Kashmir Crisis once again reminds us that an unpredictable catastrophe looms on South Asia. Killing of 49 CRPF (Central Reserved Police Forces) personnel in Indian occupied Kashmir on February 14, undoubtedly is a major attack since 1948, created this situation. It is not enough to condemn it, but everyone should understand the main cause of such undesirable attacks and find out its solution. Unfortunately, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi forgetting the random killings and l miseries that the Indian forces are committing against Kashmiris since 1948, is using the Pulwama incident for his election campaign. He is promoting ultra-Hindu communal sentiment and hatred throughout India. As a result, Hindus extremists right from politicians to film stars, military officials to cricket players are showing their highest degree of hatred and pressing Modi to retaliate against Pakistan. The most dismaying aspect of this communal fever was its manifestation in creation of war hysteria and a violent backlash against Kashmiris and certainly Pakistan. Innocent Kashmiris students, traders and workers became the victims of harassment, physical assault and boycott by mobs. Even Indian Muslims like Shahrukh Khan or Sonia Mirza and many others became the victims of Hindu fanatics abusive language.
Being provoked by Modi’s insane communality, a retired colonel of the Indian Army is quoted as saying: “Don’t visit Kashmir, don’t go to Amarnath (Mandir in Kashmir) for two years. Don’t buy articles from Kashmir emporia or Kashmiri traders who come every winter. Boycott everything Kashmiri”. Tathagata Roy, the governor of Indian State of Meghalaya, in his tweet, favored such a call.
Condemning such sentiment India’s former finance minister Palaniappan Chidambaram tweeted: “The irony of the situation is depressing. We want Kashmir to be part of India, but we do not want Kashmiris to be part of Indians.”
Modi government has airlifted over 10 thousand extra CRPF troops to Kashmir to use even more excessive force against defenseless Kashmiris. The Indian forces are condoning off villages in the name of search operations, carrying out intrusive searches, arresting innocent people, harassing families and looting their belongings.
Mir Qazi Umar Farooq, the top Kashmiri Huriyet conference leader, said in a tweet how security forces raided his residence and took away his computer and several personal items.
This brute use of force against civilians falls in the category of state terrorism which has been continuing in Kashmir for the last 71 years, but failed to extinguish the kindle of independence from the hearts of Kashmiris. Barring some paid agents and power-hunkered Kashmiri pawns (politicians), the Kashmiris – right from the religious leaders to the university teachers, housewives to school students – are sympathetic to the cause of independence and sided with the Kashmiri resistance. They weein p for the dead militants, participate in their funerals and vow to resist Indian state killing machine. Kashmiris have given their verdict against India time and again by overwhelmingly boycotting sham elections held in the Indian occupied Kashmir in recent years. They hoist Pakistani flags and chant pro-Pakistan slogans during their protests. This is an indigenous people’s war and it is beyond the control of India or Pakistan.
Still, India wants to keep its occupation using brutal power, what earlier repeatedly failed in Kashmir. The current sweeping arrest and random killing will also fail. Such policies will simply alienate the common Kashmiris further from India. The anti-Kashmiri sentiment and constant murder and torture have simply pushed even the purely ordinary Kashmiris towards Pakistan. India itself daily cements and expands anti-India sentiment and resistance in Kashmir through its repressive policies. Whenever one Kashmiri is killed 10 Kashmiris come forward to fill up his space. India temporarily can weaken such resistance but it sooner than later it reappears more vigorously. It means will not be able to eliminate the flame of independence from the psyche of the Kashmiris.
India policymakers should realize that military solution to Kashmir crisis is never possible. It needs to be settled through sagacious dialogue, otherwise more gruesome massacre worse than Pulwama incident will occur in Kashmir again and again till the time it remains under under Indian occupation and is not resolved in line with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
It is very unfortunate that the international community, including the UN, remain silent to the atrocities in Kashmir. Why they don’t come forward to implement the UN resolution on holding a plebiscite under UN supervision which late Nehru welcomed and repeatedly pledged to comply with? This is the only way to resolve Kashmir Crisis. That will save not only the Kashmiris, but also the whole world in general and South Asia in particular from an unpredictable catastrophe.
The writer is a New York-based journalist from Bangladesh.