Clichés are sometimes good way to understand complex situation. The cat is out of the bag is one such cliché that explains the recent revelation on how Indian army runs affairs in Kashmir (“V.K. Singh counters charges, admits ‘pro-India NGOs’ were funded,” The Hindu, Sep 24, 2013). He is same Indian army chief who rejected corrupt practice “to facilitate the procurement of 600 Tatra heavy trucks, a vehicle already in service in the Indian Army”. For this deal he was reportedly offered 140 million Indian Rupees. (Army removes all TSD intel officers: http://www.stratpost.com/army-removes-all-tsd-intel-officers). In the year 2012, retired General Singh shot a letter to Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, which found its way to media, causing consternation in the process, “arguing that the army was severely incapacitated and not in position to defend the country should there be a war.” (“One-Man Army?” Tehelka April 7, 2012). Therefore, charges coming from the mouth of such a army general that all pro India politicians in Kashmir are funded is taken very seriously. (“The General Drops A Bombshell”: Tehelka 5 Oct 2013).
Use of apanage in collaboration is nothing new. It is the most common weapon that oppressors use when they colonise any land. Remember how Mir Jaffar was given the apanage of Bengal Diwanate in lieu of his help to British in overcoming Siraj-ud-Dulwah.
Since US occupation of Afghanistan, Kashmir is witnessing ‘Cold Conflict’ in which both the state and pro freedom fighters are fighting ideological war. While the state is trying to crush the will of the people, the pro freedom groups are increasingly trying to increase their ideological base. While the state has been successful in co-opting some intellectuals toward its side, but, the pro freedom groups have seeped their ideology to younger generations. As the state was finding it tough to channelize their money for the ‘benefit’ of people they roped in army and police institutions to connect with the people. (The same state allowed baby crocodiles to flourish in corruption hoping that it won’t eat them). The other reason why the state mostly sidelined pro India politicians in Kashmir is that it doesn’t want any solution to Kashmir that will act detrimental to its interests. So both the strong institutions of the state started to organise programmes, mostly targeted toward youth. Sports, music, and arts were prime objectives to rope in youngsters. This gives the state an opportunity to show its humane face to a hostile population.
General Rupert Smith, who has 40 years of experience in army, writes in his book, “Political objectives is achieved as a result of military success.” (“The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World”). In fact political and military objectives in conflict areas are same. Their job is not only to dismantle the rival but to defeat him into acceptable negotiations. The Indian army since 1947 has shown admirable bravery, particularly in dismembering Pakistan into two parts. However, the armed rebellion in Kashmir put it into quagmire. A long interaction with civilian population has corrupted the once disciplined army. Now it is running operation of its own in Kashmir.
How does Indian army operate in Kashmir? The most important strategy of the Indian army is destroying the industrial resistance of Kashmir people. To break the industrial-type resistance, the Indian army used various methods some of which are discussed in this paper.
Every army is the strong hand of the state. It is on the basis of army that states are held together as one cohesive unit. Remove the fear of the army and various nationalities and ethnic groups will carve out their own nations. The pro India politicians know that their following in Kashmir is froth. The moment Indian army leaves Kashmir pro India politicians will outrun them in reaching New Delhi.
For years people have talked in private how Indian army runs the show from behind the scenes in the Himalayan region also claimed by Pakistan. Kashmir, an incurable ulcer for India, has been governed by the pro India collaborators since 1948— when the region lost its independence to India, with the help of Indian army. The armed resistance from 1988 has put Indian army on the forefront of suppressing a popular revolt. They succeeded in bringing down the rebellion by brute force. It was the same Indian army that pushed people to vote in 1996 in which largest pro India party, National Conference, won a majority. Alongside Indian army’s candidate, Kuka Parray— a notorious renegade— was also declared winner. The army, (as Indian interlocutors said are key players in Kashmir) helped in pushing their candidates to win. The same apolitical army went from door to door asking people to vote in urban areas. In villages they just ordered population to come out threatening if no vote ink is found on their forefinger they will cut all fingers. (“Force-Fed Voting May Do Little To Calm Unrest in Indian State.” The Christian Science Monitor / May 29, 1996).
Army is the power behind the scenes; a scenario which every Kashmir politician knows. That is why no trooper has been convicted in Kashmir for any crime by the supposedly democratically elected government of J&K. Even to file First Information Report against them pro India parties look toward New Delhi (“The Apparatus: Laying bare the State’s terrifying impunity in Kashmir”, Caravan Magazine, March 2013). Yet, the Kashmir Assembly tried to show their spurious muscles by passing a legislation asking Government of India to probe Gen V K Singh’s allegations and summon him to answer the queries of pro India legislatures. The passing of resolution sent people into delirium. They were asking: the assembly that doesn’t have the power to convict a trooper is passing resolution against a former chief of the Indian army.
The ruling National Conference in the state has consistently maintained that principal opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was formed under the guidance of intelligence agency with the blessing of Hindutva Bharatiya Janata Party (“Agent accusations fly thick and fast”: GK Oct 1, 2013). PDP came into existence in 1999 and within three years it became a ruling party in Kashmir. The Indian state was following the classical example of giving oppressed people the alternatives of their own, which the people have to abide, allowed PDP to show some kind of leniency. Pro freedom political prisoners were released. They were also given permission to hold protest rallies and gatherings. The classical thing in conflict is that while one term is used to suppress the people brutally so that they shudder to rebel in unison. Then there comes a ‘leniency period’, which is given so that people do not become violent. And this period is used to consolidate the gains, to corrupt the intellectual class of the oppressed, to engage the pro freedom leaders in futile talks, to steal their ideas, soften them, and set them up.
In conflict, army, police and intelligence agency are reluctant to share information. Particularly in Kashmir where money is no problem for the army (Kashmir is a money game: David Mulford, Economic Times, Sep 5, 2011). The army places its men in the political parties to spy on them. They are given lucrative contracts in order to rally poor and business class people toward them. In this way army makes many stakeholders to the conflict. Those who follow these politicians have no inkling that rabble rousing toward the army and other oppressing institutions is done on behalf of the army itself so as to make the person credible in the eyes of the people.
Absolving NC from 2010 killing:
The report which said that Indian army paid 1.5 crore rupees to agriculture minister Ghulam Hassan Mir to topple Omar Abdullah government is shot in the arm of National Conference. Firstly, with this statement, the New Delhi government is trying to gain sympathy for the NC. Secondly, this statement tries to absolve the NC from killing more than 100 young people during civil protests in 2010. After all the founder of NC had been prime force in gifting Kashmir to India. The fact of the matter is that no government can be toppled with mere 1.5 crore rupees. What, however, it brings to fore is that New Delhi and Indian army were viewing each other with suspicion. While New Delhi supported Omar Abdullah government, army, it seems were clearly seeing that the ground they had prepared for political resolution in favour of India was getting eroded. (‘Omar is just toeing the Delhi line’, http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/q-a-mehbooba-mufti-president-of-the-pdp-110070400006_1.html). They may have tried of their own to topple the government which they considered inimical to their interests. After all no army has the capacity to fight the mass rebellion twice in short span of 30 years. That also explains why army, despite being requested, was reluctant to come on the streets of Srinagar when unprecedented protests were at acme.
NGOs, Indian journalists, civil society members:
In order to restore credibility in state a number of Non Governmental Organisations are pushed to work in conflict areas. These NGOs ostensibly do humanitarian work, but they are used as conflict management and stability tool. They also ensure that people take part in government schemes. Through their activities they resort the confidence of the people back in government machinery. These NGOs also, as shown in the death of Osama bin Laden, gather intelligence. They propagate programmes like Right To Information, which they call say is akin to giving independence. Then they come up with seminars wherein they provoke nubile minds to enter into pro India politics, administration, police and other things and change that inside. They also ask people to respect law and institutions. Some NGOs are used for combing operations. They go into the families of pro freedom fighters where in people out of sheer naivety tell them stories of other pro freedom fighters. Sometimes families of pro freedom fighters beseech these NGOs to bring back their sons. (“The Eerie NGO Phenomenon in Kashmir” The Honour Magazine, April 2010).
