Surprised? Again?

It distressed me to read Swapanda’s recent article about the Kashmir situation. No, not the prevailing ground situation but his thought process including an abiding tendency to be constantly surprised by Hindusthan’s internal enemies. Perhaps this is a defensive mechanism that our own decent-conservatives (I’m quite certain Swapanda wouldn’t mind the label) have developed in the event accountability is demanded of them. They can always claim to be surprised over “sudden” turns in circumstances.

This trait, they share with head-in-cloud liberals. Except, the liberals can be excused their sins for they proclaim them from roof-tops. They have given us enough warning.

Swapanda expresses his surprise that Kashmir’s civil society (within quotes, no less) harangued and shook MPs from the visiting all party Parliamentary delegation. That they spoke eloquently about the plight of Kashmiris under “occupation” and confidently informed them at the end that they would meet again in six months when the first “India-Kashmir accord” is signed.

He acknowledges that Kashmir has always had a significant separatist current that has peaked and troughed per prevailing conditions. Perhaps it had peaked again during the time Kashmir was cleansed of its Hindus.

However, the bigger surprise for Swapanda seems to be the perceptible “change” in mainstream political discourse with regard to Kashmir’s separatism. His surprise lies in it receiving legitimacy from Hindusthan’s liberal establishment.

Only one thing should surprise observers – Swapanda’s own surprise over the liberal establishment’s behavior.

What would Swapanda’s and other decent-conservative’s response be if they were to be asked just when did the liberal ruling establishment not provide legitimacy to Muslim demands in Kashmir? I have no idea what they would say in response because not even when Kashmir was cleansed of its Hindus did the liberal raise his voice in anger at such atrocity and crime. So wherefrom arises hopes of optimism in our decent-conservatives that they surprisingly crash once in a while?

Not once in Swapanda’s piece is the word Muslim mentioned. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The doctor & teacher’s religion is not mentioned. It is left to our wits to deduce that they *might* be Muslims; the good folks who cleaned up after the Hindus packed up and left; who were they? Which Hindu completes the Hurriyat or populates the stone throwing streets of Kashmir? These are Kashmir’s civil society. Amongst liberals, where is the one who speaks in terms of Kashmiri Hindu rights; wherever these wretched people may be holed up currently?

None of this is new or current fashion and yet, our tribe of decent-conservatives is surprised by long existing facts of life in this country.

In a darkly amusing way, Swapanda confirms my deductions when he observes that the international community’s low priority vis-à-vis Kashmir has had little effect in dampening the enthusiasm for azadi in the Kashmiri street nor in rest of Hindusthan’s liberal studios. This only shows up a stronger internal and treasonous commitment and consistency that Muslims and liberals have lived by all through these 60 years and more.

Is all this surprising?

Hindusthan’s political establishment cannot be straight jacketed as of one type. There are straightforward traitors to the nation, sophisticated traitors and patriots who perhaps think like or listen to decent-conservative intellectual types. This last is the reason why the nationalist street has been unable, thus far, in setting an imaginative agenda that has the capacity to wrest the initiative from the Kashmiri separatist and their fifth column amidst us.

Yes, there is nothing wrong in speaking to separatists and their fathers – if and only if those who do the speaking in the name of Hindusthan know what they want for their nation; not merely what and how they may surrender its interests. These broad strategies for play should be provided by our conservatives, decent or otherwise, to politicians and bureaucrats. Such being the case, why are we still depending on a strategy that is supposed to wear our mortal enemies down with boredom?

Swapanda says it is ultimately a test of nerves and endurance. That may be but how are we going to win this test for Hindusthan?

– That’s provided we are not talking about another “trough” in Kashmiri separatist sentiment until their next “peak”.

– That’s provided we are talking about solving the Kashmir problem once for all.

Is “Kashmiriyat” different from pride in “Kannadambe”? Not really. So let’s not talk about Kashmiriyat as reasonable impulse for separatism. (Kashmiri Hindus have not spoken against Kashmiriyat.) To argue otherwise would be as ridiculous as attributing Karunanidhi’s anti-Hindu mania to his supposed rationalism and not to his visceral hatred of the Brahmanas arising from the poison of self-imbibed Dravidianism.

On the other hand, let’s open our eyes wide to what is crystal clear. Islam and Muslims are and always have been the driving force behind separatism and secession. I agree that a purely military response is not merely unwise but will not solve the problem unless we plan on stationing the Army permanently as an “occupying force”. Such an action would be tantamount to internal containment – impractical over the long haul and dangerous in a front-line state.

But what do we want?

1. Kashmiri Hindus have been driven out of their home. We want them to have a home again in Kashmir.

2. Kashmiri Muslims want azadi – they have not spoken about a place for Hindus in their scheme of things. This makes their demand a purely Muslim one. In fact they have stated it as clearly as possible. If it is to be an Islamic state, then Kashmiri Hindus stand to lose. I don’t think we can allow that to happen.

3. We must admit that this is the latest attempt to partition Hindusthan. Muslims in Kashmir are much like the earlier Muslims in UP and Bihar who drove the Pakistan demand. However, to the credit of the Muslim in Kashmir, he has learnt from history and has charted his course more intelligently. He has disguised his demand in terms of “freedom” from Hindusthan; “freedom for Kashmiris”. This was good strategy until the Kashmiri Hindu remained at home. However, the plan collapsed once the last Hindu was driven out. This situation has forced the rat out of the hole and hence the frank demand for Islamic rule. We cannot have an Islamic state within Hindusthan.

4. Now, how do we fit this square peg in that round hole? In my considered opinion the only way to solve it is by pushing the envelope of plebiscite but with a difference. We should refuse to acknowledge the cunning Muslim-as-Kashmiri strategy based on ground reality of the absentee (cleansed) Hindu. We should clearly propose that the Muslims of Hindusthan as a whole decide if they want to live within Hindusthan or they want to leave its realm. A land-sop may be thrown in in the form of the Kashmir Valley.

5. In no way will the Government of Hindusthan worry about population to land ratios. If Muslims vote YES to azadi, they leave. If they vote NO, then they can stay and the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be fully integrated.

The question is this. Can our decent-conservatives muster enough indecency to come up with and give voice to clear options FOR and IN Hindusthan’s interests?

– Namaste

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