Jammu RSS helping in Hindu capitulation in J&K
by Ajaat Jamwal on 27 Jan 2010 29 Comments

On Jan. 21, I received a phone call fairly late at night, after 10 pm, from an inmate of the internally displaced camp at Nagrota, a town between Jammu and Udhampur. The caller, a Kashmiri Pandit, was worried, agitated, and extremely distressed. What he told me was both disturbing and significant in the light of so many other straws in the wind...


It seems that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Prant Pracharak (local unit chief) Arun Kumar had visited the camp that day, and had in the course of his speech, as per the understanding of the caller, advocated the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, when nothing has concretely changed for the better there!


The tone and tenor of Arun Kumar’s presentation, as per the understanding of people present at the meeting, from whom I later tried to garner information, indicated an almost-overt  though still indirect support to the so-called ‘peace process.’ It was construed as an attempt to secure even a piece-meal return of Kashmiri Hindus to the Valley, in order to demonstrate the return of ‘normalcy.’ What upset and irked the listeners most was his expression (actually a kind of insistence) that Kashmiri Hindus have to make this sacrifice in the ‘national interest’ (phir se Balidan dene ke liye taiyaar ho jaiye).


By design or coincidence, Arun Kumar’s visit took place the very same day that Yasin Malik reiterated his commitment to the struggle for Independent Jammu & Kashmir and ‘advised’ Kashmiri Hindus to return and join the Kashmiri Muslims in the valley! That same day, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also hinted at the unfolding of the return plan. This convergence of views of RSS officials at the ground in Jammu & Kashmir, the separatist leaders, and the State Government, is intriguing to say the least.


In retrospect, the presence of Madhu Kishwar, a known supporter of a Hindu ‘compromise’ in Jammu & Kashmir, at the Jan. 19. Exodus Day function at Constitution Club in New Delhi, organized by RSS think tank, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Foundation, reeks of an ugly synchronicity.


What could be the reason or logic for inviting Kishwar? The answer to this question is more crucial than the personality or dubious stature of Kishwar, who at times criticises the separatist leadership to advance her own naïve formulations on Kashmir. Surely the considered decision of an RSS outfit to flirt with persons of her integrity reflects a radical change in the outlook of the Parivar on Jammu & Kashmir.


Some senior RSS activists in Jammu aver that Kishwar’s presence was at the instance of the RSS Prant Pracharak in Jammu, and if voices doing the rounds here are true, then the RSS here wanted to signal to the Prime Minister’s Office that it is aligned in favour of the PM’s perspective on the peace process as well as return of Kashmiri Hindus, even though these have been rejected outright by the community and the nationalist people in Jammu & Kashmir.

Living far from Delhi, it has not been possible to ascertain exact details of what transpired at the Constitution Club meeting, but both PTI and The Tribune reported that a Kashmiri migrant activist interrupted the proceedings and asked Kishwar to clarify some of her writings and positions regarding the separatists. This poor lady was stopped by a person known for his proximity to an RSS stalwart who once dominated Kashmir affairs until popular resentment led to his relocation. This stalwart had cultivated personal loyalties by creating informal posts with a monthly stipend, which was allegedly paid from monies collected for internally displaced Hindus, which caused much angst in the community. The person who intervened on behalf of Kishwar was one of the first beneficiaries of this stipend.

This same person had tried to lobby for the return of Kashmiri Hindus during the NDA regime, and was sharply rebuffed by the Hindu community, particularly the leadership of Baramulla, whom where he hails. The formulation for which he tried to garner support at that time was:


-        India is on the brink of becoming a Super Power

-        To become an established Super Power, peace with Pakistan is an imperative

-        For peace with Pakistan, a give and take on Jammu & Kashmir is a must

-        For a give and take in Jammu & Kashmir, the consent of Hindus of J&K is crucial

-        For the consent of Hindus of J&K, neutralizing the resentment of Kashmiri Hindus, their symbolic return, and their identification with a new order in Kashmir is critical.


Thus, when Arun Kumar supported the “Balidan” of Kashmiri Hindus, he was perhaps talking about a willful and deliberate policy of hostaging Kashmiri Hindus to a Muslim order with the aim of clinching peace with the Islamic power of the region.

