One fearless bus driver of Amarnath victims, Saleem Mirza, who saved several lives by continuing to drive till he reached a point of safety despite being under attack was enough to foil the plans terrorists who wanted still larger casualties much as Brigadier Usman, the highest ranking officer of the Indian Army martyred in the Indo-Pak was of 1947 after resisting all pressure to opt for the Pakistani Army was enough to shame the Pakistani Army. The separatists and Pakistanis are yet persisting with the delusion of dismembering India. Every attack on India, however, brings forth the valour of an ordinary Indian and affirms that as a country India will remain indomitable. Every Indian has made himself count against aggression of enemies and artifices of conmen. And it is in this spirit of the ordinary Indian that India resides It is time we raise a memorial to the ordinary Indian and celebrate the everyday humdrum life of our fellow countrymen because it is that mingling, in the shared joys and common frustrations, in our fears and unfulfilled aspirations and in the realisation that India alone is home that India truly resides. The common man remains the crucible of all identities and is the quintessence of the country. We relate to the him, identify with him and will fight to preserve him. He may be a Saleem who save Hindu pilgrims or be a Shail Devi a frail old widow who saved Muslims from marauding mobs. Such memorials can be the sacred spots dotting the country for every Indian to pay homage be developed as tourist attractions and help foster a truly unique Indian identity. This could well be be the modern equivalent of Adi Shankar’s uniting holy spots across India through Jyotirlings, Shaktipeeths and Vishnu Dhams. We have spent a lot of time celebrating differences, It is time there is an acknowledgment of the nationalist identity based on a civic bond and commonalities.
Ramjas College proposed a seminar “Culture of Protest.”
It invited Umar Khalid who had, in 2016, intended to hold a programme on Afzal Guru in JNU. Guru was Kashmiri separatist who was convicted for the 2001 attack on the Parliament of India. Umar Khalid later the same year praised Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed by Indian security forces saying, “Burhan wasn’t scared of death, he was scared of a life lived in subjugation. He detested it. He lived a free man, died a free man …..”.
Khalid was to speak on the people of Chattisgarh whom he described as “the most oppressed people in the country”.
Chattisgarh, part of the Red Corridor, is affected by Naxalite-Maoist insurgency and has been described as the epicentre of the conflict. Khalid’s interest in it is therefore not surprising. In April 2010 the Maoists killed 76 CRPF policemen in one of the most vicious attacks on Indian security forces in Dantewada district of the state. In May 2013 they attacked a convoy of the leaders of the Congress in the Sukma district of Chattisgarh killing 27 people including a former central minister, a state minister and the Chattisgarh Congress chief. The problem festers it being said that the long term goal is to establish a Marxist state in India. And Pakistan’s ISI is allying with the Maoists to destabilise India from within.
Notice the convergence of the Khalid’s comments on Burhan with his empathy for the “oppressed people” of Chattisgarh.
One Debraj Mookerjee writing in the Indian Express admitted that Khalid may not have talked about Bastar alone though that was the subject of his Phd work. Mookerjee said there was a possibility of Khalid making “politically contentious” points while speaking of Bastar but Khalid has the right to his views. And “protest” being nothing but the expression of disapproval or dissent is sanctified by the right to free speech.
The unstated major text of this view, however, is that terrorists can be rhapsodised, insurgents can be glorified, and carnage in and subversion of the country can be celebrated under the honorific title “Culture of Protest” with the aid of “free speech”. In other words the protagonists of this view, like the teachers of Ramjas, believe that it is indeed a laudable exercise for students to “think critically” whether India should remain undivided or should there be a secession at the bidding of separatists or division at the instance of guerrilla armies because the integrity of India is not an incontestable fact and such differences of opinions need to be protected.
If this is the real agenda why then hide insidiously behind seemingly innocent topics of discussion like “Culture of Protest”? Is honesty in discourse less important a value than freedom? Or is speech to be seen only in its contest with violence? The motivation behind claims to free speech must be transparent if the contest of ideas has to be real.
Protest is first induced surreptitiously and then a direct attack is launched at the protest itself on the ground that the protest is unjustified! The chaos which was actually intended is then presented as a misbegotten reaction to something which could not reasonably be anticipated. And with guileful disingenuity the provocateur is eventually presented as the victim.
