“In our religion, whosoever dies because of the oppression from India, or by an Indian bullet, doesn’t die,”
-Burhan Wani’s father Muzaffar Wani in conversation with HT
Being an Indian, one can never expect to have such wide ranging perceptions against its own nation. But, this has been the story with Kashmir since quite a long time now. I still remember when Abu Qasim LeT Commander was killed by the security forces in the Kulgam area of South Kashmir, around 20,000 people participated in his funeral. It looked like a superstar’s rally- which he was for his people clearly. In the year 2013, 31 local youths joined the militancy which in the year 2016 has risen up to 66 as per the police records (Hindustan Times 2015). South Kashmir (Tral region) has become the breeding ground for the local youngsters to join the ongoing militancy movement.
Mob Lynching of Mohmmad Ikhlaq, Zahid Ahmed- Kashmiri driver who was attacked in Udhampur area are some of those incidents which have clearly incited these new, educated and tech-savy youngsters to join the militant outfits. The level of atrocities have been so high and regular that now the families in Kashmir either openly support their children to join the militancy- as in the case Burhan wani’s father, Muzaffar Wani or they find a way out to justify it. Clearly, Kashmir is on the edge and its militancy is taking new heights.
Since the time when the Pakistan was unable to penetrate more and more militants across the LoC, the drive to recruit local youngsters and train them has been started. This has been one of the biggest challenges for the security forces too. The opportunities for development are close to zero and in such scenario keeping in check the influx youth into militant activities is tough.
More than that the kind of ignorance that the people in valley have received from New Delhi is the reason why the militancy is on rise. Lack of developmental avenues, heavy militarization, no space for political and social expression, lack of political stability, educational and employment facilities has given the locals enough reason to pick up the arms in hands and pursue “Jehad” openly against such discrimination- because rest of nations is not facing such acute crunch.
People like Wani and Qasim are the “heroes”, they are the representative of people’s struggle in the valley, while the Army is still the “outsider” for these people. Many leaders like Abdullah and Mufti has referred that situations in valley have been both choking and unfavorable which has created a lot of torment in the most beautiful and scenic part of India.
The number of stone pelting sessions has increased so as the number of times the people were seeing hosting the black ISIS flags; blockage of internet and other communication services, witnessing curfews and bandhs are regular affairs for the people in the valley now. The failure of the successive state governments to negotiate on section 370 of the Indian Constitution is one big time reason for the people in valley to protest and raise anti-national slogans. Movies like Haider and Fiza do justify such intentions from time to time. There have been regular reports from ground zero on repeated violence, harassment and intimidation by the armed forces stationed in different regions.
The future of ‘fragile’ Kashmir appears to me as very disappointing. New Delhi has to respond to crisis and especially the reasons responsible for such conflict must be reviewed by the government. One morning, sitting in a dhaba for my morning tea, I heard person saying “India pehle Kashmir aur uske logon se toh nipat le uske baad ISIS ke baat karenge” (India should first try to deal with the Kashmir issue and then it should think about the ISIS). People are clearly having a cynical view regarding the governments (be it NDA or UPA) of not taking any solid steps in direction of addressing the valley issues.
When the media and social media is busy in making the Wani as “robinhood”, government seems to be on lose ground. Security forces might be wondering that whether it was the arrest of Wani which would have made their worries little less about the future or by killing Wani they have sent a strong setback to militant outfits operating in Kashmir?
It is sure that the people following Wani and other such militancy leaders will not allow the death of their representative go in vain. The death of Wani can be the new point for rallying and recruiting the young people into the militancy movement started by Wani and other such outfits. One thing is sure that the killing of Wani by the security forces will give a new dimension to the ongoing militancy struggle/ crisis in the valley. Government and security forces should better be prepare for that!
Author: Rishabh Shrivastava (Founder, Analysis)
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