Lt Gen PS Mehta
Hum kya Chate – Azadi, this slogan has been silenced for ever by the Bill – Reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir 2019.The Bill has further reduced the Princely State into two Union Territories as also erased its special status for good. The erstwhile Sadr -e -Riyasat and former MP, Dr Karan Singh has supported the positive initiatives by the Government of India, to include the Union Territory status for Ladakh, scrapping of Article 35A, future delimitation of the constituencies. However he reserves his comments on the abrogation of the Article 370 which has repealed the special status of the state. He has further offered an olive branch to the two leading political parties of the state – NC and PDP and called for a political dialogue in the valley. He emphasized that, ” This is the beginning of a new era for all of us in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”…..hope he be taken seriously by all?
Who is responsible for this new era? Looking back -everything was hunky dory in J&K, especially Kashmir Division eversince 1951. The valley enjoyed the status of Heaven on Earth. I recall my childhood to adulthood journey, where I witnessed the springs and blossoms in Kashmir, the choicest of fruits and flowers, sunday picnics at the Shalimar and Harwan gardens by all communities together, boat rides and swims in the Dal and Nageen lakes. Fishing in Wular and Lidder. Riding and sledging in Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Photographs in Kashmiri attire. The romantic rides in the shikaras and stays in houseboat. The treks to Hari Parbat and Alapathar, hoards of foreign tourists, shopping on the Boulevard, the tonga rides and the drive to Baramulla. The sumptuous meals laid out in the orchards and the musical chants of Kaav Lo Lo from the valley floor during paddy sowing season. What the hell happened from 1989 onwards? who is to blame for the eruption of militancy in the state? While the elite of NC and PDP were enjoying their supremacy and ruling the roost.. how and why did the demand of Azadi spring up? The Azadi no one has described clearly till date. Was it a desire to join Pakistan or was it for an independent Kashmir (possibly Kashmir Division with extensions into Chenab valley) or was it for the Kashmiri muslims to gain complete power and a majority status along with the hidden desire of suppressing the minorities? Seemingly the Kashmiri Awaam lost their balance for the lure of money and/or the radicalization factor that was being thrust down by Pakistan, ISI through the Jammaities ( The same Jammaities who late Shiekh Abdullah strongly disliked, probably hated for the fear of losing the kashmiriat culture).
What has the Awaam along with their political masters, the separatists and the jammaities achieved over the last three decades. Thousands of Kashmiri muslims (referred to as martyrs) lost their lives, thousands of families and homes shattered, gaining nothing, besides bringing up a generation of psyched youth in an environment of insurgency/ militancy- despite living in a heavenly state. Multiple offers for peace, extensive Sadbhavna projects, doles of money by Delhi, provision of jobs by dozens and repeated elections Panchayat upwards were probably taken as weakness of the Indian Union. People also brushed aside the fact that Pakistan is a weak nation – (as proved during the Kargil war) and that it can not do any good for them, but would only forment trouble by propagating the theory of thousand cuts, basically to avenge creation of Bangladesh- from erstwhile East Pakistan. The Kashmiris also ignored the opportunities offered by the PM Narendra Modi to shun gun and join the main stream, possibly thinking they were close to their illconcieved Azadi. How did everyone ignore the massive contingent of security forces present in the Valley and their capability. How did they fail to understand that the combined strength of all CAPF in India is almost equal to the strength of the Indian Army and together they are a formidable force for Pakistan or the terrorists to tackle.
The visibally shaken Gen Parvez Musharraf after the cold start surprise by Indian force’s in 2000 made it amply clear that Pakistan’s forces are no match for India – how could this too be ignored by the Kashmiri intellectual community. Even the natures warnings of floods – earthquake in the valley were ignored and the Awaam did not realise that the same Army had turned their saviours. They failed to realize that even nature is not with them and they decided to put their bare hands into the beehive not realizing that you are bound to be stung. That’s what has happened to the foolhardy and psyched Kashmiris….. who not only lost their State, its special status and their mental peace by a masterstroke from Delhi. Eventually losing Ladakh and the state further split apart. Why did you choose this path? Let the younger generation now ponder over this. They must now think to take the Union Territories from here onwards and recreate Heaven on Earth again.
Hum kya chate…..???
(The author is a son of the soil-Kashmir)
Lt Gen PS Mehta