It’s really strange and quite baffling that on the very day when Constitution of India came in effect, the nation witnessed an unprecedented happening wherein activists belonging to BJP were not allowed to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar. It’s really a huge blow to the spirit of constitution,which believes safeguarding the honour of elements inherent in it.The national symbols are representative of pride of India. The Indian government’s official website while talking about them says that “these symbols are intrinsic to the Indian identity and heritage. Indians of all demographics backgrounds across the world are proud of these National Symbols as they infuse a sense of pride and patriotism in every Indian’s heart.”
Coming to the national flag, the images which depict how our revolutionaries lost their lives in an attempt to hoist the flag on the government buildings during the British are still stuck inside our memories. I remember a famous scene in Attenborough’s Gandhi,when a revolutionary is shot dead by the British official when he was about to hoist the national flag. Now come back to the present. Both Central government and State Government in Jammu and Kashmir prevented the determined souls from unfurling the national flag, which marked the culmination of BJP’s Ekata Yatra. It’s a real shame that government machinery acted like British government in Raj Era.
The whole incident has very serious repercussions. It also raises some very complex questions which admirers of national integrity apart from the intellectuals belonging to all sections need to answer in conscious and honest manner.Ridiculous reasons have been given in support of not allowing the BJP’s activist to hoist the flag.Home Minister P Chidambaram treating the whole exercise a part of confrontationist agenda requested the activists not to escalate the tension in the State. In his eyes,it was going to deteriorate the law and order situation there.The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also felt the same stating that state which has somehow managed to regain normalcy after three long months of turbulence should not witness another volatile act.It would be interesting to know that Lal Chowk, as per the separatists, is a place where the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, promised referendum to Kashmiris.
These arguments sound very stupid. I am really taken aback by the reactions of the intellectuals. It’s not difficult to intercept the reactions of people falling to the progressive class. Any issue if it’s sponsored by the BJP becomes an object of hatred in eyes of the Leftists. On the contrary,they will leave no stone unturned in sponsoring the cause of people found guilty of sedition. Well ,I am no political person,much less representative of BJP or RSS. Therefore,I wish to offer an altogether different perspective. What’s the chief reason which has made Jammu and Kashmir tense ? It’s the incompetence of both Central and State governments.
The governments are being virtually guided by the whims and fancies of the separatists. I am not saying that. It’s one of the recommendations made by the interlocutors which suggests that stating “that rights and dignity of people of Jammu and Kashmir be respected by “specially training” the armed forces” and ” specified areas in Kashmir and Jammu be demarcated where people could stage peaceful protests against the government.”This Kashmir Panel is headed by Journalist Dileep Padgaonkar. That’s indeed an ideal way to deal with the likes of Yaseen Malik who enjoy the patronage of Pakistani government ! That’s indeed a great way to honour the sacrifices of brave soldiers who lost their lives while fighting with the infiltrators.
Coming back to the main issue, let me quash the bogus fears of Mr.Omar Obdullah. His fears pertaining to breakdown of normalcy is childish as few months back when Jammu and Kashmir was caught in flames of tension the separatists were not only allowed to organize a huge meeting at Lal Chowk but also allowed to hoist Pakistani flags. The separatists also raised anti India slogans. Was that a very encouraging gesture which prompted our Home Minster P Chidambaram to give a nod to it ? Were the present fears that gave rise to hallucination in minds of Chidambaram had gone missing in those times when separatists were given total freedom to get involved in anti-India gestures on September 11,2010 ? Are the scenes in this video promote peace in valley ? So what was the need to have such vague apprehensions when few enthusiastic souls wished to hoist our own national flag at Lal Chowk on Republic Day ?
A meeting titled ‘Azadi: The Only Way’ was organized in New Delhi on October 21st, 2010 in which inflammatory anti-India speeches were delivered.What was our Home Minster doing then ? Had he no time to prevent this meeting conducted by Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Hurriyat Conference (G) ? What should common people of this nation assume when government start behaving in selective and partisan manner ? Okay. They should assume that actions sponsored by the separatists give rise to peace while the nationalistic gestures such as hoisting the national flag escalates tension !
The double standards exhibited by both Central government and Omar Obdullah government have left us stunned. The hypocritical stance that whole show is mere political drama exposes their real faces. It’s not altogether devoid of truth that there was some politics involved in it but the greater question is that why matters pertaining to national security, integrity and pride are allowed to become subject matters of political parties ? You allow political parties to create mess or gain political mileage by not taking a clear stance on sensitive issues. You keep sensitive issues pending for years, making lesser organisations to cash on it.
So people accusing BJP of playing politics should think twice before pointing accusing fingers. In fact, it has given a chance to ponder over new aspects related with Kashmir. The issue has also exposed the people masquerading as intellectuals, who are, in fact, the other side of separatists operating in Kashmir. I mean people who think that honouring the national symbols gives rise to disturbed scenario. I would love to know from them how come hoisting flag on our own land and that too on Republic Day would lead to disturbance ?
It’s not a political issue. It’s a question that’s associated with the self-respect of nation. It would be hard to find an another nation wherein the government machinery prevented its own very people to hoist its own national flag. It’s a real shame. Now don’t make it a political issue by associating BJP with it. The issue is why one cannot hoist a national flag within national boundaries? In other words, why should we allow the separatists to rule our likes and dislikes? Who are they to dictate what we should do and what we should not do? Why do we not crush them badly when they thwart attempts to restore national pride? Remember, it’s the same place where separatists burnt our national flag,making mockery of our patience.
There is talk of confidence building measures but I don’t know how would it be done when we cannot even display elements representative of national pride ? I mean right from Naxalites to separatists can openly use weapons,organize anti-India meetings but when the peace loving citizens try to enter in nationalistic gesture they are arrested on grounds of causing harm to normalcy. Ironically, ” the UPA government is duty bound under the Transaction of Business Rules framed under the Constitution, to officially unfurl the tricolour national flag at Lal Chowk in Srinagar, J&K. ”
Another important angle is to decide what’s really more important ? To find what’s making people in Jammu and Kashmir increasingly prone to anti India gestures or to kill all such attempts that try to make this state a part of mainstream India much like other states ? So are we spending hard earned money of the tax payers’ on this state to give rise to scenario wherein giving rise to nationalistic fervour is a criminal offence ? Anyway, time has come to marginalize intellectuals who love to support separatists,promote people involved in seditious activities and also create mayhem in the whole nation if something goes against their interests. So it’s really pathetic that they smell a rat in the motives of BJP or, for that matter, talk about maintaining law and order. We all know how “Bandhs” throw life out of gear in West Bengal.
It’s time to do some real soul searching. I don’t think that ideal way to curb the separatists and anti-India forces is to start talking about Hindu terrorism. The ideal way is to curb such negative forces with iron hand. It’s not at all a right way that we should compromise with national pride to keep intact fake peace in Kashmir valley. It’s hard to believe that it’s not government machinery but the will of separatists that decides what should be the course of action in valley ? So what is the Indian government waiting for ? Will it be dictated by them or is it going to tame them by hook or crook considering beasts are not used to soft measures ?
The hoisting of flag would have sent strong message to the all the negative forces that come what may we are not going to compromise with our national pride. It’s a real shame that we gave them an opportunity to laugh at our weaknesses. Let’s stop glorifying anti-India gestures unless we are interested in making cowardice a part of our national character. It’s time to give separatists strong signals that playing with the national pride would cost them dearly.