Kashmir in India, which is blessed with bountiful natural beauty, has the potentials to be one of the most attractive tourist paradise in the world. People of Kashmir, known for their enterprising attributes and pleasant nature, have always been receiving the tourists from all over the world with warmth and friendly attitude, making them feel comfortable and at home. Unfortunately, this beautiful land is now facing turmoil, unrest and is undergoing strain.
Even while vast majority of the Kashmiris want to live in peaceful and progressive conditions, separatist elements and terrorists are making the life of Kashmir citizens painful. Kashmir is now a victim of terrorism.
There is huge concern in India about the violent happenings in Kashmir and many wonder about the shape of things to come. The Modi government has been trying to find meaningful solution to the issues and have offered several economic and social packages to improve the situation in Kashmir and make the life better for people. But, the terrorists do not want this to happen and are doing everything possible to disrupt the peace and harmony in the state, by whipping up feelings of hatred against India and attacking the law enforcement agencies and innocent people.
There are some elements in Kashmir who want separate state and some other elements who want to join Pakistan, while voice of the vast majority of people remain unheard by the world media. Whenever opportunities are given to the people to explain their views about the state of affairs, they have responded positively , as evident from the way that the people participated in the electoral process and exercised their franchise. Recently, there have been huge response from the youth of Kashmir to join Indian army during the recruitment process.
Obviously, the Government of India is facing serious problem here, as the terrorists seem to be having their way and they are indulging in unchecked violence and guerilla warfare at their will. While it is very well known that people of Kashmir do not subscribe to the demand of the separatists and terrorists, the dilemma of Government of India is to how to tackle the terrorists who mix with the people and these terrorists have no scruples and carry on with their campaign based on hatred and disruptive tactics. They have faith only in violence.
What is happening in Kashmir today is a war against terrorism and terrorists, who get training, financial and military support from across the border and from other countries. This is not a conventional war, where one would clearly know the enemies to be hit. In the case of Kashmir, violent prone terrorists mix with the people and also systematically brain wash the youth and it has become difficult for security agencies to hit the terrorists without hitting the innocent people. Some youth and students are now reported to be pelting stones and obviously, they have been systematically brain washed by the terrorist elements.
India is a democratic country with almost unchecked media freedom and liberty for people. Often , some sections of people indulge in sectarian activities and indulge in negative rhetorics and they are allowed to do so in the name of individual freedom and liberty and what is now frequently termed in India as “fundamental rights”.
Many observers around the world are surprised that separatist elements and known leaders of terrorist groups are almost freely allowed to roam in Kashmir, issue statements and provide interviews to the media. It appears that Modi government is fighting in Kashmir with one hand tied , due to the democratic form of governance.
Now, the options for the Modi government appear to be limited. It has to necessarily put down the terrorists and separatist forces with heavy hand. If such elements would get support from across the border , then the bases from which they derive the support has to be attacked and destroyed and the supply line should be effectively cut. There appears to be no other way, since the terrorist elements are not amenable to reason and it seems that they can understand only force. India has to be prepared to pay the necessary price for this essential and inevitable step.
Any continued success of terrorists in Kashmir rings warning bell for all countries around the world , as continued success of terrorists in Kashmir would amount to success of terrorism in the world.
It is also necessary that the vast majority of people of Kashmir, who are helplessly watching the situation, should introspect as to what would happen to their dear land, if the present disturbing conditions would continue. Kashmir would face a horrible situation, in the unfortunate scenario of present status changing and the future generation of Kashmiris will not forgive the present generation for allowing any negative changes to happen.
It is high time that the world community understand the problems faced by Government of India in dealing with terrorist elements in Kashmir and extend support.