THE prestigious British newspaper ‘The Guardian’ wrote in November 2016 that “Since July 2016, when the killing of a young militant leader sparked a furious civilian uprising across the Kashmir Valley, the Indian State has responded with singular ruthlessness, killing more than 90 people. Most shocking of all has been the breaking up of demonstrations with “non-lethal” pellet ammunition, which has blinded hundreds of Kashmiri civilians”. As per the newspaper, in those four months, 17,000 adults and children were injured, 5000 were arrested and an entire population spent the summer under the longest curfew in the history of curfews in Kashmir. Upon usage of brute force and cold-blooded massacres of Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK), the former Indian Finance Minister, P Chidambaram, remarked that India has nearly lost Kashmir. The former Minister also advised the Modi Government to make course correction on Kashmir; otherwise, India may lose Kashmir forever. Mr Chidambaram said, “seven million people of Kashmir valley felt alienated by the ‘oppressive methods’ of the Indian government, which was a terrible mistake.” He was critical of the statement of Indian Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat, who upon taking over the command said, ‘anyone who interfered with defence operations in Kashmir would be treated as anti-national’.
What a shame, General Rawat desires that Indian Army should continue brutalizing the Kashmiris and they (Kashmiris) should not counter to these Indian cruelties, a strange logic? The intensity of anti-India protests in IOK has escalated to such levels that an article in BBC questioned “Is India losing Kashmir?” Washington Post also pointed “Teen girls with stones are the new threat in India’s Kashmir conflict”. New York Times editorial “Cruelty and Cowardice in Kashmir” also has the same shade commenting on an incident on the current situation in the Valley. Besides, The Atlantic observed that a new cycle of protests and violent crackdowns had begun in Kashmir, as have responses to those crackdowns – leaving dozens dead and more injured. Former chief of R&AW A. S. Dulat felt that unarmed uprising has worsened under the current government in terms of atmospherics as due to alienation and the anger of youth, young Kashmiri minds have gone out of control. “There is a sense of hopelessness. They aren’t afraid to die. Villagers, students and even girls are coming out on the streets. This has never happened in the past,” he said. An Indian journalist Santosh Bhartiya in an open letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi published in the ‘Rising Kashmir’ claimed that although “the land of Kashmir is with us, the people of Kashmir are not with us.” He had pointed out that on every tree, on every mobile tower, Pakistani flag swirls in Kashmir.
Calling New Delhi’s policy towards Kashmir a ‘bundle of confusion’, former BJP senior leader Yashwant Sinha insisted that India has lost people of the Valley emotionally. “We have lost the people emotionally. You just have to visit the Valley to realize that they have lost faith in us” Sinha acknowledged. He also candidly admitted that Modi and India believe in “doctrine of State” or brutality to suppress Kashmiri people. Kashmiri people and Pakistanis observe 5 Jan as United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) Kashmir Resolution Day to project the occasion for reminding the United Nations of its resolve made in 1949 to grant Kashmiris the right to self-determination through plebiscite. The pro-India former Chief Minister of IoK, Dr Farooq Abdullah, who won the by-election from Srinagar, has also reached the conclusion that India is losing Kashmir. He advised BJP Government of India to talk to Pakistan and start thinking about political solution of Kashmir dispute, rather using the brute force against masses of the IoK, who have decided not to be part of Indian Union anyway. In the by-election, the turnout of the voting was less than 7%. Meanwhile Indian Army has crossed all the limits of human rights violations in IoK.
Indeed, India must understand that Kashmiris struggle for their right of self-determination is original, indigenous, rational, UN-sponsored and that they will not give-up that until its achievement. Kashmiri masses have a feeling that through repressive measures, India is just buying time; “time-buying techniques”. Besides, the Indian civil society has been inconsiderate and senseless over the massive human rights violations in IoK which clearly imply that Kashmiris are not Indian masses. The stone palters told the team, “This time we picked up stones, the next time around it can be much worse,” restart of the armed struggle like 1990s. In order to humiliate the Kashmiri youth and to create a fear among the masses, a few days back, Indian Army tied a young boy ‘to the front (bonnet) of the Indian Army Jeep in an upright seated, hands and legs bound, as the vehicle drives through the streets of dozens of villages.
This is a shocking action; India Army has implemented to disgrace and humiliate the Kashmiri youth. In an interview in Srinagar, Farooq Abdullah said, ‘Come down from your high horses…I am seeing a very bad situation. The youth is on boil, which I have not seen before.’ The recent wave of Kashmiri protests and boycotting the Lok Saba by-election in IoK has killed over fifteen innocent Kashmiri youth in just three days. A debate is already underway among the liberal class of India that, with the kind of strategy, India has adopted to handle the Kashmiris struggle for their right of self-determination; it has already lost the hearts and minds of the masses in IoK. People like Farooq Abdullah, P Chidambaram, Yaswant Sinha and Kuldip Nayyar have already predicated ‘India losing Kashmir’ owing to its muscular policy, injustices, human rights violations and disrespecting the UN resolutions. Indeed, sooner than later, India is losing its illegal occupation of Kashmir.