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We vs them? Modi would use violence in Kashmir, resentment against army as "tool" to whip up passions

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
The BJP has pulled out of the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) government headed by People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti. Speaking to the media in Delhi, the party in charge of J&K Ram Madhav said that this alliance had become untenable as the situation in the valley was worsening every day.
According to Madhav, that ceasefire was a goodwill gesture which was not reciprocated, so they pulled the rug, and now the state would be under the direct control of the Center through the governor of the state.
It is clear that the BJP does not want to own the horrendous failure in J&K, and perhaps withdrew keeping in mind the 'national' sentiments, which would be much regressive than ever, as we know the 'chavanni chhap' leaders will spit fire in the public and convert the entire issue into Hindus and Muslims or India and Pakistan, as if Hindus have given them sole permit to speak on their behalf.
BJP leaders have used Kashmir's Pandit issue to polarise the masses and it was difficult for them to use the same rhetoric if they were in the power with PDP. Fact is that Kashmir is not merely a law and order issue, which this government wanted to convey to all. It is an international issue, despite all the denials by the Government of India and its thoroughly discredited mediamen. A few of those who questioned the state and militants actually became victims of violence.
Now, when the needs the attention of all of us to resolve, the Hindutva lumpens actually made it a Hindu-Muslim issue, raising the bogey of the treatment to Kashmiri Pandits. If the discrimination and violence in Kashmir has to be recounted and revisited, then where would you begin your story? Obviously not from 1990 when the situation became alarmingly out of control. Fact is that today the situation is worse than 1990. At least that time, the national media reported events, but today the Brahmanical media hide facts and speak like Amit Shah's spokespersons.
The situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing and perhaps needed a balm, but this government was determined to use the Kashmiri dissent into a false nationalistic narratives to win the elections. Armed forces have been pushed into an entirely hostile atmosphere where they are made to believe, as if the local population has become Pakistani.
Without understanding the history of Kashmir, you cannot really resolve the crisis, but unfortunately, Assam, Kashmir, Nagaland are the regions which the ruling party wants to use for the rest of the country. For a common Sanghi or even non-Sanghi Indian, Kashmiris are anti-Indians, and therefore the army needs to crush them. It is because most of these lynch mob kind of nationalists have not ever felt the understanding of a minority psyche.
The whole understanding of the Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland from the glasses of upper caste north Indian mindset is only proving to be disastrous. Modi's advisers don't look beyond the immediate gains in elections, and hence the violence in Kashmir, or the resentment against the Indian army, would be used as a tool to whip up passions of we versus them.
BJP's ministers are determined to convert every issue into a Hindu-Muslim crisis but we hope that people of India are realising this gameplan of the Sangh Parivar and its crony corporates. Have we not seen how BJP and its leaders justified the human shield used by Major Gogoi, and now the said Major is under the investigation for another violation.
The party shamelessly supported those who have been campaigning against the Bakarwal community girl brutally raped and murdered by the priest of a temple along with other accomplice. Rather than openly condemning the heinous crime against humanity, the party tried to play the communal game and blaming the seculars and liberals for accusing the 'Hindus'. Even the lawyers in the Kathua court tried to subvert the case, which was finally transferred outside the state.
The Central government has completely failed in Kashmir. The sentiment in the valley has turned against India, and the army is finding it tough to handle the situation. The tragedy is that the follies of the political leadership in Delhi is being shouldered by the armed forces, who are doing their work in deeply difficult circumstances. So many of our soldiers have been killed in this warfare, which the government is still not ready to accede that it is a political issue and needs a political solution.
Veteran editor Shujaat Bukhari's murder was the last nail in the coffin, and the Central government wanted to put the blame entirely on Mehbooba Mufti, whose father made the lifetime mistake by allying with a totally communal fringe, which has not bothered about Kashmiri people, but which only wanted to dominate the geographical area, and not the people.
That is what the Sangh Parivar think of every part of India. They only love the land, which eventually they are handing over to the corporates, even when people are being killed when they protest. In Kashmir if they protest for their autonomy, they are terrorists elsewhere they are Maoists and Naxalites. Interestingly those Sanghis who are openly threatening and killing people are nationalists and have full political support.
We know that after this breakup the government will use the same macho language and BJP political leaders will prepare the background of how the party did not 'succumb' to 'terrorists' and 'Muslims', who are anti-Indians. Well, we hope this falsification of history will be rejected by the people of India, but even if this is accepted, it is not going to resolve Kashmir. You cannot resolve the J&K issue or bring peace, thereby holding referendum in rest of the country or at the crony corporate-funded corrupt communal TV studios.
You cannot decide the future of Kashmir by making it an issue during the election to polarise votes in rest of the country. If you want to resolve the issue, just go there, speak to people, show your intents and remain honest. However, this is not visible and therefore situation is becoming grimmer.
As there is no government even for the name sake, the direct rule of Delhi will be observed carefully internationally. For the first time in the history, Kashmir issue has come at the UN and a report castigate India for the human rights violation. Now just outrightly rejecting it would not suffice. Show some work at the ground and speak to the people.
Once your desh bhakts have discredited all the political parties in the valley, all the people who were really interested to speak, things are difficult. I have said many times that those Kashmiris who are speaking of sanity and peace face threats both from the Indian state as well as the militants outfits. Their lives are in danger and the state has unable to protect them.
It is time for the government to seriously engage all the stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organisations and others. Also, at the national level, not merely the government, but all opposition parties, too, must be taken into confidence to build a consensus on J&K. A military solution to the issue will never be possible and ultimately we will have to bring all the forces to the negotiation table. Using Kashmir for the electoral purpose will boomerang and further isolate India at the International forums.
---
*Human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

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