The unrelenting upsurge in Kashmir’s recent protests against the Indian rule has invited comparisons with the Palestinian uprising against Israel; it has been labeled as Kintifada or Kashmiri Intifada.
Only a month ago India’s Home Minister had this to say about Kintifada: “Maybe in Srinagar or some other parts, they may be able to mobilize support and call bandhs, but according to the Jammu and Kashmir government, the situation is near normal.” That sounds like is Farooq -speak!
In the first signs that the palpable dyslexia has been remedied- – more than 100 deaths latter – – now the verdict from the Home Minster is: “It is clear that what we are seeing now in Kashmir is a qualitatively different kind of protest. We do need to recognise this. The protests are certainly more widespread and there is significant alienation.”
A word of caution: Do not be fooled by the crocodile tears. Ronald Reagan once famously said: "To sit back hoping that someday, some way, some one will make thing right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last- – but eat you he will."
After, apparently, reading the writing on the wall next logical step for New Delhi would be to, at least, begin seriously addressing the ground situation, and end this unspeakable misery for Kashmiris. That unfortunately is not going to happen any time soon. Those of us living in the hope of adequate remedy, now that the diagnosis has been made, are hoping against hope.
Fellows, this is no pessimism, no negative talk; this is the reality! We all know it, don’t we?
While New Delhi is buying time through half- baked and Machiavellian political overtures, the counter insurgency agencies are working 24/7 to sabotage Kintifada once again. The new prescription is to use a mixture of Fabian tactic- – cycles of delaying and denying, and ruthless military might, spiced with confusing media propaganda and diversionary and mind control tactics, all at once. Thus the Indian media’s unending chant that the Indian State will never budge on the issue of plebiscite is a subliminal means of mind control to prick a hole in the balloon of Kintifada.
Enough of that! Done that, been there! This is not going to wok.
Fortunately, today’s Kashmiris’ political sense is far more sophisticated and nuanced. Kashmiris understand India far better than India understands Kashmiris. Regardless, the intelligence agencies will continue to pull different coloured rabbits out of their hat at different occasions as red herring to hoodwink the national and international opinion.
A political scientist and counterinsurgency analyst, James Gundu has recently made a telling observation: “Unable to compromise with Kashmiri or Pakistani authorities, India’s isolation will build and slowly crush New Delhi – unless a terror attack rescues it.” Remember: it has been rightly said that some zealots in India would not mind using India as a matchstick to set Kashmir or Pakistan on fire. Remember massacre of Sikhs in Chattisinghpura, Samjuta Express and Pune blasts of yester years, and, who knows, the more recent Jama Masjid blasts.
Attempts have already been made to shift focus from the main issue in Kashmir to such unfortunate alleged incidents in America as the burning of the Qur’an. The unhindered spraying of bullets on the Tangmarg protesters after some goons of a pro-India political party set ablaze a school there was a cynical attempt to cast the kintifada in terms of Muslim extremism.
We in Kashmir are no strangers to this. In the Counter Insurgency Manuals there is a well-known concept known as “False flag terrorism" in which the intelligence agencies stage secret operations whereby they attack the government installations, armed forces posts, or even the civilians. The attack is then blamed on the real or perceived adversary in order to engender national and international outrage. This all with the singular aim of justifying all out military assault, curfews and restrictions, arrests, extrajudicial killings, etc.
There are scores of examples for ‘false flag terrorism’ from the Nazi Germany, Israeli Mosad, and the CIA. In the immediate aftermath of 911- attacks in America, the Democratic members of the US Congress were selectively mailed anthrax- tainted letters, purportedly by the Muslim extremists. This botched up operation was carried out by the US intelligence agencies in order to preempt Democrats’ resistance to, and scare them into passing, the freedom curtailing PATRIOT Act. The source of Anthrax, it was later discovered, was a US government laboratory, and not the suspected terrorists.
Kashmiris must guard against such designs by the adversary, in view of the impending Babri Masjid/Ram Janumbhoomi verdict. Regardless of which way it goes, the verdict of the Supreme Court must be gracefully honoured. Let nothing distract us from the mission left to us by Kashmir’s martyrs. Justice for Kashmir must remain our only reference point.
James Gundu has a piece of advice: “As of this moment Kashmiris’ own actions represent the best chance of altering the status quo, however high the price in blood. Washington will presumably stay out of the conflict unless it gets particularly nasty; silence greeted the latest killings. And while elements within India demand negotiations with Kashmir’s political parties, the only actions taken continue to be security-related.”
Let us face it: We have a long way to go! Caution at each step along the way is in order.
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