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What the Kashmiris exactly want? — Part II

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Secularism is the only remedy for a vast country like India to remain where it stands with pride with a huge size of land. Otherwise, any sort of ultra-Hindutva or what Indian National Congress claims – ‘Hindu Terrorism’ would only give fuel to Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Khalistan movement and similar movements in the north-eastern state in India even if we continue labelling all such activities as a separatist movement, insurgency, or even criminal act.

It is a fact that majority of the people in India, including the Hindus may not like seeing any ban on beef. At the same time, leaders and supporters of BJP-RSS duo can argue – if Christian missionaries can continue getting Hindus converted into Christianity [even Muslims and Buddhists are also being converted on a regular basis) – if Muslim missionaries can continue their religious conversion activities – where is the problem if even RSS is doing that? They also can ask the reason behind the alarming decline in Hindu population in Pakistan and Bangladesh since over the past seven decades? Isn’t it because Hindus are being regularly persecuted by the Muslim majorities in both the South Asian nations? To be honest with my pen, I must not turn-down any of such arguments. Actually, I cannot. Hindus, in particular, are in an extremely vulnerable situation in Pakistan and Bangladesh, which have been forcing them to illegally migrate to India at least to find the safety of lives. Attacks on Hindu temples; grabbing of Hindu properties and numerous forms of hostilities on the Hindus are a regular phenomenon and in most of such heinous crimes – Muslim leaders in Pakistan and Bangladesh either remain mum or turn blind eyes. Hindu prosecution is Pakistan may have reasons because that is basically the anti-Hindu Islamic Republic with the majority of the population having a radical mindset. But, why such things should be allowed to happen in Bangladesh, which truly is a secular nation?

But of course, none of these unfortunate realities give any ground to India in shifting from being a secularist to a Hindu state. Radical Hinduism or Hindu Terrorism can be a rather suicidal act for a huge country like India.

Kuldeep Nayar speaks of ‘independence’ of Kashmir. But, I will definitely disagree with this theory. Why in the world the people of Kashmir demand separation from India? Why the populace in Pakistan occupied Kashmir is not demanding separation from Pakistan? Actually, in the name of independence of the Kashmir in India, there is a tricky game of ultimately getting in united with Pakistan occupied Kashmir and contribute in enlarging Pakistan’s map. Nothing else!

In my personal opinion, there’s no insurgency movements inside India, be it Kashmir or Punjab or the so-called seven sisters in the northeastern part of India will ever be successful. India is strong enough militarily even to handle such illegitimate demands. We must not forget how Russian successfully handled the insurgency in Chechnya. Even a peaceful demand of the Scottish people of getting separated from the United Kingdom and emerge as an independent nation was rejected by none but the Scottish voters through a referendum. I am almost sure that the so-called demand of independence is no popular opinion even in Kashmir, Punjab or the north-eastern states in India. All of these are game of anti-India forces from across the borders. Yes, Bangladesh is not any part of such wrong game. Rather, Dhaka has been extending all-out support to New Delhi in combating the anti-India insurgency.

Though in return, unfortunately, New Delhi has only played the role of deception and betrayal with Dhaka. Indian Border Security Force (BSF) are routinely murdering Bangladeshis; there is a mockery and nasty game with the issue of water sharing; rather India is silently implementing the controversial river linking project titled Inter-basin water transfer links. Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, which will connect trans-boundary rivers and divert water to Southern Indian states thus diminishing the water flow in Bangladesh’s rivers like the Teesta, Yamuna, and Padma, and badly affect country’s environment and economy.

Though Bangladesh and India share 54 common rivers, upstream India is not paying any heed to this basic issue of water sharing with Bangladesh. The above mentioned river-linking project will not only provide large irrigation and water supply benefits to Assam, Poshchim Banga [West Bengal]  and Bihar but will also make available large quantum of water for transfer subsequently to southern states in India thus ultimately letting Bangladesh turn into a desert. It may be mentioned here that, as per the joint communiqué signed by the two Prime Minister of Bangladesh [Sheikh Hasina] and India [Dr. Manmohan Singh] in 2010, the trans-boundary rivers would be managed basin-wide and that Indian cannot do it alone. But the reality is that India is doing that unilaterally!

Well, that is the ‘gesture’ New Delhi is showing to Dhaka for cordial supports and cooperation Bangladesh has been extending to India since 2009. This may not really bother the people of India but of course, it will fuel anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh. It also will put the government of Sheikh Hasina into huge discomfort.

New Delhi surely has the capacity of combating any sort of insurgency inside India. It also can exhibit a hegemonic and hostile attitude towards the neighbouring nations, especially Bangladesh and China. But, will it ultimately bring any good result for India at the end of the day? Once India turns its friendly neighbours into foes through deceitful and hostile actions, neighbouring nations at one point may lose enthusiasm in cooperating with India. Yes, New Delhi may think, what Dhaka can really do even if the Indian policymakers choose the path of deception with Bangladesh? The answer is straight and clear! Dhaka, in that case, will shift its eyes from New Delhi to Beijing, Bangladesh-China relations will be moved towards newer heights in a faster pace. China can really transform Bangladesh into a strong country – both economically and militarily. In that case, countries like the United States and Russia would also feel interested in helping Bangladesh in every possible way.

If this is what BJP, Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, and the Indian policymakers sincerely want to avoid, they must stop considering Bangladesh as a small and weak nation. Depriving a nation like Bangladesh in various ways and showing hostile face would never bring good result for India at all. Indian policymakers should kindly remember – Bengalis are the nation of braves and heroes. They won’t remain mum forever if oppression, hostility, and negligence continue with them. War of independence in1971 is just one bright example. Bengalis fought and defeated the mighty Pakistan Army. Indian policymaker – please take note of this!

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of AFTERNOON VOICE and AFTERNOON VOICE does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)