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Living Hell


The ongoing terrorist campaign in Kashmir is not just about Pakistan’s territorial ambitions. The problem lies much deeper and inflicts harm even on Jinnah’s political spawn. It has to do with a worldview that goes way beyond a homeland for the sub-continent’s Muslims. The terrorists that attack the Indian Armed Forces and security personnel in J&K are not just fighting a uniformed force. They are also killing those identified as Hindus, and the Muslims believed to be serving Indian interests. This could be defined as a ‘resistance’ movement from a certain perspective. But, as in the latest murder of actress Amreen Bhatt, it is an attempt to quash any social drift towards a modern lifestyle. Be it Talibanised Afghanistan or rapidly radicalising Pakistan, the Muslim world is being sought to be pushed into a fundamentalist structure that denies the people, especially women, not just the present but also the future.

This ideology is absolutely unyielding because, deep within, there is the realisation that any rational examination of their beliefs will destroy their world. Any kind of reform is for them absolute blasphemy that has only one punishment – as cruel a death as possible, regardless of how many innocents suffer as collateral damage. So, if this invasion under the various guises of ‘Azadi’, self-determination, human rights, et al, is to be countered, those defending democracy and social justice will have to be just as unyielding. There should be no doubt about that – be it in the Indian Government’s policy or the moralising global institutions.

The most pathetic is the dithering among the politicians of Kashmir, particularly the so-called Gupkar Alliance. So desperately concerned as they are about the human rights of the murderous Yasin Malik, very few have a word of sympathy for the numerous non-combatants, which include even children, that have been targeted by the radicalised zombies they consider ‘jihadis’. In fact, it has been J&K’s tragedy that entire generations of political families have flourished by running with the hares and hunting with the hounds. They have amassed fortunes from all kinds of contributors, not excluding the intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan. Their children have studied safely abroad and enjoyed all the delights of modern existence even as they have consigned the ordinary folk of the state to a living hell. Any person who sides with the separatist movement should be recognised as a flag-bearer of the vision that inspires ISIS and the Taliban and dealt with accordingly.