Hurriyat pulls the strings and New Delhi dances while Gujarat catches small fish

Posted on August 17, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, religion, terrorism |

Hurriyat did not realize that it was shooting itself in the feet when it took on the mantle of champion of economic rights of Kashmiri Muslims by demanding trade across the LOC in Kashmir. I had written awhile ago in these columns that for Pakistan to agree to open the trade routes across the LOC means a possibly serious economic drain. The not-so-robust economy of Pakistan, thanks to the Talebani dance of merry Islamic  militancy,  may ill  afford  a drain of resources across the border.  Trade across the LOC could also over the long term involve products that do not originate in the valley but are traded by Kashmiris in the valley sourced from the much stronger economy in the plains of India. This does not bode well for Pakistan.  And Pakistan is dragging its feet over allowing this trade across the LOC, as expected.  Hurriyat is looking for slogans that can rally the largest support in the Valley, and this has nothing do with its actual ideologically motivated agenda – doing its bit for the consolidation of Islam in the subcontinent. As with all ideologically motivated organizations, like that of the Communists, there are always blind alleys into which Hurriyat rushes headlong. Pakistan’s elite’s agenda is grabbing land, and this essentially ex-Hindu converted Muslim elite (who converted in the first instance out of economic and power motives in the first place to retain their land) only uses Islam as a pretext for its land-grabbing motivations. This elite is quite uncomfortable with unbridled Islamic consolidation movements which do not consider the economic or strategic realities. However, in this case Hurriyat is a creation of the Pakistani elite as much as it is a creation of Islamic fundamentalist proselytizing agenda. It will be an interesting exercise in diplomatic coughing and sneezing on the part of all three players in this Kashmiri roulette.

While this pussyfooting is going on in Kashmir, the Gujarat police has claimed to nab the main culprits behind the Gujarat blasts, and identified them as a breakaway hardline faction of SIMI, calling itself the Indian Mujahideen. However sometime ago, in the aftermath of the blasts media leaks from officials appeared to project the theory that Indian Mujahideen did not really exist but was a “shadow name” of a Pakistan based outfit that specifically wanted to pretend to be “Indian”. Both cannot be true at the same time, and it is quite possible that neither of the two theories are entirely correct. It seems unlikely that the main culprits behind the Gujarat blasts have been nabbed. These are people still under deep cover all over the western coastal areas of India, with strong underground networks between Communist extremists, and ethnic separatists throughout India as well as groups based across the border not necessarily with Pakistan. The people nabbed are most likely to be the peripheral weak links. The ideological shortsightedness of these groups may make them itch in “righteous anger” to prove that the Indian authorities have barely even scratched their bottoms, and more public outrages or “show of strength” can probably be expected.

The only strategy that will work in preventing aggressive Jihadi Islam is to frustrate the basic target of Islam, to increase the number of Muslims. There should be a sustained and intensive cultural campaign to revive the pre-Islamic roots of the modern Muslims, and climate created where truly “peaceful Muslims” would feel “ashamed” to remain a Muslim. The false propaganda, which has no support in any of the core texts of Islam, that a Muslim who “leaves” Islam (an “apostate”) has to be physically immediately killed, should be dispelled. Hindus have shown their intelligence in being sufficiently flexible to modernize as and when required – reflected in the sequence of reforms that Hindus themselves undertook and continue to undertake. It is the Hindu historian or politician who is allowed to oppose Hindus in favour of falsification in favour of Islam and get away with it by Hindus, a behaviour never seen in Muslims in reverse towards Hindus. Just imagine the freedoms that a Muslim woman or even a man can enjoy when she or he leaves Islam behind – the freedom to be able to negotiate and redefine and reconstruct their own lives rather than take life as a rigidly pre-ordered diktat from a non-negotiable entity speaking only through insecure and power hungry human voices! It is time the Indian Muslim grows up out of the fear and “submission” that is Islam, and their Hindu countrymen welcome them back.


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One Response to “Hurriyat pulls the strings and New Delhi dances while Gujarat catches small fish”

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More than anyone else, we all and the leadership, in India, Pakistan and Kashmir, must realise that situations have changed. No point in talking about history. Each one will have naturally different aims. But we must recognise that peace is the biggest aim, which all of us are missing. India has consistently left out separatists in Kashmir from talks. That has to change. That’ll be a good way to start. Serious efforts by parties should begin to reach a settlement of the issue.

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