To defeat Mahishasura, Devi took the form of Durga, where elements of Lakshmi, Sarasvati and Parvati merged. To defeat terrorism, India needs to change itself. We need to change the way we think, talk and act. Here are a set of recommendations. When it comes to timing let us remember what Martin Luther King said: “It is always the right time to do the right thing”
1. Contextualize Kashmir Movement in the Civilizational angst of Islamic/Christian/Colonial Conquest, Occupation, Partition and Jihad
India as a civilization has been overly accommodative and tolerant and crimes against India are continuing. The book by Stephen Knapp documents how Vedic civilization braved and survived centuries and centuries of attacks, killings and conversions. Even though caste system is given as a pretext for conversions by apologists, countries after countries became Islamic and Christian that had no caste system. From Iran to Ireland, same story repeated while India has held on. Broadly attacks against India starting with Mohammad bin Kasim in 6th century, then by Turks and their slaves, Iranians, Afghans, Mughals, Portuguese and British, followed by a conspiracy to divide India using provincial referendum instead of national referendum, all should be treated as a continuum of crimes against India. In the process land of Dharmic religions which spanned all the way to Iran has shrunk to half its size.
In that context, recent attack on CRPF by a Kashmiri terrorist who was member of a Pakistani terror organization, should be considered as yet another crime against India joining the inglorious tradition of Ghazis who reveled in killing non-Muslims in large numbers. Not just this attack but entire Kashmir movement should be squarely positioned in the context of civilizational angst, where we have seen people after people getting either killed or converted and lands as well as people become Christian, Islamic or colonial in their mind-set. In addition, some people are claiming a regional identity (Goan or Kashmiri) outside civilizational Indian identity. AMU a hotbed of partition movement, JNU a leader in break India movement and few other universities continue to cause concerns.
2. Grounding Kashmir issue in Reality
Firstly, we should acknowledge that there is no possibility of mind-set of people in Kashmir valley changing. They will refuse to see the truth. No amount of appeasement and accommodation can help. At the same time talks with Pakistan are useless. Even if we get peace, there is always sizeable constituency that roots for Islam or so called ethnic/regional identity that negates Indian identity. Unless good degree of demographic change happens or a new leadership emerges with a Government wholly run by a national party, nothing will change. Assam and Punjab have benefitted by such change, even though embers to light new fires remain.
Only way we can get back territory of J&K kingdom occupied by Pakistan is through Military Means. But considering the partition to be an unjust conspiracy and a crime against India, our loss of people and lands that covered all of Pakistan and Bangladesh is far greater and that loss needs to be recouped back to India and to Dharmic religions. In fact to get the part, you may need to get the whole whichever way you look at it. Hence all kinds of compromises and appeasement should be stopped. Specifically, the following things should be done.
- If you analyse the psychology behind the popular support for Kashmir issue is that people feel there is a need to somehow keep the dispute alive at any cost. There is also across the board feeling that dispute is legitimate. Quite a lot of legitimacy is inferred due to UNSC resolution even though the ball has remained in Pakistan’s court ever since. India can turn the tables by approaching the UN to reclassify the matter as an act of aggression (and not dispute) and ask security council to have a single resolution that requires Pakistan to return all raided territories. Then India should communicate to all nations and media houses not to refer to Kashmir as a contested region, but they should call it as region that belongs to India but partly in possession with Pakistan. Then convince as many countries to accept the map used by India to denote the territories. Then only the issue becomes purely of Islamic Jihad. In reality, J&K issue wrongly ended up being a dispute between 2 parties at UN, it should have been a single matter of aggression by Pakistan on India. From Wikipedia account on Girija Shankar Bajapai, who represented India at the UN on J&K Issue:
“American diplomat Mr Vincent Sheean has mentioned in his book “Nehru – The Years of Power” that it was a technical error on part of the team headed by Mr Girija Bajpai which filed India’s appeal to the UN Pakistan’s invasion in Kashmir which led to the issue being considered a dispute rather than an act of aggression by Pakistan. The appeal should have been made under Chapter 7 of the UN charter rather than Chapter 6.”
India needs to restate the issue as one of Aggression and not of dispute by citing the correct chapter of UN Charter and say earlier one was put under wrong one. India needs to release a statement that hence-forth it treats Kashmir issue as an act of aggression by Pakistan and not a dispute to all nations and people. India will take back its territories at the time and manner of India’s choosing. India considers the partition and resulting genocide as a biggest crime in the history of mankind and does not accord any sanctity to either partition or process of referendums. Hence there will not be any kind of discussion or dialogue with any country or groups of nations or international institutions. Nor will there be any discussion on this topic internally. Only option for those in India who do not wish to accept that they are Indians is to leave India.
