People are talking of referendum to resolve the Kashmir crisis once and for all. Do they know India’s experience was referendum? What price the country and its people had to pay for the farce? Let us recall – in 1947, how almost all of erstwhile Hindu majority Sylhet District of Assam became a part of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh – following a referendum!
The real dirty politics behind that exercise is not known to many. The Pakistani authorities wanted that part of the prosperous land for themselves and the political authorities in Assam did not want this thickly populated Bengali dominated district to be a part of Assam lest the Assamese people would loose their majority status. In that political push – pull situation, the inevitable manipulation took place. Barring the (then) Karimganj sub division which was incorporated into the Indian state of Assam, India lost the major portion to Pakistan forcing thousands of Bengali Hindus to flee their homeland and take refuge in India. Their suffering still continues. How can India forget that mass human tragedy? It will be even worse if the proposed solution of another referendum to resolve the Kashmir crisis is accepted.
On the other hand, let us recall how Goa, Hyderabad and Pondichery had become part of India. Such no-nonsense approach must be adopted towards Kashmir. The continuing plight of the displaced Kashmiri Pundits must also be addressed.
Let us not be misled by the fact that Burhan Wani’s funeral attracted thousands. It was not spontaneous. We have seen how “spontaneous” strikes are “arranged” in our country. There is no spontaneity. Today, anyone who looked pro-India is a suspect and eligible for elimination in Kashmir. Let us not be misled by the gruesome pictures of youths with eye injury flooding the social media. The youths are not voluntarily participating in the demonstrations to act as a shield to the separatists’ violent protests. They have no choice – they are being brainwashed and forced by the enemy of our country and Pakistani agents. Let us not be deceived by the news that father of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani has emerged as the rallying face of protests in the Valley. Had it been his voluntary action, he would have come forward immediately after death of his son – not after a gap of all these days. It is obvious that he has been tricked and forced by the same miscreants who are behind the disturbances in Kashmir.
We have been blowing hot and cold with the Kashmir issue for too long and had been asking the Kashmiris from time to time “what they want”. It was a blunder to allow them special privilege and follow a soft approach. Our appeasement policy towards the separatists and conciliatory strategy towards Pakistan for last seventy years have landed us on the ongoing trauma of Kashmir – which we are staring at today. The day of cajoling is over now.
When your house is on fire, you do not sit down to analyze the cause but rush to the nearest fire extinguishers. When anti India / pro Pakistan / Jehadi slogans are raised from the loudspeakers atop Mosques in Indian soil, it is nothing but invasion to our secular democracy. We must liberate that part of our country from the foreigners and their agents, with all our might. Once we do that, we may think of finding out from the Kashmiris “what they really want”. Once peace is restored, we may take steps “to win the hearts of the people of the state” as the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad’s open letter to the Prime Minister reads. But, not now when a Kashmiri Muslim cannot dare to call himself an Indian in Kashmir lest he would be killed.
By S.K Deb