Thursday, September 16, 2010

KASHMIR: AN OPEN LETTER TO RAHUL GANDHI

B.RAMAN



Dear Shri Rahul Gandhi,


The All-Party Conference (APC), convened by Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh, at New Delhi on September 15,2010, to discuss measures to end the current violence in Jammu & Kashmir ended with a single agreement to send an all-party delegation headed by Shri P.Chidambaram, the Home Minister, to the State for an on-the-spot study of the situation. After it returns and submits its report, another All-Party Conference is proposed to be held to discuss its recommendations.


2. This decision reminds one of a similar initiative taken by Shri V.P.Singh, the then Prime Minister, in 1990. Instead of cooling the tempers, Shri V.P.Singh's initiative exacerbated them. Instead of facilitating a political consensus on how to deal with the situation, Rajiv Gandhi, the then Leader of the Opposition and his aides, could not resist the temptation to use the opportunity to undermine the credibility of the V.P Singh Government in the eyes of the people. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was then supporting the V.P.Singh Government.


3. In 1989-90, the Congress (I), headed by Rajiv Gandhi, played the role of a spoiler. The BJP, now advised by L.K.Advani, is trying to play a similar role of spoiler in order to embarrass the Government of Dr.Manmohan Singh and draw political mileage out of the current crisis in J&K. During the election campaign of last year, the BJP, then headed by Advani, who was projecting himself as made-to-be Prime Minister, sought to project Dr.Manmohan Singh as a weak and soft Prime Minister. This projection failed to make an impact on the voters. Its bid to return to power fell flat.


4. The BJP is now trying to project Dr.Manmohan Singh's Kashmir-related policies as weak and soft and to blame him and the Government of J&K for the fresh wave of trouble in that State. It has also been projecting itself as an uncritical supporter of the Army and other security forces for the way they are dealing with a thankless situation and confronting head-on the proxy war being waged by Pakistan through its surrogates in J&K.


5. The BJP is calculating that by exploiting a highly emotional issue such as J&K, it could retrieve the electoral ground lost by it in last year's election. No one can question the patriotism and nationalism of the BJP. They are of high order as they have always been. But, patriotism and nationalism are not the sole driving forces of its actions and statements. Partisan political calculations are another factor just as they were in the case of the Congress (I) when V.P.Singh was the PM.


6.The no-holds-barred partisan political battle waged by the Congress (I) in 1989 -90 benefited the separatists and terrorists by showing that the Indian political class cannot unite even in the case of a major crisis. A similar battle being waged by the BJP now could have a similar result.



7.In the face of the relentless campaign of the BJP seeking to blame what it looks upon as the soft policies of the Manmohan Singh Government for the deterioration in the situation in J&K, the Congress (I) and the Government find themselves in a dilemma. There is a realization in the Congress (I)----as there is in the parties to the left of the political spectrum--- that there has been a qualitative change in the situation in J&K with mass defiance of the law and order machinery replacing terrorism as a weapon of struggle against the State. This mass defiance might not have grown to the extent it has since June if the Government of India had promptly acted on complaints of a false encounter involving the Army and regarding the initial incidents of use of force by the Police and other para-military forces against protesters breaking the law.



8.A complacent feeling in Srinagar and New Delhi that the mass protests and defiance, which started in June, would be short-lived and would fizzle out as past street protests had contributed to a lack of vigorous corrective action to moderate the use of force against the street breakers of law. The situation did not call for vigorous counter-terrorism techniques and patriotic rhetoric accompanied by demonisation campaigns against Pakistan and its surrogates in the State. It called for carefully moderated crowd control techniques and a new articulation of Government policies reflecting some empathy towards the angry youth and concerns over the perceived excessive lethality of the force being used against the young street protesters. Our appeals for calm and restraint should have been addressed more to the youth than to the conventional separatist leaders.



9. At the All-Party Conference, one could sense that while the BJP continues to be impervious to the new ground signals coming from the streets of Kashmir, the Congress (I) and the left parties have started realising that the situation in J&K since June is qualitatively different and requires a qualitatively different approach marked by reasonable firmness and not ruthlessness in action against the law-breakers and a new kind of language that would keep the fresh wave of people’s alienation contained and eventually reversed. The refreshingly different interventions of Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Congress (I), and the leaders of the left stood in sharp contrast to the Hyde Park oratory of BJP leaders and spokesmen that one had been seeing on the TV news channels every day.



