Will offering “earth based incentives” actually work in Kashmir?

Say “Kashmir” out loud and you immediately get to hear words like “alienation”. As problems mount for the Indian state in Kashmir, slick “experts” have emerged from the woodwork to intellectualize the situation, essentially to make the stone-pelters’ case for them. Adding to the self-satisfaction of these vanity classes is the fact that this is happening while the Bharatiya Janata Party is in the saddle in New Delhi.

Meanwhile some intellectuals have started counting their chickens before they hatch. A few days ago, the formidable Pratap Bhanu Mehta declared, with barely, concealed glee, that “Kashmir has been lost on Modi’s watch”.

They say that Kashmir’s youth have finally lost all patience with the government in Delhi. Their hopes and dreams have all been belied. They no longer trust anything we say. They want “Azaadi” and they are going to take it now.

At the core of this “alienation” hypothesis is an assumption that has never actually been challenged. The assumption is that Kashmiris are angry because of the way life turned out for them inside the Indian state.

Why? How do you know Kashmiris are angry because of something we did?

What if I were to say that Kashmiris hate us simply for being who we are?

Let’s examine the foundations of the “alienation” hypothesis. What is the problem with the Indian state in Kashmir? Misgovernance? Corruption? I would be eager to know if there is any part of the country where misgovernance and corruption has not been endemic. No, that can’t be it.

Did India run some kind of extraction colony in Kashmir, snatching their natural resources? Absolutely not. On the contrary, Article 370 prevents other Indians from buying property in Kashmir. This protection is a purely one way street, since Kashmiris are allowed to freely acquire property in every part of the country.

In fact, the Indian state has always showered J&K with money. Further, the Indian state has always looked the other way as the lion’s share of this money was cornered by Kashmir by denying Jammu (and Ladakh) their due. Ironically, the latter two regions consist almost entirely of loyal citizens who would never dream of raising a hand against India.

Where is this “alienation” coming from? I hear that the polls of 1987 were rigged and Kashmiris are angry about this. Seriously? They are still angry about rigged elections from 1987? Prior to the days of the legendary T N Seshan, most elections in India were marked by large scale fraud. Booth capturing and ballot box stuffing were routine. I believe it is not until 2005 that Bihar finally got to vote in a free and fair election. But the “Bihari separatist movement” has mostly been a non-starter. Wonder why?

Is it because of AFSPA? If the extraordinary violence in the Kashmir valley were to stop tomorrow, does anyone seriously believe that AFSPA would continue?

Here’s an alternative hypothesis. Kashmiri Muslims hate us because they think they are fighting a battle with us that goes beyond this world and its worldly concerns. They are fighting to turn Kashmir from Dar-al-harb to Dar-al-Islam.

To “win” in Kashmir, we have to understand the motivations of the enemy. We have to understand what the enemy wants.

In this case, the enemy thinks they are being divinely guided from heaven.   We can’t pacify them with “earth based incentives” of money, development schemes, etc.

Once we come to appreciate this, we can take the right steps in Kashmir. We have to lay down the law and make it clear that Dar-al-Islam in Kashmir doesn’t stand a chance. That resistance is futile.

Does that mean that we are doomed to fight an endless bloody war in Kashmir? Absolutely NOT.

Islam, incidentally, is a faith that makes surprisingly pragmatic prescriptions to its followers so as to address specific circumstances. For instance, a practice in Shia Islam called Taqqiya allows believers to deny their faith when faced with persecution. Really savvy, isn’t it? In a similar vein, Islamic scholars generally agree that Muslims should obey the laws of the country in which they live.

All we have to do is press the right buttons in Kashmir. Once it becomes clear that Dar-al-Islam isn’t happening at any cost, the pragmatism of Islamic teaching itself becomes our friend.  They will obey the laws of the country in which they live.

Kashmir is not a conflict about “alienation” or “rigged elections”. It’s a conflict about religion. The solutions begin only with accepting this fact.

