27 December, 2010 Countercurrents.org
Joseph Gobbles – the propaganda minister for the Third Reich died a consummate liar and a most seasoned propagandist. His disdain for truth in the affairs of statecraft can be summed up in his own words: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it… It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Since India’s position on Kashmir is merely tissue of flimsy lies, it repeatedly keeps unearthing more of the same- -heaps of lies buried under bigger heaps of lies. Here is a case in point: Now we are told, a “terrorist-stone- pelter nexus has been unearthed.”
A recent post in The Hindu (December 23, 2010) carried a tell-all story under the rubric: “Stop force and stone throwing will stop: Kupwara people.” What else do we need to present here to call the new discovery a sham? The only question that remains to be answered is this: When will New Delhi stop the hogwash and start taking Kashmiris seriously? This bunkum justly deserves to be stoned until erased. Would you agree?
The Home Ministry seems to have confused Farooq Abdullah’s falsehood as truth. Farooq Abdullah’s tirades go something like this. “India is written all over Kashmiris’ hearts. To realize its sinister anti-India designs, Pakistan has mesmerized a few anti-India stone- throwing mobsters, under the direction of some Hurriyat morons.”
India, to her own detriment, is conveniently ignoring one time-tested truism about Abdullah clan’s philosophy, which is both historic and historical: As long as you keep an Abdullah at the helm in Kashmir, Kashmir will remain an ‘integral part’. If you remove an Abdullah, they will put up a tent near the plebiscite camp. The moral of this claptrap: The Indian State continues to be such a loser even after decades of political sophistry by the Abdullahs. This, even though their endgame is in sight.
The new mantra from New Delhi is that summer protests were minor incidents of law and order motivated purely by greed for money to engage in ‘Pakistan- sponsored anti-India campaign.’ These protests- – facilitated by the Hurriyat Conference- – were just an ‘aberration’ in the Happy Valley that is otherwise deeply loyal to India. If it were not for the Pakistani sponsorship and Hurriyat facilitation of dissent, these ‘alienated’ youths- – Sonia Gandhi does not know why they are angry- – would be waving the Indian tri-colour atop their rooftops. Alas! Shakespeare is no more alive. In this respect, he would have said this: “Delusion thy name is India.” Joseph Goebbels must be merry-making in hell for his craft continues to be perfected in the land of Chanakya.
Let us quickly rewind back to the momentous events of 1971. Can we say this: if it were not for the sinister Indian sponsorship of their dissent, Bengalis and Mukti Bahini of Bangladesh had no reason to fight the Pakistan Army, since they did not want Azaadi from Pakistan. Conversely, can we say: India bribed Mukti-Bahani to fight for independence? If this is a fair comparison folks- – which it doubtless is- – what is the answer?
It is about time that India musters an ounce or two of moral and political courage to admit that her unpopular rule in Kashmir has engendered complete and irreversible alienation of the surging masses protesting on the streets. In an attempt at ‘manufacturing consent’, it finds itself on the back foot to synthesize a Chanakyan alibi for the mounds of stones aimed at its occupation in Kashmir. Smoke may obscure fire, but it certainly cannot douse it. This entire despicable propaganda has been a combination of denial, deception, and dishonesty. Thus, a flaw in its conception has been matched only by the abysmal failure of its redemption. It has made no dents in Kashmir; it has not impressed the Kashmiri street.
Azaadi an aberration?
If interlocutor Padgaonkers’ recent statement that the people of Poonch and Doda are not seeking Azaadi,
is to be taken at its face value, what does it imply for the valley where his mission of “ball-to- ball commentary” started several weeks ago? The implication is that Kashmiris in the valley are asking for Azaadi. Well, we might as well concede that reality. Why confuse the Indian masses by obfuscating this reality, why talk about development and governance? Where is the need for the “half-in and half- out” double-speak? What profit does it bring to the Indian nation, or what peace does it bring to your conscience? The Goebbelian spin-mastery has not delivered India from the difficult situation it has been facing in the valley, nor will its Machiavellian machination or Chanakyan deception salvage its lost morality to rule Kashmir. India’s ‘duplicity’- – by now world- famous– is no glorious craft; it is a sham, and a shame. You can take it only so far. It can do only so much for you.
