Ensure effective action against separatism

Ensure effective action against separatism

By THE SUNDAY GUARDIAN | 3 June, 2017

Those who argue that Kashmir is only a small part of the Union of India and therefore its separation from the rest of the country will not make all that much of a difference, ignore the reality of this country still very much being a work in progress. Assisted by both hostile countries as well as by misdirected individuals based across the globe, small groups of those who have the privilege of being citizens of the world’s greatest democracy, work ceaselessly to destroy the union by seeking the separation of some of its parts. They quote irrelevant examples, such as the breaking away of East Timor from Indonesia, an outcome that, for reasons unknown, was agreed to by the government in office in Jakarta at the time. Another example cited is the former Yugoslavia or the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in each of which a collection of states was held together, until the country itself dissolved. In such an illustration does the mindset of those seeking the separation of a part of India now in the control of the elected government of the country. Should such a calamity be allowed to occur, the voices arguing for a breakup of the union and those clamouring for distancing their own territories from the rest of India would gain immeasurably. As a consequence, there would be an uptick in insurgency and a steep rise in the chaos and bloodshed seen, for example, in parts of Kashmir in the 1990s. Efforts are constant by countries and groups keen to ensure the collapse of India to seek such a dissolution of the union. This would ensure that this country not enter the top three in global rankings of GDP within two more electoral cycles, the way it is expected now that there is strong growth in the economy. Given the dislocation that would ensue, such an unacceptable outcome would result in misery beyond description for hundreds of millions of citizens of this country. Hence, it is obvious that any government worth the name ought to ensure by the firmest means possible to take action against those active in the cause of destabilisation of our country. Unfortunately, especially in the case of the ISI-funded and assisted separatist movement in Kashmir, an inexplicably soft line has been followed since the mass murder of Kashmiri Pandits from the start of the 1990s. Even those who have, on multiple occasions, confessed on camera to such brutal killings, are still free, and several have indeed moved into the homes and taken over the property of the families they have either killed or driven away.

It is obvious that any government worth the name ought to ensure by the firmest means possible to take action against those active in the cause of destabilisation of our country.

A nation based on the Rule of Law cannot have patches of territory where the enforcement of law is wholly absent, especially in the case of grievous crimes such as mass murder. It is, therefore, crucial for the future of the country that such immunity ends. Although it needs to be said that the PDP under Mehbooba Mufti has, on some occasions, justified some of the unconscionable actions of the separatists. Indeed, even the media have for long coddled such individuals, despite the reality that they enjoy only a tiny base of support even in those parts of Kashmir where the syncretic and tolerant traditions of the people of that state have increasingly been replaced with strains of Wahhabism. Amazingly, even some agencies of the state have joined in the queue to hand over dollops of cash to the separatist leaders, over and above what they get from the regular sources. This ranks among the worst uses of taxpayer rupees that has ever been seen in India since that time in 1947 when a large sum of money was transferred to Pakistan at the very trim, when the Pakistan army was seeking to wrest Kashmir by force from this country. Of course, at that point in time, Lord Louis Mountbatten was the Governor-General of India, having switched his role from that of Viceroy on 15 August 1947. It was also the influence of the first Governor-General of independent India that played a decisive role in the declaration of a ceasefire, despite a third of Jammu & Kashmir still in the grip of Pakistan. That unwise decision has cost countless lives and an unimaginable amount of treasure, yet in the sanitised histories written by those committed to the glorification of particular leaders, the action earns only the scantest of mentions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given promise of being an entirely different type of leader, and it is expected that the coddling given to separatist elements by previous governments will be replaced by the accountability that the national interest demands.

 

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