It is strange that active combatants, who attack the Security Forces with stones, attempt to obstruct search missions, harbour terrorists in their midst and also help them get away, are described as ‘civilians’ when they pay the price for their anti-national activities. The reason for this is the subterranean narrative that exists in much of the media that glamourises the Kashmiri separatist movement in the name of human rights and some queer understanding of democracy. And, it is no wonder that even the most hard-line of governments, such as the present one, gets influenced enough to try and bend over backwards in the bid to accommodate such concerns, despite the dangers it presents to the security personnel and the actual civilians.
In recent times, the battle on the ground – be it in Kashmir or in Naxalite affected areas – has inflicted a heavy price on the adversary. The average life expectancy of a terrorist has dropped to abysmal levels and, normally, that would dissuade most from picking up arms for their dubious causes. Unfortunately, there has built up over the decades a lucrative eco-system that provides not just a living, but a luxurious lifestyle, to a large number of anti-nationals up and down the line. The reason why this is possible is the ‘freedom’ provided to them by a perverse reading of ‘constitutional rights’. There are many external forces, for various reasons, willing to fund such ‘movements’.
How entrenched these persons are in the system can be gauged by the response to the recent crackdown on those described as urban naxalites – where the average Indian can barely get a hearing in the lower courts, the highly-motivated patrons of such ‘activists’ basically besieged the Supreme Court in the attempt to get them off. The so-called ‘intellectual class’, which suffers none of the pain that India’s defenders do, continues to feed its delusion of being ‘first world’ in maintaining standards of freedom and develops the self-destructive narrative.
There should be no confusion in India’s ruling class about the nation’s interests. The lines should be clearly and strictly drawn, leaving no scope for negotiation. This has been done to a large extent in relations with Pakistan and, even though the effort continues to sabotage the blockade, the pressure has been built up. There have to be established principles on what constitutes treachery and anti-national activity to which all must be prepared to conform. The difference between non-violent legal protests and criminal behaviour should be well-defined, so that the full force of India’s might can be brought to bear on the transgressors. There should be no attempt to justify terrorism by describing India’s right to self-defence as some form of Fascism. Those who do should be recognised for what they are; thereby diminishing the political space they can function in.