Truth and falsehood share one characteristic. Both leak, albeit for the two opposite reasons. Truth leaks under its sheer weight, and falsehood leaks due to lack of weight. Gautama Buddha once rhetorically asked: “What is evil?”, and the proceeded to explain: “Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil…, and, to cling to false doctrine is evil; [and] Desire and illusion are roots of evil.”
New Delhi has shown its unrelenting desire to deceive the Kashmiri masses to keep them under its occupation. It has killed them in thousands, spread lies about their resistance, and slandered their purely Political Rights Movement by casting it as terrorism. It has incarcerated or silenced the votaries of its freedom, clinging to the ill-conceived desire that Kashmiris will eventually surrender before India’s military might and economic prowess. This is what Gautama Buddha called evil!
The recent ‘disclosure’- – although this is no disclosure to the common Kashmiri- – by WikiLeaks that the United States knew of the Indian States’ systematic use of torture in Kashmir, but chose to remain silent, demonstrates that both nations have lied- – one through perpetrating and concealing repression, and the other by ignoring the repression. Together, the two ‘largest democracies’ have made mockery of sanctity of human rights, and encouraged an entrenched culture of impunity for the Indian security forces.
By subjugating Kashmir through repression or by ignoring it through silence, it has turned out to be “a plague on both your houses.” Both democracies have lost the moral rights to claims of being votaries of human rights, or the champions of democracy. Both have strategically contributed new ‘root causes’ for global terrorism. Both have made life potentially more insecure for their own fellow citizens, and for the rest of us. Thus, both must be held accountable in the eyes of the international community, and in the eyes of their own unsuspecting citizenry.
As for the inhabitants of Kashmir, WikiLeaks are no leaks at all. They have been the victims of the State-sponsored terrorism for several decades under the watchful gaze of the Western powers and their institutions- -with their eyes wide shut.
"e pur si muove"
‘It still moves’- – has gone down as one of history’s most telling rebukes to skeptics and naysayers – – a rebuke that has been ascribed to Galileo Galilee. His heliocentric views (the Earth revolves around the Sun, which itself is stationary) ran into direct conflict with the Church’s geocentric views (the Earth is the center of the universe and other objects orbit around it). He vehemently argued that the planet earth circled around the star Sun, not the reverse.
His truthfulness was enough to earth-shake the zealots of the powerful Church, who took a very serious view of his ‘blasphemous’ views, and gave him a choice between recantation and gallows. What may appear to be Galileo’s ‘stupidity, ignorance, and arrogance’ got the best of him, and he chose to tell the truth, as he saw it. Although he was spared the death sentence, he was sent to cool his heels in prison.
On his way to his prison cell, many heard him muttering: " e pur si muove’ (but it still moves) – – and thereafter continued forever to wonder: “What would you say of these learned who… have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry? …if they had seen what we see, they would have judged as we judge.” It took the Catholic Church five centuries to exonerate his ‘gross indiscretions’ but they exonerated him nevertheless.
That brings us to Arundhati Roy, the modern day socio-political and literary Galileo, whose ‘indiscretions, ignorance, and arrogance’ have squarely landed her in the political crossfire, and on top of loads of land mines of fuzzy patriotism, at display in the drawing rooms of India’s ultra nationalists that are plagued by an ostrich mindset with regard to Kashmir.
If these blinkered ‘patriots’ had taken care to remove their blinders while looking at Kashmir, they would have judged as Arundhati Roy has judged: “Kashmir has never been an integral part of India.” As luck would have it, each day there is a new Arundhati Roy coming to fore in India. The weighty truth is causing massive leaks of the shaky lies.
By silencing saner voices or by postponing a peaceful settlement of the dispute, Kashmir may continue to remain a geographical appendage to India but it will never become its integral part. This self-evident political, historical and geographical fact cannot be obliterated by the confusing jargon of scholars, the misplaced emotions of ultra nationalists, the dishonest discourse of journalists, verbal jugglery of the Abdullah’s or Muftis, fuzzy patriotism of the saffron zealots, or the day-dreaming of the status quo strategists.