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June 3, 1999

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E-Mail this column to a friend Varsha Bhosle

The Reds are steeped in the blues

On July 7, a Red cockroach left a trail of slime on The Telegraph. I ignored it. Sadly, it's now oozed onto Rediff. There, it was called "The Saffron Nation Theory"; here, it's titled "Let go off Kashmir!" With exclamation mark, to boot.

I presume you've read it. Baffled, eh? Don't be. I keep telling you: that species is not the least bit interested in the welfare of our people or the security and integrity of this country. All it wants is the annihilation of -- not just Hindutva -- but of Hinduism itself, that bedrock of India which keeps Communism barricaded in tiny pockets; which compels pinkos to compromise on "the opium of the masses"; and which quietly sniggers at Marxism's bleak future in this land.

As things were, the entire caucus of the great and the good tittered away when the prime minister hopped onto that damn bus to Lahore. It was nervous laughter, of course: there was always the danger that Atalji would succeed in empowering India (he did, but not as he envisioned). And yet, now, Pakistan's assault on India is supposed to fit in "snugly with both their short term interests and long term ideology. The war psychosis would yield, in their judgment, millions and millions of extra votes in September."

Point is, when Atalji extended the hand of friendship, were elections slated at all...? Who's responsible for said elections??

Sure, "giving a bloody nose to Pakistan would be in essence according to the RSS-VHP vision of the future." Point is, thanks to, not the BJP government, but Pakistan's attack on India and its inhuman treatment of our soldiers, giving Pak a bloody nose has become the objective of the entire country (which, naturally, excludes cockroaches).

"Whatever helps rouse the non-thinking masses of this country against Pakistan will duly lead, the assumption goes, to the crystallization of a collective prejudice against Islam." Meaning, Kapil Dev is a moron. Industrialist Raunaq Singh has no capacity to think. Mr J N Dixit sucks his thumb. Mr Soli Sorabjee wears diapers...

Or how about The Cardiological Society of India, which has decided to boycott the conference of the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology, scheduled to be held in Lahore in October, as a protest against the Kargil aggression? The conference is held once in 4 years, and over 15,000 heart-specialists from all over the world attend. Almost all 3,000 members signed the protest, which stated, "We all are aware of the naked aggression that Pakistan has committed against India leading to sad loss of several jawans and officers. It is high time that we, the intelligentsia of this country, express our protest and show our solidarity with our jawans and army and abstain from the forthcoming APS of Cardiology Conference in Lahore."

I suppose, guys who do open-heart surgery qualify as "non-thinking masses of this country" -- in The World According to Cockroach.

Then, "The BJP government -- they could have gathered the courage to state it openly -- had no business to blow up the skirmish in Kashmir into a situation with the trappings of a full-scale war." Great. All of India was against safe passage; and more than half wanted the army to cross the LoC and "retrieve PoK" (Zee News-DRS poll). Atalji resisted -- and got slammed for it. But then, what would insects discern as they crawl in their dark, nether world...

Though I believe I've a good insight to the arthropod mind, this had even me perplexed: "It is, however, the total endorsement the BJP comrades received from the Left that boggles the mind. There was hardly any reason for ideologues, who have always taken pride in holding high the flag of secularism, to surrender so meekly to the patriotic demagoguery unleashed by the BJP-RSS-VHP regime. By doing what they did, the secularists rendered hollow the claim of their main concern, at present being the containment of the fundamentalist threat... It was as if by some magic the fundamentalist line had been transformed, courtesy Kargil, into a secular one."

OK, secularism is the antithesis of fundamentalism; but since when is patriotism the antithesis of secularism??? Too, since when are secularists at odds with "patriotic demagoguery"? Stalin was a demagogue -- was he a "fundamentalist"...? Nehru was a secularist -- was he no patriotic demagogue? What about Churchill?

Is the six-footed one saying that a secular person like, say, Sunil Dutt, should have no overwhelming feelings for Mother India? Or, that the Left's brand of secularism must exclude any stirrings of loyalty for one's motherland? Or, that the Left's support to the Government of India -- whichever colour it may be -- during a state of war is harmful to the nation? Or, that the Left should have harassed and weakened the government so that Pakistan could overrun India, since that would be better than having a native "fundamentalist" government at the helm...?

I'm wondering, why doesn't he just say it straight out -- "I would prefer a foreign, Islamic fundamentalist rule in India than an indigenous Hindu one." All these tiresome star-and-sickle dialectics are to what other end?

Then there appears a zinger, the answer to which will make even an amateur census-taker tie up the pest's antlers in knots: "Not even one per cent of the valley's population, it is possible to lay a wager, is going to agree with the proposition that it comprises, honestly, the darlingest children of Bharatmata."

It would seem that the genuinely democratic cockroach has personally traversed the length and breadth of J&K and conducted a plebiscite to suss the feelings of Kashmiris. I'm no statistician, but every Indian bachcha-bachcha knows: Ladakh is two-thirds of J&K, and Ladakhis are Buddhists who don't want to secede. Kashmiri Pandits and Dogras have a right to *their* land and a say in its future. Gujjar tribals and Kashmiri Shias form the *majority* of Muslims of the valley -- and they are terrified at the prospect of a Pakistan-influenced Sunni rule.

