Don’t get fooled by crowds in the Valley
By K Subrahmanyam
A number of reputed commentators have started urging that if the Kashmiris are so keen on secession, as witnessed by the massive rallies mobilised by separatist Hurriyat leaders, why should not
But we know that 60 per cent of the population of
The secessionists have refused to take part in the elections and demonstrate their real strength among the Kashmiri people. One should not be taken in by their capacity to collect a crowd. Gujjars can be collected in tens of thousands not only to block the rail and road traffic between the Capital and western
Mamata Banerjee can hold a massive gherao of tens of thousands of people around an industrial establishment. Chiranjeevi, the actor, can collect half a million to launch his new party.
At the drop of a hat a crowd can be collected in
Such disruptions, from Parliament to the streets, are projected as indications of the political machismo of the parties. In that sense,
Kashmir is not the only case where the
Protest demonstrations were held in large numbers though there was no violence.
The depth of secessionist sentiment may be gauged from the fact that since 1967, when the former secessionists captured power through Assembly elections, till today, the Congress Party has not been able to make headway in the state.
The state has been ruled alternately by the two Dravidian parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ( DMK) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam ( AIADMK) both of which branched off from the original secessionist Dravida Kazhagam.
Tamil Nadu is one state which has rejected Hindi and does not teach Hindi in the state schools or allow its usage in the state. But today Tamil Nadu has given up its secessionist stand, plays a significant role in central politics and acknowledges that its membership of the Indian Union has benefited the state immensely. The reason for this conversion is the fact that the Dravidian parties have no anxiety about
The Union government also dealt with secessionism in Nagaland and Mizoram where organised militias of secessionists fought against the Indian Army for a few years. Even while trying to counter the military offensive of the secessionists the government of
After a few years of waging a futile war both Naga and Mizo secessionists accepted the Indian Constitution and joined mainstream politics.
Those who fought against the Indian Army became chief ministers. When Laldenga, Vizol and Jasokie, chief ministers of Mizoram and Nagaland, died they received state funerals and their bodies were wrapped in Indian tricolour when taken to the final resting place. So it happened in the cases of C N Annadurai, the DMK chief minister of Tamil Nadu, and M G Ramachandran, the AIADMK chief minister. It happened to Sheikh Abdullah too, who originally espoused Kashmir’s accession to
Unlike in many other countries of the world where militants and secessionists are invariably hunted to their extermination the Indian republic has succeeded in winning over secessionists to accept the Indian Constitution which provides for adequate autonomy for religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities. More recently the Indian experiment has caught on in Aceh in
There are extremists among Hindus also as evidenced by the recent happenings in Orissa, and earlier ones in
The extremists in Kashmir have links with international Islamic terrorism and therefore allowing secession to
It should have been obvious that it would take a long time to educate and condition our people to the ideals underlying our Constitution. It took 190 years for the
It is the duty of the republic to uphold the ideals and ensure that political parties operate within the framework of the ideals enshrined in the Constitution.
If any party or section violates the basis ideals of the Constitution, such as secularism, it is incumbent on the state to do everything in its power to bring such deviants back to the mainstream.
If that proves not feasible then they should be countered by use of force, if necessary. The republic cannot evade its basic responsibility to sustain the fundamental ideals that go to make
The writer is
Source: Mail Today, New Delhi