Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah was summoned to Delhi to discuss the situation arising out of the alleged infiltration of Pakistan trained saboteurs into the valley. During his meetings with Rajiv Gandhi and Buta Singh, he was told to gear up the law and order machinery to meet the challenge and was promised deployment of additional Paramilitary troops in the State. He has been particularly asked to keep a close watch on the activities of an imaginary anarchist group that according to Indian intelligence sources, has been set up to initiate a process of violence in Kashmir. The group is said to have selected specific territories to recruit Muslim youths with similar inclinations and send them to Pakistan for training and indoctrination. The truth, however, is different. No Pakistan trained saboteur has infiltrated into Kashmir and no anarchist group are recruiting the Muslim youth to initiate a process of violence. It is nothing but a gambit to artificially inseminate 1983-84 Punjab scenarios into Kashmir and then whip up Hindu Communal frenzy against the supposed separatist designs of the Muslim. Simultaneously efforts are being made to relate the legitimate Muslim concern and protest against the illegal and forcible conversion of Babri Masjid into a Hindu temple, to some kind of “foreign inspired” grand design aimed at destabilizing India. Rajiv is not sure if his cry of Sikh separatism will be effective enough for once again registering the sweeping electoral victories of 1984. He is actually apprehensive that it may not even recoil. Hence his anxiety to combine the bogey of Muslim separatism with the Sikh separatism.

After her miserable failure on the economic front his mother invented the myth of Sikh separatism to project herself as the savior of Hinduism, a kind of Durga reincarnate, and proceeded in a dramatic but foolish way to soak her sword in innocent Sikh blood. She destroyed their holiest shrine and indiscriminately massacred unsuspecting Sikh pilgrims. She committed this monstrosity for narrow short term electoral gains. Her action inflicted a deep wound on the Sikh psyche and created a permanent divide between Hindus and Sikhs. The myth of separatism with a single metamorphic blow, materialized into a draconian reality and a popular Sikh agitation for the redress of their constitutional grievances was compelled to assume the character of an insurgency. Today, every self-respecting Sikh is committed to the concept of a sovereign Sikh state and Punjab has become a bleeding battleground where Sikh freedom fighters virtually rule the roost and have totally crippled the state administration, despite the combined and bloody operations by the Army and the paramilitary troops.

The story of Muslim insurgency is bound to follow the Sikh pattern if Rajiv Gandhi persisted in inflaming the Hindu communal passions through a distorted projection of Muslim discontent as evidence of a gathering revolt.

Already the protagonists of Hindu Muslim unity have become so disillusioned with the prospects of bringing about flexibility and tolerance in the attitude of Hindu national leaders, that they have abandoned their conciliatory mission. They are instead working to secure the interests of the Indian Muslims. By raising the bogey of saboteurs in Kashmir and by stage-managing intermittent doses of violence in the state through its “Red Guards”, Rajiv wants Dr.Faroog Abdullah to go after the Muslim youth in the same way as Barnala was fooled into killing the Sikh youth through fake encounters, thus making his position untenable with the Muslims. Killing of Muslim youths will additionally please the Hindu multitudes who will boisterously hail Rajiv as the defender of their faith and the fittest man to rule India, drowning in their deafening applause all voices of sanity and dissent. He is trying to create conditions in which they will dismiss the charges of corruption, incompetence and arrogance against him as irrelevant. In the context of looming Sikh and Muslim rebellions, that are supposedly threatening to fracture India into pieces, V.P. Singh’s eloquence over economic offenses is not likely to cut much ice. To prevent Rajiv from once again practicing a gigantic fraud upon the people of India, Y.P.Singh and other opposition leaders must start a determined crusade against the communalization of politics by this sibling of Hindu fundamentalist Samitis and Sabhas. They must first pull the communal carpet from under his feet and force him into the political arena to face economic and administrative issues otherwise in the foggy confusion of communal Passions, the Congress (I) gangsters will have a field day and the world will mistakenly believe India to be a democracy.

Article extracted from this publication >> December 2, 1988