“The Kashmiri student separatists were delighted…. Hailing Sushma Swaraj for the platform and kind hearing given to them on the subject of Azadi, they told a national audience via television – “Why doesn’t New Delhi follow Sushma Swaraj?” They gave this generous certificate because … Sushma Swaraj encouraged them to speak freely of Azadi – so what if it amounted to secession and treason?” – Prof Hari Om
Don’t trust the respective leadership of the RSS and the BJP when they aver that they are committed to the national cause in Jammu & Kashmir. They are not committed to anything they say publicly. The overt and covert activities suggest that the Parivar is contemplating a major mischief to hit the Indian nation below the belt and negate all that the nation has done in Jammu & Kashmir all these 63 years to integrate it into India.
The RSS-BJP has not only given up its original agenda and the ideology it appeared to profess until 1998 when it formed a rag-tag conglomerate to execute a political coup in Delhi, but has decided to tread a path leading inevitably to the separation of Kashmir from India. In fact, it is preparing the ground for Kashmir Autonomy – a small step short of complete independence – to facilitate the Congress-led regime’s desire to strike a deal with the Kashmiri separatists, whose single-point agenda is to dismember India and establish in the state what Syed Ali Shah Geelani calls “Nizam-e-Mustafa” (Islamic rule).
Under American pressure to which its leadership is particularly susceptible, the BJP-RSS seems to have agreed to help out the Congress to push through the highly controversial Nuclear Liability Bill in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament. The objective is to keep the American administration in good humour for reasons not difficult to fathom. It will also enable the under-American-pressure Congress-led UPA Government to grant what the Kashmiri separatists want, so that the Obama administration is able to help Pakistan establish its control over turbulent Afghanistan, the legendary ‘graveyard of empires.’
The BJP and the Congress are now working in tandem and complementing each others’ efforts. Clearly, these efforts are calculated to (1) befriend US President Barrack Hussain Obama and promote American interests in the region, (2) facilitate a truce with Pakistan over Indian Jammu & Kashmir, (3) create conditions to ease tensions on the international border and Line of Actual Control between India and Pakistan, and (4) enable Islamabad to send more Islamic warriors – Taliban and Al-Qaeda style – to its western border to play nefarious games in Afghanistan and force India to quit this country though it is vital to Indian geo-political interests and national safety and security.
That BJP is contemplating a major mischief is a statement of fact, easily verifiable. And for this there is no need to revisit Colombo, March 1999, when then Indian Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, right hand man to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, met his Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz and agreed to grant “maximum possible autonomy to Kashmir and its adjoining areas”, divide Jammu province along Chenab River on communal lines, and render the Line of Actual Control irrelevant for all practical purposes. This was more than eleven years ago. It was the immediate fall-out of the growing and baneful American influence.
Now look at what BJP has been doing since January this year, from the platform of the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Foundation (DSPMF). The party seems to have charged Tarun Vijay, a “great” RSS ideologue and former editor of Panchjanya, and now a Rajya Sabha MP, with the responsibility to prepare the ground for Kashmir’s independence/autonomy without any regard to the vital interests of the non-Muslim minorities in the State, including Hindus, Buddhists, Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs, who comprise a population of nearly 4.5 million.
Tarun Vijay launched his pro-Kashmir Autonomy crusade on January 19, 2010, a day that is annually observed by Kashmiri Hindus as Holocaust Day. This year, on that significant date, he organized a discussion on Jammu & Kashmir on the platform of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Foundation, and invited as a speaker, Ms Madhu Kishwar, editor of the defunct Manushi and fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. Kishwar is a well-known protagonist of self-rule for the state. Tarun Vijay invited her because she had previously invited him to a seminar she organised in Teen Murti Bhavan on November 7, 2009, where the famed terrorist Yasin Malik participated! She later sent a detailed report to the Government of India suggesting self-rule (semi-independence) for Kashmir as the only viable solution to the “Kashmir problem.”
As the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Foundation is RSS-controlled, and Tarun Vijay is its Director – and was even then a contender for the Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand, as attested by the fact that the Chief Minister attended this function though he was not listed among the invitees – the invitation to Kishwar sent a clear message that the supposedly pro-Hindu fraternity was willing to help the fundamentalist and regressive forces in Kashmir achieve what they could not in all these years since the State’s accession to India. Kishwar was allowed to speak despite hectic behind the scenes efforts to dis-invite her, and a noisy protest when she rose to speak. Such is the state of nationalism in the Parivar today.
Not content with the body blow to the national cause in Jammu & Kashmir on January 19, Tarun Vijay went ahead and organised a seminar in Srinagar on June 23, ostensibly to recall the contribution of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder president of the Jana Sangh, who laid down his life for the national cause in Kashmir on June 23, 1953. It may appear ludicrous and unbelievable, but it is a fact that none of the seminarians, including Tarun Vijay, talked about Mookerjee and Kashmir!
Everyone talked about China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. That Kashmir and Mookerjee were ignored was another clear indication that the BJP was slowly but surely creating conditions conducive to the segregation of Jammu & Kashmir from India. The message from the seminar was that China, not Pakistan, was India’s number one enemy (a George Fernandes plant that has been brought hook, line and sinker, by the Parivar).
