After five decades, the true face of the simmering Kashmir issue has been exposed with a spotlight on its Jihad connection. For a long time now, political analysts, media experts, administration and even security agencies have been, ignorantly or deliberately, dealing with it as a political issue.
This flip-flop, that has continued for seventy years, has manifest itself in the garb of lack of employment, lack of opportunities, political discourses, assisting the under privileged etc as possible solutions to the problem. Now, the truth has come to the forefront, it is public knowledge that the situation in Kashmir is not a political issue but a full blown Jihad.
From the times of Ottoman Turks and Mohmad Ibn Abdullah, the Jihad weapon of spreading Islam has proved to be the most invincible. Jihad, in one form or the other, has kept spreading its wings, accompanied by massive destruction, cruelty and antagonism. In fact, right from the inception of Islam, the tryst for Isalmisation has never stopped; it has only changed avatars from the earlier invasions and mass conversions to the existing concept of terrorism.
Historically, Islamic forces from erstwhile Central Asian Republics eyed the Indian subcontinent. As a result the entire North-West of Bharat which is present day Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan came under its fold. The tactics included terrorising the local inhabitants and compelling them to embrace Islam. Non Muslims were threatened to leave the place or face death. The strategy worked well in this entire region.
In 12th century Mohammad Ghori and Mohammed Ghazni looted and plundered Bharat despite facing strong resistance from the Rajput Kings like Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Thereafter, the Mughals came in and conquered a major portion of north western India. However, they could not overcome the resistance of great warriors like Maharana Pratap (1540 to 1597) and Shivaji (1627-1680) and, as such, the Mughal Empire could not go deep into the central and southern part of Bharat.
The challenges put forth by the native rulers suppressed Isalmic fundamentalism but could not deter the wicked intensions.
The same strategy was applied in Kashmir also. Way back in 1339, the first ever Muslim ruler from Shah Mir dynasty did lots of conversions and ruled Kashmir for more than five decades till 1389. In 14th century, Islam gradually became the dominant religion of Kashmir.
The cruelest Sultan during this period was Sikander! He not only looted, killed and converted non-Muslims but also imposed huge taxes on them and destroyed Hindu idols across the land. Even today there are Kashmiri Muslims with their surnames as Koul, Bhat, Pandit, Raina, Dar, Kikloo, Mattoo, Raio etc. TTey can be termed as the by-products of 15-16 century Jihad. They owe their surnames to their real ancestral religious back ground, which undoubtedly was Hinduism.
In the present scenario the kind of atrocities Yazdis, Shias and other non Wahabis in Syria are going through, similar would have been the condition of the ancestors of the Muslim coverts of the Kashmir Valley. It is time for the present generation to reset the course of history rather than following the immoral diktats of Islamic fundamentalists and going against their own democratic nation.
Democratic India is acting like a speed breaker to the demonic activities of fundamentalist Islamisation and challenging its malicious intentions even as countries like Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia etc are already in its fold.
Pakistan fought four wars with India but every time had to lick the dust and could not get control of J&K. Post the disintegration of USSR, it provided to Jihadi forces from Afghanistan and started working tirelessly to disintegrate the Indian union by pushing mercenaries into Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistan military intelligence agency, ISI, overtly and covertly runs several missions to support the insurgency in J&K. Thus, insurgency was abetted to transform the region into an Islamic state.
Today the Islamic forces have achieved partial success as some youth in Kashmir have been sucked into the fold of Jihad. The youth of Kashmir has been taught and preached that the real service to Allah is to free their land of non-Muslims, precisely, to eliminate people who do not follow Allah and Islam.
Three decades have passed since this psychological war started in the valley. The youth of the valley have been fed with a huge dose of the Jihadi language , have lived in the shadow of the gun and an uncertain atmosphere. No dialogue, no thought process, no appeasement seems to be having a positive effect on those who have been indoctrinated, so deeply ingrained is the Jihadi mindset in their system. This mentality compels even those who are not active to support the cause of Islam by shielding the terrorist from security forces whenever any encounter or search is going on.
In the wake of this upheaval, the culture and tradition of the Kashmir Valley has suffered a big blow. The atmosphere which used to be vibrant with Shiva Sutras, Sufi songs is now resonating with anti-India and pro-Azadi slogans. The age old rich culture, tradition and reverential Sanskrit based Kashmiri language has undergone a drastic transformation. Even the food, the dress etc. have acquired a Wahabi influence.
The younger generation is wearing ankle-length trousers, long beards and skull caps and women are donning Hijaab. All such changes are not only against the climatic conditions but also pose a greater threat to the original Kashmiri culture and traditions, which is now at the verge of disappearance.
The jihadist forces, however, are mistaken about the strength of present day India. Gone are the days when Akbar fought the famous battle of Haldighati against Maharana Pratap with the help of 80,000 soldiers headed by the Rajput, Raja Man Singh.
India today stands as a strong Republic with its borders protected firmly by the Indian Army. Undoubtedly, given a free hand, even a single battalion of Indian Army will teach these Jihadis a lesson they will never forget. It is high time to take offensive approach rather than being defensive.
(Yajin Bhat is an advocate and a social activist)
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