Modi is right on PoK

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s newfound assertiveness on the Kashmir issue is welcome. By bringing focus on Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), he has made it clear that India would no longer be stuck in the cesspool of Valley politics, which forces it to become answerable to separatists, Islamabad, and bleeding-heart liberals in our own country. The point now is to maintain this stance.

At the all-party meeting called in New Delhi to discuss the recent disturbances in Kashmir, the Prime Minister said, “When we talk about Jammu and Kashmir, we should talk about four parts of Jammu & Kashmir—Jammu, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and PoK.” This is how it should have always been, but rarely has the India government talked about PoK, despite the fact that Parliament had passed a unanimous resolution two decades ago emphasizing out right over the entire J&K, including PoK.

It is heartening to note that all parties unanimously rejected a move by the UN Human Rights Council to send a team to the state to investigate the alleged human rights violations by Indian security forces. What is not heartening, however, is the fact that many thought leaders are unable to distinguish the true nature of separatism in the Valley; as a consequence, they become, perhaps unwittingly, the B-team of jihad. Yes, jihad—that is the reality behind the façade of autonomy, Kashmir’s rights, and regional aspirations.

But, blind to the reality and cognizant only of the fairy tales peddled by Islamists, Burkha Dutt writes in Hindustan Times (August 13), “Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed his talks with Naga insurgents as historic even though their demands clearly include separate passports and flag… Irom Sharmila’s non-violent struggle has been celebrated even though it was pitched in direct opposition to the Army’s special powers. What if Sharmila were Kashmiri; would we have still seen her the same way?”

Dutt’s position, and that of many other liberals’, is predicated upon the erroneous belief that violence in Kashmir is the result of the frustrations of those fighting for regional autonomy. The natural corollary of the belief is that if the separatist tendencies in the North-East could be tolerated and dealt with kid gloves, so could those in Kashmir.

The truth, however, is that while separatists in the North-East can be tamed, those in Kashmir can never be, for the latter are jihadists masquerading as the champions of the state’s rights. In the past, Dravidian separatism was a real threat; today, few remember it. Separatism is curable; jihad isn’t.

For what the Hurriyat is peddling is Islamic rule. They wax eloquent about azaadi; their young followers and their Leftwing sympathizers in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University feverishly chant azaadi as a mantra; in fact, the word ‘hurriyat’ also means liberty. But what Hurriyat leaders mean by azaadi is exactly the opposite of what, say, John Stuart Mill and Ayn Rand mean by liberty.

Burkha Dutt and others like her are unable to acknowledge the fact that the ultimate objective of Kashmiri separatism is an Islamic state. The façade was Kashmiriat; the reality was Islamization, which gained momentum in 1980. The Sheikh Abdullah Government changed the names of about 2,500 villages from their original names to new Islamic names. For example, the major city of Anantnag was to be known as Islamabad.

The trajectory was familiar. The Saudi money established facilities such as madrassahs that trained Islamists in the region. The denouement was the expulsion of three-five lakh Pandits from their native place. Ethnic cleansing continued unabated. On March 20, 2000, three dozen Sikhs were massacred at Chittisinghpura in the Anantnag district. Ten years later, in August 2010, they received anonymous letters from Islamic militants asking them to either quit the Valley or embrace Islam.

Christians have fared little better. Five years ago, a Christian priest was accused of forced conversion in Jammu & Kashmir by the state’s grand mufti. Imagine the tempest that would follow if the chief minister of a state ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party were to appoint a Shankaracharya and seek direction for social and cultural policies. Rank communalism, vile regression, beginning of theocracy, assault on secularism—this is how our liberals would greet the move. They would vehemently campaign for the status quo.

The grand mufti summoned Pastor C.M. Khanna following allegations of his involvement in forced conversions. Khanna denied the allegations. At any rate, in a state where jihad is writ large, one has to be immensely credulous to believe that Muslims can be forcibly converted to Christianity or, for that matter, any other faith.

The same grand mufti forced Pragaash, an all-girl rock group from Kashmir, to be disbanded in February 2013. Typically, he had denounced their music as “un-Islamic.”

So, this is the azaadi the separatists are fighting for—where non-Muslims would be either kicked out or forced to convert to Islam, women would be pressured to follow the diktats of medievalist clerics, music would be banned, and all the abominations associated with an Islamic state would be introduced.

While intellectuals like Dutt err, there are many who are irredeemably delusional. Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman of the Observer Research Foundation, is one of them. He wallows in the gutter of sentimentalism, political correctness, moral relativism, Islamophilia, and other pathologies.

He wrote for Huffington Post (August 13): “The sky over India and Pakistan is not exactly being covered with war clouds. Nevertheless, it is getting alarmingly darkened by the war of hostile words spoken by the hawkish leaders and hyper-nationalist citizens of the two countries. Never quite sunny, the political and diplomatic atmosphere between the two South Asian neighbors has suddenly become very gloomy.”

Notice “the hawkish leaders and hyper-nationalist citizens of the two countries.” Notice the moral equivalence regarding India and Pakistan, notice how the former confidante of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani puts the two countries on an equal moral footing. A perfectly useful idiot of jihad that he is, Kulkarni never lets facts spoil the lyricism of his rambling homilies. So, he can’t, or won’t, recognize the fact that while India liberated Bangladesh, and handed over the reins of the newborn nation into the hands of its own leaders within weeks of its victory, Pakistan committed innumerable war crimes and indulged in genocide against what was its own part, as East Pakistan, till 1971. Kulkarni can’t see that India is building Afghanistan, which has suffered unspeakable atrocities and depredations at the hands of the Taliban who were created by the Pakistani establishment. Kulkarni is loath to acknowledge that India is, and widely known as, a responsible nation that has never misbehaved internationally, while Pakistan is the engine of global jihad.

For too long the leaders of our country have humored intellectuals like Kulkarni—to the nation’s chagrin, even to their own peril (Had Vajpayee and Advani not been corrupted by Kulkarni’s thoughts, they could have fared better in their respective careers). One hopes that Modi’s doesn’t get contaminated by the toxic effluents emitted by jihad’s useful idiots in public discourse.