The aftermath of Pulwama Attack: A Fearful Story of Kashmiris

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By: Roohul Amin Malik 21 March 2019

The anger of killing the army jawans in Pulwama attack was felt in the whole India. Many questions regarding the lack of intelligence were discussed in the social media platforms. Even questions of mis-governance were also debated. The environment of fear has been created in many states of India by the extremist Hindu groups. Many Kashmiris were beaten and harassed particularly in the north Hindi belt of India. Moreover, Kashmiris were given twenty four hours to leave the states or areas where they were residing. After feeling the heat of anger many Kashmiris travelled back towards Kashmir. During this period, Hindu extremist groups like Vishwa Hindu Parishid (VHP) and Bajrang dal have forced few institutions to stop admitting the Kashmiri students in their colleges and universities. Even few of the institutions have suspended their Kashmiri faculty and students on the contentious posts in social media web sites. Most of the Kashmiris residing in other states of India are still fearful from the extremist forces. All of these Kashmiris are asking the same questions that why we are being targeted? Why don’t we get the equal treatment as like other citizens of this country? Why the governments of these two countries, India and Pakistan are not solving the Kashmir issue once for all? 

However, a large number of common masses in India are against these Hindu extremist groups as well. But, the situation is like that the common masses are also fearful of this extremist heat. The questions which all the sincere citizens of this country should think on this time are why these extremist Hindu groups are getting so much free space to do whatever they want. Why the government agencies have given them so much impunity that they are crossing the barriers of law. It seems very strange when a group of extremist forces beat or harass anyone and then make video of it to upload on the social media. They even warn in those videos that others should take lessons from it. Still, these groups are roaming freely and no actions are been taken against them. How far, such fear would be tolerated by the common masses. It is high time to think and act against those extremist groups, who have created the social lives hell, so that, people would live happy and fearless life.

Though, Kashmiris feel insecure in other states of India. Still, a large number of Kashmiris study and many others work in different places of India. They too want to live a comfortable and dignified life. Moreover, there are fewer opportunities to study and work in Kashmir. But, whenever incidents like Uri, Pulwama, Hindu-Muslim riots happen in India, the Kashmiris feel the trauma of insecurity in India. Governments should think on it that if the harassments on Kashmiris would not stop, it might result into regressive consequences. The Kashmiri youth who are very intelligent, talented and are ready to study and work in other states of India, should not return back to valley. It might create a negative image of Indian society among the Kashmiri people. And, it might distract those youth towards violent options as well. The environment of valley, where encounters between military forces and militants, Cordon And Search Operations (CASO), protests against the Indian forces and stone pelting incidents are the daily routines, would divert their minds towards violence. Even, Mr. Markandey Katju, the retired judge of the supreme court of India has also warned the Indian government that “alienating the Kashmiris would lead to more bloodshed and would trigger a new cycle of militancy”.

No doubt, aggression by Indian forces has not worked earlier in Kashmir and it would not work in future as well. It has been observed from the past experiences that whenever security forces have used violent methods in valley, the reactions were seen very unhealthy. Many a times, it has been seen that forces have used harsh methods to deal with the Kashmiris. The rude behavior of the military forces has become the reason for many youth to lead towards violent approaches. Even some of the youths who have been beaten or harassed by the security forces without reasons or on suspensions, have chosen the way of militancy to take revenge from the security forces. In many other cases, some of the Kashmiri youth have been charged with Acts like Public Safety Act (PSA) and other unreasonable charges as well. After spending much time in jails, these youth have also chose to join militancy whenever they were freed from the jails. This is also a real fact that common masses are becoming very affectionate towards militants. Moreover, the militants are getting the ground in valley day by day. Governments need to analyze that why the young youth is ready to fight with the security forces for the security of militants? If the situations would remain the same, it would be very critical for military forces to deal with the militants in coming days. However, the Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor, Amitabh Mattoo, who has been the adviser to former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, late Mufi Muhammad Sayeed has recently argued in an article in The Economic Times that mis-governance and the politics of entitlement in Kashmir has contributed to the erosion of faith in the system. He also argued that we need to stop the radicalization and alienation of Kashmiri youth not by aggression and hatred, but by gaining the hearts and minds of the people.

Indian governments need a soft approach to deal with the Kashmiris.  It is a universal law that, for every action, there is equal and opposite reaction. There is a limit to every action. When the situation goes upwards and crosses the limits, then strange things happen. No doubt the security forces are more power full in terms of numbers, weaponry and other facilities in comparison to militants in valley. But, the mass public support is also essential to achieve success. I have no hesitation in saying that militants are getting more and more public support in valley day by day. The reason is only the aggressive approaches by the security forces towards Kashmiris and the governments not addressing the basic issue of Kashmir. When grievances are redressed by the pellets, bullets, tear gas shells and many other inhuman approaches, how could we expect the normal situations in valley? Those parents, who’s kith’s and kin’s are being beaten or harassed in the aftermath of Pulwama attacks are much concerned about their security. This is an alarming situation for the government to provide security to the Kashmiris. It might lead those youth towards destruction. And, no one other than the governments in power would be responsible for that. So, it is better to take quick actions against those forces which are harassing the Kashmiris outside their own state. Merely, the instructions to provide security to the Kashmiris would not work. There are reports that more than two thousands of the Kashmiris have already returned back towards valley. So, the government needs to take immediate action against those forces, which are harassing the Kashmiris and to create conducive environment for their survival.

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