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Monday, May 29, 2023

Rajya Sabha Debates Kashmir

Rajya Sabha members spiritedly debated the current unrest in Kashmir. Members drawn from various political parties gave vent to views that reflected party standpoint on ground situation. Though the views of parliamentarians seldom concur, yet the house, with Congress majority, passed a resolution expressing anguish on the loss of precious lives in Kashmir. Some of them doled out words of sympathy with the people of the valley demanding break in the stalemate and lifting of curfew from parts of Kashmir.

Now that the bowwow in the parliament is over, and the spite has been ventilated, it is time to have a second look on recent Kashmir deliberations in the Upper House.

Our experience is that we seldom find a parliamentarian erudite enough to induct historical depth in the political nitty-gritty of Kashmir issue. Most of them exude patent rhetoric using cliché that is redundant if not repulsive to the ground situation.

Looking in retrospect, the six-hour long debate was insipid and disappointing. Its level was mundane and its result pointless. Except for the speech of the Home Minister, the rest was vendetta, insinuation or sarcasm. It is surprising that the opposition in the house treated a vital issue that has bearing on national sovereignty and territorial integrity with inexcusable immaturity. The opposition charged that the Prime Minister has not reacted and has sealed his lips.

Prime Minister’s silence on the issue spoke much more than what he needed to say on the subject provided the opposition had the will to comprehend. When Congress stalwarts state in or outside the parliament that plebiscite (“raishumari”) should be held in Kashmir, or that Kashmir is not an internal issue or that autonomy is denied to Kashmiris, do they expect the Prime Minister of Bharat to argue with rank opportunists that they are? It would be below his dignity and dignity of any patriotic Bharatiya. They should seek answer to these questions from Congress icons who successively handled Kashmir issue from PMO for six decades and not from Modi. Their patent slogans like “Kashmir is the crown of Indian secularism” were falsified by history with ethnic cleansing of the valley of its Hindu minority in 1990.

How can the Prime Minister reflect on current situation without tracing its history, or to be more precise, the origin of the problem? What is left for the Prime Minister to comment upon when even mainstream political personalities have begun to speak the language of militants? Do they want the PM to speak of disintegration of the nation? And when the Prime Minister finally spoke and reminded them of parliament’s unanimous resolution of 1994, why don’t they react and endorse his statement which in fact is their own resolution.

The opposition has raised a hue and cry on the state administration using its might to meet a menacing situation on the ground. The forces are criticized for doing what they should do to protect the life and property of millions of peace loving peoples in J&K.

What does the opposition want the State should have done when unruly mobs swarmed on police or CRPF stations to encircle the posts, overpower the men in khaki, snatch away their weapons and ammunition and then fire on them? Did the opposition mean that the security forces should have thrown away their arms, and become sitting ducks so that the swarming mobs decimated them, marched on to the Secretariat, hosted the ISIS and Pakistani flags there and then, after capturing the Radio Station. Announced the establishment of the Islamic State of Kashmir as an adjunct of the Islami Caliphate via Pakistan?

This is what the terrorists – external and internal — in Kashmir want, and this is what the opposition is tacitly supporting. It means that in the battle against terrorism, Modi has to first fight the front run by the opposition parties and their media charlatans.

Mediocrity of the Congress dominated Rajya Sabha debate on Kashmir has to be understood from the incoherent text of the resolution it claims was passed “unanimously” after the debate. The resolution is the dirge of a bereaved housewife who has poisoned her progeny.

The resolution is a litany of wails and howls — true or lip service, the opposition knows better. It nowhere speaks of the cause of pain and wailing. The drafters of the resolution showed not an iota of courage to make a simple statement asking the terrorists to give up the gun so that they don’t have to face a bigger gun. In technical language, the bigger gun is called the Might of the State. And it has to prevail.

Who instigates Kashmiris and who whips up their passions to get killed? Who prompts them to invite a new master to rule over them and make them the hewers of wood and drawers of water? The Bharatiya State is not going to argue with the separatists on these questions. These questions and their answers are the exclusive province of separatist leadership. They should discuss these questions when they meet their benefactors at the Pakistani mission in New Delhi or in Islamabad.

The Prime Minister has made Bharat’s position clear in his historic speech at the end of the All Party Meet held recently in New Delhi on the demand of the opposition. The problem in Kashmir is the continued occupation of a part of the original State of Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan and China. Bharat’s Parliament, through a unanimous resolution of 1994 when Congress was in power, declared its will and ability to wrest from Pakistan the illegally occupied parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir which formally and legally acceded to the Union of Bharat through an instrument of accession on 26 October 1947. Kashmir Constituent Assembly, comprising 74 members duly elected by the people of the State, endorsed the accession of the State to the Union of Bharat. Yes, the original accession was for only three areas, defence, foreign affairs and currency and would be revoked when normalcy was restored and illegal occupation was vacated. Pakistan continues to be in illegal occupation despite the Security Council Resolution. Therefore normalcy has not returned to the State and as such Bharat will exercise her right expressed in the parliamentary resolution of 1994. It is her internal affair.

Two clear signals have come out of the six week-old bowwow in Kashmir. One is that the seven-decade-long game of blackmail in Kashmir has to come to its end. Modi government is not the one that will buy Kashmiri blackmail. The second is that Bharat will not allow China to grab Kashmir by making Pakistan its cat’s paw. The mobocracy holding the valley in its grip for the last six weeks is a pre-cursor of the creeping Sino-Bharat “Great Game” in South Asia. The US, Russia and China are keeping a very close watch on day to day, rather hour to hour developments in the length and breadth of the valley of Kashmir.

Let it be said that an era of extraordinary development in all phases of life is awaiting Kashmir provided people respond to it. Once the Udhampur – Banihal rail link and Zoji-La tunnels are in place, Kashmir will become Asia’s most powerful military and strategic hub with her people dominating the Asian and regional political and economic agenda. If Bharat seriously means to frustrate China’s hidden ambition of grabbing Kashmir via Pakistan, she has to plan now. Suppression of on-going soft sedition in Kashmir valley is the beginning of a new big game in Asian Continent in which Bharat asserts her might.

(This article first appeared at : http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/rajya-sabha-debates-kashmir/  and is being reproduced on HinduPost with the consent of the author)

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K.N. Pandita
K.N. Pandita
Shri K.N. Pandita is the former Director of the Centre for Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University.


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