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Remember that Amarnath Yatra is the last remaining Hindu link to Kashmir

Speculating is fun. You know what else is fun? It is fun knowing that the newstraders in Lutyens Delhi, who thrive on “access” and “insider information” have no idea what is happening.

Let me give you some truly trustworthy information: There is no way Modi and Shah are going to give the slightest hint of their plans in advance.

But speculating is fun. You know what else is fun? It is fun knowing that the newstraders in Lutyens Delhi, who thrive on “access” and “insider information” have no idea what is happening. And it is driving them crazy for sure. Makes me feel warm, safe and comfortable on the inside.

And what about the politicians?

An exasperated Omar Abdullah on not knowing what is happening in Kashmir

Yeah, he doesn’t know either. Which can only be a good thing.

Here is a note to my fellow citizens in Kashmir. Ignore everything Omar Abdullah has to say. Trust the Indian Army.

The news broke a few days ago that the government is committing an additional 10,000 troops to the valley. Then came the information that 25,000 more troops will be deployed. Then, we heard this

C-17 heavy lift plane brought into service

The C-17 Globemaster? Now, that is serious. Nobody uses the Globemaster plane just for fun. One thing is clear now: this is not a drill.

So what could it be? We already know that Modi-Shah never reveal their hand in advance. This means, unfortunately, that it is unlikely that there will be any immediate move on Article 35A or Article 370, which has been the subject of intense speculation on social media.

Then what is the sudden buildup in Kashmir all about? The really scary possibility is that the Government is actually reacting to something. Possibly the threat of a big terror attack on the scale of Pulwama or Uri. Something to do with the Amarnath Yatra or with the upcoming Independence Day celebrations or both.

The Army released some information yesterday.

Indian Army briefing that the additional troops deployment was due to Amarnath Yatra being terror target

How big could this terror threat have been? From the way the government is reacting, seems the scale could have been unthinkable. It is impossible for me to know anything beyond that, but let’s wish our Army and CRPF personnel all the luck as they go about uncovering the terror plot and looking for those who would have carried it out. Here’s wishing that they stay safe and a huge thanks to them for keeping us all safe.

Sadly, the Amarnath pilgrims have had to go back this year. Remember how the Amarnath Yatris were massacred in 2017! Will they come back next year?

Remember that the annual pilgrimage to Amarnath is now the last remaining Hindu link to Kashmir. This is our land, folks. This is part of Bharatvarsha and it has always been. It belonged to our ancestors. We hold it in trust so that we can pass it down to the future sons and daughters of Bharat Mata.

On a side note: here is why it is treasonous to talk about a plebiscite in Kashmir. Because Kashmir belongs to all of us Indians. Not only does it belong to us all, it belongs to all of our ancestors and to the descendants who are yet to be born. The land is not for anybody in Kashmir to take nor is it for the rest of us Indians to give away.

Let us take a longish historical perspective here. Pakistan and Bangladesh were ripped out of of India back in 1947. Around 1948, large parts of Kashmir went under administrative control of Pakistan (PoK).

Then in 1991, the Pandits had to leave the valley. And now the Amarnath Yatris do not dare go to Kashmir even for a few days!

What does that say about the dwindling position of Hindus in the world? Where are we going? And will we have anything to stand on a hundred years from now?

And listen to what Mehbooba Mufti has to say.

Mehbooba Mufti’s tweet on increased troop movement

Amarnath Yatris were massacred in 2017. Now she criticizes the government for being concerned about their safety. She doesn’t even mention the poor Amarnath Yatris who had to run for their lives.

Ha! Where is your Kashmiriyat? And for good measure, Madam, where is your Insaaniyat? And before you ask, we already have Jamhooriyat (democracy). With far more freedom, openness and dignity that at least 57 other countries in this world.

Back to the question of where we Hindus stand and whether we will be left with any ground to stand on. For the ordinary Hindu, this is a question worth asking. Even if it seems far removed from the struggles of daily life. A bit like climate change. It’s hard to think about big problems the impact of which becomes apparent slowly over the years.

But just like with climate change, it’s not a game that we can afford to lose. The coming generations would never forgive us.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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