Insurgency fueled mostly by interests of a particular section

Insurgency in kashmir

Kashmir, unlike many disputed areas
in our world, did not fall prey to the clutches of bickering due to political
conflict, socio economic distress, and other problems till recent years, fueled
mostly by interests of a particular section of the society, which directly
affected (and affect) generations of people. An inquiry into the events that
turned an otherwise peaceful and tolerant valley into an area riddled with
terrorism, insurgency, human rights violations, religious fundamentalism,
politicization of religious identity and the solutions proposed by the educated
elite as to restore peace and harmony in what is considered widely as the
“Switzerland in India”, is thus crucial.

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Through the course of time, Kashmir
has proved to be a trophy whose contestants are India and its neighbour,
Pakistan, the former being the defending champions and the latter, our
opponents, a trophy based on the lines of geographical proximity, religious
commonness, social and economic status of its population and the likes. The
strategy adopted by Pakistan in order to win Kashmir is, needless to say,
desperate and criticized by the masses. It has proved to be a threat to our
national security, by infuriating the Muslim majority population through its
agenda of politicization of religion, preaching about the vices of Indian
occupation in the erstwhile peaceful and religiously tolerant (secular) Kashmir
valley. This paper would also cover how Pakistan has been accused of being the
“Ivy League” of countries sponsoring terrorism via its intelligence agency,
known as the Inter-Services Intelligence, apart from how Kashmir has been torn
apart due to foreign influences like the defeat of the Soviets in the hands of
the Afghans, which demonstrated to the Kashmiris that superpowers could be
defeated.

Kashmir was once a valley of peace,
intellectual advancement comprising of religious and cultural diversity,
evident from the blend of faiths like Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, ranging
from Jammu to the far off regions like Leh and Ladakh. The insurgency, which
took place in 1987, following the alleged rigging of that year’s State Election
was the death blow to the existence of harmony in that region. It was followed
by direct or indirect influence from our neighbor Pakistan, a country which has
always longed for Kashmir, Afghanistan and the Saudi world. The insurgency has
not ended till date, with a major uprising in violence and clashes following
the assassination of a Kashmiri separatist outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen commander,
Burhan Wani and the rising tensions between India and Pakistan in the

aftermath. The sole instrument that
has kept Kashmir sidelined from Mainland India is the Article 370 of our
Constitution. Just like Karl Marx in his “Das Kapital” has described the State
to be a tool for oppression by the capitalists, Article 370 has gradually
become an instrument by virtue of which powers have become concentrated in the
hands of an elite oligarchy and how it is being counterattacked in the form of
the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism. As of today, political analysts and
critiques have proposed solutions as how to bring back stability in the region,
considering the viewpoint of Kashmiris and intellectuals alike.

The
Insurgency

Contrary to the popular view that
the insurgents chose to pick up their arms to rise against an undemocratic
government, the movement did not show any clear indication towards a fight for
democracy. In fact, this situation arose much before the election itself. The
cause was rather religiously and ideologically fueled. The National Conference
is said to have been widely responsible for the creation of such a volatile
atmosphere in the region through a series of propaganda campaigns. Even as far
back as the 1984 elections, Farooq Abdullah and the National Conference had
been accused of instigating the Kashmiris against India to meet their own
political ends. There was little intervention on the part of India at that
time; and it is widely acclaimed that had it done a bit more to suppress this
situation, the situation that was to follow could have been subsided.

Recent
Years

 Kashmir crisis remains an
unresolved issue, with the inhabitants dancing on the razor’s edge. Numerous
agencies have released reports of polls which have resulted in an overwhelming
majority of Kashmiris preferring freedom from India. A movement which started
off as a political uprising, soon turned into one fuelled by religious
extremism, owing to the selfish interests of a select few. In a 2001 report
entitled “Pakistan’s Role in the Kashmir Insurgency” from the
American RAND Corporation, the think tank noted that “the nature of the
Kashmir conflict has been transformed from what was originally a secular,
locally based struggle (conducted via the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front – JKLF)
to one that is now largely carried out by foreign militants and rationalized in
pan-Islamic religious terms”.

Numerous protests have taken place
since the dawn of the 20th century seeking for rights of self-determination but
none matched the intensity of the 2016 Kashmir Unrest, following the
assassination of Burhan Wani, a militant commander of the Kashmir based banned
terrorist outfit, the Hizbul Mujahideen in a planned operation by the Jammu and
Kashmir Police and the Rashtriya Rifles on the 8th of July, 2016. Kashmir
entered into a situation of “amplified instability”, as said by
journalist Fahad Shah.

May, 2017 saw the assassination of
Lieutenant Umar Faiyaz, a young Kashmiri army officer commissioned into the 2nd
Battalion of the Rajputana Rifles. He was abducted on the the night of the 9th
of May by terrorists identified to be from the outfit Hizbul Mujahideen from
the Shopian district of South Kashmir and his bullet ridden body was found the
next day from the Herman area of the district. His death drew varied opinions
from the people of Kashmir, with some calling this act cowardly for he was not
on duty, and some branding it a retribution for the killing of Burhan Wani’s
brother, Khalid.

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