Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat
The history of word terror as a method of revolutionary action goes back to Russian revolutionaries “struggle against Tsarist tyranny”. However, over the past few decades’ word terror has become the most misrepresented, misinterpreted and misused word. The word is in habituated by Tom, Dick and Harry .Generally terrorism is disassociated from religion. However, it is a fact that every terror act is tagged to a particular community. Everyone, irrespective of his/her background, associates terrorism with a particular group and same is the case with terror attack on Amarnath Pilgrims.
On the 10th July, Amarnath pilgrims came under an attack which resulted in death of eight pilgrims. Unfortunately, immediately after the attack, without any official report or police briefing communal colors were added to the act. Most of the news channels called the act a well planned terror act carried by local rebels. Despite the fact that the IGPKashmir briefed media that the attack was not intended on pilgrims , some TV channels continued to associate the act with local rebels and tried to communalize it.
Media jingoism and mass media Nangoism (nakedness) has communally charged the environment of India. However, some professional journalists raised some valid questions and themes. The local Kashmiris not only came to the rescue of injured pilgrims but thronged to the hospital to donate blood. Moreover, some contested the allegations and suspected conspiracy behind the attack and call it an inside job. The question is can a country kill its own citizens? Can rebels carry out such terror attack at a time when Kashmir issue has been globalised?
The Hypothesis of the Militant attack
The main stream media right away after the attack tried to communalize the terror act despite the IGP Kashmir clearly stating that the pilgrims were not the targets. There are many questions – Can rebels carry such acts? Why they will? What they will achieve? The answer to the first question is yes. Militants have capability to carry out such attacks however we cannot afford to ignore security arrangements for pilgrims and it is not so easy to attack the yatra. The second question is the most important question. The whole motive of armed struggle in Kashmir is to get international attention and intervention otherwise every Kashmiri knows they cannot defeat India with the gun. In the present context, the Kashmir issue has received global attention. The issue hit United General Assembly and both India and Pakistan gave good time in their allotted slots to the issue. Many countries and organisations openly favored Kashmiri point of view: the International Organisation of Islamic States, Amnesty International, Iran, China … denounced India. Amid this, carrying such a terror attack will, in no way, help Kashmiri movement. The answer to the third question is that by carrying such an attack, at present, they will achieve nothing but damage their struggle.
The Hypothesis of the Inside Job
There are people, especially in Kashmir, who out rightly reject involvement of militants in the terror attack on pilgrims and have raised many questions. But before coming to those questions the question is – Can a country kill its own people for political ends? For me the answer to this question is big NO. A country can never take lives of its own people but, of course, a political party / person can. According to the realist school of thought headed by Morgenthau, politics is the struggle for power. In the Indian context, this struggle, in the contemporary era of globalization and liberalization is more apparent among political parties. Every year state or states in India go for elections and every political party fights tooth and nail to acquire power. Political parties use every means – money, muscle and religion to mobilize voters. They also divide people on caste and communal lines.
Why government in power cannot carry out such carnage as Gujrat is bound to go for polls? Moreover, ground situation supports the premises as there are many questions concerned to the terror attack. Why did bus carrying pilgrims violate security norms? Why the bus carrying pilgrims was not registered with the Amarnath shrine board? How did the bus manage to go through multiple security check points despite no registration? Why was the bus allowed to travel after sunset, a violation of the standard operating procedure? Why did the police fail to secure the route despite intelligence warnings about possible terror attacks? These are the questions which make the attack very suspicious.
To understand the issue we need to revisit history. History is witness that rulers from ancient times killed its own people, destroyed their own property and resorted to illegal and inhuman practices to return, retain or regain the power. Take the example of Nero, a Roman King; he is accused of killing his own mother for political gains. The Great Fire of Rome which caused widespread devastation is believed an inside job. Emperor Nero is blamed for initiating the fire to initiate the empire’s first persecution against the Christians. In the Indian context we have a number of such examples. Dida Rani, who ruled Kashmir from 958 AD to 1003 AD not only disposed Tribhuvanagupta, her younger brother but “disposed of” her son Nandigupta and grandson Bhimagupta for power.
Who will forget Godhra carnage or Gujrat Program? It is one of the worst chapters in Indian history. There are some similarities between Godhra carnage and Amarnath Pilgrim terror attack. In both, the attacks the targets werre Hindu devotees returning from the holy darshan. In both the attacks, Muslims were accused despite facts and ground realties which speak otherwise. The Gujrat pogrom gave extra political mileage to Bhartiya Janata Party and the party is trying to enforce the Gujrat model in the whole country. During election campaigns, the Gujrat model is celebrated and politics is openly communalized and it benefits none other than BJP. The Hale university study revealed that BJP gains in pools after every riot. The fact is that BJP is well aware of the truth and every time when there are elections around they communalize environment and architect riots. If this hypothesis is correct and holds water, then developments accruing from these can only be ominous.
The author is a student of Sociology, social activist, and a faculty member at the Department of Sociology University of Kashmir Jammu and Kashmir, India. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org