Let us not fetishise free speech. The unquestioned reverence to speech can only be conceded when it is justified in the context of its critique. Truth may not be fixed but the integrity of India is. And that will not be subject to inquest, review or scrutiny.
Asked about the disrespect shown to the anthem by National Conference, Congress and Communist party of India-Marxist, the NC MLA and Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said, “Please ask BJP people who became champions of nationalism. They created an environment of anarchy in the state. Ask PDP who created such an environment. They created such a situation”.
Disrespect of the National Anthem is a wrong in itself and condemnation of that wrong cannot be met by attacking a perceived disreputability of others, an approach which replaces logic with invective and eliminates any possibility of argument with sheer abuse. The disgrace with which Rana and the others covered themselves will not be any less merely because BJP and PDP “created the environment”. There was no compulsion to be part of that environment created by BJP & PDP!
But there is something far more sinister in this comment. The suggestion is “if you are nationalistic there will be anarchy”! I am not dealing in this blog with the informal fallacy of False Dilemma which ignores not only that there can be position between two extremes (nationalism and anarchy) or even that the alternatives themselves (that is nationalism and anarchy) can be completely different. I am more horrified by the fact that in linking nationalism with anarchy the comment mischievously attacks the very existence of a shared identity and proceeds to assail the very continuation of national identity by suggesting that it will only lead to confusion, chaos and disorder!
This utterly disreputable comment is made worse because it was made to defend sloganeering when the National Anthem was being played and the Governor’s address to the legislature had to be cut short. The National Anthem is symbolic of the values of a pluralistic constitutional polity and provides self-identification of citizenry with norms having nothing to do with ethnicity or culture creating a civic bond, building civic empowerment and creating what Muller said was “a plausible and appealing style of political allegiance.” And the anthem was being rendered in the legislature which is a legal construct implicit in whose establishment is limitation of authority which is but an instance of the norm of checking abuse of power the disruption of which negates the very concept lawfulness which pits an organised orderly polity against anarchy. Nationalism did not cause anarchy. The anti-nations caused it.
The comment in fact goes beyond Kashmir and attempts to hollow India out. There is a pattern in the behaviour. First ethnic basis of nationalism is denied. Then cultural unity is made an outcaste. Liberal values are next assaulted. Multicultural tendencies are thereafter derided. And now nationalism is reduced to an epithet and made to share space with anarchy.
The utterly appalling nature of the comment is made worse by the complete shamelessness with which it is expressed. Nationalism does not lead to anarchy. Shamelessness does!
Omar Abdullah is the Scarlet Pimpernel of Kashmir. His real identity is secret. He assumes the role of Omar during the day but keeps the experience of his secret identity muffled as he addresses the people during the day. His harebrained, imbecilic and witless comments are but a disguise. He remains the ultimate Indian.
Omar, as Scarlet Pimpernel, knows former President of Pakistan Musharraf who admitted that Pakistan trained Lashkar-e-Taiba and other organizations to carry out terrorist attacks in Kashmir was in fact an Indian Agent. This is the reason why he is condemning the Indian Government.
Hafiz Syed who wants war against India “until liberation of Kashmir” is actually mole of the Indian Government. He may be ranting to frenzied crowd repeatedly shouting “Jihad” near Minar-e-Pakistan but India Gate is where his heart is. The Scarlet Pimpernel knows it and is dropping hints but Indians are too silly to take the hint.
Nagrota, Uri, Chursoon and Udhampur attacks were staged by the Indian Army! They are tired of fighting the Pakistanis all the time and are inventing new war-games to keep themselves occupied. How does the Indian Government condemn or warn Pakistan. One has to believe Scarlet Pimpernel.
Terrorists exchanged for hostages in the IC 814 hijacking and included Masood Ashar. Scarlet Omar knows Ashar was never released. The man who in a speech at Karachi vowed to liberate Kashmir from “Indian rule”and identified generally as Masood Ashar was not him but a body double created by RAW.
Pakistan has no interest in Kashmir. Its 22 Special Envoys only wanted a pleasurable excursion out of the country – sponsored by India. And Nawaz Sharif’s interest in Burhan Wani who sought Hafis Syed’s blessings for Jihad against India aside from the repeated references to the UN Resolutions on Kashmir was so acting because the Indian Intelligence had changed the script of the speech otherwise Indian envoys would have had nothing to respond to and their presence at the UN would have been seen as waste of public money.
