not do:
- Abrogate Article-370 which confers special status and greater autonomy to the state of J&K. This was one of the poll promises of the BJP. What steps have they taken till date? Have they attempted to call a joint parliamentary session to discuss repealing 370? Have they explored the Presidential Ordinance route? No. They have even stopped talking about it.
- Withdraw from the State Government and impose Governor’s rule – even Dr. Karan Singh has called for imposition of Governor’s rule but the BJP at the center and in the State have no such plans.
- Repatriate and re-populate the valley with Kashmiri Pandits returning them to their original homes and ensuring their protection by deploying the army – this will serve the purpose of balancing the skewed demographics brought about by the forced exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.
- Impose and enforce AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) and give the army a free hand to handle the terrorist and jihadi elements in the valley including the Pak-sponsored proxies in the valley. It may be draconian but what we are facing in Kashmir is a low-intensity war not a law-and-order problem and unless it is handled like how KPS Gill handled Punjab in the eighties Kashmir will be lost.
As far as this government is concerned, it is Narendra Modi who calls the shot and therefore the buck lies squarely at his feet. Kashmir is a monumental failure of Governance. It is time for him to show that he is willing to walk the talk and not just talk the talk. This business of running with the hares and hunting with the wolves has to stop immediately
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