While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has harked back to the memories of the “black night” that the National Emergency of June 25, 1975 evoked, the Congress has called it a “mistake” and acknowledged that “lessons have been learnt”.
But it has alleged that Mr. Modi has overlooked India’s internal security, which, it fears, is now “in jeopardy” and an undeclared emergency could be in the works.
Mr. Tom Vadakkan, spokesman of the All-India Congress Committee, alleged that the country was facing an “undeclared emergency” as “the so-called separatists had become full-grown terrorists, “thanks to the help of the PDP and choreography of the BJP, which now speaks one language in the Kashmir Valley and talks about nationalism all over India…We wish that issues of internal security were also raised, a thought for those killed while defending this nation”.
On this the BJP says that the Congress and the UPA allowed terrorism to continue without taking adequate action by wearing blinkers over their eyes and did not do all it could to curb the rising tide of terrorism. The Congress insists that the situation had not come to such a pass, as now, when it was in power and this was confirmed by Mr. Modi continuing the policy of entente with Pakistan. Could it be concluded that both sides have been equally blameworthy and equally mistaken in trusting Pakistan’s doublespeak and taking its propagandist statements at face value.
Independent observers say that even the BJP has been remiss in wearing blinkers in its policy in failing to deal with inhuman terrorism originating on the soil of Pakistan for the past three years. Was it worthwhile to go public about the strategic strikes on a few Pakistani camps across the line of control? Would it have been wise to continue the punishment in silence and let the action send a lesson and warning, and not a Press conference by a top of the line general in New Delhi. The result is that the situation has come to the crossroads of a crisis as Pakistan has been a client State of the USA for many decades and pretends to be one still and now it has also become a client State of China and does a lot of mischief to please Beijing.
It is possible that the Prime Minister has now, perhaps belatedly, started recognizing the grave threats his government faces from Pakistani terrorists.
Pakistan steps up mischief to please China
The China-Pakistan collaboration amounts to making Pakistan the Chinese proxy against India in the same way as North Korea is, by implication, the bully boy of China against the US. In this background the muted UPA overtures to Pakistan to reach a settlement were dropped when there seemed no prospect of stopping Pakistan’s mischief. Pakistan’s aggressive actions please China, an all-weather ‘friend’ who issues commands and demands obedience.
But the BJP and the NDA have taken long to reach such a conclusion and failed to realize that one cannot offer a hand of friendship to a deceptive terrorist State where the so-called civilian government works as an obedient servant of Pakistan’s military and its Inter-Services Intelligence or ISI.
It is felt that Prime Minister should not have dropped by in Islamabad to wish Mr. Nawaz Sharif a happy birthday on his way back from Afghanistan or wherever else, nor should he have invited Nawaz Sharif to his own swearing-in in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26, 2014 as a show of so-called South Asian concord and friendship, nor should Dr. Manmohan Singh have made any overtures to General Musharraf in the mistaken belief of a possible settlement because he was believed to be the butcher of Indian officers and troops in Kargil and on several other occasions. He boasted about it as a feather in his cap. Musharraf invited himself to a Delhi Test match, possibly with Pakistan, to share space over a cup of tea with Dr. Manmohan Singh in the VIP Enclosure of the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi several years ago. Diplomatic niceties required agreeing to such unilateral moves by the then President of Pakistan.
It was a vain exercise in bilateral diplomacy in view of external intervention under Western democracies’ pressure on India on the pretence of so-called human rights of terrorists labelled as Kashmir “freedom fighters” even by President Bill Clinton on a visit to New Delhi at a joint Press conference with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Hyderabad House in New Delhi 20 years ago.
Now that attacks by terrorists have been stepped up in Europe, especially Britain, and even in some places in the US, there is realization in the West that they had better be on guard rather than support Pakistan’s interests in a balancing act after they learnt the lesson from ground realities in country after country. It is well known now that Pakistan is the fountainhead of terrorism in the world.
