Where We Have Faltered In Kashmir

OPINION

After the killing of forty BSF men in Pulwama in a suicide terrorist attack,the two nuclear armed nations, India and Pakistan are again in an eye ball to eyeball situation. Such situations have emerged several times in recent past and even a small local level war in Kargil was also fought in which thousands of armymen from both sides got killed. We had Parliament attack in December 2001, and then Kakuchak terrorist attack in 2002, when forces moved to the borders and remained there for months together and lot of shelling took place, thousands of people had to move down to safer areas and this is happening time and again. We have fought four wars with Pakistan, lost thousands of personnel of belt forces, more than fifty thousand civilians and thousands of crores going down the drain and all due to one factor, Kashmir.

This beautiful valley spread over an area of forty to hundred kilometers is a thorn in the body politic of India for the last several years,which defies a logical solution. But the physical Kashmir cannot be a problem, it is a gift of nature, the problem lies in the thinking of a few thousands of the residents of this particular part of the country, which could have been addressed in a better way. Now that the situation has assumed alarming situation, the government of India is taking some concrete steps, but whether these are sufficient to stem the rot or not is the million dollar question. One thing, which every one in the country must know, including those harboring secessionist feelings, is that India cannot afford to lose Kashmir, because it signifies the essence and spirit of a secular India. If any part of India is allowed to secede merely because it houses a particular religion in majority, it opens a Pandora’s box, it will lead to such demands in many parts of the country, where a minuscule part of population can aspire for such demands and they will be supported by many pseudo intellectuals in the country.

So what is the solution for this seemingly labyrinthine, convoluted problem called Kashmir? A lot majority of the people have been made to believe that it is a political problem, Grant more powers to Kashmir, more and more money to it and these inimical forces in Kashmir would get satiated, it will never happen. Kashmir is an aberrational interpretation of a religious thought, exploited to the hilt by the neighboring country and we have been treating it either as a political conundrum or a law and order problem and till we address the problem from this angle, we are unlikely to succeed.

Kashmiri youth, of late, have been displaying a berserk behavior, bordering suicidal tendencies, in large numbers, when they attack security forces, conducting operations against terrorists, fully knowing that they can be shot down in the process. Which behavioral concept can explain such behavior in large sections of the society, except the arousing of religious feelings? Stone pelting by thousands, terrorism and open defiance of lawful authority of the country,is not a genetic predisposition, it is a learnt behavior and as Behaviorism says, whatever can be learnt can be unlearnt as well, but that will require a mass behavioral engineering programme, not within the realm of understanding a vast majority of the rulers of the country. I have been saying for the last several years that the berserk, illogical behavior of large number of persons in Kashmir needs to be studied in a scientific manner. We have to find out the reasons of the violent behavior of Kashmiri youth.

Can a mere brain washing by few religious bigots turn a simple man into a killing machine? What physical changes occur in human brains, when such teachings are given? How some areas of brain become dysfunctional from normal functioning? These areas of brain, like dorsal and prefrontal areas of brain, amygadala, hippocampus, theangular gyrus and the temporal cortex,which are believed to be associated with putting brakes on our illogical actions cannot be studied in living human beings but we can rely upon other concepts, which may not offer an opportunity to study the physical changes but which have given enough positive results in bringing large scale changes in controlling violent and irrational behaviors. As suggested by me in earlier write ups, there have been studies to suggest that any stressful situation can change the behavior of neurons of the child in the womb, by extra or less methylation and even the slight variations in some trace minerals like, iron, zinc, cadmium, and many others, either in the expectant mothers or those in their wombs, can predispose some people to violence. Similarly some birth complications at prenatal, perinatal and postnatal complications and the low levels of MAOA Gene, have been found to be related to violent behavior, but is it so in case of Kashmir and that too on such a large scale. We have no answers because nobody Delhi or Srinagar has the sagacity to think on these lines. We will continue to be made to believe that Kashmir demands political solution or that opening of purse by New Delhi would bring normalcy in Kashmir but take it for granted that even if you spend the entire budget of India in Kashmir, it will not change their thinking and even if you grant them complete freedom, they will not allow the country to rest in peace.

The science of genetics says that we inherit a lot from our ancestors, by the process of transmission, the general process by which traits, controlled by genes, get transmitted through gametes from generation to generation. Why there is so much degeneration in Kashmir from the times of Kashyap Rishi, and Lal Ded? Is all this the effect of environment or that of mutations, that have taken place over generations? And when that degeneration process started, how the virtues (Still prevalent in large number of kashmiris) got deleted and in their place came the aberrations, the bad habits and irrationalities, and how far they will grow, where it will stop and how we can change the behavior of all those who have been radicalised, is the question which requires elaboration, but for certain reasons, all details of defining this illogical, violent, behavior and its possible solutions can’t be shared in the present write up, merely suffice to say that Tamsic Vritti has overpowered the Satvic privriti in Kashmir and alas, the space constraint comes in and we have to take break.

Contributed by:

Rameshwar Singh Jamwal

The author is the President of Criminologists Society of J&K and a Practicing Advocate of J&K High Court.

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