The post 1947-48 generations in Kashmir have grown up in a state of extreme anger over the ‘persecution’ of Palestinians, who got entangled in almost a civil war after creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The anger used to manifest in isolated protests, punctuated by stone-pelting at times and fiery Khutbas on Fridays. Many of the Kashmiris had not even any idea of the geographical location and dynamics of Israel-Palestine conflict but still government installations, police and para-military forces used to be targeted to burst their ire.
Ironically, that was the time when Jammu and Kashmir had acceded to domain of India and Sheikh Abdullah was an undisputed leader of the Valley whose writ ran beyond political barriers and almost touched spiritual borders. Now Sheikh Abdullah’s mausoleum remains under armed guard 24X7X365 notwithstanding his progeny speaking the same language, which he fought tooth and nail all his life.
What happened between 1947 and 1990 in Kashmir is a history. The proponents of inclusiveness volunteered to bury their heritage and legacy for the love of radicalism. Jammu distanced itself, as it should have being the land of patriots. Ladakh snubbed the new Avtaars of ‘Azadi’ or ‘Kashmir Banega Pakistan’ by seeking separation as a Union Territory. And, in this hot radical pursuit, Kashmir found itself totally isolated. There seems to be no looking back for a chosen few in the Valley, who yearn for peace, as the terror bullets and secessionist stones have become order of the day across Kashmir. Day after day, ‘reasonable’ and ‘saner’ voices are drawn towards the yells of dissent. Even those fighting the fringe elements are not strengthening their ranks by encouraging what all is happening.
However, a big question looms large over all those pursuing the path of self-destruction. “How many times the Palestinians or Arabs carried out protests in their respective cities and towns, targeted public property, harassed people for the so-called cause of Kashmiris?” There may not be a single instance, except the monetary, moral, physical and armed support of Pakistan, which continues to grow and may end only when the Valley becomes Jalalabad of Afghanistan or Waziristan of Pakistan, not to speak of places like Syria, Libya etc. The world, especially the Muslim world, knows the fallacy of the radicalised Kashmiri Jihadis and their harbours, who are flourishing as chronic parasites.
Ever since the inception of alien gun-culture in Kashmir 27 years ago, hardly any protest might have been organised to express solidarity with Palestine. And, therefore, Israel too had eclipsed from the Kashmir horizon. However, the Jewish ghost arrived a few days back when an army officer chose to go for human shield to save blood-shed as also less than a dozen of his men surrounded by over 500 die-hard stone-pelters. The viral video reminded of several such experiments made by Israeli soldiers in Palestine to quell violence and stone-pelting, known as Intifada. Israel has again come in focus, not only in the Valley but elsewhere in the country. The Israel doctrine is being supported by many outside the Valley to restore peace in Kashmir. Amid the talk of Israel type of actions, a video of a CRPF jawan has gone viral which depicts the psychology of a soldier in the strife-torn area. He can be seen talking about restraint, saying they are told every morning to exercise patience as the stone-pelter targeting them is their compatriot. That might have been perhaps the counseling which stopped the CRPF jawan in Chadoora exercising restraint despite being heckled, humiliated and kicked.
The humiliation and sufferings of the forces in the most difficult terrain of Kashmir are little known to people across the country. This has been happening since 2010, though the enormity of hatred had been on a lower scale. Who must have forgotten the attack on a CRPF party in the suburbs of Srinagar years ago when they were going to donate blood for fellow injured jawans? The approach of the Indian Army and the security forces has been quite humane in Kashmir despite provocations and acts of lowering their morale. Facing bullets and stone, they have never gone for extreme, as may be the case in Palestine. Apart from the disciplined nature of the Indian forces, the reality that Kashmirs are their own people has been making all the differences. The proponents of Israel type action may be right given the nature of strife in the Valley but there is huge difference between Kashmir and Palestine. Many will be surprised to know that there is not a single Palestinian in the army or police of Israel, least in the administration. On the contrary, Kashmiris are predominant in Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JKLI), police and the civil administration. Who knows the Israel type action may hit the person related to the one who is serving Indian nation as a policeman or an army jawan on borders. But will this realisation dawn on those carrying Paki guns or Geelani’s stones? They better ponder over.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper