Paradoxes surrounding India
Iqbal Khan
10/5/2017

 

Turkish President’s offer to strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue is another welcome addition to similar offers by global leadership. Presidents Rouhani and Trump may be poles apart on other international issues and happenings both wish to play a constructive role with regard to resolving the Kashmir dispute.Before his arrival in New Delhi, President Erdogan had remarked: “India and Pakistan were both friends of Turkey and he wanted to help strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue.”Recently theUN and the OIC have also urged the early resolution of Jammu and Kashmir issue.

Turkish President’s offer to strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue is another welcome addition to similar offers by global leadership. Presidents Rouhani and Trump may be poles apart on other international issues and happenings both wish to play a constructive role with regard to resolving the Kashmir dispute.Before his arrival in New Delhi, President Erdogan had remarked: “India and Pakistan were both friends of Turkey and he wanted to help strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue.”Recently theUN and the OIC have also urged the early resolution of Jammu and Kashmir issue.
While in India, Erdogan has once again called for a multilateral approach to settle the matter, while calling for an immediate end to bloodshed in Indian occupied Kashmir.The situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOK), especially in terms of human rights violations has touched unprecedented heights.
Erdogan is well known for mincing no words when highlighting the problems faced by Muslim Ummah. Over the years, he has emerged as a towering and visionary leader in Muslim world who not only feels but also candidly speaks about the Muslims facing oppression at the hands of tyrant forces. While hinting at playing the role of a mediator, Erdogan pointed out that if lingering disputes were not addressed, it would hurt the future generations. “Extending conflicts, extending questions and carrying these questions to the future will be unfair to future generations because they will have to pay the price”, he said. These words reflect the pain Erdogan feels for the Kashmiri people. The Indian side has to understand that tension in relations or playing proxies against Pakistan is not in anybody’s interests. However, India is not in a listening mode.While Pakistan welcomed Erdogan’s offer India asserted that it was an Indo-Pak bilateral matter, “essentially due to cross-border terrorism”.Indian External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said India’s position that Kashmir is its integral part is very sharp and publicly known.India’s new face is pegged around a couple of theatrics: imitating the Unites States in symbolism, like having a hundred rupee bill as highest instrument of financial transaction; feeling itchy to embrace nuclear first use doctrine; dreaming of conducting preemptive and surgical strike; acting as regional bully etc. While India is doing so in a quest of recognition as super power, its hard core negativities are over shadowing its better part of the image. These negativities are now well entrenched within its state institutions, as well as policy making politico-bureaucratic echelons.Cozying up with Dalai Lame to check mate China,unleashing cruelty on hapless Kashmiris, and denying justice on Muslim sensitive issues are some of the evolving features of contemporary India. Indian funding to select political parties during previous elections of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was too obvious. In global dynamics, India wants to milk the US resources in the name of acting as heavy lifter in America’s “contain China” strategy, while at the same time winking and doing US$ 100 billion bilateral trade with China. Allocatingmore than US$ 200 billion for military forces’ upgradation, spreadover the next decade, at the cost of half of its underfed population is an ironic paradox. Indian government has never been a secular democracy in character, but Indian civil society had been making up for this shortfall as it has always been vocal and potent, however now Indian civil society is also fast losing its secular and humane shades.At regional level India has adopted terrorism as state policy; voluntary revelations by Ehsanullah Ehsan former Taliban spokesperson corroborate with earlier confessions by Kulbhushan Jhadev. Mother of All Bombs dropped by Americans resulted, inter alia, in killing about 13 RAW agents, stationed in Afghanistan to plan, conduct and coordinate terrorist activities in Pakistan; one can’t be sure as to how many more are still alive and kicking.Ehsanullah Ehsanremained associated with TTP as a spokesperson and later with Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA) until his surrender.JuA leader Omar Khalid Khorasani received medical treatment in India after he got injured in Afghanistan.The IOK has been tense since April 9, when eight people including seven students were killed by police and paramilitaries during by-election violence.Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the IOK where most people favour a merger with Pakistan.A video released on social media earlier this month showed a man tied to a jeep was being used as a human shield, by Indian security forces, against stone-pelting crowd.The clip went viral and has sparked outrage and heated debate about the role of the Indian military in IOK. Indian occupation forces have imposed a ban on It is the first time that government has taken such a step, although it regularly blocks the cell-phone signals.A London based Kashmiri, Mirza Waheed in his April 25 article in New York Times(NYT) “A Cruel April in Kashmir” has given a fair idea of ongoing Indian atrocities. “Every year, or at the least every other year, there arrive seasons of killing and mourning in the valley of Kashmir. On April 9, elections were held for a parliamentary seat left vacant in the main city of Srinagar… Young Kashmiris surrounded polling stations to protest Indian rule. Some protesters threw stones at the polling booths and the troops stationed there. The troops responded as they do, with shooting, beating and blinding protesters and bystanders alike”.About the incident involving a man tied in front of jeep, Mirza writes: “Many in India expressed shock and revulsion”. But a”judge on India’s Armed Forces Tribunal, which hears court-martial appeals, tweeted that it was “an innovate idea.” Mirza abhors that “graphic videos of torture of Kashmiris by the armed forces have surfaced, one after another – indeed a visual guide of Indian rule over Kashmir”.Commenting upon increasing apathy of Indian civil society, Waheed says: “Soon, celebrities, cricketers, actors, journalists and politicians joined in a digital witch-hunt. Taking to Twitter, a former captain of Indian cricket team “effectively called for mass murder”. A senior editor likened Kashmiris to “mosquitoes”.Yet Mirza does not lose hope: “With the world falling apart, India could perhaps show a light. Not crush Kashmir but solve one of the world’s longest-running conflicts along with Pakistan – even if the relationship between the forever estranged nuclear siblings is at its lowest”.Hartosh Singh in his April 24 piece in NYT “India’s New Face” writes about Yogi Adityanath, BJP’s choice for chief minister ship of Uttar Pradesh:”The frame shows a man with a shaved head cloaked in saffron, the color of Hindu monasticism, sitting on a saffron-backed armchair. A voiceover described the scene: ‘Whoever comes before him sits at his feet, but he makes sure every supplicant goes away satisfied; he does not discriminate.”After the death of a Hindu youth in clashes between Hindus and Muslims on the Ashura day, Adityanathhad publicly said: “In times to come, if one Hindu is killed, we won’t go to the police. Instead we will make sure we will kill 10 Muslims.” Muslims constitute 20 percent of the state’s population;yet, BJP did not field a single Muslim candidate.And Ram Puniyani in his April 07 article “Babri Masjid Ramjanmbhoomi Dispute: Need for Justice” states that: “After the long wait, the Supreme Court Chief Justice JS Khehar opined that long pending dispute of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid should be settled out of court. He even offered to mediate himself in the matter. Most of the spokespersons from RSS combine welcomed the move, while large number of Muslims and other elements have been surprised as the Court was “approached for justice and not or compromise formula”.In the out of Court settlement, the Hindu nationalists are more assertive and dominant while the representatives of Muslims are being pushed into a corner.RSS chief in a jubilant mood has proclaimed that now the path for a grand Ram temple has been opened at the site and all the parties should cooperate in this “national” work”. Punyani goes on the say: “For larger sections this judgment came as a matter of dismay.Waheed Mirza aptly says: “Only a few years ago, India could still lay claim to being a liberal democracy. The spectacular consolidation of power by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, has been synchronous with the spread of hate speech and violence against India’s minorities – Muslims, Dalits and Christians”