In any conflict it is important to see who defines the parameters. In Kashmir, ever since the movement went into cold conflict, many pro freedom activists have fallen into the debates that state initiates. In those farcical debates, the state whips up frenzy to corner them. The state has placed its men in Kashmir in the form of journalists and NGOs. These journalists are also heading NGOs and engineer Kashmir people toward a particular brand. The appalling thing is that Indian journalists like Seema Mustafa with her NGO ‘Centre for Peace Analysis’ was successful in holding seminar in which Praveen Ahanger was convinced to take part and that too in University of Kashmir.
These Indian journalists speak the words of Kashmir people, but script state’s language. All these state-sponsored debates via media are done to divert the attention of these pro freedom leaders from the ground realities. Indian media needs pro freedom leaders for credibility but Kashmir has no need of them. If pro freedom leaders avoid Indian news channels they will fall on their feet for sound byte.
In their book “Arming without Aiming: India’s military modernisation” authors Stephen Cohen and Sunil Dasgupta write: “Hit them over the head, and teach them to play the piano,” has been the routine approach of Indian state against the anti state forces. This policy has been in vogue in Kashmir.
After the 2010 civil protests, the Indian state through army promoted sports on grand scale. Indian army and police started a campaign where in they recruited people to organise tournaments, particularly cricket. Because cricket is an Indian obsession while as soccer is Kashmir’s favourite game. In soccer, Kashmir has produced a number of international players despite a bias from the system. Because, Kashmir is closely linked with Central Asian states and as such soccer, like there, is also prime game here. Yet the state while promoting games paid most attention to the cricket.
It was in cricket also that Indian Team faced hostile reactions when they played two ODIs in 1983-84 against West Indies and Australia. So hostile was the reaction of Kashmir crowds toward Indian cricket team that the opposition captains said they felt playing at home. Many people were booked by the state for raising pro Pakistan slogans and waving Pakistan flags. Nearly three decades later two Indian cricketers are roped to inaugurate ‘Downtown Champions League’. Downtown is hub of anti India movement right from 1948 and it is, perhaps was, unthinkable that two Indian cricketers with little security can come and inaugurate ‘DCL’. But, the state this time connived with a Kashmiri journalist, a carpet knight, who worked in Radio Germany to launch ‘DCL’. The carpet knight kept hankering that DCL has nothing to do with politics. Yet it goes to his credit that the pariah players of Indian team inaugurated ‘DCL’.
From 2010, the men in uniform supported every major tournament. Every week saw inauguration of new tournament in sports. The former IG Police, Kashmir, Mr Shiv Murari Sahai was mostly seen dotting those functions. Funds have never been problem with uniformed men.
Music and Arts:
It is happening that Indian state is controlling every activity of the Valley. They are even drawing young ones to draw pictures of pain and other sufferings. It was the same case with ‘Ocean of Tears’. While the censor board of India approved it the point was to show the version of Indian state as well. The film didn’t get a release in Kashmir, as expected. The director of the film tried to make an issue that the University of Kashmir didn’t allow it to screen because of anti India sentiment. The fact was that no censor board in India can clear a film depicting the truth in Kashmir. After the initial hoopla, the filmmaker, for fear of getting ostracised didn’t release his film in Kashmir. Through this film and Inshallah Kashmir, the state wanted to show that people are welcome to make films on Kashmir conflict. The latter, as expected, got an award from an Indian Institute as well. Although there are severe questions raised by those who saw the documentary that Inshallah Kashmir was responsible for the murder of one of the non-active militant by the troops who was filmed in the film.