10. The comments that have come from you after the All-Party Conference calling for time and support to Shri Omar Abdullah, the battling Chief Minister of the State, show a welcome realization that it will be unwise to undermine his position whatever be his sins of omission and commission. The Prime Minister, who is constantly under attack by the Hyde park orators of the BJP, cannot be expected to show any initiative which could provide oxygen to the BJP’s ill-advised campaign against him at this critical time.



11.It is important that simultaneously with the all-party exercise initiated by the Prime Minister, the youth wing of the Congress (I) under your leadership initiates a non-governmental back-channel of communications with the angry Kashmiri youth. The first step in that exercise should be an all-party youth conference on Kashmir with two items on the agenda---- the human rights situation in the state and how to mitigate the anger of the youth. Kashmiri members of the youth wings of the political parties should play an active role in this matter.



12. The situation as it has developed in J&K is an emotional challenge to the youth of the country. All of us---whether politicians or professional bureaucrats--- who made our names in dealing ruthlessly with terrorism and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, have intellectual and professional deficiencies in understanding the current situation. It is time for the youth of the country to take the lead in thinking of meaningful gestures and non-provocative actions on the ground that could help in containing the anger in J&K before it consumes all of us ---young or old. ( 17-9-10)



( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies . E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

14 comments:

ravinder said...

Raman ji,

Sounds the way you wanted it to be.

regards
ravinder

PS: I am a BJP supporter.

Deeptisoftwares Welcomes You said...

Dear raman,Where is your letter to rahul ?is it regarding kashmir or regarding your promotion ?? Really its seems u r bought by Congress...so sad that people like you are only working to promote the congress.Please do a homework before writing any article.It seems u have missed what u wanted to project !

ambi said...

I think its time for Omar Abdullah to take some clues from the roles played by Najab the bull as he was known in Afghanistan (Dr. Najabullah was secular, progressive & able leader who ld have saved Afghanistan from turning rogue. These idiot Americans dethroned him & made way for these radical rogues like Alqaeda & talibs with whom American forces are fighting after a decade. History repeats it self. This time USA has made the same mistake in Iraq. US forces ll be fighting the same menace there in a decade or so.)

In India Omar can also look at Beant Singh from Punjab, After almost decade of insurgency, then PM Narsimha Rao (miss him badly really, now that he is no more, I value his leadership & his intellect, the way he handled Punjab situation…., kudos to him) took a big risk by taking elections. & gave leadership in Punjab in the able hands of Beant Singh, who along with KPS Gill took full control of the situation in Punjab. Duo unleashed state wrath on Khalistanis & other hardliners, & made them believe whom they are dealing with.

Be gentle on innocent kashmiris but at the same time unleash your fury on these infiltrators across the border & their supporters in Kashmir. New Delhi has faith in you, just that you need to deliver now. You are a secular, & progressive & broad minded muslim, who we believe can give good direction to J & k. situation demands from you to be not only a good administrator but even a good strategist, a good police & intelligence officer, like Dr. najab the bull & Beant singh.

Deliver now, so that we can call you Omar the bull, some one dependable, whose name ll be taken with honour & pride, some one who is seen an able leader who delivered what he promised. Your name & honour is at stake. As we say ‘Tera loot na jaaye maan, jatta Pagdi Sambhaal oye……”. Look after your turban, don’t let it fall. We know the risk you are taking. like Beant singh knew that his job may cost him his life, still he took that (Khalistani insurgency was sheer hellfire, he willingly jumped into it & delivered) job & delivered which was looking impossible at one time, even at the cost of his life.

By the way blaming BJP wont help sir, they have valid points, mistake is with Congress decision makers; correct it rather then blaming BJP.

al brazzakh said...

Wah Rahman saab. Good letter.
But sorry, next year's RS is booked by Navin electronic-babu, then our friend in the media and after that there are many contenders. What to do , family is first.
But still keep trying..

Haji brazakh

ravinder said...

OK...Raman ji, The hard part is written above. Now for the softer issues.

After all, you are my fellow country man and even swearing from you is better then accolades from foreigners.

Sir, the reason most people commenting here were so hard can be better appriciated if you allow people to understand something about the Education and Work Life of the Gentleman

Did somebody hear Cronyism.... damn I didnt say that :)

You have your wishes for India (without doubt honourable) placed on exactly who....

What good can that bring about?


IMO, expressed after sa-aadar pranam to you and to everybody else is that the problem came up because of the weakness of the Country. Weakness of our Sanchit Karma. It is only the power in our Sanchit Karma that is going to bring about the solution.

No doubt the wishes of Kashmiri Muslims have to be accounted for but to think that Kashmiri Muslims becoming happy will set things right for the country is sheer naivete.

Kashmir is merely the limb that got gangrene. The person suffering with the desease is not Kashmir that is India. The Pathogen is the Islamofascism and the Vector is Pakistani Establishment.

