India’s so-called ‘secular-liberals’ suffer from an inexplicable Kashmir paradox. While they claim to advocate equality, inclusion, democratic values, minority rights etc for the rest of India, when it comes to Kashmir, their stand takes a complete 180 degrees turn. In Jammu and Kashmir, the same people do not want anyone other than Muslims to have any rights.
The duality was glaringly evident when the Modi government, in a historic and bold move, abrogated the discriminatory Article 370 last year and divided the erstwhile state into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The article 370 granted Jammu and Kashmir a special status, it allowed the state to have its own set of special laws and provisions, which, in reality, were designed to keep a specific community happy. Women lost claims to property when they married outside the state, Dalits were kept away from jobs other than that of sweepers and sanitation workers, and a common Indian was not allowed to own land in the state.
A lot of outrage was created by the ‘secular-liberal’ gang, both at the national and international level. However, a strong grip over law and order prevented chaos. The government stood resolute in its stand and the separatists, Pakistan sympathisers, ‘secular liberal’ lobby and Islamists could not do anything apart from the outrage.
August 5 is approaching again. It will be the first anniversary of the historic decision and the same forces, sensing the futility of their previous efforts, are now trying to stir up a dangerous narrative, one that had already cost thousands of lives.
“Hindus are stealing all the jobs”.
Mehbooba Mufti’s PDP laments the ‘lack of Kashmiri Muslims’ in Raj Bhawan contact list
Mehbooba Mufti, the former CM of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, had earlier ‘threatened’ that ‘the whole country will burn’ if Article 370 is touched, in a not-so-veiled threat warning the Modi government against doing anything contrary to Islamist wishes in the valley.
While Mufti remains in preventive custody, her party has started lamenting the ‘lack of Kashmiri Muslims’ in the Raj Bhawan contact list, trying to peddle a not so subtle narrative that the central government is keeping Muslims of Kashmir away from jobs.
Not a single kashmiri/muslim in #JKRajBhavan. One of the biggest achievement and highlights of @PMOIndia @HMOIndia @kansalrohit69 @diprjk @adcjk_vipin @tallstories @devikasmittal @deekbhardwaj @khanumarfa pic.twitter.com/C9nBbmzHWn— J&K PDP (@jkpdp) July 31, 2020
Using the Raj Bhawan list of officials for contact, the party says “Not a single Kashmiri/Muslim in Raj Bhawan, one of the greatest achievements of the central government”.
It is amusing indeed when the Hurriyat sympathisers, terror apologists of the valley try to peddle a narrative of inclusion. Not only is the PDP attempting to use just a list of Raj Bhawan staffers as ‘sample’ to peddle the ‘Muslims kept out of jobs’ narrative, but it is also trying to stoke the fire that has singed and burned the valley for decades. The idea that ‘Hindu Pandits do not deserve jobs, livelihoods in Kashmir’ was what had been used by the Islamist forces in the past to carry out the Pandit genocide in Kashmir.
Media propaganda activated too
Interestingly, the PDP is not the only one peddling this agenda. Like clockwork, the ‘secular-liberal’ media has started peddling the same narrative too. Earlier today, The Scroll published an article titled, “One year after special status ended, Kashmiris have disappeared from govt in J and K.”
The article discusses some images that were recently shared on social media featuring J and K Lt Governor GC Murmu and other officials. The entire premise of the article is about discussing those images and lamenting how they cannot spot enough Kashmiris Muslims. The first photograph they discussed apparently had only one Kashmiri Muslim, an IAS officer.
The article called the image a reason for ‘deep anxiety’. It went on to quote a Facebook post to claim that Muslims in Kashmir are afraid that with the abrogation of Article 370, Kashmiri Muslims may lose jobs, and economic benefits while the central government brings back the ‘Dogra rule’. The article peddled the idea of “greedy Hindu snatching Muslim jobs” so effectively that it never bothered to mention that the Kashmiri Muslim is as Indian as the Jammu Hindu and Ladakhi Buddhist, and every Indian citizen is granted the right to education, jobs and property by the constitution of India.
The article just fans the fears, by 1 or 2 unnamed social media handles. Like classic leftist propaganda, it doesn’t even present a statistical picture of how much of the government and administrative jobs in the state are held by Muslims and what is the representation of Hindus, Buddhists, Christians in those jobs. Because that will not serve the purpose. When the motive is to fan fear, to paint a target on a specific community, branding them as ‘job snatchers’, only speculations would do.