A shocking truth about RSS functionaries in the State, which many of us have experienced in the past, is that they have always been distraught at the attention Kashmiri Hindus received at the national and international level. They viewed Kashmiri Hindus as an extension of the Nehru clan, and hence responsible for the mess in the State. They never accepted Kashmiri Hindus as representatives, much less living embodiments, of the Indian civil and civilisation presence in Kashmir, and would adversely comment: “Yeh kya samajtey hain Kashmir Bharat main inkey karan hai? Woh Bharat fauj ke karan hai. In-hon ne to Musalmaan ke saath poora samjhauta kiya tha.” And now senior RSS functionaries have started counselling the Kashmiri Hindus to compromise with Muslims so that Indian civil presence in the Valley is restored.


This approach is not confined to Kashmiri Hindus only. They are a small community, and in the ruthless game of power politics, they can be readily sacrificed.


This approach has a wider ideological connotation, which I shall try to elucidate with an example. During the course of my interactions with RSS activists in Jammu, Pracharak Arun Kumar was ruffled and angry when Union Home Minister P Chidambaram declared his ‘Quiet Dialogue’ with the separatists.


Kumar insisted with his colleagues in the RSS to mobilize for an agitation on the lines of the Sri Amarnath land restoration movement. But after being called to Delhi for a briefing, he returned a different man and began to advocate a mainly academic approach to the policy of compromise unfolding in Jammu & Kashmir. The directive to him was perhaps on the lines of - Make noises but do not involve in building public resistance.

The process of dividing Jammu to carve out Greater Kashmir is now clearly unfolding. When the resolution to carve out Chenab Valley Hill Council was passed in the upper house of the Jammu & Kashmir Legislature, the BJP MLAs ignored it. When the Prime Minister hinted about a final settlement on Jammu & Kashmir, BJP legislators in Jammu did not even indulge in symbolic breast-beating.


Parivar leaders explain this away in terms of their incompetence, not connivance. But they fail to explain why RSS has over the years willfully cultivated incompetent people in leadership roles in Jammu. The cognoscenti in Jammu say this is being done deliberately so that the possibilities of a people’s resistance to a ‘compromise’ between the Government of India and entrenched Muslim Communalism are kept within manageable limits.

Unfortunately, the most sustained campaign to lure Kashmiri Hindus into a compromise is being undertaken by designated RSS persons in Kashmir. Worse, over the years such persons have been encouraged to flirt with intelligence agencies and the government establishment. This is believed to serve a twin purpose for the RSS – one, the organisation remains close to power echelons in the government, and two, it is free to play strategic games.


The Parivar’s compliance with Muslim communal imperatives to stifle Hindu resistance and its hostaging of Hindus to Muslim supremacy is rooted in the fond, or vain, hope that RSS’ friendship with the Pakistani establishment will help win Indian Muslim votes for the BJP.


Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, recently tried to explain to a select Jammu audience that the Centre’s accommodating approach towards separatists was due to escalating international pressure. Earlier, NDA National Security Adviser Brijesh Mishra had undertaken the same exercise, referring to a ‘two front’ situation for India for the first time. These utterances have less significance in terms of projecting the foreign policy failures of the Congress, and are far more important in building a rationale for a compromise (read abject surrender) on Kashmir.


Persuading the Displaced Hindus to accept the government perspective on their return to the Valley by calling it a ‘Balidan’ in the national interest reflects either a perversion of an ideological movement, or its subversion.


When Washington has begun to recognize the potential of linkages between Lashkar-e-Toiba and Al-Qaeda, and their intention to foment terrorist activities in India, to even provoke a war, and when terrorist activities are showing a sudden flip in the state, the Jammu RSS leadership has embarked on a campaign to blunt the opposition of Kashmiri Hindus to the so-called peace process and government manoeuvers to force their symbolic return. They have chosen to ignore the lessons of massacres of Kashmiri Hindus at Sangrampora, Wandhama, and Nadimarg, to similar return moves.


For the realization of Greater Muslim Kashmir, forcing Kashmiri Hindus to return has two purposes: one, to camouflage the creation of a Muslim state within the boundaries of India by providing the compromise a secular texture; and two, to create a pedestal for the division of Jammu along its Hindu-Muslim demographic divide.


After all, if Kashmiri Hindus are showcased as having accepted to live in a radically Islamized Valley, forgetting their genocide, what rationale will Hindus living in Muslim majority areas of Jammu have to oppose the creation of a Greater Kashmir? Has RSS chosen to be a facilitator in the capitulation of Hindus in Jammu & Kashmir before the advance of Islamic order and power?


The writer is a senior journalist 

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