What the state wants in Kashmir is to filter whatever it thinks is seditious. For the purpose, since 2010, they organised numerous painting, poster and musical competitions in which youth were roped in to launch such programmes. One such organisation is ostensible run by three young people. For their annual programme they book University of Kashmir Convocation that hosts 2400 people. Considering that all people pay for entry (which is not the case as I experimented and got 10 entries free, and hostel scholars also confirm that they get fee entry and yet the hall remains partially full) it amounts to Rs 240000. The Convocation Complex charges up to Rupees 40,000 per show. The costumes and artists that are hired also charge good amount. Yet very few question where from they get fund to host such grand scale shows. The one noticeable thing about the shows is that many top uniformed men attend. Also many University officials (numbering up to 100 are given free entry) and yet the hall is never full. Who sponsors them?
The police and Indian army, since 2010, have made it a practice to be present on most civil and academic functions. Even in school functions police distributes awards. All this was to encourage like the fish hunter who moves fish into a shoal before throwing his net on them. Uniformed men use music to catch the young people. Both boys and girls were encouraged to form bands. In fact quite contrary to the Kashmir traditions some girls were seen dancing in army parties or in pro India shows. The girls’ band “Pragaash”, which Indian media harped on, was performing in troopers’ function when Kashmir youth objected to it. Music became one of the contested things in Kashmir struggle against occupation. Whether Islam allows music or not is datable, but music was used instrumentally in creating rifts among Kashmir society. The occupiers know that while one vast section of Kashmir people like music, the other one desists on religious grounds. And religion is getting a stronghold in Kashmir where people want to come in the realms of Islam whole-heartedly and that is why they also oppose music. Music is cunningly used in Kashmir. Now Radio Kashmir starts its every Kashmir musical programme with a song on prophet Muhammad (saw). This way the state tells people that their institutions are with masses and music is Islamic!
Drugging stone pelters:
Israel has used this policy successfully to some extent. There they give free drugs to the stone hurlers. What is interesting that rather than putting them into a prison, the troopers provide stone hurlers with drugs. These drug addicts then mix with the protestors. They incite the crowd and sometimes they get free drugs in lieu of providing information about the plans of protestors*. Robert Fisk in his magnum opus book ‘The Great War on Civilisation’ recalls many such incidents inside the occupied territories of Palestine. He says those addicts hover near army camps. Stone hurlers who have been arrested easily pin point about them. In addiction state they are not bothered what they are giving as long as they get what they want. The drug addicts also hamper the moral fabric of the society. Drug abuse in Kashmir is rampant. Despite a religious society and being world’s most militarised zone, drugs are easily available in Kashmir. Many students from peripheries also accuse troopers of handing porn content to them.
Despite regular protests against opening up of liquor shops in Kashmir, the state does not listen to people’s demand. While in other Indian regions there is a time bar on selling liquor in Kashmir no such thing exists. The state in Kashmir wants to defeat people through immoral ways.
Sun Tzu, in his treatise, which is important part of the military curriculum, writes: “By means of every artful contrivance, cause deterioration amongst his men and waste of his treasure. Corrupt his moral by insidious gifts leading into excess. Disturb and unsettle his mind by presenting him with lovely women.”
Wherever army stays prostitution centres flourish there. In a conflict state where army personnel do not get leave easily prostitution is encouraged. The 2006 notorious sex scandal in Kashmir is a case to point. In the illegal sex racket most of the people involved were uniformed men. Girls were lured, drugged and coerced to sleep with uniformed men and then used as pawns to get information about militant activities. No body questions army’s moral behaviour. They are humans and as such have large tendencies to get involved in sexual activities. It is no surprise then that army abets unveiling of women and encouragement of coeducation. All the army schools in the valley have coeducation. They encourage dancing of girls and call it ‘cultural show’. They sponsor many programmes in Kashmir in which they insist to have musical programmes. In one such programme, SSM College of Engineering & Technology held “Santoor 2012, Cultural cum Technical Fest, September 24-25 2012”. One of the Kashmir’s top read English newspaper ‘Greater Kashmir’ has to announce on front page that it is not sponsoring any musical event held in the college. The organisation threatened to file defamation case against the Private Engineering College. (GKC to file defamation against Pvt college, Sept 23, 2012).
