JAMMU: In early nineties, many in Kashmir used to shower candies (a traditional ritual to welcome grooms) over AK-47, believing it to be a medium to ‘get rid of India’ and to secure ‘Azadi’ or to ‘accede to Pakistan’. The gun-wielding youngsters used to be treated as species from a wonder planet-heroes, messiahs, super-humans. Being a Mujahid used to be construed as a huge privilege. But gradually the focus shifted from guns to stones and Mujahids to stone-pelters. This shift was not without a reason, however, which unfortunately Delhi either failed to comprehend or pretended to be unaware of, obviously due to compulsion of vote-bank politics. The smoke is now getting cleared over the odyssey of gun to stone and Mujahid to pelter. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley seems to have recognised the dangerous transformation of ‘Mujahid’ into stone pelter. Both are terrorists and let there be no confusion on this.
Jaitley is right in saying that stone-pelters are aggressors and not the Satyagrahis. Short of calling the ongoing stone-pelting movement as Intifada, the Union Finance Minister has aptly said that Pakistan, separatists and religious forces have joined and now with a new way, they were attacking the integrity of India. The new way is Intifada, which the Valley has been more vociferously witnessing since 2010. Actually, the strategy to focus on stone pelting rather than indulging in grenade attacks and gun-fights stems from the fact that later is being seen as terrorism and the West is averse to it. At a time when global war against terrorism is on, the anti-India strategists across the border and within the Valley have consciously switched over to Intifada, the concept first utilised in modern times in 1952 within the Kingdom of Iraq, when socialist and communist parties took to the streets to protest the Hashemite monarchy, with inspiration of the 1952 Egyptian Revolution. In the Palestinian context, with which it is particularly associated, the word referred to attempts to “shake off” the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the First and Second Intifadas, where it was originally chosen to connote “aggressive nonviolent resistance”, a meaning it bore among Palestinian students in struggles in the 1980s and which they adopted as less confrontational than terms in earlier militant rhetoric since it bore no nuance of violence. The first outbreak of Intifada was known as the war of the stones for the constant scenes of Palestinians throwing rocks against the Israeli Army and police on daily clashes. This methodology is being replicated in Kashmir with sinister designs.
The perpetrators of Intifada in Kashmir are working on two fronts; first to keep Kashmir on boil in order to gain world-wide attention and second to portray themselves as victims of Indian suppression, which is why teenage boys and children are being pushed into this wretched campaign. No sooner a child is killed or maimed, the second line of terrorists in the shape of terror glorifying brigade takes to social media and conventional print and electronic media to cry hoarse on human rights violations. Thus far this has worked in the Valley, as the so-called Indian intelligentsia and the pseudo activists have taken cognisance to these incidents in the Valley. Some political parties and Pak apologists within these parties across India have taken centre-stage in criticising the Indian state and its security forces for human rights violations. Pakistan must be taking vicarious pleasure in Indians fighting Indians for a cause which is sinister in nature.
Those demonising Indian forces for tackling Intifada in Kashmir have no answer as to how the stone-pelters are to be dealt with. Thousands of pelters, enjoying the shield of women and children, are storming police stations and other defence installations unabated. They keep raising slogans for breaking India in bits and pieces.
They challenge Indian unity and sovereignty as a matter of right under freedom of speech. Do their supporters expect the police or the security forces to watch themselves getting lynched helplessly on the face in fierce attacks by thousands? Some sort of force is needed to be used as long as good sense does not prevail upon radicalised and indoctrinated attackers.
By espousing their cause, the vested interests within Kashmir, across India and in the rogue neibhouring country are actually incentivising youngsters to be part of Intifada and wage a war against Indian state.
Such of the aggressors deserve no leniency and Jaitley to this extent is right in saying that no compromise will be made with stone-pelters. Stone pelting is worst manifestation of terrorism.
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