It is hardly necessary to reflect on the implications of what the seminarians said about China, which, of course, is a powerful rival, but not necessarily an enemy nation. The idea was to promote the American-inspired propaganda that India faces a two-front situation and that New Delhi should divert its attention from Islamabad and towards Beijing, though it is Pakistan that has been bleeding India and seeking its dismemberment since October 1947.
Gadkari-Sushma lead anti-India crusade
On August 17-18, the RSS-BJP combine surpassed itself when the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Foundation organised a discussion at the India International Centre (venue of the infamous Aman ki Asha initiative openly derided by the Armed forces) to virtually identify themselves with the extremists and protagonists of independence for Jammu & Kashmir.
Organised by the indefatigable Tarun Vijay, the programme began with a minute’s silence in the memory of all the “innocent people, including the security personnel, killed in Kashmir.” Tarun Vijay thus made it loud and clear at the very outset that those killed in Kashmir in the recent clashes with security personnel were all “innocents.” He sweetened this bitter pill by also acknowledging the deaths of security personnel at the hands of these vicious, rented, and unrelenting mobs.
And who were the participants? Mainly rabidly anti-India Kashmiri separatists; including Siddiq Wahid, Vice-Chancellor of the Islamic University, Kashmir. Tarun Vijay rigorously excluded Jammu and Ladakh; perhaps he felt that the representatives from these regions would defeat his evil designs.
We learn that the participants included representatives of the youthful stone-throwers of the Valley, and the BJP was represented by its national president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, so-called think-tank director Balbir Punj, and the new glamour-intellectual poster girl Smriti Irani.
With some effort, BJP managed to get four to five displaced Kashmiri Hindu boys and girls to attend. But these were those who on August 7 participated in the Kashmiri separatist-sponsored anti-India dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, where pro-independence slogans were raised. One of the slogans was: “We want Azadi; Azadi means Islamic rule.” In other words, they were ‘rented’ Hindus.
It is reported that Tarun Vijay shamelessly described the seminar “as a historic ice-breaking moment” and hailed the participants from Kashmir, mostly from the Islamic University, as “brilliant, power-packed with views, pursuing their Master’s and PhDs in various subjects, including journalism, engineering, MBA and science.”
Siddiq Wahid, who, along with Amitabh Mattoo, has been openly pouring venom on India and participating in the anti-India PUGWASH-sponsored seminars and conferences, described the IIC interaction between Kashmiri separatists and BJP leaders as “unprecedented and the most useful interaction ever held.” And why not? After all, he and his team of Kashmiri separatists, who are part and parcel of the ongoing “Go India Go” movement in Kashmir, had found in Gadkari, Sushma, Punj, Vijay and Irani, patrons who could help them achieve freedom from the “fearful and terrorist India;” while DSPMF was a good platform from which to conduct anti-India operations.
Apparently, Smriti Irani, who knows nothing about Jammu & Kashmir, assured the Kashmiri separatists of BJP’s unstinted support. She gave a categorical commitment that she and others of her ilk would reach out to the Kashmiri youth (read dreaded separatists) in a manner no one had reached out to them so far. And all this on the platform named after Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, who gave his life for one country, one flag, one constitution. Can there be a greater irony, a greater historical injustice?
As for the Kashmiri separatists, 56 in number, most of them students, they condemned India and the security forces and demanded independence saying “India in Kashmir represents fear and terror; when the word India comes to a Kashmiri’s mind, a common Kashmiri, what comes in his mind is a soldier with a gun in his hand; (and) fear and terror is all what a common Kashmiri feels.” In an interesting if unintended self-exposure, Tarun Vijay, in a blog he writes for the Times of India (Aug. 18), revealed that some participants – Rakhshanda, Lubna, Afsana, Nazeer, had “just returned from a 20-year stint in the US.” Obviously, these were the real controllers and agent provocateurs in the meeting, and they had come straight from Uncle Sam’s Cabin!!!
In this vein, the Stone Pelters Inc. poured venom on India in the presence of Nitin Gadkari. And this venerable, instead of walking out of the hall and expelling Tarun Vijay from the party for organising such a patently anti-national activity, asked the separatists “why don’t they speak what they want to speak in a free and frank atmosphere?” He, like Tarun Vijay, appeared very pleased with the interventions of these Kashmiri fanatics. No one from the BJP told the fanatics that they their demand for secession was high treason, and that whatever was happening in Kashmir was nothing but a naked manifestation of their communal approach to Jammu & Kashmir.
The Kashmiri student separatists were delighted at this captive audience. Hailing Sushma Swaraj for the platform and kind hearing given to them on the subject of Azadi, they told a national audience via television – “Why doesn’t New Delhi follow Sushma Swaraj?” They gave this generous certificate because Home Minister P. Chidambaram had told them to stop the stone pelting before he would listen to their grievances; but Sushma Swaraj encouraged them to speak freely of Azadi – so what if it amounted to secession and treason?
It would be premature to say how far the stone pelters will go with their agenda. But BJP has come a long way from the days when its leaders would give up their lives in the service of the nation.
» Prof Hari Om is Chair Professor, Gulab Singh Chair, Jammu University, Jammu.