Kashmir is also a place where Internet cafes and restaurants have cabin system in which couples are encouraged to indulge in pervert activities. When public complained against it nothing is done. In fact restaurant and café owners bitterly say that they have to pay a hefty sum to the local police station and many times police officers inaugurate such places. Such has been state’s abetment to immoral activities that the fence of Botanical Park of Srinagar has been draped with opaque clothing. Inside the park men and women, boys and girls indulge in free sex. The state has put police on the gate to protect them. ‘Forum Against Social Evils’ and Duhktaran-i-Millat started a campaign against both the evils. The state swiftly arrested them and put them behind bars. The state also tried to put opaque clothing to Iqbal Park but then the hostile pressure of public forced them to remove it. All the immoral activities that go against the dominant culture in conflict area are done with a specific purpose.
Incineration of shrines:
In the year 2012, one of the most visited shrines of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) was burnt in Kashmir. Although Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) never visited Kashmir his tomb has been made here. Contrary to the image which statist politicians have made about the great saint, he was a known warrior who encouraged Saracens to go for Jihad against Crusaders. Here in Kashmir pro India people have obliterated that thing from the public memory. While lighting the matchstick the conspirators would have thought that Kashmir would burn in the process. Not only where they in for shock but their prediction that people will rise against people, who follow other school of thoughts proved froth. The conspirators went ahead and burnt several shrines in Kashmir. In Shia dominated areas they also incinerated few shrines but there was no reaction. Kashmir people didn’t go ballistic. There was no civil war. All the shrines were incinerated at night. It is an impossible thing to do for an ordinary Kashmir people to move in the night as the streets are guarded by the troops. Who is complicit in this situation needs no Einstein brains.
Indian army’s operation Sadbhavan was particularly used in Kashmir to build and renovate shrines. It reached to a level where Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had to issue decree not to take money from army in building or repairing shrines or mosques. Responding to Mirwaiz’s call, the then Public Relation Officer of Indian army in Kashmir, Col A K Mathur, wrote, “The fact remains that army is utilizing the government of India’s money on renovation of shrines and this definitely doesn’t fall into the category of Haram money.” Col Mathur in his pithy write up was clear that Indian government has given them mandate to spend money in Kashmir. “Otherwise,” he continued in his write up, “how would these clerics justify the money our government spends on organizing the pilgrimage to Hajj. If the money being spent on Hajj is considered Halal then it is very evident that the amount being spent on construction and renovation of shrines is also very much Halal.” (Fatwa Politics: Much ado about Sadhbavana, GK Fri, 22 June 2007). Here Col Mathura leaves no one in doubt that they have clear instruction from the state to do whatever they like with the money given to them.
Funding to madrassas and orphanages:
It is no secret either that most of the madrassas (Islamic seminaries) and mosques that have popped up in the valley are funded by the Government of India. Many mosque imams, people believe, are also on the payrolls of government. That is why in 2010 when stone pelting was becoming incredible form of resistance many masjid imams thundered from pulpits that it was against Islam. They are the same bunch of imams who see nothing unislamic in supporting oppression and taking money from occupational rulers. They would chide people for not offering prayers in mosques but keen to protest against oppression. Every Friday, in the summer of 2010, they would thunder from their pulpits, “While mosques are bereft of people streets are full of protesting youth. Is this Islam?” In fact one of the rectors of a powerful madrassa will be seen in Kashmir University. Whenever any authoritative Indian dignitary would visit University of Kashmir, next day the powerful rector would be seen in the campus delivering sermons. Police used the same rector to ask citizens that not adhering to traffic rules is against Islam. (Fatwa issued: Hindering traffic flow un-Islamic! GK May 18, 2013). This rector has never publicly uttered a word about oppression in Kashmir. The madrassa culture in Kashmir is used to stimulate a particular ideology that might be used to thwart the pro Independence movement.
