Pulwama attack may be among the single worst attacks in Kashmir militancy, but it was not unexpected.
The previous attacks on armed forces in Pathankot and Uri bases, a series of attacks on Kashmir Police personnel, and the rise of a new breed of armed fighters in Kashmir, make this attack on a CRPF convoy unsurprising.
Blaming Pakistan, or Pakistan based terrorist organisations can be excuses. But they do not answer the question: Why ordinary Kashmiris like Adil Ahmed Dar are willing to die, while trying to kill India’s armed forces in Kashmir?
We list a series of miss-steps Indian Govt and Armed Forces have taken in Kashmir in the last 6 years, that have drastically alienated Kashmir from the rest of India.
The unlawful disposal of Afzal Guru’s body without handing over to his family.
The crackdown in 2013-14 (infamously at the behest of NSA M K Narayanan) that introduced widespread questionable practices like the use of slingshots and pellet guns on Kashmiri youth.
The repeated denial of civil liberties, including disruption of internet services.
When Major Gogoi of the Indian Army was found tying a citizen to the bonnet of a jeep and using him as a human shield, Indian Army at the highest levels responded to his cowardice by conferring an award on him, rather than dismissing him service and sending him to a long prison sentence. He was later found to be sleeping with a Kashmiri woman while on duty.
A trivial matter in NIT Srinagar over raising Indian Flag, was used to humiliate Kashmiri sentiments for the benefit of ABVP influenced ‘students’ from other parts of India, who should instead be focusing on their studies.
Despicable politicisation and publicity for a routine cross border operation by Armed Forces, in the aftermath of the Uri base attack.
Provocative attempts to repeal Section 35 A.
Not conducting the Anantnag Loksabha bye-poll for many years.
Shocking support of BJP Ministers in the J&K Government for child rapists, who brutalised a little girl Asifa for many days in a temple premise, and discarded her body to create communal trouble in Kathua.
Appointment of an unqualified and partisan man like Mr. Satyapal Malik as the Governor.
A sham of an election to Local bodies that was boycotted by both National Conference and People’s Democratic Party.
Dissolving the Assembly instead of allowing Kashmiri legislators to form an elected govt.
Given the series of mis-steps in Kashmir, is it any surprise that even moderate voices like Mr. Omar Abdullah, and Mr. Shah Faisal are disillusioned with the Indian Govt?
It is time for Indian Govt and Armed Forces to reflect on their own behaviour than blaming Pakistan and further disturbing peace in the region.
A Liberal person supports individual freedom in both Economic and Social lives. By freedom, we mean lesser restrictions from the government.
Government is an entity that people have created to manage few collective requirements of the society. Allowing that government to control more and more aspects of our lives is counter-intuitive. Legitimate areas for govt intervention include security, justice, foreign relations, maintenance of public records, regulation of industries, managing natural resources, and protection of forests and environment.
A Liberal person is against socially conservative restrictions and opposes government intervention in unnecessary areas of business, like those listed below.
Socially Conservative Restrictions
Govt restrictions on Freedom of Speech (Article 19(2) of the Constitution).
Prohibition of alcohol.
Ban on Cow Slaughter and restrictions on people’s food habits.
Criminalisation of Gay, Lesbian and Transgender relationships (Sec 377 of IPC).
Ban on Religious Conversions.
Bans on books, movies and documentaries.
AFSPA which overrides people’s legal rights during Army deployment.
Economically Conservative Interventions
Government acquisition of private land, to help private companies.
Support for Subsidies – Food, LPG, Fertiliser, Electricity, Water
Govt run schools, RTE, School Vouchers – funded by taxes or forcing other parents to pay by way of higher fees.
Ban on private companies in city bus service and railways – Indian Railways, BMTC/BEST are govt monopolies.
Restrictions on Auto-rickshaw ownership.
Restrictions on News – bans on FM news and terrestrial TV/Radio broadcast
Opposition to Foreign Direct Investment in Indian companies.
So, are you Liberal?
This short article was originally published on a newsletter edited by Loksatta Party. Reproduced here with permission from the author.