J&K: Dismemberment designs reach New Delhi
by Nancy Kaul on 04 Oct 2010 17 Comments

Intifada and mob violence, the tools to further the agenda of terrorism and proxy war in Jammu & Kashmir, has been tested by Pakistan and the separatist elements in the Kashmir Valley. This is getting support in terms of firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) by Pakistan, to push more terrorists into the State, to create violence and terror strikes.


The shrill cacophony of Self Rule, Autonomy, Greater Autonomy, for the Kashmir Valley-centric politicians, along with azadi and pro-Pak slogans, have become the hallmark of the  secessionists and separatists in Srinagar and now New Delhi, and are fast emerging as an open challenge to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Indian State.


The shadows of the design to dismember India are quite visible and the naked truth is that there is a sustained effort being made to dilute the connection between the State of Jammu & Kashmir and India. The terms of reference to the country’s unity and sovereignty are fast becoming a casualty. This is getting ample support from the self-styled intellectual-NGO brigade which has no compunction about helping erode the basic fibre of the nation and joining the secessionist agenda.


The azadi bandwagon with NGOs with little or no respect for the sovereign, territorial, strategic and security issues of the nation are playing to the gallery for the western-funders of their seminars and dinners. The sole loser is the Indian Nation.


On 29 September 2010, WISPA, an Indian NGO founded by the late Nirmala Deshpande, was hosted by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) to conduct one such seminar in his official premises at Lodi Road – clearly as part of the escalation of Kashmir violence in the run-up to the visit of American President Barack Obama next month.


Here, the contours of reference were just direct attacks on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, and blatant attacks and outright villainous accusations against the security and armed forces that are struggling to control the murderous stone-pelters, and losing life and limb in the process. [As for Nirmala Deshpande, she had once joined hands with Admiral Ramdas and hosted a delegation of 150 Pakistanis at a seminar and public meeting in Chennai, as part of some Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy. The star attractions included the Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Abdul Gani Bhat].


Although UNIC’s New Delhi office website states that it engages with a broad spectrum of NGOs organizing seminars, colloquiums, conferences and dialogues on diverse UN themes and priorities, this seminar was certainly contrary to these claims and reverberated with ugly anti-India rhetoric and slogans, and gave a free hand and encouragement to the secessionist elements.


The very structure of the seminar – supposedly to hear the voices of women affected by the violence in the vale and bridge the gap between communities – gave the game away. The delegates from Kashmir were only Muslim women and men who supported separatism vociferously. No delegates were invited to speak on behalf of the other religious, linguistic, ethnic, and regional groups from other parts of the state.


The tenor of the anti-India and security forces-bashing was supported by none other than a sitting member of the Planning Commission, Dr Sayeda Hameed, a post equivalent to a Minister of State in the Government of India. The Central Government must explain this behaviour of a nominated member on a constitutional post, and the indulgence towards such conduct.


Nayeema Hameed, wife of the separatist Hurriyat Conference leader Nayeem Ahmed Khan, who is under arrest for his role in the mob violence and arson unleashed in Kashmir Valley since June 2010, termed security forces fighting counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir as occupation forces and asked for the demilitarization of the Valley as demanded by then Pakistani president General Musharraf (so as to facilitate the free movement of terrorists). This India-bashing and misinformation campaign did not stop here; the speaker wanted Kashmir to be separated from India and azadi to be discussed. [Is it possible UN and WIPSA did not know the identity of the lady, her connections? Unlikely, a number of speakers actively promoted Syed Ali Shah Geelani as the sole leader with credibility in Kashmir today].


Zamruda Habib, another secessionist, raised the pitch of separatism and balkanization of India by shouting pro-azadi slogans; she was joined by another woman who literally yelled ‘hum kya chahte, azadi.’ In the chair was NDTV anchor Nidhi Razdan, who showed no disagreement, consistent with the line of most news channels which often hype anti-security forces venom.


The Kashmir Valley Syndrome of hijacking the State which is inclusive of other two regions was practiced in toto by the speakers and organisers of the so-called dialogue. The lone Muslim male who got up to protest against this Kashmir-centric approach which was totally aligned with the separatist agenda was told to “shut up” (yes, the words were actually used). Mr Sajad of Ladakh region objected to the azadi-mongering in the name of the entire state of Jammu & Kashmir: “I take strong exception to this. I belong to Ladakh and I do not agree with these Kashmiris. They have created a hegemony of sorts where we are not even being allowed our rightful share and voice in the State.”


Dr Sayeda Hameed personally indulged in undemocratic and questionable behaviour towards the gentleman and said they did not want to hear anything more.  


Why do all debates, conferences, seminars and discussions on J&K feature only secessionists and separatists and their partners in the Indian polity? Why are all other stakeholders marginalized, ignored, or simply not invited? I and other friends reached the venue rather late in the morning, after being alerted that such meeting was taking place in the UN building on Lodi Road, which we half expected to turn out to be untrue. It was not. And certainly I feel that this so-called seminar was part of a larger evil design to balkanize India and talibanize  Kashmir.


The sustained attention given to voices that further the agenda of delinking Jammu & Kashmir from India is now getting UN support in the very capital of India. Nowhere in the world will a nation allow secessionism and recognize it as a legitimate demand because a bunch of foreign-funded separatists, terrorists, intifada-mongering arsonists and stone-throwers shouting azadi ask for it.


The Charter of the United Nations clearly states that nowhere in the world will the United Nations support secessionism or recognize it, so how was this seminar, reeking of attack on the Indian Nation, allowed? Was the script written elsewhere, like New York, or District Columbia?  


Interestingly, the well-connected organisers took some of the participating women to meet President Pratibha Patil even as the seminar was going on. It is learnt that there too some of them raised the azadi slogan, even though the appointment was sought on some other referral.


Some pertinent questions arise from such wanton raising of the secessionist agenda in New Delhi, by people and lobbies associated with the Government of India. The pitch and tenor of attack on the very sovereignty of India is getting shriller by the day and the central government is either turning a Nelson’s eye or becoming a silent partner in this scheme of hammering at the very roots of nationhood.


Overtly, the United States maintains that it is not going to interfere in Indian sovereign rights, yet voices emanating from Washington hint at a design that could already be unfolding. Even though Philip Crowley, spokesperson of the US State Department, said India’s Security Council seat was not connected to America’s vision (read its pro-Pak stand on Kashmir) of the issue and its settlement, his statement, “I mean, we want to see India and work collectively together to resolve tensions regarding Kashmir,” suggests otherwise.


The dimensions of the design emerge in a dangerous synchronicity when the Union Home Minister goes into overdrive and announces Rs 5 lakh compensation (apart from other Kashmir-centric proposals) for those killed during the violence and mob terror unleashed in Kashmir Valley, which later spread to Poonch in Jammu region; even as he ignores that more than 2000 Security Forces personnel lie injured in hospital due to the same mob violence and makes no announcements for them.


Chidambaram’s over-enthusiasm to remove and amend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, even as his mandate is limited to the Union Home Ministry, raises questions of the dichotomy of the political and government establishment towards over-indulgence to the whims and fancies of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who has often out of the way to speak out of turn on issues beyond a Chief Minister’s mandate. His frequent anti-security forces outbursts are more or less in tandem with those of the separatist Hurriyat or PDP.


The vital question confronting us right now is that the political establishment as custodian of the constitution, sovereignty, territorial integrity of the Indian State, needs to understand that the stakes of each region of the State of Jammu & Kashmir are equal and that each Indian has a stake in the country’s unity and sovereignty.


The author is convener, Daughters of Vitasta 

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