A number of studies have been undertaken on militancy in Jammu & Kashmir but this book focuses largely on the not-so-commonly covered regional and ethnic aspects of militancy.
Jammu is the primary geo?political link between the Kashmir Valley and the rest of India. Developments in the Jammu region have often affected the situation in Kashmir and vice versa. Though originating in Kashmir, militancy reached different parts of Jammu at different times. It was in no sense an automatic extension of the Kashmir insurgency but was an outcome of local causes.
This book traces the origin and growth of militancy to the south of the Pir Panjal range which divides the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region. Besides debating on the complex issues of Jammu & Kashmir, the book presents a fresh perspective on the discourse on terrorism through extensive field work. The ethnic and religious diversities that exist in the state, particularly to the south of Pir Panjal, and their impact in shaping the course of militancy in the area, form the core of the study.
The author rightly says that much has been written about militancy in Kashmir but very little or nothing at all has been mentioned about militancy in Jammu. The fact that civilian killings in Jammu constituted 35 per cent of the total killings in Jammu & Kashmir between 1989 and 2007 has not been taken note of by most observers.
In contrast to the Kashmir Valley, Jammu is a more diverse and mixed society. The distinctive character of militancy in the two regions is a result of geography, ethno-religious composition and the socio-political situation. While militancy encourages the youth of the Kashmir Valley inspired by the ideology of Kashmiri nationalism, it has not had much appeal in the ethnically different Jammu region. But when the youth from the Pakistan-administered Jammu & Kashmir and the province of Punjab in Pakistan joined the militant movement, it changed from a Kashmiri to a Muslim movement. The response to this was a decline in its appeal in Kashmir but in Jammu, which was ethnically closer to the new militants, the appeal increased.
Communalism was further encouraged by the militant movement which tried to represent one community and threated the other, thereby aggravating communal tensions still further. For a stable and harmonious state of Jammu & Kashmir to be formed, all the peculiarities of the region-geographic, administrative, cultural, economic and political have to be taken into consideration
(Promilla & Co., Publishers, C- 127 Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi-11 0017.)