Sunday, July 11, 2010

INDIA STONED: THE ENEMY IS IN OUR MIDST

"I congratulate Pakistani journalist Barza Butt on her humane views on tragedy of Baluchistan and brutalities of Pakistan Army." Can you even conceive of such a tweet being sent by, say, India's Home Minister to the most well-known Pakistani TV journalist and the premier media voice of the Pakistani establishment? Worse, can you even imagine that Pakistan government's de facto PRO will ever dare to show her country and its military in such poor light to its only enemy and rival? And not once but repeatedly for years, applauded by the very government on whose orders young sons of India lay down their lives without questioning why?

Anyone who knows Pakistan will know that such an anti-national journalist will be totally shunned by the establishment -- if not made to 'disappear' -- much less allowed to become a star.

But, India is a different country altogether. Here, leading journalists and others not only routinely subvert minds of Indians but are apparently actually encouraged to do so by a government for whom pursuit of a narrow political agenda that aims at pulling in the last Muslim vote supersedes all other considerations. The vote must come, even if is drenched with the blood of India's unsung sons, even if India has to kneel before its implacably hostile neighbour Pakistan. Some of us may not see what is happening, the plot unfolding, the stage being set to sell India for a few votes more. But, sharp eyes across the border miss nothing. They take in every byte and every image because that helps them fine tune their relentless war against India, to surprise it with monotonous regularity, to remain a few hundred steps ahead of an establishment that can barely react, much less act proactively to defeat its challenge.

An enemy always refrains from publicly acknowledging and appreciating elements in the opposite camps that are working in its interest; they must be kept looking authentic and honest. But, sometimes, the joy over their success is so difficult to contain that one lets one's feeling out before sense returns. And Twitter lets you do that before you can even pause for a breath.

The tweet that you read in the first paragraph is not fictitious. It was sent to Barkha Dutt by the Governor of Punjab, Pakistan. Just replace 'Baluchistan' with 'Kashmir' and 'Pakistan Army' with' Indian Army'. Pakistan's Punjab, for those of you who may not know, is not just another province; it is Pakistan. 90% of Pakistan's military is Punjabi, as is the LeT that is leading Pakistan's jihad in Kashmir.

Unfortunately for India, Dutt is not alone in this defaming, this deforming, this defeating of India. The so-called liberal media and the academia are full of such people that the state seems to have bought through the many means at its command. They have been working over time even after 26/11 to convince India that Pakistan actually needs to be strengthened and that India must make fatal concessions to that country to buy peace. Friendship is what these people talk of all the time, even though Pakistan shows no sign or interest whatsoever in letting up on its proxy war. That, some believe, is primarily because they are convinced that any tough talk, forget action, against a rogue state that needs to be whipped blue, will cost votes of Indian Muslims and thereby the throne of Delhi.

The violence which erupted in the Valley during the last month took everybody by surprise, when it should never have. This is not the first time that India has been so surprised. Worryingly, it will keep getting caught unprepared because those who should keep their senses alert when dealing with Pakistan readily trust --at least pretend to -- the smiles and the blatantly fraudulent explanations that they are given, whether by leading Pakistani journalists -- the rare exceptions can be spotted from miles -- or the establishment, whose voice the former articulate with some sophistication.

More damaging than the stones that youth of a few districts of Kashmir Valley have been throwing at India are the ones that some Indian have thrown at their own country. To cite one more example, Amitabh Mattoo, a Kashmiri Pandit who should know better than most about the roots of the Kashmir problem and the extent of religious extremism that has fuelled the Pakistan controlled proxy war there, has almost mirrored what separatists are saying, and all but given Pakistan a clean chit. He has, surprisingly, not applied his mind even to refute the allegations made by them that no one died during the Bharat Bandhle while scores did in Kashmir; every one knows that nowhere during the bandh was the police targeted directly by organised and hired stone-pelting mobs with the clear aim of forcing it to react and create martyrs. But not Mattoo.

The tragedy of India is that such fellows who have little qualms about betraying their own people made refugees by violent religious extremism -- what to talk of India -- are made members of the National Security Advisory Board and other national institutions. Should that surprise us any more? Can, in Pakistan, people with these kind of views even dream of finding such favour of the ruling establishment?

Let us not be under any illusion that the problem in Kashmir will go away if Manmohan Singh implements the Youth Empowerment Scheme that Matto is selling, even though he knows better, or if India signs the sell-out deal with Pakistan that Musharraf had proposed. Autonomy and azaadi are red herrings that will yield no return whatsoever; they have not in 63 years, will not in a hundred. The proposed deal with Pakistan will only result in handing over the Valley on a platter to it, with the rest of the state also being lost. As I and many others have been saying, there will be no peace in Kashmir till Pakistan swallows it. And -- this is vital -- if it does, there will be no peace in the rest of India.

This time it is stone pelting. Next time it will be something else, sudden, unexpected. After the Americans leave Afghanistan, it will be full-blown terrorism of unprecedented ferocity and violence. As long as Pakistan exists, blood will flow. Pakistan is not in a hurry. To its jihadi mindset, the dead give life; the more the better. There is no room for sentiment. To the emotional and soft Indian, tears are enough to wipe away the sight of what lies behind them. Pakistanis and Kashmiris know it all too well. As do Indians who are shaping national policy and public opinion. Kashmiris only have to pelt a few stones at India's hapless defenders. Mindless, even dishonest Indians are waiting to pick and throw them and some of their own too, at their own country, and earn fulsome praise of its only enemy.

India is fighting the Fourth Battle of Panipat in Kashmir. The next stop is Delhi. So those who are asking India to capitulate there are effectively asking India to surrender as a nation. Let us remember that the Deoband seminary from which the LeT and the Pakistan Taliban draw ideological inspiration and guidance, is in India, not Pakistan. Indian Muslims, more in number than Pakistani Muslims, are loyal Indians no doubt, but only a fool will believe that if Pakistan succeeds in creating the conditions that it is aiming to, the pull of religion will not prove to be irresistible again.

India is being stoned by Indians. The enemy is in our midst. We cannot defeat Pakistan till we defeat him. The sooner we do it, the better.
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Readers may also read:
1.Tavleen Singh: The jihad comes to Kashmir
2. Kanchan Gupta: Let's not defame the armed forces
3. Dealing with Pakistan: Lessons from history
4. Kashmir Deal: Solution or surrender?
5. Don't 'beggar my buggering neighbour; make him bigger'
6. Akbar turns Jinnah, asks for Muslim state
7. Reorganise J&K on a linguistic basis