JAMMU: This can happen only in Jammu and Kashmir where terrorists and their victims are placed on the same pedestal and get similar privileges, no matter which government is in command of the statecraft.
Currently under the Central rule, say the BJP rule, the Jammu and Kashmir Government is continuing with the implementation of a scheme aimed at providing scholarships to ‘terrorism’ victims, which, ironically include the children of ‘terrorists’ killed, obviously in the encounters and anti-terror operations with the security forces. Ironically, the government does not only provide incentive to terror but gives respectability to it too. By terming terrorists as militants, the government itself is watering down the version of terrorism, which as per the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2012, is an “act with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security [economic security] or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country by…” and it goes on to describe a number of ways and means that can be employed for terrorism.
Normally, there should be no hesitation in rehabilitating the kin of terrorists provided there is remorse over the unlawful activities carried out by the deceased terrorist against the sovereignty of India. The scenario, however, is not so. The terrorist, known as Mujahid in Kashmir parlance, is not only eulogized for his acts against the nation but also tagged as ‘Shaheed’. And for the acts of the ‘Shaheed’, the family gets government bonanza in terms of scholarship for his children. That is what Council for Rehabilitation of Widows, Orphans, Handicapped and Old Persons envisages as per column 8 of its schemes segment, which reads, Scholarship to orphans of killed militants (without discrimination) @ Rs.750/- per month. The amount of scholarship is subject to enhancement, as in other cases. The scheme of pension for widows is silent over the fact whether the wives of killed terrorists are eligible or not. There is no condition laid down for the beneficiary children or their guardians, as to whether they denounce the acts of their terrorist kin or not.
Incentivizing terrorism has cost the nation the most. By evolving policies like rehabilitation of surrendered terrorists or scholarships for the children of killed terrorists, the government been indirectly encouraging the acts of terror. This has not helped in ending the scourge that is biggest challenge to the civilized world. In India, it has a different connotation for being the radicalised version of terrorism, with terror mentors misinterpreting the religion by envisaging rewards and incentives for Shaheeds (the terrorists).
According to a write-up by Ibn Warraq in The Guardian, 12 January 2002, martyrs (which slain terrorists in Kashmir are referred to) are entitled rewards in the paradise. He quotes the translation of a verse by celebrated Penguin translator NJ Dawood: “They shall recline on jewelled couches face to face, and there shall wait on them immortal youths with bowls and ewers and a cup of purest wine (that will neither pain their heads nor take away their reason); with fruits of their own choice and flesh of fowls that they relish. And theirs shall be the dark-eyed houris, chaste as hidden pearls: a guerdon for their deeds… We created the houris and made them virgins, loving companions for those on the right hand…”
The terrorists and their mentors keep eulogizing terrorism as Jihad and those involved in it as Mujahids. Once any of them gets killed in any anti-terror operation, the terrorist is tagged as Shaheed or Martyr, who, according to them, earns the privilege of getting rehabilitated in Jannat or paradise. This is an incentive, which has been a crucial factor to indoctrinate the youth for taking up arms.