India should clarify that Pakistan has no locus standi in the matter nor people of the state. India recognizes only accession agreement. In any case India considers whole of undivided India as part of India, but for conspiracy of partition. Hence only disputed part is Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. State that Plebiscite is overreach by UN and only thing pending is return of raided territories by Pakistan.
- Stop the quota for students from Jammu and Kashmir in educational institutions in India. This quota has been counter-productive. By specially treating set of people, you are nurturing their victimhood and the students have repeatedly shown reinforced hatred and rigid mind-set. With EWS quota they can compete just like anybody else. The best way to respect somebody is to treat them as equals.
- Article 35A has been outright discriminatory as it lacks reciprocity. President should abrogate article 35A right away. As it lacks legislative approval, it should be easily and immediately done. Do away with any such articles for any other state of India such as Himachal. Emphatically state that all of India belongs to all Indians and all Indians to belong to all of India.
- Do away with article 370 and establish the supremacy of Parliament of India on Jammu and Kashmir like any other state. Article 370 is discriminatory and should be done away with. All regions of India should be ruled using the same laws and mechanisms Do away with any special status for any other state. Call a joint session of Parliament and get it done.
- Redraw the boundaries of assembly constituencies as per current population so that artificial limit on number of constituencies in Jammu (to give hegemony to Kashmir region) is removed.
- Essentially India should ensure that 100-percent integration is done and completed. If people are not willing to accept integration they should lose right to residency.
- Promote development by moving the focus to districts and divisions so that peace has development dividend.
- India should not consider democracy as a dogma and maintain that polls do not define democracy but being accountable to people does. If people indulge in violence, use union territory scheme to rule parts of the state. Have 20% minimum voting as a criterion to recognize that a person has won the election. Make it easy to vote through voting by digital means with security and privacy safeguards
3. India should promote One India Doctrine and ask all (within and outside India) to respect it
Those countries which support terrorism by giving aid to Pakistan or coming in the way of collective action against terrorists should get highly unfavorable terms of trade with India. Today India has more than one choice for importing oil. India can align closely with Japan and Russia to boost manufacturing and high-tech sectors within India so that dependency on China is reduced significantly. We should encourage opening universities by Japanese, Russians and maybe Germans focused on High Technology. Country-specific duties/tariffs should be imposed to pressure them. India should pressure Saudi Arabia against giving aid to Pakistan. India should pressure IMF saying giving aid to Pakistan is like terror financing. India should pressure FATF to blacklist Pakistan.
In addition, there are forces within India who relish dividing India on lines of caste. Their articles full of lament were prominently visible, when Government introduced quota based on economic criteria. In addition, linguistic, regional parochialism, left ideology, Islamists and Church have formed a coalition of interests to undermine India. Some intellectuals take pain to demonize brahmins even at the cost of truth and deny them credit to their contribution to even freedom struggle. Refer to Rajesh Kochhar’s recent article in Indian Express.
We should stop using as caste as construct of governance. Instead align with International norms by only using religion. Reservations for Hindus can be done by taking into consideration their current profession which again is in line with spirit of traditions, where duties defined categorizations. Only those who are continuing to practice professions which suffered untouchability should get reservations. Just educational backwards should be tackled by giving any Hindu community or group of people permission to set up their own institutions. Right now, only minorities are exercising those rights. Minorities can not have rights which other communities are denied. In addition, “Merit-only Institutions” should be encouraged which charge same fees as elite institutions of Government and charge equal fees to all, sponsored by industry bodies or genuinely philanthropic trusts or such as Tata Trusts.
Whether it is media channels, intellectuals, academics, opinion makers, politicians and political parties, those who fall foul of One India doctrine, Government should treat them unfavorably. Why should political parties that are out to break India exist?
The citizenship laws and sedition laws should be changed in line with One India Doctrine. Citizenship should be a privilege and not a right.
Major issue with Indians is that they do not know their own history nor that of other countries in entirety. What we are taught in schools has glorious pages from Europe and only sanitized pages from Indian history. Average person hardly knows how India braved and survived Islamic conquest, machinations of missionaries and colonialism. They also do not know even European countries had their share of defeats and setbacks. History, science and other ancient ideas can be made accessible to people in Indian languages. Start the Indic medium of education with common glossary of terms in Sanskrit. Make Sanskrit understandable and revive it. Change the mode of teaching Sanskrit. History of India should be taught such that it even includes Hindu History of Afghanistan and not be Delhi-centric.
