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Conflating Spydom and Statesmanship

Courtesy the abrogation of article 370 about fifteen months ago which was being hailed as the harbinger of peace and to herald the end of violence in Jammu and Kashmir by those who had conceived of this move, what we are witnessing on the ground is the grisly sight of the dance of death that visits this place with such sickening regularity. As I try to locate the genesis of this mayhem that we are made to witness, my mind begins to conjure images of those who have brought this unspeakable misery to this place and its people. The images thus conjured are of those who are egged on in this mission by this overarching, fearsome, irrepressible, wily spymaster Ajit Doval who is well known for his escapades during the Punjab turmoil of the 80’s and for his for alleged ‘success’ in that mission. Suffering from delusions of grandeur, he makes the following outlandish statement during a recent address at a religious function in Rishikesh:

“States are bound by physical dimensions but a nation is bound by the common thread of spirituality and culture”. He went on to say “we will fight where you want us to fight and that is also not mandatory. We fight where we feel the threat is coming. We have never done it for our selfish reasons. We will fight a war on our land and others’ land too and not for selfish reasons, but for the highest good of others.”

The stupidity of this statement was exposed soon after the Chinese foreign office took note of these remarks and a cat was seen to have been let loose amongst the pigeons in the Indian camp whose mandarins were clearly seen to be shaking in their pants. In fact, without losing time, his office clarified “The National Security Advisor’s remarks last weekend at Rishikesh have been taken out of context by a section of the media and were presented as issuing a threat to China”.

So much for the fabled sagacity of this larger-than-life official who despite his braggadocio, has shown nerves as the counter-threat was coming not from the minnows next door, but by the fire spewing Dragon in the backyard. He should have learnt to measure his words before speaking up, exactly as he should have taken upon himself the task of sizing up the implications of his August 5th misadventure and shared that wisdom with his masters in the Raisina Hill and the North Block.

The continuation of life-denying restrictions including the suspension of the 4G internet, underhand tactics involving the enactment/implementation of certain policy initiatives aimed exclusively at the disempowerment and immiseration of Kashmiris in all possible ways even fifteen months after the infamous betrayal of them by the infamous trio comprised of most powerful Indians should serve to hammer home the utter foolishness and stupidity of their idea of India.

As if all that is not enough, this relentless regime aimed at the elimination of our youth during army operations or fake encounters coupled with the spate of killings of BJP workers in recent months reveals an utter lack of concern for the good of the country. This mindless and ruthless approach of catch and kill and eliminating our impressionable youth in their homes- and not on the battlefield- speaks of your crass pusillanimity and lack of understanding on your part, as these guys are not in a position to pose a serious threat to your Nation. Come to think of it, every single young man being consumed by your thirst for blood brings in its wake many more young Kashmiris out of sheer desperation joining the militants ranks- and with all this overhyped arsenal of tricks in your spymasters trade, it is natural that these ill-thought-out strategies are reduced to a zero-sum-game.

It’s important to understand that the state policies towards their own people and the neighbours ought to be informed by actions based on peace, co-operation and mutual co-existence, as opposed to those marked by belligerence, insolence and musclemanship, aka goondagardi! As such, it’s hardly surprising why such violence-prone policies do not yield the desired results in terms of the security situation in Kashmir which continues to be as bad and hopeless now as it always has been since the early 90s.

What use is your favourite recourse to the excessive use of firepower in Kashmir when you achieve absolutely nothing, and instead help provoke many more of our young men taking to the gun as a last resort? If that doesn’t amount to a spectacular failure of the department of dirty tricks that you have been proudly presiding over, what does! And that surely doesn’t behove the much earned (dis)reputation of a top cop who now has reason enough to look within and come up with something that would not only be a nonstarter as his previous ploys have been, but would facilitate a peaceful settlement of the issue without the necessity for violence and bloodshed. Statesmanship, not spydom is the key.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by M A Sofi


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