Kashmir valley is on the boil and its religious divide with Jammu is complete.

Why are people mourning the demise of the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir? Its fate was sealed the day the government was sworn-in based on an unnatural alliance. What is surprising is that it survived this long.

The alliance was hailed as innovative, reflective of the out-of-the-box thinking of Modi administration. But what was ignored was the obvious ideological contradiction. The Hindutva ideology of the BJP/RSS and the Kashmiri nationalism have no meeting ground. It is the fundamental reason for the deteriorating situation in Kashmir.

M.S. Golwalkar writes in his book Bunch of Thoughts – “It has been the tragic lesson of history of many a country in the world that the hostile elements within the country pose a far greater menace to national security than aggressors from outside … it would be suicidal to delude ourselves into a believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan. On the contrary, the Muslim menace has increased a hundred fold by the creation of Pakistan, which has become the springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country.”

Kashmir is a Muslim-majority state and it has been in turmoil since the day of its integration with India.

For the liberal Indians, the Kashmir problem is a question of national security and an issue of assertion of ethnic identity, but for the Hindutva warriors, Kashmir is part of a larger fight with Islam. It is a religious war and part of the continuous battle for the last 1,200 years. This battle has no soft approach, and no room for a healing touch policy. It will be fought like armies fight an external aggressor. Modi government’s approach to the Kashmir problem is dictated by this RSS ideology.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee pursued the policy of “Insaniyat”, he allowed Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to reach out to militants. No doubt, Vajpayee was an RSS man but his was not an RSS government. It was a coalition of more than two dozen political parties. There was a common minimum programme, and Vajpayee was not Modi. He was more resilient and flexible in his approach unlike Modi.

Modi government has a majority of its own in the Lok Sabha and is not dependent on others’ support. He is free to pursue the ideological agenda he desires. Vajpayee was the PM and Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat when riots took place in the state. But Vajpayee was not blamed for the riots, Modi was.

Since 2014, the minorities have been facing the brunt of the Hindutva onslaught. Lynching of Muslims in the name of cow protection, mass closure of abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh and other BJP-ruled states, the constant harassment of Muslims in the guise of so-called ‘Love Jihad’, the campaign against instant triple talaq, the debate to change Muslim names of roads and monuments, and the attempt to rewrite history and paint Muslims rulers as villains are some examples.

These are not aberrations of governance but a reflection of a deeper ideological mooring. Such developments in the rest of India have a direct bearing in Kashmir. This furthers the state’s sense of alienation. In this context, it is not difficult to understand why Kashmiri nationalism will never trust the Modi government.

Mehbooba Mufti, who once was considered the darling of the disenchanted Kashmiri youth, is today a much-maligned leader in the state. She is blamed for opening the doors of Kashmir for the grand entry of the RSS. The alliance, which was hailed as a breakthrough, became a curse.

The future now looks bleak for both the PDP and Mehbooba Mufti. And four districts of south Kashmir – Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian, and Kulgam – are so badly affected that they have almost become a liberated zone. It was, therefore, not surprising that few people turned up for the funeral of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. That was the warning signal for Mehbooba Mufti, but she refused to read the signs and is now paying the price.

But the bigger price is being paid by the country. Kashmir valley today is on the boil – the situation can be easily compared with the 1990s – and the religious divide between the Valley and Jammu is complete. It will take years for Kashmir to be normal again and undo the impact of the Hindutva politics on the Valley.

Ashutosh is a spokesperson for the Aam Aadmi Party.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Ashutosh believes in appeasing the mullah Hurriyat as the path the peace – if the 4 districts of Kashmir are “almost” a liberated zone, then how come tens of thousands of Kashmiris are joining the Indian Army, the BSF, the CRPF, the J&K Police ? Why are Kashmiri militants attacking their own people to dissuade them if J&K is a “liberated zone” ? The “alienation” of Jammu started the day when the J&K assembly lopsidedly made Kashmir the default majority irrespective of what Jammu or Ladhak thinks , where Kashmiri politicians treat Jammu as a colony and Ladhak as a colony while the develop Kashmir with all the money they manage to squeeze from the Central Govt. Jammu was alienated the day when Kashmiris kicked out the Pandits from the valley through a genocide while simultaneously trying to infiltrate and dominate the people of Jammu by settling displaced PoK Kashmiris there.