One India doctrine should reassert that India as a country has no barriers to migrate and own property anywhere in India Also it should have no entry barriers to those who practice Hindu and allied religions and those who accept and respect Hindu past. Any reasonable restriction to avoid crowding should be done without discrimination. Illegal aliens should get work permits or asked to leave. Laws against all kinds of parochial and divisive behaviour especially in Tamilnadu, Kerala or any part of India should be enforced.
All communities, castes should be equal. Even things like SC/ST act should protect all communities. Any reservation should be restricted to Hindus who currently practice those professions which are looked down upon. In place of reservation look at social mobility. Do away with RTE. There should be no discrimination against Hindus. Right to run educational institutions to all communities with own funds should be same.
4. India should redefine its global position and alter relationship with west, UN and rest of the world
India should declare itself as a Dharmic republic which as a theme replaces both secularism and socialism. Secularism has meant we can not even sing Sanskrit prayers in schools. Ram temple never gets a date nor bench, while those who are against Indian culture get a date in the court in quick-time. All this needs to stop. Being Dharmic puts focus on duty where ethics and excellence coalesce. This is far superior to socialism which is rooted in conflicts. Gandhian philosophy focuses on people, hard work, communities and coexistence with nature. We need to reexamine those values and get rid of the imported socialism.
India should form a group of nations that call themselves Organization of Dharmic Countries. Some possible members are: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and other Asean Nations, Japan and China. Countries and important people or groups who take pride in reviving old religions, traditions and cultures from Europe and Americas can be engaged by the body.
India should actively promote and propagate Dharmic Religions world over with a simple process to join and simple set of rules and values to adhere to after one joins.
India should consider itself as protector and champion of all Dharmic religions, native religions, traditions and cultures that were supplanted by violence, fair and foul means globally. These religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrain, Jewish, Shinto as well as native religions of China, South-East Asia as well European religions allied to Vedic religions before advent of Islam and Christianity. India should put a stop to all conversions out of dharmic religions and treat theme as protected religions. Keep traditions and beliefs outside the ambit of Indian judiciary that more often than not serves neo-colonial agenda than national agenda and interests, acting as hand-maiden of NGOs and motivated lawyers. India should pass a law to restore all temples on which other religious structures currently exist. In the least forcibly constructed structures and land should revert back to the state.
State should have responsibility to preserve, protect and promote globally native religions, traditions, beliefs, customs, culture, heritage, civilizational values and accomplishments. India should be redefined as a Civilizational nation and not Colonial off-spring post-independence. Right to return to Hinduism. Ban on conversions out of Dharmic religions and tribes and push for conversion/reconversion into Dharmic religions. Right to restore Hindu temples and other civilizational artefacts. Ban on all kinds of cattle-slaughter and smuggling with broader agenda to treat animals well.
Thereon India should raise issue of genocide of millions of years, including partition of India as well as what has continued after partition in India. India has been silent about atrocities against Hindus and other minorities within India or in the neighbourhood. India should be Dharmic Republic and give a voice to all the suppressed religions in the international body.
Alternatively, India should offer to quit UN. UN indirectly encourages proxy war and terrorism in the name of stopping real war. In UN western countries and Islamic countries gang up. India should form a new group of Dharmic Countries. Being secular, made voiceless when it comes to raising the issue of genocide of Hindus in India or neighbourhood due to other Governments who are Islamic. It is high time India speaks out.
UN has generally been useless in stopping terror. UN has failed to take concrete and substantive action to stop terrorism. UNHRC in fact in its last reporting came across as a council for promoting Jihad. The religious freedom bodies promote Christian evangelism. UN has been bad for India. All the cease-fires have proved to be disadvantageous to India, letting enemies get away. Why should India be participating in peace-keeping when UN encourages destabilizing India by taking an unjust stance in Kashmir issue.
Coming to west, US body to promote religious freedom is in fact a promoter of Christian evangelism. NGOs from west promote neo-colonialism. It is ironic that EU is concerned with equality in India when colonial conclaves in India boldly displayed boards saying Indians and dogs are not allowed. Same practice was followed even in other countries.