And the exodus of Pandits from Kashmir is a lie only to defame the Kashmir. Jagmohan did it. He was the agent of the Central Government.
Omar Pimpernel knows Indians have got their heroes and villains mixed up. So he acts like a villain but he is actually the real hero. He has realised that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. And Omar has no intention of being a scoundrel!
“Ideal situation should have been of peace. But now reaction to an action has happened. It was a proper action because they were terrorists. But in this day and age I think if we lived in peace and harmony it would have been better for everyone especially for the common people.” Thus spoke Salman Khan protesting banning of Pakistani artistes.
For Salman Khan the Uri attack and killing of 19 Indians was merely “an action” – a physical fact to which one can be indifferent and which can carry not attribute of right or wrong! This is a flawed premise which cannot but doom the conclusion which follows.
India, according to him, did not respond (that is did not act in a thoughtful or reasoned manner) but “reacted” that is acted thoughtlessly and impulsively to the action which brings both countries at par with nothing to distinguish between them. India responded not reacted as it moved mindfully against specified targets to prevent infiltration into the country which Pakistan has no right to permit.
I presume what he called “proper action” actually implied “proper reaction” unless he feels that terrorist infiltration into India is proper with which point of view I cannot have a reasoned discourse. If however the reaction was “proper” then he cannot simultaneously rue the want of “peace and harmony” because a proper reaction is a restore a disturbed equilibrium and impose restraint to curb injuries of excess.
Peace and harmony can be an end in itself only if the intention is shared. It is always the preferred state of existence but in an interactive environment that goal can be achieved only when actions are conducive towards that end. The Pakistani track-record (to which Salman Khan does not allude) needs to take the blame for want of peace and harmony. Pakistan has to be condemned for Pakistani artistes losing work in India. Have any of the Pakistani artistes spoken? If they are not affected whose case is Salman Khan espousing?
Pakistani artistes may not be terrorists but who amongst them have called the terrorists terrorists? And will these artistes not endorse the official Pakistani line both on Kashmir and terrorism on which Pakistan justifies the repeated disturbances in India? How can Pakistan be defeated unless the mindset which drives Pakistan be vanquished? And how can that mindset be vanquished without quelling those who endorse it overtly or covertly? This is not a question of mere politics but survival of India as India and art cannot be the Trojan Horse for India’s defeat in its battle for existence. India wants its position to be accepted as that acceptance gives India the justification to resist Pakistan. If we host those who are not aligned with India’s interests how can we isolate those hostile to it and prove the seriousness of our intent to do it?
Salman Khan may feel sorry for Pakistani artistes friends. But he should also wonder whether his friends feel sorry India.
Nawaz Sharif talking to a reporter:
Sharif: We will send 22 Special Envoys for Kashmir to different countries
Reporter: There are 196 countries. And you have 342 seats in the National assembly and 104 Senators. Why not send all the Senators and the remaining from the National Assembly to the 196 countries? Will that not show you are serious about the issue?
Sharif: Number 22 in numerology is the number of Spiritual Master Builder and when the number senses its full capacity it can achieve what is hardly imaginable… Besides someone has to remain in Pakistan lest there is coup!!
Reporter: Considering your choice of the Spiritual Master Number you think Kashmir as you contemplate is not imaginable?
Sharif: (Angrily) No…I mean not imaginable to India!
Reporter: But its Pakistan which is sending the envoys!
Sharif: Yes. But Pakistan wants India to get the message.
Reporter: Why not send the message directly to India?
Sharif: India has got the message from my statement…
Reporter: If India has already got the message why send the envoys?
Sharif: (In a huff) You have another question?
Reporter: You said the measure is to send “prayers of Kashmiri people across Line of Control.” There is Kashmir on both sides of Line of Control. Whose prayers are you sending.
Sharif: Those on the Indian side ofcourse.
Reporter: What about the prayers of those on the Pakistani side?
Sharif: China is agnostic.
Sharif: Its not Pakistan alone but Pakistan and China on the other side. Even Pakistanis cant pray there.
Reporter: Oh! And who conveyed the prayers to you to be sent through the envoys?
Sharif: (Angrily) Convey prayers!!! Though Amanullah Khan of JKLF passed away recently Hafiz Saeed and Zaki ur-Rehman Lakhvi are in Pakistan. All those who sincerely pray for Kashmir are Pakistan only. Their prayers will be conveyed. Even indians prefer to be in Pakistan. Look at Dawood. His prayers will also be sent.
