Make in India: Manufacturing the Armed

Is this new Indian regime creating a powerful psychological atmosphere that pushes young boys to pick up arms

Charging Kashmiri students at AMU with sedition may sound quite ordinary in the current atmosphere of hate and terror in India. This vehicle of terror and hate is driven by the engine of historic vengeance, and a virulent  nationalism. There is virtue in this evil. If some Kashmiri students at AMU are accused of offering funeral prayers for a Kashmir militant, who was a campus mate just some months back, it is a, opportunity  for this hate driven regime to act. It is another matter whether they offered prayers, or expressed grief in some manifest form. Indian politics, and the state it now runs, has turned into a psychopath justifying madness by invoking history, national interest, and religion. 

But looking from Kashmir. an incident like charging Kashmiri students with sedition has grave implications. Let us presume, the students offered funeral prayers for their former colleague, who happened to join armed resistance, and died fighting the state forces in Kashmir. Does that mean mourning is a crime. If even in extreme grief you have to be cautious, where will the pure human responses express themselves. It creates a psychological challenge where even in simple, unadulterated human responses you have to be careful about the implications. Thus expression of grief becomes a concrete act, liable to punishment. Going by this logic all those thousands of people offering prayers at the funeral of a militant are rebels, and the state has a legal right to act against them. This is horrible. 

In this case either a person has to commit a mental suicide, if he has to continue with his ‘normal’ living,  or else walk silently over to the extreme and get killed. Both the mind and the body disappears after a while.  The choice is between two deaths. 

This brings us to a serious question. Is this new Indian regime creating a powerful psychological atmosphere that pushes young boys to pick up arms, hence keeping the engine of hate, and consequent oppression, up and running. Never forget that Kashmir is facing this psychological trauma post 2014, in a spectacular way. Finding out new pilgrim spots for Hindus in Kashmir, mounting offensive on the constitutional defences, like 35 A, to scare the Muslim of Kashmir, conducting raid over raid on anyone suspected of any links to resistance movement, and decimating even the Kashmir based, but never Kashmir centred, political parties like NC and PDP, is a long trail of such acts. Add to it how the Assembly has been kept in suspension, and how Local Bodies Elections were held in complete disregard to the apprehensions of even those who have been so loyally doing Delhi’s bidding. This Local Bodies Elections will now create another interest pocket that will be used to the hilt to torture Kashmiris. The presence of persons in the positions of power without even a single vote to their credit is a sure way to torment a population psychologically.    

Besides this psychological atmosphere there is a structure in place that does the same job. The way young boys in our villages and towns are facing ruthless state security apparatus, pushes them to the other in many cases. There are instances where a young boy is left with no other option than to choose death by picking up a gun. Such stories are not a rarity in Kashmir. With this, the question of who provides arms to these young boys in Kashmir, is also an investigation worth conducting. The themes, and the structures, are not that simple now in Kashmir. 

All this leads us to an all important question. Who wants us to pick up guns, facilitates it, and finally benefits from it.  

A curious look at the three decade long armed struggle in Kashmir, avowedly resisting the armed Indian control over Kashmir needs a penetrating, dispassionate, but not indifferent, examination. Who produces the condition that makes our boys pick up arms, who has put in place a structure that doesn’t allow an alternative to take hold, and finally who benefits from this all.  A cynical and superficial way of looking at this question, which is actually a bundle of questions, is mostly an outcome of some momentary trauma, or a transitory euphoria. Here are the examples: When our businesses badly suffer because of a prolonged agitation, we start cursing the day this AK-47 came to Kashmir. When our children stay home idle as schools are closed because of a strike call, we use strong language against those who pioneered this struggle. When there are deaths as a result of some grenade throwing, or ‘unidentified’ gunmen kill someone, we feel suffocated and wish an end to this armed atmosphere. But on the reverse side of it, when people in hundreds of thousand come out shouting slogans against India, and the global media covers it, we give credit to the boys who laid down their lives for a cause that we all publicly uphold. When a boy next door, killed in an encounter, is laid to rest, our emotional turbulence creates an argument in favour of picking up the arms. These are all situational responses, not a though through evaluation of the question at hand. 

We need to think through this problem solely for our own reasons, employing our own reference points, keeping in view our own collective needs and fears, aspirations and ideals. 

Tailpiece: There is a Ukrainian proverb; when the banner is unfurled, all reason is in the trumpet.