Happy? Independence Day

Below are the words of a citizen of India on the occasion of India celebrating its 70th Independence Day. The words show what any person who is sensible enough to see things as they are feels about the issue that should be one keeping this nation awakein thought. (Warning: Long post and brutally honest. Reader discretion is advised)
​Today as India celebrates her 70th Independence Day, as everyone sings – अय मेरे वतन के लोगों, we all get emotional and express our gratitude to the freedom fighters; I along with the Freedom Fighters express my gratitude to our Security Forces – Officers and men in uniform who ensure India is and remains an Independent state!

As we continue to hear on News Channels about the unrest in J&K, few of my friends asked, if I know what the issue is all about. Up till this unrest in the valley, which has been continuing for around 40 days I was confident enough to answer this question in the affirmative but not any more. 

No, no, no, no…………… If you are thinking that I am ignorant of things which have happened since Pakistani Marauders (read Mujahideen led by Pakistan Army) attacked the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir in September 1947 you are mistaken; what makes me wonder is our approach towards all the actors involved in this conflict.

I was always intrigued by the way Government of India in particular is dealing with this issue. Simla Agreement (Declaration signed by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi held in 1972) states that all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan will be resolved bilaterally; still both countries try to take this issue to various International forums. India in particular keeps repeating this point. My question is, are we trying to say this to ourselves more than to others. We say this in SAARC Summits, in the UN, in ASEAN, almost everywhere. Every political party says, “we need to take a tough stand against Pakistan”, and that tough stand has always been, “we strongly condemn this cowardly act”. This leaves me exasperated every time. 

Since 1989, we have been hearing slogans of आज़ादी in the valley. What आज़ादी, or आज़ादी from whom or what, nobody in the Union Government dares to ask this question. Also, who do they ask this question to? More importantly, I don’t understand, why the people of Kashmir (especially South Kashmir) want आज़ादी and not the people of Jammu and Ladakh. If it were a political problem, why the people from Jammu and Ladakh don’t shout the slogans? Earlier, I thought the youth was misled because they had aspirations and no opportunities however after the killing of Hizb – ul Commander Burhan Wani and the demonstrations following it, I am forced to think again. 

What adds fuel to fire is the statement of Ex-Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who says, “these demonstrations, stone pelting is not because the state is lagging behind in development, education and opportunities, rather it is for political oppression of the youth”. Mr. Abdullah, you must be joking! Why on earth would any sensible person demonstrate violently because a terrorist was killed in an encounter? You don’t stop there, you go on to say that, every Friday, even in your neighboring mosque, slogans are heard for आज़ादी. My question to you Mr. Abdullah is what did you do when you heard these slogans? Was it not your duty as a Former CM, a sitting MLA, to immediately take action? Immediately go that mosque and address the gathering? Or, you too were thinking of आज़ादी, even at the time when you were asking people to vote for you, when you said to the people of J&K that, you will discharge your duties, “even if it means to be killed by terrorists”?  You wanted the Union Government to hold a dialogue with Hurriyat Conference(APHC), and in the same speech you said, “Hurriyat may think that they are driving it or the terrorists like Syed Salaudin may think that they are driving this demonstration, but they are just a cog in the wheel”. Oh come on, you can’t be dumb enough to say such contradictory things! Moreover, whom does Hurriyat Conference represent? Definitely not the people of J&K; they keep on boycotting the elections, don’t have a manifesto, don’t do anything constructive. I am not sure, if you meant the terrorists are the people whom they represent. They are the mouth piece of Hizb – ul – Mujahideen, JKLF etc. so they may be representatives of terrorists. 

We are hearing all sorts of non-sense from the MPs and MLAs. The Chief Minister says, “I was not aware that this operation is going to take place”, “Security Forces didn’t know that Burhan Vani is among the terrorists involved in the gun battle”, “Intelligence report was not shared with me”. A CPI(M) MLA says in the State Assembly that, “Security Forces should have caught Burhan alive and not killed him”, “If he would have been caught alive, there wouldn’t have been protests”. Ghulam Nabi Azad said in parliament, “Police has fired pallets at the demonstrators”

Are all you representatives of people in your senses? Ms Mufti, IB says, intelligence report was shared with the State Government 8 days earlier. Were you not interested to go through it? It is just not possible that in an operation which involved J&K police, State Government was not aware. Did you people expect the security forces to give Burhan Wani a bullet proof jacket and keep fighting others, so that, whenever Burhan was tired of firing at Security Forces, he could surrender and also not get killed in the gun battle? Mr. Azad, have you seen a pallet? It is used in air guns to burst balloons (needless to mention that, it doesn’t even kill sparrows). 

I take your statements as an act of insult to our security forces. Please, please, please don’t play your political games at the cost of the Security Forces. None of you were even bothered to visit the injured people of Security Forces in Srinagar Base Hospital. Needless to say, you don’t even talk of the 12 Security Personnel who were killed in this violence. Do you know, how many men in uniform this country has lost in Jammu & Kashmir? Or is it immaterial for the community of politicians?

Mob drowns a Police Inspector; you call it demonstration? Hand Grenade is hurled and bullets fired at Police Station in Yaripora, none of you even bother! We saw videos of security personnel being dragged out of armored vehicles and beaten to death on news channels. It was a shameful sight! Police pickets were burned with Policemen inside it, you all were busy rationalizing it! Did you all not feel for a moment, if you would be able to look in the eyes of your own bodyguards and the Commandos who provide you Z+ Security Cover. 

We also have Human Rights Activists, and the Presstitutes, who talk about the encounter as Extra Judicial Killings, Army Excesses etc. I do not blame them. I urge the Security Forces to forgive them, as they do not know what they are saying! Forgive them for deliberately not considering men in uniform to be Human, for turning a blind eye towards Kashmiri Pandits (the only community which is forced to become a refugee in their own country); I know the list is endless! 

It is shameful that we do not stand by the people who stand for our security. We do not have any consideration for them. May it be pay commissions, may it be OROP, may it be even freedom to operate. Irony is, rogues can use Freedom of Speech, and the Army can’t even have AFSPA! We all celebrate Freedom, but most fail to understand that Freedom is not Licentiousness! No wonder, the youth is not attracted to the Armed Forces as a career. Today, I saw a report in Tribune saying, “Spike in early retirement in armed forces”. Needless to mention, we are already short of men in uniform.

I urge Prime Minister Modi to deal with Terrorists and their safe heavens with iron fists. We have been backstabbed enough! It is time to learn from our mistakes. Even if it means to pay them back in the same coin. Just by saying, “PoK too is an integral part of India”, won’t change the position of LoC and LoAC. Why can’t we have Myanmar like offensive action in PoK?

I express my gratitude to our Men in Uniform, for all that they have been doing for ages and doing right now. For the standing guard at the most inhospitable locations, braving the enemy, the weather and of course Human Rights Activists and Presstitutes. We are inbebted to your families, who suffer the pain of separation along with you. Who unlike us, don’t have the privilege to call you every now and then. For whom no news is good news. You along with your family are graceful enough not to talk of / express pain (physical or emotional). May be, you are the only ones who know what pain is, what emotions are, any you live these emotions intensely enough to not talk about it. We take our perceived pain / sorrow to nonsensical levels even on social media; the most common being Heart-Break. You or your families don’t even lose grace when you take bullets on your heart! 

Thank you for your service to the country!

Those who have faded away (Soldiers do not die; they fade away) – Find peace!
Written by Mr. Partha Sarathy Baytha

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