By SAHIL MAHAJAN
Whatever happened in Srinagar and other places in the Valley, where minority community members were targeted and killed is just not ominous for the Valley, but it has grave consequences for Jammu region more than any other place in the country. This will squeeze the region further already reeling from so many problems.
Most of the observers see the region coming under a wave of migration from Kashmir yet again. The phenomenon witnessed in early 1990s when more than 3.5 lakh Kashmiri Pandits fled their homes and sought shelter in Jammu for their safety . Over the years, they made it as their permanent home , and since 1990s, there never came a situation where they felt comfortable in going back to their homes in the Valley. They became part of Jammu’s economic, social and political culture. They are now inseparable part of the region’s ecosystem.
Something that needs to be understood in clearer terms is that the killings of Principal Supinder Kaur, a Sikh lady who had earned for herself a title of Godmother for the orphans and needy, Deepak Chand, a Kashmiri Pandit , Makhan Lal Bindroo , a prominent chemist and the Kashmiri Pandit who had scripted history for himself by being part of the community that refused to migrate, and Virender Paswan, a non-local Golgappa vendor , were part of the communal virus driven by the radicalism . The radical forces have been on rise in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the Valley, where Pakistan has attempted to inject this virus to avenge its diplomatic and political defeat on Kashmir .
Pakistani leaders and establishment have advanced the toxic narrative that Kashmir’s Muslim majority character was being changed . This narrative , though not new, was reinforced with greater intensity after the constitutional changes of August 5, 2019. Pakistan saw complete defeat in these changes for all what it had been selling to the world on Kashmir.
Jammu, which had its own troubles when the violence was contained in Kashmir after many successful encounters in which more than 130 militants have been killed so far, will feel the pinch when the violence against minority community members has shaken the Valley. The anger against the killings was visible, but the real danger is that when the tales of Islamic fundamentalism, radicalism and the cold—blooded murders reach Jammu, they will have a ripple effect. The hate mongers are already active on social media .That is the most toxic thing. It can inject communal virus in the psyche of the vulnerable and all those who are more than willing to accept communalism as a way forward to counter the wave of terrorism. These type of answers to the menace of terrorism and radicalism are deadlier than the original problem. Security forces are quite efficient in dealing with the terrorism and bringing to justice the perpetrators of crime . Any attempt to arrogate the role of the security forces by any of the people anywhere is not patriotism . Instead, it would complicate the problems of law and order enforcing agencies . Jammu knows , how it happens. The lessons of several agitations are still there and Jammu has not been able to recover from the ill-effects till date.
There is peace in Jammu . There are enemies within and across the border who want to disturb it , therefore, it is very important that the designs and the modus-operandi of enemies of peace are understood and analysed , so that Jammu doesn’t suffer. Rather it should help in creating condition which would encourage the peace-loving people in the Valley to become stakeholders in overall peace in Jammu and Kashmir. That is the best anti-dote to terrorism and radicalism.