Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dissent in India 02-06-14

Kashmir confrontation used to quash dissent in India


Birmingham Post-Herald
June 14, 2002

World attention has been riveted, on saber rattling by India and Pakistan. These two countries have fought three short wars in the last 54 years over their contentious claims on Kashmir.

This time the West has taken greater notice because in 2001 both countries joined, rather forced their way into the nuclear club. India is thought to have 150 nuclear weapons, and Pakistan is estimated to have 50.

The Kashmir problem can be resolved with honesty and goodwill. These ingredients are missing on both sides. Whenever the two governments feel threatened by internal dissent, the Kashmir front gets activated. All political parties are obliged to line up behind the government, lest they be branded unpatriotic.

Hapless Kashmiris resent the heavy hand of Indian military. A full-blown rebellion has ensued in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir since the late 1980s. Pakistan has morally and materially supported the rebels. The more the oppression, the greater the rebellion, followed by even greater oppression. This cycle has been repeating for at least 15 years. So why the confrontation between the nuclear neighbors now?

The present crisis in Kashmir was India's response to an internal problem. In February-March of 2002, a government-engineered genocide took place in the Indian Sate of Gujrat. The Indian and the world press, human rights organizations and the Western governments vigorously condemned the government of India.

A Muslim girl was abducted by Hindu zealots returning from the celebration of the destruction of a 16th century Mosque. To thwart the rescue efforts, they locked the railroad car in which they were travelling. Enraged Muslims from the girl's village burned the railroad car resulting in the deaths of the zealots.

Instead of prosecuting the miscreants, the government of Gujrat took this opportunity to implement their pre-planned genocide of Muslims. The government-sponsored hooligans, with the help of the police, burned more than 2,000 Muslims in major cities of Gujrat. More than 150,000 people were rendered homeless, their property looted. The government accused the victims for starting the riots. This was to be a model to be followed in other states, by Goebbelian propaganda.

Unfortunately for them, the Hindu intelligentsia, Indian newspapers and magazines of national stature were shocked into furious denunciation of the government of Gujrat and the central government. International press and governments expressed their horror vociferously.

The government tried to shroud the genocide with platitudes, but the condemnation continued unabated. Hundreds of reporters had taken thousands of photographs to prove the complicity of the government in the carnage. The government of India needed a bigger issue to divert the world's attention, and a patriotic issue to silence the domestic uproar.

In the last 20 years, many countries have seen a rise in religious fanaticism. India did not escape it either. In 1996, a Hindu fascist party BJP (Indian Peoples Party) succeeded in forming a coalition government with the help of small regional parties.
BJP is the political face of a fascist Hindu organization founded in the 1920s and named National Self-service Organization (Hindi acronym RSS). RSS was established to revitalize a very narrow-minded atavistic interpretation of Hinduism. Christianity, Islam, other religions and secular forces were seen as an abomination and a threat to their concept of India.

The founders of RSS were deeply impressed by the Nazis. They saw the secularism of Gandhi and Nehru (though they were Hindus) as anti-Hindu. RSS was implicated in the assassination of Gandhi and was banned in the early '50s. RSS went underground, and a political party Jansangh was formed to circumvent the ban; it later evolved into BJP.

BJP started gaining strength in the late '80s. Using fascistic methods, it has engineered many riots against Muslims and fanned the flames of hatred against the conversions of untouchables to Christianity, resulting in the rape of nuns and killing of missionaries. An Australian missionary and his two sons were burnt alive in their car in 1998. The purpose was to scare the upper cast Hindus into voting BJP into office. They succeeded in garnering enough votes to form the largest party in the Indian parliament, but could not get outright majority.

The minions of RSS collect enormous amounts of money in the United States from successful Indians to fund Nazi like mayhem and riots in India
Indians or Pakistanis are not so stupid as to start a nuclear war in which both countries will lose, bringing the wrath of the whole world on themselves. Actually, their nuclear capability acts as deterrent.

Our policy makers should pay closer attention to domestic dimensions of the simmering disputes. Our attention span is so ephemeral that only large-scale mayhem or the threat of nuclear war gets our attention. It is time our policy makers earn their keep and help solve the problems before they threaten to blow up and engulf us.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted at

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