Although Islam has no concept of orphanages plenty of them have flourished in Kashmir on the pretext of conflict. It is no surprise that lot of orphanages are under the pro Indian collaborators and some are located inside the Indian army camp. (“The Eerie NGO Phenomenon in Kashmir” The Honour Magazine, April 2010). In these orphanages young minds are tutored as per the ideologue of their patron. Often these orphanages consume money meant for the orphans on themselves.
While a list was displayed in newspapers which madrassas are funded those who refuse include mostly Jama’at-i Islami and Jamiat-Ale-Hadees run madrassas. The Indian army started giving them furniture’s, computers and vehicles in the name that they too have heart. Some Jamaat madrassas have fallen to this line and took things from Indian army. In this way Indian army presented a humane face to the very people whom they kill at will.
Journalists on payroll:
“Entice away the enemy’s best and wisest men so that he may be left without counsellors,” wrote Sun Tzu. The current minister of higher education, Mr Mohammad Akbar Lone once retorted in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly that all journalists are under his thumb. He was not far from the mark. Many journalists are in fact under the thumb of pro India collaborators. One of the hush hush spoken word in Kashmir is that army has implanted many journalists in various media organisations. One cannot prove it but there is no denying the fact that many journalists in conflict become embedded.
Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain spelled some water from the tumbler when he wrote a lengthy write up where in he pointed toward few journalists who are closer to Indian army. Writing about Indian army’s strategy, Gen Hasnain wrote that first they had to tame mediapersons in Kashmir. South Asian Institute of Strategic Affairs, which published the General’s writing, in a write up written by its team and titled “Kashmir 2011: The Turning Point” wrote: “Muzamil Jalil of Indian Express was the first of the blocks. Young Kashmiri journalists like Riyaz Ahmad, Shabir of Kashmir Times and established old timers like Shujat Bukhari recognised the change and made people aware of the potential of peace with the change of heart*.” (Kashmir 2011: The Turning Point. http://saisaonline.org/internal-security/kashmir-2011-the-turning-point-2/). Media acts narrator for army. Whenever they have to publicise any event they use their narrators in media to propagate that. No journalist refuted these allegations. No one came with any explanation. It raises the question about workshops organised for the journalists in Kashmir: are those workshops too funded by the army? One has to also question that why only few Kashmiri journalist from particular background have made it to international media? Ben Bagdikian, the author of “The New Media Monopoly”, had consistently argued ‘follow the money’. If journalists in Kashmir will follow the money they will trace to whom money has been supplied and for what purposes.
In Kashmir Indian army has generally considered media people hostile. But then they co-opted many journalists by outsourcing assignments. Gen Hasnain was spot on when he wrote how operation Sadbhavana was fine tuned to the interests of people. “The media were for instance,” wrote he in his write up, “fine tuned by regular interaction, taking on board “off the record” on sensitive issues”. During Mufti Sayeed’s tenure, CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami in a press conference at Ahadoos Hotel was criticising the coalition-led government of PDP for their poor record on human rights. One of the journalists asked Tarigami: You keep on harping poor record of PDP why don’t you withdraw the support from it. The CPI (M) leader turned toward the journalist who posed this question. “(Name of journalist being withheld) sahib you remember in 2002 you came to my home and asked me to support PDP in order to get rid of NC.”
The General further went on to name few academics who were already known as being installed in their positions on the behest of their pro India conviction. “Involvement of intellectuals who helped shape the environment were Professors Siddiq Wahid and Riyaz Punjabi and Dr Fida Hasnain the well-known author,” wrote Gen Hasnain. No one from the above persons denied it. Not one of them issued any circular in which they denied their links with the Indian army. In fact the case of Prof Siddiq Wahid is curious. Before being appointed Vice Chancellor of Islamic University, he was an hotelier. Prof Punjabi was a deserter and pariah man of Kashmir before being made VC of Kashmir University.
