I was reading Gen Hasnain’s article about the martyred Kashmiri jawan of the JAKLI Regiment in which he mentions the cultural change this Jawan would have gone through after his recruitment. He also mentions how this jawan would have spent his leave where he would have come across many of his friends and families who may have been working overtly or covertly with the militants. Some of his friends would have taken up the gun for the so called jihad. There would have been a dichotomy in his mind. Here was a Kashmiri who made a choice to pick up a gun for the sake of his motherland and on the other hand his friend covertly picked up a weapon for the destruction of his motherland. This issue I want to talk about.
I have a feeling that certain people of Kashmir do not want to see any progress. The money spent on maintaining the armed forces and subsidies can be better utilised for Kashmir to begin with. I say, bring peace and see your own growth. Mingle with rest of India and see for yourself what India can do for you. This may bring a change in your myopic perspective? There is also a miniscule of Kashmiri’s, who get brainwashed, go across, train as militants and come back, who have no idea what life actually is in Pakistan. They will never know the difference of the filthy mindset the paki’s have because they never see any ground realities. The Hurriat leaders are very clear that joining a failed state is of no good to man or beast. They just want to keep this issue alive so that someone keeps funding them till the time they are alive and look after their families who reside in Pakistan. They very well know that they will never be able to get their so called “azadi”. Moment our Kashmiri brethren open their doors to rest of India for every other thing besides tourism, Kashmir will take a turn for good. They tried ethnic cleansing by shunting away the pundits in reciprocation achieved more animosity. They brought in militancy, in reciprocation brought in retaliation by the security forces. Had they lived peacefully, Kashmir would have been the biggest tourist attraction of the world. Time now has come to change your mindset and align Kashmir with emerging India.
Today, if you go to dilli haat, it has a Kashmiri restaurant serving Kashmiri delicacies. How many people visit it actually? Half of us skip it when we see the name Kashmir written there, probably one has an apprehension that the person serving us would be a militant of kinds. We prefer to go to the next joint which may be a Tibetan joint, as we consider them to be peace loving people and momo’s they serve we all love. I swear friends; many of you who may have never tasted Kashmiri cuisine, most of their dishes are non-veg and are yummy to say the least. The Wazwan, which is a complete meal in itself finds no place on the Indian platter, as the pizzas, burgers, momos, idili-doasas etc have now become our acquired tastes. Because Kashmiri’s shun us, we shun everything Kashmiri too. Quite true, isn’t it?
I also see in most of the states we have these J&K emporiums. We as fauji’s do visit them for nostalgia. Ladies might get hold of an odd “Firen” of pure wool for the winters with that beautiful embroidery. Some of us do fall in for the “namda” for our bedroom’s floor. The paper mashie lamps which are beautifully hand painted besides “pashmina” which is banned now but still woollen cashmere shawls find a place in the wardrobe of a few. Many of us just avoid them because we do not know what is unique that they sell. A few who dare to enter the showrooms return back on seeing the prices tags, as things are really costly. A typical Kashmiri dried mushroom called “gucchi” costs 15000/- Rs a kg may be more. I will not talk about the saffron, which is a painstakingly difficult to collect and costs more than 300 Rs per gram. The cost of walnut wood furniture, the lesser said the better. The scope is unlimited in Kashmir, provided they are willing to do free trade.
I feel till the time the Kashmiri’s think that to stay in all kinds of isolation will bring peace, they are sadly mistaken. India has progressed because it welcomed the world. Even our defence equipment is imported; our cosmetics were imported till a few years back, now they are made in India. The basic reason is that we wanted the best for us as a country. Why the Kashmir’s can’t think that way? What is so pious, holy and pure about your breed that we the rest of Indians are considered outcasts of kinds?
This jawan firstly with his exposure to the military dastoor would have lived his life with people of all faiths and cultures. His mother tongue though would have been Kashmiri, but he obeyed all words of command in Hindi. He would have got an exposure to all other Indian languages and food as his clerks, workshop people and other tradesmen would have come from all the other states of India. When he would have gone to Delhi, or to various other trainings, he would have realised that he was a frog in a well till now. The road networks, the railways, the airways, the infrastructure, the hospitals, the malls, must have been an eye opener for him. I am sure he would have thought why all this can’t be created in Kashmir. Why can’t his village also develop as the villages in rest of India? What is wrong with the people and politicians of my state? He would have sensed something amiss for sure.
I am convinced that unless the J&K government opens its portals to rest of India they can keep fighting for azadi and reach nowhere. Till the blockage in our artery to let the rest of Indians cross the Jawahar tunnel into the valley is not removed, the heart attacks will continue. Some blood like a trickle does pass thorough as tourists, but it is not enough. The armed forces have been inducted as medicated blood to keep repairing all damaged parts of humanity in the valley. Some of our own cells get destroyed in the bargain, never mind, this jawan was one. Kashmir has to take a call, either they allow the blockage to be removed, or else surgery will continue till it is repaired fully. The valley will not be left to die for sure, external infections like Pakistan will be dealt with as per the severity of infection from time to time. Internal germs (militants) will be kept under check through our medicines called armed forces, till the time Kashmir is completely overhauled in heart, body, brain and soul.
The more you delay it, more medicine will be pumped in. The more you resist it, more methods to bypass will be found. So dear politicians and people of Kashmir your state is on the operation table, Doctors, nurses, and all equipment at the hands of India is ready to cure and treat you. Will you listen to my advice and start a healthy life, or will you keep visiting and consulting the quack’s across the border for the futile “desi illaj”. I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!