Why The Death Threat To Journos Doesn’t Shake Kashmir
We Now Justify Everything In The Name Of The Conflict
Kashmir Central Report
The looming threat to the journalists and to the people who don’t subscribe to the extremist violent ideology is not a new phenomenon. The adversaries of the state have been threatening and intimidating people for the last 30 years, and there is seemingly no end to it. The only new component that is being examined now is the risk of online threat.
The terror syndicate comes out with hit lists of soft targets at its will. Because terror syndicates have global tentacles, it is difficult for any state to completely wipe it out. However, its local extensions could be identified and dealt with under the law of the land.
Sole Focus Was On Armed Militants, Ideologues Were Allowed To Flourish
Earlier, the government had remained somehow mute to the local dimensions of the global terror syndicate. For long, the sole focus had been on armed militants. While this focus is correct and the continued attention is important, Kashmir observers have noted that an equally dangerous threat to peace comes from the ideologues.
We face a peculiar situation in Kashmir. The terror syndicate had got emboldened in the last 30 years to the extent that they have become strong believers in street justice. The reason is that those who propagate the separatist ideology have been justifying every menace in Kashmir under the garb of “the conflict”.
This justification has finally resulted in mute response to any threat to the people. Society is yet a little reluctant to come out of denial mode. Kashmir society – once known for peace and harmony and truly a crime free society – has been criminalized under the garb of “The Conflict”.
Watch how this denial plays out in front of our eyes. Whenever you find any of our political leaders condemning an act of violence, you find the prefix or the suffix – “The Conflict”.
The condemnation is always conditional. The emphasis is always shifting away from the real and present danger. The emphasis is always that “The Conflict” must be resolved to end human miseries.
This is how denial impacts us. Our political leaders, our civil society, all of us collectively – we never take into consideration what juncture we have reached. From a peaceful, loving, harmonious heaven on earth, sometimes our society seems like a living hell.
Criminalization Of Society Blamed On “The Conflict”
The situation now is that we find everybody blaming everything on “The Conflict”. The so-called journalists, eminent civil society members, business leaders, and particularly the retired government officers – we observe all of them attributing anything and everything to “The Conflict”.
Through the years, as we collectively pushed everything under the carpet called “The Conflict”, we watched long-term damage being inflicted upon us. Kashmir society was deliberately and intentionally pushed towards criminalization.
People, especially our youth who got indoctrinated, radicalized and misguided, went on the wrong path. Bizarre as this is, these young men were projected as youth icons. It was the journalist fraternity which glamourized the terrorists. Acts of terror were valourized.
Through the years, we watched how exhaustive columns on glamorization of militants would appear in local dailies on an almost daily basis. Their “heroic” acts would be praised. Youngsters would be advised to follow their footsteps.
Some would address the vulnerable youth by saying, “We will perish but not surrender”. The culture of mob violence and lawlessness was promoted under the dominant discourse of “Conflict Resolution”.
Grave Threat Of Narco Terror Ignored
Since the last couple of years, drug peddling and narco terrorism have posed a grave threat to our youth. The addiction of drugs is now so severe that even an alarming number of women and young girls are taking drugs. Police sources say that Kashmir is about to beat Punjab state in the ratio of drug trafficking and addiction.
The total silence on the issue should hit us hard. It isn’t. We seem to be skirting the grave threat of criminalization of our society, the grave threat of drugs every day. Our opinion leaders, journalists and politicians are completely silent on this serious issue which is threatening the lives of thousands of youth in Kashmir.
There is no condemnation, no protests, no stock-taking of the many ways in which our society has been damaged. Why this silence? Because in the heart of hearts, the so-called journalists, politicians and civil society members know that this menace has come to Kashmir from across the border.
In fact, if they are permitted to do so, our political leaders and others will even attribute drug trafficking to “The Conflict.” They have legitimized every illegal and illegitimate and unlawful act of every person, every group in the name of “The Conflict.” Nobody is bothered about society, the youth, the women who fall prey to drugs every day.
We all have normalized wearing the heavy cloak of “The Conflict” upon our shoulders. Hence those who are milking the conflict continue to flourish. They are milking the conflict, and it continues to be a lucrative business for them. Hence these people are called the conflict entrepreneurs.
The threat issued to some journalists is a non-issue for them. These are the people who have no sympathy for the youth who fell to terrorism and drug trafficking. They cannot be expected to condemn the threat issued to some journalists by the terror syndicate.
State Was Complicit In Emboldening Terror Ecosystem
The government is to be blamed partially for this state of affairs. Wittingly or unwittingly, the government ignored the threat posed to the peace-loving people by the terror apologists.
It may not be an exaggeration to say that the state and its institutions were somehow complacent or complicit in emboldening the terror ecosystem. On account of this cumulative emboldening, the terror ecosystem became part of the state apparatus.
How Did Pakistan’s Strategic Assets In Kashmir Manage To Flee? Who Is Accountable?
How is it possible that people like Dr Mubeen Shah, Mukhtar Baba and others managed to leave India whenever they pleased? These strategic assets for Pakistan managed to flee when there were restrictions in Kashmir following abrogation of Article 370. Others managed to flee when Covid restrictions had been imposed.
The moot point is that these strategic assets for Pakistan are now freely operating from foreign lands after successfully hoodwinking the local security agencies and flying off from India.
Who issued the passport to them? Who facilitated their travel documents? Obviously this is the act of the people within the system. The state is now paying a price for allowing these people to leave the country and continue their vicious operations unbridled, uncontrolled.
Who is accountable for this negligence, this dereliction of duty?
More than a year ago, we had cautioned the administration. We even profiled these people in the columns of our publication. Now they have fled to where they wanted, and they continue to vitiate the atmosphere in Kashmir.
That is why we believe that an armed militant poses lesser threat to peace-loving people. An armed militant is always on the run. He is not influencing social opinion. He is not vitiating the environment. The ideology and the ideologues are more lethal than the armed militants.
Of late, the government has initiated a crackdown on the local modules of the terror syndicate. Let us see how serious the government is, in bringing the culprits to book.