Amputation is out of question.....already tried that.

The medication is certainly required. But medication is required for the person... not the limb. If the person gets his immunity back, the pathogen gets defeated and the limb will set itself right in due course of time if the above Ayurveda and Yudhaveda treatment is tried.

Also no doubt the Vector needs to be exterminated.

duvijan said...

Dear Raman ji

I disagree with some of your points.

1. BJP trying to take to take political mileage of the situation is overshadowed by their honest and patriotic interests in seeing the central and state governments policy of appeasement and perks which is very dangerous to policy of peaceful coexistence the fundamental fabric of Mother India , its Constitution and natural reality of creation.

2. For any patriotic Indian , it is a pain to see Dr.Man Mohan Singh and Sonia gandhi not acting with the interests of nation and playing the dangerous card of Pseudo Secularism which is eroding the values of the country.

3. The institutionalised corruption has divided the country along economic lines so much that there are going to be more erosion of social & moral values which can easily be used by Anti National forces like ISI kindling inner problems like Maoism.

4. The use of CBI against targetting of Shah and disturbing trend of being pathetic in the name of Empathy towards Criminals, terrorists and Anti Nationals like Sohrabhuddin and targetting Patriotic leaders like Narendra Modi is very dangerous.

5. Kashmiri Youth has be educated better , no doubt for sure Govt must use iron hand against anybody taking up stone pelting , destroying public propoerty , arresting the state machinery etc...There should be strong penalty for those youth picking stones. Put in jail for 3 years. Afterall security forces are not firing at innocent civial procession but stone pelters or return the stone pelting.

6. MMS is definitely weak as claimed by BJP , of course they dont need to do anything , Congress is doing all that is needed for creating the incumbency for the next election.

7. Rahul Gandhi is more a politician than a leader and we need to see what has he effectively done for the society or the nation other than gathering votes for the COngress party using the stolen Surname.

Shrirang said...

Dear Ramanji,

I must say I am most disappointed by your analysis. Where is BJP trying to play politics? Is it wrong to stand by the armed forces when the whole media and left liberal forces are out to defame them? In fact you should be happy that there is one political party which is thinking above the petty vote bank politics. And how can BJP benefit from this stand electorally? There are no J&K assembly or Lok Sabha elections in near future as well.
As far as the Kashmir disquiet is concerned, I want to ask some questions:- Is the voice of separatists the real voice of Kashmir valley?
And look who is killing people in the valley, it is Kashmir police. Where is the question of Army misusing its power? I hope you review your article.

Sarang said...

Sir, it seems the separatists in kashmir have gone beyond appeasement and what is now needed is firm action. From a population of about 10 million, if 15 thousand are agitating, they are a minority. The majority of Kashmiris want to get on with their own life in peace, which is guaranteed only by being a part of India (please note... I mean a part of India and not under Indian rule. Being a part of India means it is even possible that a Kashmiri with enough support of Indian citizens can become the PM of the country!!) With this reality firmly in mind we must act to blunt this sword wielded by the separatists.

Even in Mahabharat, Pandavas fought and killed their cousins, the Kauravas and Krishna defends this action by saying that it is the victory of good over evil. Imagine if Pandavas had decided to appease the Kauravas for ever, would they have got back their kingdom (which was rightfully theirs)????

The Pandavas tried appeasement, they even went into 'vanvaas' for many years. But when the Kauravas played foul inspite of appeasement, the Pandavas did not shy away from ELIMINATING them!

India has the moral high ground just now! We are true to ourselves. The Kasmiris are more happy being a part of India, so we must fight and destroy this evil of separatism! Through the use of genuine care, compassion and governance towards Kashmiris and ruthlessness towards Separatists (especially the leaders, who sit in air-conditioned rooms and order innocent kashmiri children to face bullets in the street)

And please stop having faith on Rahul Gandhi. He and his Mother are the reason India is in this mess in the first place. Putting self's political career above the country using false secularism and endless spineless appeasement is ruining this country! Their game-plan is to ensure that PM Manmohan Singh (who is the place-holder, night-watchman, seat-warmer etc...) is projected as such a failure of a PM and simultaneously project Rahul Gandhi as a demi-God, that the people will beg him to take over the PM's chair to usher in a new age of prosperity and peace into the country. That is the reason, other congress leaders are shamefully undermining MMS and Chidambaram (who are doing some good things). They don't mind risking the future of the country for advancing their own political future!!!

