By: Aabid Rehman Pala 21 February 2019
“Death of a militant, civilian or an army personal is a human loss. It should never be celebrated because nothing can be achieved through it. It only desolate a house, widow a woman and orphan many children. So to celebrate this occasion is never a human quality.”
The Lethpora Pulwama attack in Kashmir on the CRPF convoy might have shocked the world and shaken the chairs of the peers in New Delhi but the attack is not the first of its kind in Kashmir. The valley is used to these bloodbaths. Only the killer and killed keeps changing and every time what people witness is the funeral of humanity. Everybody perceive them through their own perspective and kind of legitimise them by portraying the facts through other way.
Kashmir is a conflict and conflict demands a solution not the repression. But when conflict is portrayed as a law and order problem or the militancy related issue and kept lingering and dwindling, it definitely has to burst out and show its powerful effective repercussions because of not handled the way it should be. So the price of it has to be paid by anyone related to it. It then randomly make people its victim irrespective of their identity. It doesn’t consider army, civilians or militants then, but engulf everybody to satisfy its appetite of blood.
The irony is that the victims of the conflict keep blaming each other of the turbulence, despite knowing that nobody is guilty. Someone is compelled while the other is pushed to indulge but nobody is guilty of the violence other than the conflict. Peeping thoroughly into the issue will bring everybody to the conclusion that there is no way out, other than solving the conflict peacefully as soon as possible. Delaying it would only add the number of graves in Kashmir and let the amount of soot flow in the River Ganga.
It is never in the hands of victims (of both sides) to stop the unabated cycle of killings and maimings in the valley but the people at helm who have the control over it. But unfortunately they are numb and busy in pushing people into the gallows. Then to blurt out the impulsive statements and merely warn or frighten somebody doesn’t change anything on the ground. Moreover, statements are free which everybody could afford. But everybody doesn’t have the authority to change the situation at the ground.
It certainly is in the hands of a few people who unfortunately are enjoying the luxury in their comfort zones, while common people in Kashmir as well as in mainland India keep suffering and bearing the brunt of this dwindling dispute in the shape of upheavals and unrests. Everybody couldn’t be blamed randomly for the loss, although everyone could be involved. The difference lies in having the authority and capability to change the things nonviolently, which only the people at helm have.
Dr. Shah Faisal, a bureaucrat turned politician stressed on the same in one of his Facebook posts. He wrote, “There is Karbala everyday in Kashmir. One side mourns today and another mourns tomorrow. But those who can stop this war are not moved at all. Nothing seems to be pricking the conscience of those powers who can stop this bloodshed in Kashmir.”
The Pulwama attack was widely condemned on the social, print and electronic media, but very few were able to bring the attention towards the root cause which definitely is the pith of whole turbulence.
“Unless, there are serious attempts to resolve the deeper malaise – the conflict – through peaceful means, there is no way that blood will stop flowing in the Valley.” Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, the editor of Kashmir Times wrote in National Herald right after the attack.
Shivam Vij, a columnist at The Print wrote, “New Delhi sees Kashmir as a security problem rather than a political one. Instead of finding ways to resolve a conflict, it merely seeks to manage it.”
Alok Asthana, a retired colonel of Indian Army in an article in The Wire titled, “After Pulwama Attack, the Core Issue in Kashmir Is Being Ignored – Again” raised a genuine question. He writes, “The core issue is why are local Kashmiris, many of them relatively well off and educated, ready to lay down their lives in this manner?”
What went wrong?
There was a time when the name of the army would give scary goosebumps to a whole village. Every septuagenarian reminds the fear after the circulation of a canard that an army vehicle is coming towards their village. They have to empty the whole village and run to the adjacent villages. But the time has changed. Youth are now ready to lay down their lives with or without picking up the gun. There is not an iota of fear visible when they move to encounter sites to face the live bullets and pellets.
It certainly looks like India’s Kashmir policy is at fault which is responsible for the elimination of fear among youth. If youth today perceive the solution of their problem in laying down their life, then it is very drastic and alarming situation, not only for Kashmir but India as well. The Pulwama attack is the proof to this.
Dr. Mehboob Makhdoomi, a Harvadian wrote in December last year when around ten civilians were killed at an encounter site in South Kashmir, “Don’t ask why these people march towards the encounter sites. It is simply because they identify with their cause, hence the extreme emotional attachment. If you want to increase militancy, you are on the right path. If you want to get rid of it accept that you are up against the entire kashmiri population. Come down from your high imperialistic horses and sit on the table with the concerned.”
After the unfortunate Pulwama incident you will get to meet four types of people. You will perceive one class spitting venom here and there and would arrogantly talk about taking the revenge without knowing the ground reality. They would cool down as faster as they get hot. These people have no role in changing the situation.
Then there are politicians in mainland India who are aware of the situation to a large extent but they would only talk about coercing and concussion. They would assure people of the revenge only for their electoral gains. If they wish, they can change a lot but then they also have to show their face to politics.
The politician class of Kashmir will also leave no stone unturned to cash in on from these situations but they will never stress on the basic issue. They will always show a cold shoulder towards the Kashmir situation, because they have to please the masters in New Delhi and at the same time have to keep the vote bank in mind. They would always try to keep both fishes in hand. So there is also little expectation from those people who keep hiding things for some mere temporary gains.
Then there is one more class who would never talk on behalf of any country. They are mainly peace nicks and have a close look over the situation. Being farsighted, they are also well acquainted about the repercussions and ensuring effects. They have a solution of every problem nonviolently but are unfortunately given a little vent to implement it. They are the intellectual class who sans arrogance, revengeful mind and always talk about a solution because they scarcely quest for any coign of vantage.
Meanwhile Dr. Makhdoomi highlights some genuine points right after the Pulwama attack:
(i) Lethpora (Pulwama) attack will result in increased induction into the ranks of rebels since successful strike has sent out a message that they are not sitting ducks.
(ii) Delhi will attempt to kill more perceived and actual militants and harassment of locals will touch heights as it would be otherwise seen as a defeat at the time of elections.
(iii) The only way out is to stop doing politics on the lives of sons of your (and our) mothers, call off the war and solve Kashmir on table.
(iv) Let’s learn today __ be it strong or weak side, violence begets violence.
(v) Operation All Out is not for free. It comes with a huge cost.
(vi) Let it be Operation-resolution instead, only that is going to bring peace and justice for all.