India should evaluate citizenship laws in order to protect the interest of Dharmic Religions. Districts after districts may end up having Hindus as minorities endangering them. A way needs to be found to protect their interests. Indonesia gives pride of place to Hinduism in Bali, while respecting local culture and yet being an Islamic Republic.
There is no need for India to support regressive practices of external religions. Countries such as Tajikistan discourage Arabic names and Iran has retained Persian names for people. In India we have celebrities who name their child as Timur who stacked skulls of Hindus killed. We have schools named in the name of St. Xavier who was ruthless in conversion and destruction of temples and breaking idols. Till recently we had road named after Aurangzeb.
5. India should redefine the security doctrine with clear goals in mind.
India should get rid of No First Use doctrine. As long as one plays only defensive game, sooner or later enemy becomes successful. We have failed to read lessons from history where Ghori Muhammad succeeded after 17th time. Only way then is to destroy the capacity of enemy to attack us in a time-bound manner. We need to work with a 3-year plan and be proactive about it. We need a mix of overt and covert actions. The war should be at multiple levels- physical. Cyber-space, media, social media, academia and international bodies. If needed, India can postpone elections for a year or two by declaring external emergency. May be only massive debilitating strike against Pakistan the only option.
India should seriously evaluate cutting off ties with Pakistan. We may lose something, but how can we ask people or nations to behave differently when Government of India has not taken any stand. Saudi Arabia cut off ties with Iran, Qatar and most recently Canada on rather minor grounds. Even after decades of violence we have not moved much. Withdrawal of MFN status should have happened after URI incident itself. However better late than never.
In the UN, India should raise the aggression issue of J&K first instead of trying to shy away from it. In the same manner we need to be firm about all kinds of issues including refugees whom we did not want (Rohingyas) and ensuring rights of refugees who came to India as returnees to mother India. Once we get rid of secularism and firm about citizenship laws, all issues become far easier. Judiciary should be restrained to operate only within its scope. Dharma is rooted in Yama(restraint), where no person or institution encroaches on others duties.
We should stop distinguishing between our terrorist and their terrorist. For India the whole world is a family. Just because somebody is considered an Indian citizen or local, he/she should not get any better treatment than foreign terrorist. We should stop lying that terror has no religion. Nearly all of the terror is rooted in the Islamic philosophy of Jihad. India should not project itself as union of states or agglomeration of provinces, but as a unified state where people all over are deeply connected and related to each other where neither language nor region defines one’s identity, but collective Dharmic civilization and its roots does. In fact, the first line of constitution which says, India or Bharat union of states does injustice to India. Kashmiri ethnicity which is called out is nothing but a façade to a movement which is rooted in Islam, with added dimension of some form of misguided distinctiveness, when nobody has bothered to promote Kashmiri language or culture, but only Hindus have been cleansed. So, a completely new narrative has to be weaved. When we stand up for what is right and be firm about it then everybody will adjust to the new reality. No amount of convincing and cajoling can help.
Citizenship should be a privilege, not an entitlement. Acting against unity of India, supporting its enemies while opposing India, causing threat to India by supporting terrorism, sedition and anti-national ideology should result in loss of citizenship. Not accepting united India or national symbols means only residency subject to not being a threat. Supporting terrorism against country and frauds should also lead to loss of citizenship. Mob violence against security forces should also result in loss of citizenship.
6. Rule Jammu and Kashmir differently
- Make Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory for 10 years with Central Government. Unfortunately, recent happenings have shown a leader who can destroy terror capability is more urgently needed than a political leader. Unless Islamism and terrorism are eliminated entirety, any kind of reaching out will not succeed. If needed demographic change may need to be done.
- There should be nation-wide law that leads to severe punishment for stone-pelting at security forces and destruction of public property. The parents of juveniles and those who motivate them should be held accountable. Fines can be levied on parents (10,000-20,000) and on parents.
- Fine should be levied on organizations (Lacs to Crores) which call Hartals and Bandhs by accounting for cost to the economy, private/public property, life and liberty of people.
- Ban public funeral processions of those who support violence against the state or indulge in terrorism.
- Sanitize villages and localities which support terrorism and sedition. Those who support terrorism should lose right to residence, property and citizenship. Citizenship should be privilege and not right. Exile people who whip up separatist sentiments from the state.
- Cancel registration of all institutions whether they are NGOs or political parties or media organizations which directly or indirectly support sedition. Issue advisory on TSM (Terror Supporting Media) houses and journalists that soft-pedal terrorism and who consistently take anti-India position that their accounts should not be taken at face value.