Although I agree that the BJP has made its point about the situation not being handled properly by UPA. Now its time to not needle the government further, but to constructively offer solutions. The citizens will difinitely punish UPA and congress in the next elections. But if BJP continues its rant, it will be seen as a thorn rather than a constructive opposition. That is exactly the reason it lost the last general election.

shaan said...

Rahul can do something. It does not matter if he does it for political calculations, it is good if he does the right thing. He has really displayed a degree of maturity greater than that displayed by the leaders of the BJP, by supporting Omar Abdullah in this crucial time. BJP leaders are disappointing continuously and they are behaving like the cat that closed its eyes and thought the world has gone dark.

Paresh said...

Sir, blind faith in Rahul Gandhi is taking India closer to dynastic rule. This is eroding India's democratic credentials. OK, he is a rising politician and if he wins the elections with a majority vote he is welcome to become the Prime Minister. But to ask him openly to help in the Kashmir matter (inpite of not holding any political office at the moment) is pure hero-worship.

Actually, it is exactly as he and Sonia Gandhi have planned their political course of the future. Make believe that PM MMS is unable to run the country and let the country suffer (by undermining the good work being done by their own Ministers!!) until people beg for Rahul Gandhi to take charge as the rightful and visionary leader of the country. And then acting as pure and unambitious as a saint, humbly and reluctantly accept the PM's chair - ONLY because the country wants him to. Grand plans indeed! I bet as soon as Rahul Gandhi takes over the PM's chair, all the bickering within the Congress party will cease and it will once again begin running as a well-oiled machine - thus giving an impression that Rahul Gandhi ushered in an age of revival, peace and prosperity.

ravinder said...

@Paresh,
That is the whole problem with our system, as of now.

Those who impinge upon it are cannot be held responsible for anything. So if Indian socio-economy does well for any reason, the Yuvraaj and Maharani get the credit and if anything, just about anything fails well it can plausibly be denied.

This is the danger that we Indians are running right now. A clear and present danger.

balaji said...

It is nice to see some BJP supporters like me
I will tell that unlike the Rajiv govt in 1989-90 the BJP has always stood for hard action on terrorists Repealing POTA is the worst act done by the UPA it has weakened our resolve in fighting terror and has allowed the Maoist sympathisers to thrive. Even in the recent Maoist kidnapping,the Maoist somehow played to the dumb Indian Media and infact even managed to whitewash the kidnapped family in believing that the Maoist are like Gods.IT is even embarrassing to see that People in the intelligence like you Sir is on the Maoist pro poor train. They are a very small group of left wing nuts primarily comprising of one community - Tribals.
There are 370 Million people in India living in dire poverty comprising of all communities.If we start patronizing the Maoists than be sure that every other community will start their own rebel group against the Indian constitution and blow up more schools etc,
Engaging or sympathizing with the Maoists will have severe repercussions on the secular democratic identity of India.

jay said...

Sir, I am just wondering what made you to believe that Rahul Gandhi is our savious? What quality of this Gandhi made you to write this open letter? Please educate us.

ravinder said...

Ramanji,

Pls note what a noted member of the "left+lib+P Sec" brigade has to say in favour of the Army and AGAIST OMAR & AGAINST RAHUL BABA:

Acknowledgment - http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/TheSiegeWithin/entry/omar-must-know-army-is-not-the-enemy

"OMAR MUST KNOW ARMY IS NOT THE ENEMY" - M J AKBAR

ON OMAR - "He threatened to resign if the Union government did not punish the Indian Army.

For which sin? Not a single death in the present crisis has resulted from an Army bullet. Those bullets came from the guns of the J&K police and CRPF. Why has everyone chosen to obscure this fact with silence and raise dust against the Army?"

ON RAHUL BABA - "Rahul Gandhi, who can be PM any day he chooses, says, disingenuously that he is unfamiliar with the complexities of AFSPA. The Prime Minister knows what it means: to weaken the Indian Army in Kashmir is to weaken India."

So Ramanji how do these observations (known to even a rickshaw puller) go with your observation and I quote
" All of us---whether politicians or professional bureaucrats--- who made our names in dealing ruthlessly with terrorism and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, have intellectual and professional deficiencies in understanding the current situation."

Why are you vacating your right to tell as it is. How can Rahul take precedence over well trained professionals and political leadership. What is the justification for the existence of these "politicians or professional bureaucrats--- who made our names in dealing ruthlessly with terrorism and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence".

The situation has changed that is apparent to everybody and concommitent changes need to be made that to is understandable but what are the grounds for lynching BJP and for making a Paigamber out of a baba. If he is good enough for you how come I am not.

Please excuse my vitriol, could not help it. your write up was nothing like your profession.