The Kishtwar tragedy and the power hungry politicians

Conscience sleeps with power

  ‘Politics’, they say, ‘is the refuge of scoundrels’. The unscrupulous power hungry politicians have no qualms to raise their fortunes and have their political ambitions secured on destroying fabric of amity and polarizing the society on communal, regional and ethnic lines. What we are witnessing in Jammu division this time – as also witnessed in 2008 – is a glaring example of this hate-driven divisive politics. The elections in the state may be more than a year away, but, like blood hounding wolves the villains in political robes have begun to sniff their beats and have them ‘sanitized’ for their rich electoral dividends. For the power lust, people for them are nothing but a carcass on the table to be torn into pieces and fed to their salivating souls. Modi’s Gujarat have encrypted this reality the hardest way. Buoyed by the ‘success’ the BJP’s election-campaign star has achieved in Gujarat in having the Muslim ‘puppies crushed under the wheels’, the fascist Hindu organization is dead set to suck the state into communal vortex. 

The sleeping coalition government woke up after the communalist forces have gone ahead of their sinister designs. With Congress as coalition partner, Omar and the NC need no more enemies and not wail at a stomach stabbing from the BJP. They have Congress from the rears to fold up their tents and shame them. Need not to repeat that ‘secular’ Congress does in silence and with modicum of “gentle-manliness” what BJP does in broad-day light, brandishing the dagger of Hindutva. The past con-artist in communal carnage, thousands in number, watched in silence as if nothing has happened. It aims to bake its “secular” loafs from the communal embers which always have Muslims on the receiving end. The dominant partner in the coalition has become a captive in the hands of Delhi Darbar, Congress at now is the front of. Its more loyal than king mindset and acrobatics is fast making it lose its political constituency. Sajad Kichloo’s resignation is more on demand of uproar in India’s Parliament than moral positioning taken to facilitate the judicial probe.  

 The armed Village Defence Committees (set up in 1995 ostensibly for the security of the communities perceived to be vulnerable to militant threats) is the latest avatar of infamous Ikhwan or that of Salva Judum. Under the state patronage the VDC – having overwhelming number of Hindus, with leanings to communal Sang Parivar in its fold – has created havoc in the Muslim majority Chenab valley and Pir Panjal region. Since the day the militant outfit was created, it has indulged in the extortion, torture, loot, rape and murder of Muslims in the hilly tracks of Jammu. It has turned into armed mafia, that is used by the unscrupulous politicians for electoral purposes. In one voice Muslims of Jammu division and civil society within and outside state have demanded that the dreaded outfit be disbanded. With militancy having been defanged, the armed VDCs have outlived its utility. Thus any excuse to let the dreaded gang operate is politically motivated. The recent communal violence, that engulfed the entire Jammu region in its ignominious lap, is a fall-out of the unbridled arrogance and impunity the VDC gangsters are enjoying. Before the Eid flare-up the VDC lumpens have abducted a young girl and raped her, in another incident they killed a man. With clouds of communal polarization hovering that menacingly, plus the intelligence inputs of impending trouble, letting the 

VDC goons and communalist forces unleash on Muslims on Eid day is sheer failure of Omer-led government. That one motor-cyclist rammed through the Muslim procession reflects how bold these forces have become. The VDC gangsters storming a police station, Paddar, dragging a 55 year old Muhammad Lasa – who had sought protection there – and later killing him in cold blood speaks volumes of arrogance of the gun welders and the disregard they show to rule of law. The incident shows that the communal virus has corrupted even the law-enforcing agencies. Otherwise how the armed VDC bandits could have managed to break into the police station and run away with Lasa. When a police station is not secure for citizens of a state, which other place they can turn to? Imagine this type of incident taking place in valley and a mob (not militants) doing the VDC, how the cops and their Khakhi officials would have responded. With bullets; nay tanks would have rolled on the streets of Kashmir and Omar would have tweeted in defence of the cops as he did in case of power-intoxicated VDC terrorists in Kishtwar.

 With 26000 VDC members armed to teeth having avowed communalist moorings, operating in different districts of Jammu province, the state government is pushing the state on a dangerous  precipice. Kishtwar should serve a wake up call to the government. Without further wasting time it should clear the soil off these moveable landmines. In a recent ruling the Supreme Court observed, ‘if a private person armed by the state government, kills other persons, then the state is also liable to be prosecuted for abetting murder’. The apex court has also declared creating of such armed militias as unconstitutional and illegal and ordered for their disbanding. Not to have its hands soaked in blood of innocent citizens and become guilty of other wrong-doings, coalition Sarkar should take recourse from the SC ruling and disband the VDCs and disarm its members.

 One wonders, why this breast-beating at Kishtwar (where 2 Muslims and 1 Hindu lost their lives) incident was not seen from corridors of power in Delhi when 120 youth fell to bullets in 2010. No Maya, no Lalu called for sacking of Omar, blood of innocent did not move any MP to hold government accountable. Kashmir always unveils the two contradictory faces of one India. 

 Same Sajad Kichloo was MoS Home when Gool carnage was enacted very recently. You didn’t resign. And no one from coalition, in particular from NC, answered to the call of the conscience. Or does conscience sleep with power! None can be fooled by these antics.