  2. A great responsibility has fallen upon Governor Vohra. Given his advancing years, it should normally have been time for a younger person to be appointed. However, in light of the situation in Kashmir, he is needed, perhaps till the next general election. Whether hard or soft, a lighter touch is required.

  3. Ashutosh’s masters at AAP are facing existential crisis and therefore this pseudo-secular, failed politician is back to earning money with his pathetic writings that either promote Congress or criticise Modi. Every leader has an approach to dealing with challenges; Modi has his own. If only a more ethical approach was taken in 1989 or a determined anti-insurgency policy was adopted in years that immediately followed 1989, this situation wouldn’t be there.

  4. Now, those intellectuals and paid media operatives in India are describing India as “Lynchistan” over killing of a dozen people in different parts of India for a variety of reasons related to ‘Cow vigilantism’, etc., why they kept themselves mum and blind when the circumstances of Jihadi funding was obvious to run ISI activities within Govt, political and in many NGO handles, only to ‘Break India through Jihadi blasts’.

    Not only that, the then Congress led UPA Govt, their accomplices in Indian intellectuals and paid media never expressed their concerns about the brutal killings of 690 innocent Indians (mostly Hindus) in 13 blasts in 10 destinations in 9 years (2006-2010) during Jihadi proliferation in UPA regime. There was a huge number of 2317 injured persons in the civil society who were also the victim of Jihadi terrorism in India during that period. Read details here: https://wp.me/pCXJT-9ad .

    THERE IS NO PERSECUTION ON MINORITIES IN INDIA. GO BANGLADESH AND PAKISTAN TO UNDERSTAND THE REALITY OF MINORITY PERSECUTION.

    ASHUTOSH LIKE THINKERS NEVER MEET THE TRUTH.

  5. Which world is Mr.Ashutosh living? His article clearly smacks of partisan politics and sheer lack of awareness of current happenings in JK viz., the coward killing of an unarmed journalist and a Muslim soldier that too during Ramadan fasting period, when there was a cease fire. Governments and people across the world are fed up of this endless cycles of violence perpetrated by these religious fanatics and they have least tolerance for terrorism, period. Examples of failed militant uprisings in the recent history are – LTTE, FARC, Al Qaeda, IRA, ISIS and the list goes on. What is happening in Kashmir is not a social uprising, it’s religious terrorism encouraged and funded by religious fanatics from Pakistan. GOI as a policy should not negotiate with groups which use violence and militancy as a form of protest. 60+ years of carrot & stick policy with ISI funded JK militants did not work and their ISI masters do not want a solution to this problem anytime soon. Sooner JK population realizes this truth and joins the growth story of India it’s better for them.

  6. hindutva is secular at core. plz note hindutva believes in “there are many ways to achieve eternity”. hence, hindutva recognises all religions. its unlike islam and christianity. hindutva also believes entire world is hindu, which means, humans are all having different ways to pray, but eternity is one. regarding idol worship, plz note even islam has some holy black stone (i respect all religions) and even christinaity prays to cross. hinduism believes there is a soul, which lives forever. islam and christianity does not believe in re-birth, but i feel rebirth is 100% fact.

  7. What better can be expected from a Retard AAPIAN . Thought his mind is corrupt but now understand even your Soul itself is corrupt to the Core.

  8. Here is what India needs to do –

    1. Expand J&K police significantly and make them police the populated areas. Move security forces to the LOC and unpopulated areas and use them as a backup. Forcing kashmiris to maintain their own local law and order will reduce the us vs them mindset. India just needs to ensure that pakistan cant do infiltration, which our army can do on the LOC. Let local problems be solved by local people since they will have no one else to blame for chaos.

    2. Buy off the muslim clergy in the valley by offering them money and perks. They control the illiterate kashmiris. The clergy can help the government by avoiding provocation and promoting peace

    3. Stop handing over militant dead bodies or even naming them. Quietly bury them. The public burials are events for recruiting new militants

    4. Monitor and censor all social media to reduce propaganda. Leverage state media like television to promote pro India messaging Stop all pakistani channels.

    5. Arrest all hurriyat leaders, small and big, and exile them to remote jails of India. Removing these people from kashmir is a key step.

    6. Make organizing stone pelting a severe crime. Offer rewards tp anyone who identifies masterminds that plan and fund stone pelters

    7. Encourage educated kashmiris to enter politics or setup new political parties. The existing ones like NC and PDP are useless. Lacl of good politics is a number one cause of disaffection.

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