Aptly said: ‘In the war of ideas, its people who get killed.’ Wars are simply clashes of ideological dogmas and subsequent turnovers. Nothing really interests history except escapades of those who maneuver history. This has been the harsh lesson.
Using various combinations of instrument of power as a means to defeat ever-evolving situation in Kashmir, is not a new phenomenon.
History tells us about the creation of force comprising Razakars/Volunteers in the wake of Qabali foray into Kashmir post 1947. Razakars, meant for ‘security and surveillance’, eventually dabbled in family matters and rivalries. Before this band of force could absolutely go out of control, it was packed off with many of the Razakar being absorbed in government service where from they even got elevated to higher positions.
Another instance is that of infamous Peace Brigade formed during Bakhshi’s rule in Kashmir post 1953. Also known as Khoftun Fakirs and nicknamed as 29—15(kuntreh-pundeh), this force was a symbol of brute coercion meant to intimidate people.
In late 90s, the raising up of armed groups, called as Renegades, was again an indication of tackling Kashmir through counterinsurgency(COIN) campaign strategy.
Of late, there are disquieting developments hinting towards certain ‘recipes’ that are pending experimentation in the kitchen of paradoxes. Perhaps, trying out crackpot plans in Kashmir seems compulsory. Small wonder, Kashmir falls under the category of such historical ‘redemption’. It is USP (Unique Selling Point) for many who morph it in their own exclusive way. That’s why preposterous theories are dished out; clichéd justifications are dotted in.
Apart from chop-logic offered ad nauseum to experiment with the troubling mystery called Kashmir, the COIN techniques are consistently afforded institutional agility to build tactical success. From deploying more forces to population monitoring and psychological operations (Psy-Ops), the line of separation between a counterinsurgency and stability operations has, however, been blurred. More than three decades into conflict, the ‘strategic blunders’ continue to complicate the situation here.
In fact, it seems that concerted efforts have been unleashed to render the things in Kashmir anarchic, augmented by social media rumor mongering. There is a structural onslaught to make state-of-affairs messy.
There seems an intricate and baffling blend of politics and perversion at work. While projecting the so-called ‘concern’, the mainstream politicians actually seem exposing their hypocrisy. They always benefit from their political wilderness without any set ethical purlieus. The policy makers and planners seem embarking on silly ideas, justifying their uselessness and inconsequentiality.
Nonetheless, the conditions in Kashmir remain challenging for all of them. Kashmir is their fort. They fight their battle of interests with ingenuity and a class of finesse for keeping their ‘jobs’ intact. Zeroing in their ridiculous plans/ideas, they proclaim knowledge of Kashmir dynamics more than the commoners here who actually face the brunt.
All said, Kashmir continues to breathe. And it has to. For if it dies, numerous funerals will follow. Many shops will stop trading, many stores will go bust. There will be no market for absurd plans. The ‘hawala mafia’ will peter out. Money will ebb, mysteries will explode. However, that seems highly unlikely since symbiotic survival guides the latter-day world, and writhing Kashmir makes just a tiny fraction of it.