Kashmiris can’t afford gun battle; Democracy is solutionSeptember 24, 2018
Since the alliance government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was toppled due to their ego clash and contradictory approach on terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, the resentment among Kashmiris is becoming stronger.
Recently, a government report stated that local youth are rapidly joining terror groups in the Kashmir Valley. This year the number of youth picked gun stood at 110 till July 15. Shopian district emerged as the worst terror-hit region where 28 youth were recruited by terror outfits.
Meanwhile last year, the number of locals recruited was 126 which indicates that this year the situation did not improve in fact it is getting worsened.
The troublesome fact is that apart from main terror groups- Lashkar-E-Taiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, some new militant organizations like ISIS-Kashmir and the AnsarGhazwat-ul-Hind (al-Qaida-linked ) have cropped up and ramifying their root in the valley.
Why the sudden surge in terrorist recruitment?
There are several reasons but mainly it is a failure of PDP-BJP government that badly failed to prevail trust and convince youth not to go on the path of violence. No strong strategy has been seen on the ground to tackle radicalization of youth in the valley. Social media and technology worked against the peace process. As youth and other stakeholders do not get adequate media access and the state sadly fail to deliver quick justice to victims, they tend to give sympathy to terrorists. Moreover, Pakistan leaves no stone unturned to glorify and brand terrorist like freedom fighters. Pakistan garnered the killing of HizbulMujahideen terrorist BurhanWani in July 2016 to provoke the anti-India sentiment in the valley by branding him the icon of Kashmir fight, the result is some youth tilted toward gun fighting.
While former governments-Congress-led UPA in Centre and NC-led state government had adopted very soft approach while dealing with insurgents in the valley, BJP-led Union government and BJP-PDP government somewhat showed some courage to take a strong stance against the separatists and stone pelters. The government allowed security forces to launch ‘Operation-All Out’. The joint operation by paramilitary forces and J&K police have succeeded to kill many top militants.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh frequently visited the turbulent state and tried to polish up the rustic relation between New Delhi and Srinagar. The center has also sent an interlocutor- Former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma to fill the missing link between Centre and state.
With the strong policy- ‘Talk and Terror’ can’t go together, India stopped the diplomatic process to resolve issues with Pakistan. The Centre also worked to dismantle the money laundering channel in the state.
Despite all these measures, the state is not doing well to stop prevailing radicalization which is regressively taking the state on the road to 1990s infamous insurgency when thousands of youth picked the gun and state was gripped in violence.
There is a certain reality of the gunfights that Kashmiri youth should be told. No gunfight ever overcomes the state, in fact, the battle ends with the mass killing of militants and innocent civilians. Sri Lanka killed over 27,000 of militants of Rebel group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a gun battle fought from July 1983 to May 2009. Afghanistan and Pakistan are fighting against Taliban and we read every day how many innocent people are being killed in the fight. And there are several insurgent groups who indulge in a mindless gunfight in different parts of the world.
In recent history, there is no land where a gunfight gets success to defeat the state. Meanwhile, India is not dictator country, here democracy gives power every citizen to fight even against the government. Youth who are upset with the government should come in mainstream and take their fight ahead in the democratic process. They can come in power, they can change the constitution, they can mend the system as per their choice. These things are possible but only in the democratic way. No gun but a ballot paper is a permanent solution to their anger or grief.
Further, the path of violence will lead Kashmiri youth as well as Kashmir in the dark of sorrow and backwardness. So, youth must re-look on their assessment of joining terror groups.