The arctle doesn’t even stop there. To claim that the ‘greedy Hindu snatching Muslim jobs’ since only one year perhaps will not generate enough hatred, it may not cause enough fear and antagonism, so it claims that the ‘greedy Hindu’ has been active since decades. It further writes:
“This marginalisation may not have started last year. Two former ministers who had served in the governments of the former state said that Delhi had always intervened in crucial appointments. A former cabinet minister who served in the People’s Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government traces the marginalisation of Kashmiri officers back to 1989, when militancy spread rapidly across the Valley.”
Barkha Dutt’s famous justification of Pandit Genocide
The horrors and the brutality of the Kashmiri Pandit exodus from the valley has long been ignored, trivialised, denied and even justified by a certain section of mainstream media and political class that is also, interestingly, often found defending acts of terrorism and apologising for extremists.
In an old video clip now quite well-known on social media, Barkha Dutt was seen ‘explaining’ on TV how the Kashmiri Pandit exodus happened. In the video, Barkha Dutt can be seen talking about how the Kashmiri Pandits were ‘wealthy’ in the valley, with good jobs, and stating that it created a rift and resentment among the Muslims who she insinuated were ‘deprived’.
“Today hapless victims, they were once privileged elites of the valley. They may have been a minority but at that time, they had monopolised government jobs, plum postings, and other such social benefits…In fact, the sharp economic disparity between the Pandits and the poor Muslim majority was one of the earliest reasons for popular discontent in the state,” Barkha was heard as saying.
The leftist cabal had earlier tried to contextualise Barkha’s statements and claim that the video was ‘clipped’ to mislead, but those claims were addressed and dismissed in a detailed OpIndia article here.
The thing is, the reason for the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in the 90s was Islamic extremism, that has been unsuccessfully garbed as ‘dissatisfaction’ discontent, political gameplay and a lot of other things. The same game has been afoot in Kashmir for decades now.
The psychology of alienation
The alienation of India. The constant peddling of the idea that Kashmir is not a part of India, just what Pakistan always claims, has been drilled into the narrative, the media discourse, the politics and the psychology of the valley and its residents. The Indian government is the ‘interfering outside force’, ‘Hindus are snatching away jobs from us’, ‘Pandits were grabbing wealth’, the central government is bringing ‘other people to live here’ etc are all the different notes of the same music that is being played for decades, to keep the populace constantly on the edge, to create an atmosphere of edgy distrust and hatred, to keep them isolated mentally, so that Pakistan and other extremist forces find easy clays to mould into their puppets.
Pakistan has started preparations for August 5 too
Pakistan and its puppet government whined and whined after August 5, 2019, for months. They released threats after threats, statements after statements, condemnation of all colours, flavours and style. Yet, all their drama and outrage achieved zilch. Since we have a nationalist government with a formidable majority on the parliament, Pakistan has been virtually banging its head against a wall of steel. However, that doesn’t stop them from continuing their efforts, because the ‘Kashmir issue’ is what gives Pakistan relevance, and antagonising India has been the whole point of Pakistan’s existence since the partition. If Pakistan did not fight with India, it may as well dissolve the border and merge back, there will not be any point of its existence anymore.
Because they need India like a fish needs water, the Imran Khan government is gearing up for August 5 as a kid waits for her birthday. The PTI government has planned a series of media, and political events to mark the first anniversary of the Article 370 abrogation.
Though the media and social media reports do not specifically mention that the Pakistani government’s official plans for August 5 involve collaboration with some Indian parties and media partners, the way certain elements are behaving leaves little to the imagination. The date is important. So a concerted effort to vilify the Article 370 abrogation seems to be afoot.
The decision that granted all residents of Jammu and Kashmir, regardless of their gender, caste, religion, and ethnicity all the same rights that every other citizen of India enjoys, has to be painted as divisive and brutal by some, because that is how they wage a psychological war. That is how they brainwash the young Kashmiri to pick up stones and hurl at an army vehicle. That is how they brainwashed a population to hound, loot and kill their neighbours. That is exactly how they make young men and women reject the ideas of equality, democracy, inclusiveness, freedom and instead convince them to sacrifice themselves at the command of some extremist sitting in Islamabad.