Sunday, July 13, 2008

No Man's Land

And here it comes. So from now on, allocation of "forest land" to a Hindu Shrine's Board would require consent from the Muslim population around, which they would never give. Even though it might provide more pilgrims and eventually more revenue to them. The reason : Loss of Identity. Kashmiri Identity. Whatever that means. Even if that means something, how is that related to the government allotting land to the Shrine Board. Is it something unprecedented? Have there been no land allotments to Madarsas, no financial aids to Minority institutions including rights of extra-constitutional reservations for that respective community, no subsidies for Haj. And if all these did exist why did the "Hindu" Extremists never protest. Just imagine the slightest of protest on any of these issues and the first possible reaction: the entire media up in arms firing one column after the other about secularism (pseudo, of course); debates, discussions all involving left intellectuals( or as one of my friend once said..Left intellectuals are those whose intellect has left them). And now when an entire state is protesting against land allotment to a HINDU shrine's board, in the name of protecting "Kashmiri Identity", what does Kashmiri Identity then stand for? Is Kashmir the sole property of Muslims living there and in the neighbouring country. What about the Hindu kashmiris. Are they not part of the "Kashmiri Identity"??? This makes look MNS goons like saints. At least they've not (explicitly) brought the question of religion with their demand of Maharashtra for Marathas.

The media is busy discussing the Secular nature of the Shrine and its discovery and how the politicians are fuelling the divide (which clearly means the divide existed) etc. but are deliberately brushing away from the main issue. What about the people there? The protest is not only by the party workers. without the support of the local people, the protest cannot be as fierce as it is. 3 people died and over 50 injured protesting allotment of forest land for the construction of temporary facilities for the pilgrims. No plans of building a temple, nor demolishing a Mosque. That's so un-Indian.

Now that pops another question. How Indian is Kashmir? Definitely there are kashmiris who are as Indian as one could get. But there's definitely another chunk of locals who don't identify themselves as Indians. And, that chunk is by no way negligible. Every now and then, there occur incidents that shows the strength of this section. The support for Afzal "Guru" is one such incident. I don't understand what exactly do these people want. To join a failed state or to add another example of a failed state. Because, any state found on religious fanaticism is doomed to "Pakistan-ise".

Every time I discuss this with my friends, there's always a mention of the atrocities committed by the Armed Forces. My question is "Why is there a need for the Armed Forces being posted there in the first place?" And, this is in no way, the-Chicken-first-or-the-Egg-First? type of a question. For the answer, just look around, at the so many other states where the Army does not commit atrocities’. That's because, there's no need for their deployment there. This in no way washes away the guilt of the crimes by the few in our Armed forces. Just wanted to point out that, the root cause if addressed will obviously eliminate the chances for every other issue caused by it.

Its up to our leaders to do it. But who cares for the "door ka fayda", when the "nazdiki nuksaan" is Power. Forget addressing the root, just take the easier route : Find the famous terrorists, the ones who call themselves separatist leaders, Invite them to talks and then talk , talk and just talk without making any sense. The life of the Army men who sacrifice it to protect what they consider as their motherland holds no value to them. To value it they themselves need to posses qualities of Men.

(This was written over a month ago. Even as the situation worsens in Jammu & Kashnmir, my views remain the same. Only, now I have few more things to say about a few Kashmiris
When Farooq Abdullah doubts if staying back after partition was right and is still not being called communal, why should those who ask people like these to go to Pakistan called communal.
When Sajjad Lone calls Amarnath Pilgrims as his guests, why is he not asked for an explantion. How are Indians guests in their own country? And then threatening to go to Muzzafarabad:
I'd say "With pleasure. But please don't return. India has enough of enemies within. A few less won't ease our troubles. So you can still be happy there."
To those who say "Jaan De denge magar zameen nahi denge"...You can add these words as well..."Magar aadhe se zyaada Kashmir pakistan ko denge aur phir bhi Hindustaniyon ki jaan lenge." )

And the most dreadful thing is that such behaviour has become so normal, that we've start accepting it as just another Indian trait. Whether it is Union ministers ridiculing ban on Terrorist Organisations or ChiefMinisters defying it. Its all part of the new India. From a few men without spines we're soon turning into a land of no MEN.