Reporter: What about your Embassies and Ambassadors? Why Special Envoys
Sharif: You see Pakistan Independence day was celebrated as Freedom for Kashmir. That was the first step. Pakistanis becoming Kashmir Envoys is the second. In due course the Embassies of Pakistan will become Kashmir Embassies. We will also rename Pakistan and change the flag too.
Reporter: But there is more to Pakistan than Kashmir. There are eight administrative units in Pakistan.
Sharif: Yes. But you see there is unrest in Balochistan. We are facing problem in Gilgit. There is also problem in Azad Kashmir. The Pashtuns are not integrated in FATA. And there is militancy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These together make up majority of the territory of Pakistan. We need a place to rest outside Pakistan as we are always fighting within the Pakistani territory. Kashmir fits the bill.
Reporter: And what about prayers of Pakistanis?
Sharif: Hahaha! We run the government. And we prefer to PREY!
The REAL story behind Digvijay’s retraction of “India Occupied Kashmir” remark. Digvijay “had a dream” of a conversation with a Pakistani. Our sources have the transcript:
Digvijay: I am disappointed with the Prime Minister
Pakistani: Yes Modi is bellicose…
Digvijay: No No!!! I am talking of Nawaz Sharif
Pakistani: Oh? OUR Prime Minster
Digvijay: Yes! He is the only PM I recognize.
Pakistani: But why?
Digvijay: When he talks of Kashmir he uses complicated expressions like “indigenous freedom struggle” more than “India occupied Kashmir.” You see “Indi” is a town in the State of Karnataka in India. INDIgenous freedom struggle would suggest Sharif supports India’s struggle to rid Kashmir of Pakistani elements.
Pakistani: (Angrily) What do you “Pakistani elements”? Pakistan only supports Kashmiri aspirations.
Digvijay: Kashmiri aspirations? But it is India occupied Kashmir…
Pakistani: Yes! that is why Kashmiri aspirations are suppressed.
Digvijay: But where are the Indians?
Pakistani: In Kashmir ofcourse…
Digvijay: (Confused)If Indians are occupying Kashmir where are the Kashmiris?
Pakistani: (Annoyed)In Kashmir!!!
Digvijay: (Doubly confused) If Kashmiris are in Kashmir where are the Indians??
Pakistani: With Indians…(mulling using the word dim-wit) Dont u DIG it?
Digvijay: But then if Kashmiris are with the Indians how does Sharif talk of Kashmiri aspirations? I thought Kashmir should be with Pakistan.
Pakistani: (Gleefully) Yes!
Digvijay: But now that you have brought Kashmiris in where will they go?
Digvijay: But are they not already in Kashmir?
Digvijay: So why does Pakistan want Kashmiris in Kashmir when they are already in Kashmir with the Indians?
Pakistani: Because Pakistan wants to be with Kashmiris!!!
Digvijay: Oh. But I thought you named the northern part of Kashmir Gilgit-Baltistan??
Pakistani: Yes…Only because India could not cannot call it “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”
Digvijay: But you just said Pakistan wants to occupy Kashmir. So why the objection?
Pakistani: (Starting to pull his beard) Gilgit is part of Pakistan…
Digvijay: (Hesitantly…not having hair to pull) But Gilgit was part of Kashmir…
Pakistani: (Getting ferocious) There is only Azad Kashmir!!
Digvijay: Azad Kashmir?? If Kashmir is azad how can Kashmiri aspirations not be fulfilled?
Pakistani: (Showing a map) Azad Kashmir is also part of Pakistan. It south of Gilgit…
Digvijay: (Pausing…Brooding)…NOW I GET IT! Gilgit is not Kashmir anymore. Kashmir is azad south of Gilgit. Pakistan wants India occupied Kashmir. Nothing will remain of Kashmir but Pakistan! FANTASTIC! You people are brilliant. We must learn from you.
Pakistani: (Exhausted but relieved) Now you get it?
Digvijay: Yes…But then why did the PM call it “indigenous freedom struggle”?
Pakistani: ENOUGH. Behead him!!
Digvijay got up perspiring and issued the clarification! Lets only talk of “India’s Kashmir” he said.
Some dreams fortunately or unfortunately never come true. Pakistani dream of Kashmir and Digvijay’s dream about Pakistan being cases in point!