Army as an institution:
The state holds its sway through its institutions. Once the institution starts to decay the grip of the state keeps slipping. One of the reasons British left India was the mutiny of Royal Indian Navy. In almost all Indian films, serials and news shows army is shown as the only saviour of India. They are everywhere rescuing people in floods, saving toddlers in bore wells, combating communalism and of course saving India from Pakistan and Muslim fundamentalism. The image of the army is clean. In Bollywood movies and Indian news channels Indian army is shown as an epitome of virtue and bravery.
Indian army is no holy cow. Wherever they have gone allegations of promoting corruption and prostitution have followed them. In 2008, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon demanded severe disciplinary action against the erring Indian troopers held responsible for a mass-rape. “A UN body found merit in the charge that about 60 Indian Army personnel allegedly indulged in child prostitution near their camp in Congo from mid 2007 to early this year (2008).” (The Hindu, 15 Aug 2008). Rewind further to 2003; “Four troopers of the elite Presidential Bodyguard gang rape in the forest adjoining the Buddha Jayanti Park, (New Delhi) even as a three-day Buddhist festival attended by the Dalai Lama was going on nearby. The four men were part of the over 150 soldiers assigned to guard the President of India. PBG troopers are selected from the 61 Cavalry, the only existing cavalry unit of the world, based on tough selection criteria.” (www.rediff.com, October 10, 2003). In fact Tehelka magazine did a detailed story on army scandals. (“Major scandals that have hit the army in the recent past” Dec 12, 2009).
No army is compelled to do a thing against its will and they are remarkably ingenious in finding not to do. The Indian army was consistently asked to deal with Naxalite problem in India but they have refused to get indulge in India’s most deadly internal war. In Kashmir they have refused to work without the protection of ‘Armed Forces Special Power Act—an act that gives them general immunity. The funding given to politicians by the army has definitely the blessing of Indian government.
How beneficial it is for Kashmir:
The state over the two decades has developed habit of giving awards and promotions to uniformed men which is a sign of defeat. A state that has to keep its armed wing in good humour by way of awards and posting is sure sign of losing its grip on them. And it happened twice this year. In January 2012, Indian Express exposed a cover up where in it stated that army had tried a coup against politicians. (The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt: Apr 04 2012). It failed. General Singh was heading it. Fearful of repeating Nawaz Sherif’s mistake (where in Sheriff sacked Gen Pervez Musharaff only for the latter to stage coup and outcaste the former.) the Indian establishment didn’t sack him. Instead they waited him to retire. This goes to show how much political control on Indian army has weakened. Then a mini revolt in Ladakh in which petty soldiers beat their officers, many of whom had to be shifted to hospital in serious conditions, is also a rejoinder to Indian system. The Indian institutions have developed chinks. And after all its from Kashmir that Buddhism and Islam spread to India. Kashmir is also a place that is responsible for radicalisation of Hindus in India. If army tasted so much power in Kashmir, how far is New Delhi?
“There is no instance of a country,” wrote Sun Tzu in his military treatise ‘The Art of War’, “having benefitted from prolonged warfare.” India is discovering that to its utter dismay.
• Edited on Nov 18, 2013: It was written that stone pelters of Kashmir are drugged. For the fear of their security the sentence has been restructured.
• Edited on Nov 18, 2013: The reference in ‘Journalists on payroll’ was taken from a writing of Gen Ata Hasnain (former GOC, 15 Corps). However, there have been alterations in the writing by Gen Hasnain, therefore, the source has been changed. Earlier, it was (Kashmir: Analysing “Heart is My Weapon” Doctrine. http://saisaonline.org/internal-security/kashmir-analysing-heart-is-my-weapon-doctrine/)
(Inam ul Rehman is based in Srinagar. He says he is a failed journalist)