Nawaz Sharif may have had no illusions on any score because he knows he is a dummy ruler even though he has in the past boasted of Pakistan being a part of West Asia or Middle East. Some of Saudi Arabia’s huge military potential is said to be at the disposal of the Pakistan military, which was reportedly believed to be or alleged to be guarding the Saudi Sheikhs and ruling elite as it may not be trust their own local security outfits.
Mr. Trump may be changing his perception as well as action plans against terrorism but he remains one of the closest friends of the Saudi rulers, who are also patrons of the Pakistani establishment and give a few billion dollars of free petroleum to it as patronage or blood money.
Mr. Trump has compulsions to accept Israeli demands to impose sanctions on Iran and hurt a number of other countries which wish to trade with Iran, but it greatly annoys Russia and President Putin.
In view of the failure of Jammu and Kashmir coalition government to even try to curb terrorism, leave alone stamping it out, there have been demands for the dismissal of the State Government in Jammu and Kashmir and imposition of the Governor’s rule as the crisis has been aggravated by the killing of a senior police officer who was lynched by a mob in Srinagar in the last week of June. But it appears that there is little prospect of the failed government in the State being dismissed as the Mehbooba Mufti Government in Kashmir is part of a coalition government with the BJP as the junior partner even as the situation is deteriorating by the day. The crisis is deep-seated, indeed.
The Congress has alleged that in the Prime Minister’s “Mann ki Baat” or what may be called “talk from the mind” on All India Radio, but relayed by Doordarshan, “not one word have we heard of the death (by lynching by a mob) of the DSP in Srinagar”. According to reports the DSP was stoned to death by a mob near Jama Masjid where the separatist leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, was delivering a sermon on Friday, June 22.
BJP accuses Congress leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyer of fraternizing with the Mirwaiz or Sitaram Yechuri going to meet some hardcore pro-Pakistan leaders but finding the door slammed in the face. The UPA interlocutor style was continued by the BJP with zero results and pro-Pakistan elements felt encouraged to step up their mischief and resort to killings and stone pelting by school boys and girls.
Just now there is fear that Pakistani terrorists may target the pilgrims going to the Amar Nath Cave, mainly trekking and some going on horseback or mule; the very old or infirm are even being carried by four men in a palanquin, to view the image of Lord Shiva, formed in ice by what is believed to be a miracle or a “godsend and natural divine process”. This pilgrimage is age-old and respected by the people of Kashmir. It is one of the important dates on the tourism calendar and facilities have been provided by the Kashmir Government and tourism trade and labour in good faith and respect for the beliefs of good tourists and without interference.
The BJP denies that there is any prospect of an undeclared emergency in India, even though there has been much dismay in the country over the action taken against the NDTV with a CBI raid on its owners. The hard line that the Censor Board takes on films by stopping some or making severe cuts in the drive against anti-nationalism and pornography are deplored.
Is there failure by the States to take strong action to protect women from molesters, or legal intervention to stop cow vigilantes going berserk, or invoking the law on sedition against pro-Pakistan elements shouting anti-India slogans after Pakistan won the Champions Trophy and defeated the Indian cricket team in the final at the Oval in London, which coincided with terrorist attacks on people in the British capital.
No doubt that the Congress Government in Karnataka or the State Assembly has jailed two journalists in the State and the BJP is showing the mirror to the Congress about this action and saying: “Look before you leap at us”.
A renewed drive towards what is called the vegetarianism movement seeks to curb the sales of meat, but will it succeed as it is not just tourism that would be affected, but a large number of Indians, including Dalits and backward people everywhere as well as people in North-East and South India or coastal States, including Bengal, where fish, seafood and other non-vegetarian dishes are customary. It is not just Opposition parties, but also supporters of the BJP and NDA who are averse to the RSS and BJP frontal organizations’ moves. Does the cow ordinance have implications that affect internal security?
Revision of text-books in several BJP-ruled States to give a new twist to history in accord with the Sangh Parivar ideology is causing much concern. (Lalit Sethi a Journalist of long standing and a commentator on Political and Social Issues) IFS]