In the wake of the abolition of Articles 370 and 35A and the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir which is now no longer a state, a twisted argument is being made by people from expected quarters. As is the norm, liberals are accusing nationalists of the sin Kashmiri Muslims are guilty of.
We are being told Indians don’t care at all about Kashmiris, we are being told Indians are evil for caring more about the land than its people. The reality, of course, is exactly the opposite. It’s the Kashmiri Muslims who care more about the land than maintaining a cordial relationship with Indians from other regions of the country. Let alone fellow Indians, they care more about their land than their children. Mothers encourage their sons to die a painful death for the land. Therefore, to accuse Indians of being evil for not caring enough about them seems a bit too conceited.
Unlike liberals, we are not in the business of denying self-evident truth. It is entirely true that large sections of the Indian population, perhaps even an overwhelming majority, care more about the land than Kashmir’s current residents. But we do not believe they are guilty of any mortal sin. There are good reasons why people feel the way that they do and it would do us all some good if we are start paying attention to the details.
It’s not unreasonable for someone to not care about people who hate them from the core of their being. Significant sections of the Kashmiri Muslim community do not want their fellow Indians to become permanent residents in the state, they do not want them to be their colleagues, they resolutely try to maintain a separate identity, many of them don’t even consider themselves Indians. It does appear rather harsh to blame the average Indian for feeling completely apathetic toward the concerns of Kashmiri Muslims.
These are not the only reasons for the apathy. Kashmiri Muslims are overwhelmingly predisposed to embracing Jihad, pelting stones at the Indian Army appears to be their cultural sport and the glorification of terrorists is the norm. Not merely that, sweeping sections of the community identify themselves more as Pakistanis than Indians despite holding Indian voting cards and passports and using every facility that the Indian state provides them with. The average Indian, quite naturally, isn’t too likely to appreciate that since the basis for the existence of Pakistan is a genocidal hatred toward Hindus.
Under such circumstances, is it correct to blame the average Indian? Indians have already given up claims to large swathes of land to Muslims who did not wish to live with them. Pakistan and Bangladesh were created as a consequence. Unlike the genocidal hatred that a dominant portion of the Kashmiri Muslim community bears toward Hindus, the average Indian does not hate them with such intensity. They merely believe if they do not wish to live in India, they should consider moving to one of the two neighbouring Islamic countries.
The evidence of the genocidal hatred that Kashmiri Muslims reserve for Hindus is the genocide they perpetrated against Kashmiri Hindus. Thus, while the Kashmiri Muslim community hates the average Indian with a genocidal intensity, the intensity of the latter’s apathy manifests itself in slogans along the lines of “Go to Pakistan!” Our liberals, who claim to have a monopoly over rationality and logic and science, consider the latter to be a problem while whitewashing the crimes of the former and work as mouthpieces for the most toxic elements of the Kashmiri Muslim community.
Needless to say, it’s not proper that the average Indian should be apathetic toward the concerns of fellow Indians. But then again, it is merely a consequence of the actual hatred Kashmiri Muslims reserve for the average Indian. If we are to fix this problem, then we must approach it with honesty and integrity. Only then will we able to come up with solutions.
As one would expect, any solution must focus primarily on the Kashmiri Muslim community as their genocidal hatred is the reason for the latter’s apathy. One solution may be the introduction of compulsory diversity training beginning from kindergarten itself and continuing through every step of the ladder until they finish their education. For those who have missed the bus, institutions such as Art of Living, ISKCON, and the Ramakrishna Mission may be recruited for diversity training of older people.
Community participation in festivals and traditions of the average Indian may also be encouraged to reduce the differences between the two sections of the Indian population. The genocidal hatred against Hindus is driven primarily by a lack of knowledge about Hindu philosophy and culture and false information that is fed to them by toxic elements in their community. Therefore, compulsory education on the tenets of the Hindu faith could go a long way in curbing the genocidal hatred against Hindus.
The resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley and Hindus from other regions will certainly help foster better relations as well. Moreover, reparations could be paid to Kashmiri Pandits for the unimaginable horror they had to endure in the form of reservations in government jobs and other measures. A 20% reservation for Kashmiri Pandits in government jobs and another 10% for other Hindus who settle in the now Union Territory is a constructive step in the direction of repairing the damage that was done to intercommunity relations.
There are other measures, of course, that could be pursued for building trust between the two communities. The reparation of damaged Temples and the construction of new ones using funds collected from the Kashmiri Muslim community is one such measure that comes to mind. However, it’s much too early for such measures. The introduction of such measures would depend on the success of the proposed compulsory diversity training.
Liberals spend an inordinate amount of time waxing eloquence on the symptoms of a disease rather than focusing their attention on factors that are causing it. The apathy that the average Indian feels toward the plight of the Kashmiri Muslim community is merely the symptom of the disease, the genocidal hatred that Kashmiri Muslims feel towards them is the root cause. Hence, the latter needs to be fixed first. The former will be automatically resolved.
As I have said previously in an earlier article, the disease that Kashmir suffers from is toxic homogeneity. Diversity is our strength and yet, Kashmir has almost none of it. The solution to the apathy that the average Indian feels towards the current residents of Kashmir lies in the cultural enrichment of the Valley by the settlement of Hindus from all over the country. Until that happens, liberals should not try to guilt-trip Hindus about their apathy. It’s a cheap tactic to deflect attention from the crimes of people from the Kashmiri Muslim community.