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10 thoughts on “Will offering “earth based incentives” actually work in Kashmir?

  1. ‘Earth based incentives’ may not work – we must offer ‘Jannat based incentives’ ! Modi government should make every effort to arrange a meeting of our stone-pelters with their Allah in Jannat … where they can peacefully sort out all their grievances against us Kafirs 🙄

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    1. Actually, what should work is the guarantee that the terrorists won’t get their post-death benefits if they fight against the Indian state, by simply cremating the dead bodies of all killed terrorists and giving it wide publicity. After all, terrorists have no religion, so no one should complain if they weren’t given islamic burial. Even a strong rumour in this direction (without real action) should deter a lot of the terrorists. If we guarantee that there will be no post-death meeting at all as per their own beliefs, I think it will go some way as a deterrent. Of course, it will require a lot of guts for a Government to commit to this course of action.

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  2. Why, but why we are letting the Separatist leaders roam free? Haven’t we read numerous incidents in history that the military (Sena) kept on fighting with all its might, till the moment the king (or Senapati) fell. More recently, The Palestinian movement lost its steam after Mr. Arafat had departed this world (perhaps by an Israeli poison).

    These Separatists became very frustrated as after 9-11 attacks the world lost interest in the Kashmir movement for the creation of one more radical Muslim state.

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  3. Maybe we should jus give the Kashmiris what the want,which is stringent shariah law.We should enforce it only on the Peacefuls.In fact the implementation should be so accurate that th Suadis and Iranis blush.
    The message that we should send to the Peacefuls is that no one does Shariah better than Kaffirs.
    We could do something similar with Maoists and Christians.
    The only way to cure these people of their madness is showing them how frightful it truly is.

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  4. The alienation in Kashmir will cease the day Pakistan fractures into four or more smaller countries. And that day is not far off. The people of POK, Sindh, Balochistan and other non-Punjab provinces are far more alienated than Kashmiri people. A few blows and Pakistan will break. We did it once. We will do it again.

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    1. You should at least concede the credit to NaMo today. Sadhvi Pragya has finally come out of jail. The guys like Chiddu who built the fake case against her were not stupid amateurs. It takes time to unravel the web. Am sure Col. Purohit will be released too.

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  5. Kaashmiris…the most tortured folk in entire world. Guess what, nobody gives a shit. Shout all you want…throw Every stone you can find. We will not concede.
    All their shenanigans don’t work anymore.
    These Kashmiri want to take every advantage of being an Indian citizen, but the day they step into valley..their mind automatically switches to Azadi.
    What is this Azadi. These bastards don’t pay taxes. They won’t accept Indian laws. Still we suck up to these idiots because they are our people. No they are not. Their heart lies elsewhere. Leave them and concentrate on North East where people genuinely want to work and make a living.

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    1. One of the many low-hanging fruits that is not being pursued by the NaMo sarkar is the trifurcation of J&K into Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. Then Article 370 should be revoked from Jammu, with wild popular support. During all previous regimes, all aid to “J&K” went only to “K” and nothing at all to “J”. Even the NaMo sarkar has not reversed this massive discrimination against the Jammu region. Read Sonam Mahajan’s tweets to understand the situation. Once the state is divided, it will be far easier to control the K part. Also, why are we Indian taxpayers spending hundreds of crores protecting jokers like Geelani?

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      1. Sonam Mahajan is one of us..A true RW…Although my inputs comes from serving generals and colonels posted in JK. They being on ground zero provide us with good knowledge.
        NAMO won’t touch 370 until and unless whole J&K is united i.e. PoK and Gilgit-Balitistan(Although both regions should be called PoJK).
        Problem is evry Kashmiri Politician who is out power starts behaving like a separatist (Senile Abdullah and his joker Son).
        Its still hard to digest why we pay to protect these Geelani, Maliks,hurriyat idiots..they deserve to be hanged from highest tree in Srinagar..

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