Kashmir needs life-saving surgery
This Ramzan, in Kashmir, half a dozen lives of Kashmiris serving in security forces were snuffed by the terrorists. Yet again, this Bakrid, jihadi slaughtered three Muslim policemen. They were slaughtered in full view and vicinity of their children. The tender children were literally drenched in the gush of blood from their dying fathers.
Human blood in Ramzan, human blood in Bakrid, global jihad has destroyed the very capacity of Islam to provide comfort and shelter to the Muslims. But has there been any such shelter in the last 1400 years? Bereft of spiritualism, the architects of Islam kept killing each other, even the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali and grandson Hussain were not spared. Ali was beheaded while offering Namaz. In 750 AD, the rule of Umayyad Caliph came to an end at the hands of Abu-al-Abbas. The victor invited the vanquished for a meal wherein reconciliation was to take place. But while the vanquished were partaking the sumptuous meal, their heads were severed. The new Caliph and his followers then used the dead bodies as plates. This is a fact of history.
So who will inject spiritualism to Islam? Who will restore Kashmiriyat amongst the Kashmiri Awam? Where are the pirs and paigambers? The maulvis are spreading venom from the precincts of the mosques. The same venom that consumes Pakistan, the same poison that has destroyed Afghanistan, the same poison that breeds ISIS, the same poison that the Ayatollahs have diffused in the ancient and rich civilization of Iran. The people reject it but find no escape from the tyranny of few. The same poison has driven out Syrians from their soil. Once these Syrians were Christians, and part of the Christian Byzantine Empire. They were forced to convert to Islam and ironically so many years down the line, they are seeking refuge in Christian countries.
If the recent change in dispensation in Saudi Arabia can make such a difference in the Wahabi discourse underscores the fact that Islam has become a tool of politics and does not concern with the spiritual uplift of the people.
The Shias and the Sunnis are at war with each other. Sunnis treat Ahamadiyas as the lowliest beings because they consider themselves as apostates. Deobandis and Barelvis are at war over influence and spoils. There is a war between ethnicity and Islam all over the world, i.e. either ethnicity is reasserting or is at fierce odds. In Kashmir, the war is between Kashmiriyat and global jihad.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) means army of Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Islam means Islam’s Lashkar. Is it necessary to shed blood in the name of Prophet Mohammad and Jihad? Pakistan, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries are probably a compulsion of ethnicity and power.
Till ethnicity was the driving force in the Valley, J&K was at peace. Sir Walter R Lawrence, an ICS Officer writes in his book ‘The Valley of Kashmir’ (1895): “In connection with the suggestion that the Kashmiris are at heart Hindus, it may be mentioned that certaini places are held in reverence by Hindus and Musalmans alike. As an instance, at Fattehpura in the VerangIlaka and at Waripura in the MagamIlaka, I have seen the imprint of a foot in a stone worshipped by the Musalmans as Kadam-i-Rasul (the Prophet’s footprint) and by the Hindus as Vishnu pad (Vishnu’s foot). And generally speaking it may be said that when one sees the Musalman shrine with its shady chenars and lofty poplars and elms, a little search will discover some old Hindu Asthan. It was only natural that the Musalmans, when they were converted to Islam, should cling with tenderness to the old religious places and should adopt sacred spots already familiar to the country-side. I have shown in y chapter on Customs how certain ideas are common to the Hindus and Musalmans of Kashmir, but I attribute much of the delightful tolerance which exists between the followers of the two religion chiefly to the fact that the Kashmiri Musalmans never really gave up the old Hindu religion of the country.”
The contest between ethnicity and global Islam has been brought out succinctly in Kahled Ahmed’s article “Too Close to Home” in Indian Express dated 25-Aug-2018. This article on VS Naipual’s literary works says: “According to him (VS Naipaul), Islam in its origin an Arab religion. Islam is not simply a matter of conscience or private belief. It makes imperial demands. A convert’s world view alters. The convert has to turn away from everything that is his.
The disturbance for society is immense and even after a thousand years can remain unresolved; the turning away has to be done again and again. In the Islam of converted countries, there is an element of neurosis and nihilism. These countries can easily be set on boil.”
More than 100 years ago, when Lawrence wrote the book, ‘The Valley of Kashmir’, he mentions about the inroads that Wahhabism had just begun to make in the Valley. He wrote, “An attempt was made in recent times to introduce the Wahhabi doctrines into Kashmir and about 200 families in Shopian tehsil accepted the Wahhabi faith, but Maharaja Ranbir Singh promptly stamped out the propagandists. The Wahhabi doctrines have again been preached during the last five years and many Rishis of Shrines and others who speak with authority, declare that Wahhabi ideas are gaining ground. One idea commonly attributed by the orthodox Kashmiris to the Wahhabis is that they deny the individual and exclusive right of a husband in his wife.”
Since then over the years the Valley has been consumed by Wahhabism. Shopian, of which Lawarence talks about, is the most radicalized area of the Valley today. It is here that Pakistani based LeT leadership recently issued a diktat that women wear only such burkas that only reveal the eyes. Such is the level of intimidation that the diktat is being followed in letter, if not in spirit. Shopian has the distinction of churning out the most dreaded jihadis.
Radical Islam can hardly co-exist with other faiths. Today the Rohingyas consider Buddhists as enemies in Myanmar; the Ughur Muslims consider Communist China as enemy; radicalized Muslims consider the Christian West as enemy; the Palestinians consider Jews Israel as enemy; the Sunnis in Saudi Arabia consider the Shias as their enemy; in Pakistan the radicalized Muslims consider Shias and Ahmadiayas as enemy; in Iran the Shias consider Sunnis as the enemy; in Afghanistan jihadis are slaughtering Shias; and in Kashmir, radicalized Sunnis consider every other non-radicalized Kashmir as enemy. It is for this reason that the security personnel in the Valley were slaughtered.
Going by the statistics, 126 jihadi terrorists have been killed in the Kashmir Valley this year. That there is a change in the jihadi narrative in the Valley is doubtful. The truth is, terrorism cannot be stopped by merely killing terrorists, to kill terrorism we need to develop the strength and courage to kill the ideology.
This is not the first time that India has been confronted with this kind of ideology. Talking about the armed action against the forces of Nizam of Hyderabad, Mr RNP Singh in his book ‘Sardar Patel: Unifier of Modern India’ quotes: “The Police Action not only performed such operation, but saved India from balkanization and thereby ensured unification of India into a single homogenous country. Hyderabad’s integration prevented its becoming a Islamic State.” Further Munshi (KN Munshi) said: “Their object, scarcely concealed was to establish Islamic domination with or without the aid of Pakistan, first of Hyderabad, then of the south and ultimately the whole of India. Patel said: Hyderabad was an ulcer, which had been operated upon.”
Kashmir is also needs to be operated upon by the surgery of de-radicalization. The Kaaba stone at Mecca was sacred to other religious before the Musalmans adopted it.
By RSN Singh