It is now assuming nonsensical proportions. After every few days there is a selective massacre of over a score of Hindus or Sikhs. It makes news for a day or two. A Union Home Ministry team pays a flying visit to the site of tragedy. The Union Home Minister reiterates that the Government has formulated a strategy to combat such cold-blooded killings. The mainstream political parties are quick to denounce cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan while the Hurriyat leadership and some self-styled intellectuals describe it as a handiwork of security forces. A bandh is observed for a day and then everything is conveniently forgotten till there is another massacre and another repetetion of the same sequence.
The Government of India's continued dithering and half-hearted resolve to crush militancy in Jammu and Kashmir has on the one hand emboldened the ruthless confidence of sponsored militants and on the other hand it has given the over-ground separatist politicians of the Hurriyat brand the alibi to claim that it is not cross-border militancy but armed "freedom struggle" which has been sustained for more than a decade by the support of the local population. Infact, each precious day lost by the Vajpayee Government in deciding its next move weakens its position not only on the security front but also on the diplomatic front.
The question now is: how should the Vajpayee Government go about in dealing with the violent imbroglio in Kashmir? It needs to be clearly realised that unless the Indian forces are able to inflict a decisive defeat on Pakistan sponsored proxy war, New Delhi's diplomacy will continue to suffer the humiliation of confronting Islamabad from a position of weakness. KPS Gill is right in stating that terrorism in Kashmir has to be fought out on the soil of Kashmir. Gill did so in Punjab and showed the way --- of course with unquestioning support from Chief Minister Beant Singh. Those who cite "philosophical" reasons to argue that Kashmir's case is different from that of Punjab are infact precisely the people who have developed a vested interest in Kashmir militancy and who do not wish peace to return in the State.
It is no mere coincidence that the two most vociferous schools of opinion seeking to project Kashmir as different from Punjab emanate either from the Hurriyat Conference or from the Hurriyat friendly group of intellectuals ---- both thriving on financial patronage and hospitality extended by the Pakistan's ISI. But, to use the words of the founder BSF Director General KFS Rustomji, the real question is not what they are doing but what we are doing? Why is the mainstream political leadership of the country shy to declare unequivocally that Jammu and Kashmir is no different from Punjab as long as these are both integral States of the Indian Union as much as any other State of the Union.
The common man is not prepared to wait any more. His patience with the powers -that-be is running out. "Either rise to the ocasion or quit!" --- that is now the final call. The common man will take it no more! Never under-estimate Umapathy's capacity to dethrone and bring to ground the leaders who betray him! Remember poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz's word of caution "Khaak-e-Raah Bhi Hum, Qair-e-Toofan Bhi!"
Published in http://www.dailyexcelsior.com yes, people are getting impatient with the situations.