Thursday, September 28, 2023

A warning shot in Kashmir


The brutal killing of 70-year-old Satpal Nischal, a jeweller from Punjab, who after having received a domicile certificate in Kashmir had purchased a shop and a house there and had also spent more than four decades in Srinagar itself, is a grim notice to the Indian state that the situation at the ground level in Jammu and Kashmir has not changed much.

Motorcycle-borne terrorists killed him in a busy Srinagar locality on December 31.

Terror organisation The Resistance Front (TRF) has claimed responsibility for the killing saying that the new domicile law was ‘unacceptable’. It also warned that it would treat everyone other than indigenous Kashmiris as ‘occupiers’. It also warned that there was ‘More to come’.

Satpal Nischal had received his domicile certificate only a few weeks ago and had also bought a shop at Hanuman Mandir in the heart of Srinagar. He had also bought a house at Indira Nagar near Army headquarters in Badami Bagh area.

If anyone has any doubts about the motives behind this killing and the threats issued by the terror organisation, he or she should come out of the ivory tower and smell the coffee.

While there would be many, in fact most of the mainstream media, who would dismiss it as just another crime or terror incident against a non-Muslim in a Muslim-majority area, or a handiwork of an enemy country, as most of the crimes perpetrated by Islamic terrorists are normally explained away and ignored, the fact remains that this is a crime that has undertones of a civilisational war.

The motive is to keep non-Muslims, read it again as non-Muslims, out of an area that ostensibly, as they understand it, has already been civilisationally-captured and cleared by them.

And this is nothing but declaration of an open war against the new domicile policy as well as the Indian state.

Such civilisational and existential wars are not won by meek-hearted pious declarations or inane routine statements. The Indian state needs to get its act together and come down heavily on those who are waging this war against it.

The new domicile policy must be implemented with a heavy hand and the battle must be taken to those who need the message delivered that the Indian state too is capable of dealing with violence in a language they understand and practice.

This killing is a statement that tries to make it clear that non-Muslims should not and cannot live as a minority in a Muslim-majority area and feel safe. A region that only a few centuries back was the cradle of Sanatan dharma and Indic civilisation has not only been divided but torn apart by religious terrorists and shorn of all its ancient civilisational moorings.

One of the most important sites for Hindus, Sharada Peeth, is in a dilapidated condition in Pakistan, while Hindus have been terror-evicted from even the India-controlled part of the Kashmir valley.

Kashmir is an inalienable part of India and any citizen should be free to go there and live and do business as allowed by the constitution and relevant laws. Violence is the last resort of proven cowards and anarchists. Indian state must counter such violent tactics with sagacity, foresightedness and measured counter-violence.

In fact, India should spare no effort to get back the territories in Pak-controlled Kashmir. This battle needs to be won for the future of India.

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