A serious threat perception has engulfed the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Minorityism seems create a perception that the majority has little space in this secular nation.
A mere 100 acre of land for pilgrims to Amarnath was denied because a section of the people in Kashmir Valley could not agree to it. The way Jammu reacted to it was not unexpected. If such denials of just rights continue by the ilk of Mehbooba Mufti'sPDP and Omar Abdullah'sNational Conference it may lead to serious consequences.
A sequence of events reveals a disturbing trend and lack of political will to sternly deal with soft and hard terrorism. Withdrawal of land to Amarnath Shrine Board is an instance of soft terrorism. Incidents in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hubli, Varanasi, Jaipur and UP courts expose the real harder and cruel side of terrorism.
It also seems to be a planned move to rock Bengaluru and Ahmedabad for diverting attention from the Amarnath shrine issue. Terror planners have subtle strategies and the politicians are seemingly buckling under it. Mufti and Abdullah have marked communal overtones in their speeches in and outside Parliament. It is strange that despite that some so-called national parties consider them ?secular?. Are Mufti and Abdullah in league or coerced by terrorists?
Former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in his last speech before resigning mapped out the links of PDP and terror elements. He also was clear enough to suggest their Pakistani, Talibani and West Asia links. It is painful that despite this the new Governor N.N. Vohra chose to withdraw what is due to the pilgrims of Amarnath, apparently for the sake of vote bank politics in the Valley.
It is no secret that pilgrims are treated most shabbily. Even the very basic necessities elude them. The labourers, coolies, ponnywallahs and local traders fleece them. The state government prefers to buckle under them than create proper conditions because that hurts the deep pockets of the locals, who thrive on such exploitation.
The overtone in the entire incident is anything but secular. Unfortunately, political leaders refrain from calling it so. They would like to see it as localised events of the Valley or Jammu forgetting the terror plans to weaken the Indian state, conceptually and physically. The nation is losing it to subtle terror plans, which take shelter in ?secularism?.
If the terrorists are attacked, arrested or killed, the secular bogey, obviously with the backings of subtle terror planners, raise hue and cry to the extent of tarnishing the image of security forces. The forces often function with their one hand tied and that is a great moral booster for the terrorist and their supporters. Abdullah'scry for withdrawing land from the security forces should be viewed that way. In any other country, except for tolerant civilised India, he would have been tried for sedition.
These elements forget what Nehru had said about the unity in this diverse country. If this diversity is not respected and unipolarity is created in the society, as has happened in the Kashmir Valley by evicting the Pandits, the basic fibre starts breaking. The Kashmir Valley has started suffering it that is how Ghulam Nabi Azad and Abdullah speak differently.
They also forget the ramifications of such strong-arm methods can lead to. Jammu is burning. It may be only a precursor to what may happen to the rest of the country, if such brazen supporters of terrorism are not contained and brought back to the national fold. The bogey of minorityism is certainly not the panacea for seeking solutions.
Unfortunately during the past few years not a single terror attack has been solved. The minority's?right first to the national resources? concept has further communalised the budgeting process in plan allocation. This has hurt the sentiments of the people. A secular nation means a government that is equal to all religions. If it is partial to any of the religious groups, it cannot boast of being secular. It also creates feelings, which is certainly not in the interest of unity. If such moves continue and except one all other community continue to suffer it may lead to a volatile situation. The government and political leaders need to sit together to evolve a formula so that terrorism is dealt as such and not equated with a community. If it is not done body fibre of the nation may be under strain leading to an uncontrollable state of affairs.
(The writer is senior political and economic journalist.)