Patriotism, Nationalism, Militarism & Kashmir

For a particular group of people and militarists, on both sides of the border, nothing could have been as beneficial as Kashmir. It is a cash-cow, giving budget, billions, lands, and above all unquestionable silence.

Do they want it resolved? Obviously not. It will end a big chunk of budget. What will we do then?

The defense of a country has a purpose. But it is not just that. War and being a ‘security state’ has certain perks. Because of war in Afghanistan, dollars rained over us. During Soviet times, we were over the moon. Even our religion was all about ‘Jihad’ at that time. Zia cashed the opportunity as best as he could, ignoring all the side-effects.

But, times change. The Soviets went home. And then came Taliban.

Again, we played the game so that we could get dollars. The same happened during Musharraf’s era. All we had to do was show dead bodies and ‘do more’. And we showed 70,000 dead bodies over the years to get what we wanted. Until they hushed us away.

Remember the APS incident of 2014? It is not what is shown on the media. It was a trump card move. Guess who it gave a blank cheque to? Military Courts were born without a question.

That’s how you play the game. One move at a time. But no move to end the crises. Just keep on playing the bloody game. Nothing personal. Strictly business.

Coming to Kashmir. It’s old news. A part of routine. But it is the real cash. Uninterrupted. No one wants to resolve it. Even some Kashmiris.

Back in 1965, when Pakistan moved to liberate Kashmir, it were Kashmiris who did nothing and, in fact, sided with the Indian troops, resulting in an embarrassment. Do read about Operation Gibraltar and Operation Grand Slam of 1965.

Mourn as much as you want. Wear black. Play anthems. Block the roads. Burn Modi’s pictures. But it’s all bullshit because it’s all business.

Even then, if you are too sensitive to ignore blood and mayhem, look inside. Balochistan. Hazara. Missing people. State terrorism. People being killed by police and agencies. Waziristan. And constitutional demands of thousands of PTM workers who are being labeled as terrorists.

If you can’t see inside, you are only a hypocrite who is pretending to focus outside. The same hypocrite who ignored the Bengal issue in 1960s which ultimately led to the surrender of 1971.

First and foremost, Kashmiris have to stand for themselves. They are unable to make a unified and impactful political platform in 7 decades. They are unable to make a clear stance on what they want. Do they want an independent state or do they want to join either Pakistan or India? Nothing is clear. There are oppressors and there are oppressed ones. And a perpetual business of war being played.

One should condemn India and its oppression in Kashmir. For sure. But blocking our own roads and making self-made-slogans of Kashmir – Kashmir banay ga Pakistan – is going to do nothing. We have already been doing that since 1947, unsuccessfully.

India undid everything with a single stroke of pen on Article 370. And India will suffer.

We should mend our ways first. We should apologize for our history and hypocrisy and things we have done wrong with our people and people around us.

This patriotism and nationalism is business of the elite of states. Not mine. I don’t even buy this bullshit. It is embedded in you with curriculum, songs, movies and slogans.

Let me give you an example:

Rashid Minhas took the plane down and crashed it because an agent was trying to take it to the other side of the border. Minhas embraced martyrdom and was awarded Nishan-e-Haider.

Who was the agent? What is the other side of the story?

Matiur Rehman was the “agent” who was trying to take the plane out of Pakistan. He was fighting for his nation i.e. freedom fight of Bangalis. From Bangladeshi point of view, he was their hero.

Matiur Rehman was awarded Bir Sreshtho (equivalent to Nishan-e-Haider) and is known as their national hero. Just like Minhas.

Two sides of the same coin. Same story. Same incident. Same plane. Same martyrdom. Same medal of honor.

Both were sons. Both had families. Both had dreams. Both had a life.

But who won? Business. Business of war, weapons, arsenals, jets, tanks…

And who suffered? Those who were sick, hungry, illiterate, malnourished, and striving for basics. Public. Awaam. Janta. They are still striving. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh have the highest pool of people below poverty line.

There are five members of “Security Council”. This council of security is supposed to make this world more secure. And these five countries are the top five countries of exporting weapons. It’s business.

Your craziness, dumbness, blocking of roads, chanting slogans… is nothing practical. You are playing in the hands of the elite. For their business. For their war. For their profits. For our blood.

Ending it with Arunthadi Roy’s note on Kashmir:
About the story of Kashmir and India and India and Kashmir, I can do no better than to quote James Baldwin:
“And they would not believe me, precisely because they would know that what I said was true.”

Anyway, relax! Take a deep breath. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. All’s good.

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