Wani, Kashmir and Secularism

It was the late summers of 1999 when the initial wave of the suicide attacks sponsored from across the border hit parts of Northern Kashmir. This was the same period which overlapped with the Kargil operations being in the penultimate phase with only a few troops left to face the music of the Jehadis. Though the LeT had been an active noisemaker in the valley since the early 1990s, little had been experienced in the form of suicide attacks oft referred to as Fidayeen attacks.

Fall of Burhan Wani

However, the recent rise and fall of the dynamic 21 year old Burhan Wani has sparked of a matchstick amongst a pile of firecrackers. The fully radicalised  Wani has been the propagator of Azaadi amongst the younger populace of Kashmir creating new friction in the Valley with a very distinct “Daeesh”esque flavor in the form of Fidayeen Jehad.

Wani’s message has a distinct transnational imprint and had been instrumental in the current high decibel disturbance in the Indian state. These terrorists are bereft of  any empathy and target the weakest sections of the society.  These suicide terrorists conduct the most bizarre of acts against the civil establishment and end up showing their flags with high profile acts.

The demonstration of this kind of violence is on the uptrend . Case points being the encounters at Mohra/ Uri and attempts on the Brigade HQ at Tangdhar near the LoC . Moreover, the gradual shift in ideology of outfits like Hizbul Mujahideen have given a transnational Islamic radicalism imprint to local Kashmiri militancy.

What followed after Death of Wani ?

The death of Wani was followed by a string of encounters leading to a loss of young lives, economic standstill and civil unrest. The outpour of media as well as “liberal” and “secular” support for Wani and his supporters as well as Kashmiri separatism should be a cause of great concern  for the ruling establishment . It remains to be seen how much of this support fuels further violence since if it was out of conviction for the cause , then there was hardly anything such to be found pre May 2014.

JNU and Kashmir

There has been a gradual build up to this support – the JNU drama being a case point. At its core, the whole episode at JNU very blatantly and deftly advocated Kashmiri secessionism .The media too has gone to the extent of drawing comic analogies between Burhan Wani and the great Bhagat Singh and Ashfaqullah Khan. Another questioned India as a nation, if it had a soul at all!!

For the plastic seculars and liberals drawing analogies between Kashmiri insurgents and our great freedom fighters , should they look up close – the brutality suffered by the Kashmiri Pandits  – They shall be able to draw real analogies to the characteristic traits of Islamic aggression found elsewhere , destruction of basic civil society establishments and display of obscene ideas of oppression associated with Jihad. Case -points being Sara Bhatt, staffer at a medical institute in Srinagar, The Ganjoo family from Sopore, Mrs Tikoo from Trehgam and Zarifa Sultan  from the Valley.

Selective Bias – These stories never make the headlines , not for the lack of reach and connectivity but for the lack of intent and selective bias of the left leaning pseudo secular media houses and intellectuals.  Hero worshipping the likes of Yasin Malik and inviting him to seminars and public gatherings is much more significant and career enhancing than reporting the ground realities .

Pseudo Liberals and Secularism

It is funny how the one thing that every self declared liberal seems to be making the most noise about – secularism , is the same ideal which is being undermined the most by the ignorant support for the jihad in Kashmir. Secularism , it seems , is a very subjective ideal in the manner in which we have made it out to be – applicable only during certain times while not during others, secularism being at the forefront for the violence in Kashmir, but very conveniently brushed under the carpet when it comes to either Sindh, or Kalat.

Pro- separatism and insurgency needs to be thoroughly subdued in the valley, with  an iron fist and the likes of the hawks in the Hurriyat need to be made to realize the journey to their cherished dream of the “Nizam-e-Mustafa” is not far away in Pakistan.

If , secularism, is indeed one of our core values, then Kashmir is  undeniably the most  compelling determinant.

Author : Mrudul Neralla