But, apparently, "no genuine democrat would go along with the view that you cling to a territory even when the entire resident population dislikes your presence. Why not be brutally frank, India's presence in Kashmir is only as an army of occupation." "Army of occupation"?? No word on ISI terrorism in TN, Kerala, Bombay, Punjab, AP, Assam. Not a word about Pakistani army regulars who sneaked into India... I guess, a "genuine democrat" is one who, in fear of the few wolves, delivers for the slaughter the myriad lambs. It's called saving one's skin.

The principal groups involved in Kashmiri insurgency are the JKLF -- which supports an independent and supposedly secular Kashmir -- and the Hezb-ul-Mujahideen, which is a stooge of Pakistan's Jamiat-i-lslami. The sources of the separatist movement are internal to Kashmir and owe their origin to decades of Congress maladministration -- but always aggravated by support from the ISI, with Kashmiri moderates targeted for assassination. Hindus predominate in Jammu, and Tibetan Buddhists in Ladakh; it is only in the valley that Muslims form a majority. But at 4 million, they account for but a tiny percentage of India's over 100 million Muslims.

An independent Kashmir has never been Pakistan's goal. The Ameer of the Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on July 11, "An independent Kashmir would be a dangerous proposition for Pakistan. It will only add to the American influence in South Asia." There is not a soul in Pakistan who believes that Kashmir should be given independence. Why in heaven's name should we cede it to Pakistan???

Digest the results of the opinion poll conducted by Herald in January 1997: Of Pakistan's populace, 72% want Pakistan to yoke its wagon to the Arab world; 84% want to keep the nuclear option; less than 50% favour friendlier ties with India; 34% want an independent Kashmir -- while 65% want Kashmir to be "united" with Pakistan.

When Nawaz Sharief was sworn in, The Nation quoted him: "By the grace of Allah almighty, Kashmir will be liberated during the tenure of the Pakistan Muslim League government." No matter how many Indo-Pak summits are arranged, Pakistan will never forgive us for Bangladesh -- its very raison d'etre is Kashmir. Forget Kashmir, if we cede even an inch of Siachen, it will be the turn of Punjab next, then Assam, and so on.

The doctrine propounded by the Pakistan Defence Services Staff College, Quetta, harps on guerrilla warfare with India: "Train and arm friendly populations in the territory of your enemy, tying down in hundred places... India is too diverse, its population too divided to sustain such a force effectively; Pakistan is socially diverse, but its population does have a common bond in Islam." Hence, kill as many Indian soldiers as one can, raising the cost of Indian Defence to an unacceptable level.

Another is an observation by Brig (retd) Usman Khalid, the London-based leader of Al-Ansaar, a powerful organisation campaigning for the "liberation" of Kashmir. Khalid states, "In India, democracy may become the instrument of its disintegration. That would be good for the people of India. They would prosper as several nation states, which they can never in a Hindu Empire."

That's how the cockroach gets his cue: "Signs of incipient insurgency are rampant in the Northeast. Conditions of anarchy prevail over large stretches of Assam. People's War Groups of different shades are active in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh as well." What's he hinting? Does the he want a balkanisation of India? What else did you think?! Which ideology is muddying Orissa, AP, etc...?

The Washington Post quoted a 34-year-old Pakistani tailor watching the World Cup in his shop: "We feel more charged when we play India, because they are our born enemies." OK, so maybe a tailor would fit the cockroach's concept of "non-thinking masses." But what about Oxbridge types like Imran Khan? "Nawaz Sharif has played a Mir Jaffar to the Kashmiri freedom fighters by signing an agreement in total disregard of their interests." Imran is against the Sharief-Clinton pact -- since it is "designed to isolate Kashmiris on an occasion when they were being subjected to barbarism by 600,000 strong Indian army." (Dawn, July 10)

The vermin says of Pakistanis, "didn't they know, the infidel Indians were about to run over their country and enslave them." Note that "infidel Indians." Kafir Hindus, I understand. But kafir Indians...? It's a Freudian slip: the cockroach so identifies with Pakis that all of us are kafirs to him, too.

Thing is, the cockroach simply proves how democratic India is, and how "barbaric" is the "fundamentalist" government. I doubt if any other country would permit this kind of freedom of expression -- advocating that the nation be splintered -- during a serious border conflict. China and USSR would have squashed him within a second. The American Civil War, the Falklands War, the Northern Ireland turmoil, all are based on denial of secession. Land is not given way just like that...

Pinkos once justified the Chinese aggression of India; now, Pakistan's their golden-eyed boy. There's something *intrinsically* wrong with the populace of Bengal and Kerala -- they all need their heads examined or lopped off since it's they who put this scum in power.

Enough of the roach. Here's a chuckle from Ayaz Amir: "To begin with, all the models of the Shaheen and Ghauri missiles and all the replicas of the Chaghi hills which adorn our various cities, should be put on board the best of our naval cruisers and, in a solemn midnight ceremony, dumped far out into the waters of the Arabian Sea. If this crisis has proved anything, it is that the possession of nuclear weapons does not confer immunity from the taking of stupid decisions."

Varsha Bhosle

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