By Hasnain Khawja
The Indian Army launched its Operation All-Out in the year 2017 to wipe out militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, and to put fear psychosis among the Kashmiri youth about the repercussions of joining militancy. A list of 258 militants was shortlisted; the security agencies managed to get some of them killed.
The question is: has the operation yielded any success in getting the situation normalized in the region by the barrel of gun? The answer is a clear cut No. The claim of Jammu and Kashmir police that Kashmiri youth are no more enthused to join militancy holds no ground; ever since operation all out was launched more than 150 youth of the Valley have joined the ranks of militants with most of them being from educated and well to do families. This figure is the highest in last seven years.
Moreover, the security agencies’ excuse that only uneducated and unemployed youth are joining militancy has proved to be incorrect. The list prepared by security forces includes those holding Master’s and Doctoral degrees and some have left their high incentive jobs. Current Kashmiri generation is very sensitive towards the happening and conditions in the state. The state’s measures of criminalizing the right to dissent and peaceful protests have added fuel to the fire. (Today, the youth are not even allowed to celebrate the win of their favorite cricket team)
Present day militants constitute the generation born during the nineties and have read painful tales of Gaw Kadal, Handwara, Bijbehara, Kunan Poshpora and other such gory incodents They read the story of detention centres like Papa2 and Cargo. Now, they themselves witness arrests and detentions, unending FIR’s and PSA’s, curfews and e-curfews.
The youth have realized that successive Prime Ministers of India trot out lollipops like “sky is the limit”, “anything within constitution” “Insaniyat” and “Kashmiriyat” in their mouth which actually yield nothing. Half hearted dialogue process(es), appointment of interlocutors in 2010 and putting their report in dustbin, failure of United Nations in bringing out peace in the state , constitute reasons for the youth to have lost faith in peaceful and democratic means. All this makes youth flock the militant ranks.
Narendra Modi attempted to solve the political issue of Kashmir through an economic perspective. He announced 80,000 crore rupees package for the development of the state. Although, this particular announcement cheered the faces of Indian clerks in Kashmir, that is, the mainstream, but the ground reality remains the same.
Post-Burhan Kashmir required careful handling. Lakhs of people turning out on funeral of Burhan should have been an eye opener for the Indian establishment but they didn’t change their approach. Instead, used harsh military means to quell the uprising were employed. They blinded children by pellet guns and pained elders with PAVA shells. Pictures of pellet battered Insha shocked us all.
Any vacuum left after seeing all this was filled by the Indian media by spreading venom and hatred against the people and maligning the image of people’s movement. In order to obscure realities in Kashmir, they usually put the blame on so-called Pakistan sponsored terrorism.
Now, the allure of militancy in Kashmir has become almost a passion. This, in the ultimate analysis, is the final score card of “Operation All Out”
—The author is a student, at the School of Law, University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com