By K.N. Pandita
True, the revelation made by the former Hurriyat chief, Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat, in a recent seminar is not something unknown. Knowledgeable circles knew without an iota of doubt that the tentacles of ISI’s conspiracy of Kashmir militancy were rooted deep and wide. That the militants liquidated many precious lives in Kashmir including those of the father of Mirwaiz and of Bilal Lone, is what these leaders knew but preferred not to stir the hornet’s nest.
In what context did Abdul Ghani Bhat disclose the open secret is not important? Its importance lies in the fact that the responsible Hurriyat leader realizes that masses have been fed on false propaganda and rumours for two decades in the past and all to their detriment.
There are still many diehard sympathizers of militancy in Kashmir who would wish that what Prof. Bhat said were not true. But understandably, the truth that has been said is irrefutable. There could be, and surely will be, many more surprises for the gullible folks in Kashmir about the dimensional thrusts of anti-Kashmiri propaganda that oiled the engines of militancy for lasts two decades. If the slayer and the slain both find honourable graves in martyrs’ graveyard, then it is the living not the dead who must come out with a clear and convincing definition of a martyr and an assassin. What punishment does sharia stipulate for an assassin who has shed the blood of an innocent Musulman is what a faithful would want to know?
Responding to unsubstantiated rumours is a bane of Kashmirian mindset. In a phenomenon of make-believe euphoria, usually reason and rationality becomes the casualty. Kashmir history has numerous examples of the sort.
The families affected did not ask for a probe into the killing of the elders. They knew there were skeletons in the cupboard of an organization or party whose leadership they held in their hands. In other words, they owned the subterfuge forged elsewhere but impacting their family elders. How then can they claim the movement which they are heading to be indigenous and not sponsored one?
From this reality there shoots out an embarrassing corollary. If these leaders are so insensitive to the life and works of their distinguished elders, then how far would they be sincere to the masses they are leading? Evidently, they shall have to do stupendous homework to re-establish their credentials as honest public leaders with illustrious dynastic background.
The quintessential issue is why did the militants gun them down when they were not only their co-religionists but also outstanding social and political figures commanding respect in wide sections of Kashmiris? Any dispassionate analysis will establish a few basic facts. Firstly, those who conspired of Kashmir armed insurgency did not make any distinction of their would-be victims on the basis of religion; they were driven by political motivation. By the same token, the gunning down of a couple of hundred of Pandits in 1990, too, was essentially politically motivated and not undertaken as exclusive religious crusade.
Secondly, what was the political motivation and to whose interests? Evidently, it was to destroy the pro-India support structure in Kashmir, and to the interests of the sponsors of insurgency, viz. our neighbour to our west. The assassinated leaders to whom Prof. Bhat alluded were not pro-India but pro-Jammu and Kashmir. By removing them from political stage, the sponsors of armed insurgency in Kashmir clearly indicated that their political motivation was not for Kashmir. Therefore the present movement, often claimed by the Hurriyatis and other separatists as pro-Kashmir freedom movement is in fact not so. Its valley-based leadership is dancing to the tune of somebody away from the valley. These are harsh inferences from one cannot turn one’s head away.
Thirdly, extirpation of the entire minority community, as we said, too, was politically motivated. The presence of a small religious minority in the valley led to the credence of Indian secular arrangement worldwide. This was gall to the sponsor of Kashmir insurgency. They planned to destroy the arrangement and hence hitting India below the belt; they succeeded in this plan by killing one and scaring a hundred formula.
The time has come for the people in general to understand who wants to enslave them and to what purpose, when obviously, it is not the religion that is the concern of the sponsors of armed insurgency in Kashmir. While external sponsors contrived the decimation of religious leadership in the valley, Indian security forces stand guard to their life and limbs against the atrocities and threats of their own co-religionists. Let us remember that the tallest among the separatists in Baluchistan of Pakistan, namely Nawwab Bughti was struck down in his home by Pakistani security forces with a guided missile. It was a political murder and had nothing to do with religion.
A broad look at the Asian continent will show that India is the lone heterogeneous state whose philosophy of secular democracy is both practically and theoretically functional. The people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir are among its beneficiaries. This is no mean an achievement, and we have seen India has the will and power to protect and perpetuate it.
The truth about the conspiracy of decimation of Kashmiri nation is known to all well meaning Kashmiris, but now as it comes from the horse’s mouth, we need to make deep introspection and ask ourselves the question “Where are we headed to?”