There is no place in India for secessionists?
By Dr Jay Dubashi
Television produces its crop of chocolate heroes. They are there one day and disappear the next, amidst a flurry of bombastic verbiage. Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer, is one of them. So is a man called Arvind Kejriwal. I have no idea where Anna Hazare, for whom all of us have the greatest respect, collected them, and when he is going to dump them. But in the meanwhile they are doing a lot of harm – not to us, who couldn’t care less what they do or do not – but to Anna’s mission to make India corruption-free.
Bhushan is a lawyer, who fancies himself as some kind of public voice, and may be a future leader. He is free to do so; after all, this is a free country. But he must remember that his main job is to do Anna’s work – draft his statements and look after his correspondence, and perhaps translate his Hindi into English, and keep his mouth shut.
Unfortunately, in India, nobody keeps his mouth shut, even if nobody wishes to listen to them. Nobody asked Bhushan about his views on Kashmir. He is not, as far as I know, an expert on Kashmir or, for that matter, on anything. Why should he suddenly blurt out his views on Kashmir as if the world was dying to listen to the pearls of wisdom dropping from his big mouth!
Once you begin to appear on TV every other day, holding forth on this and that, you grow fond of your own voice and keep shouting until you grow hoarse. You don’t even realise that people are fed up with you and they switch off the infernal box the moment your mug appears on it. There are scores of such “experts”, mainly from Delhi, who breeds experts as some towns breed flies, who are always going on and on, either because they have no job, or because they have no home to go to. I do hope that our friend Prashant Bhushan is not one of them.
What Bhushan said about Kashmir is sheer nonsense, but as I said, this is a free country, and nobody can stop you from making a fool of yourself. But you don’t have a right to talk anti-national nonsense, and what is national and what is anti-national is not only the business of the Bhushans and the Arundhati Roys of this world, but of every one of us, because this is as much my country as theirs, and I have a right to take action, even physical action, if I find they are insulting my country or trying to destroy its integrity under the garb of free speech and democracy.
Bhushan says that the Kashmiris have a right to self-determination. Of course, they have and they are determined to stay as part of India, as have other states, and Kashmir is a part of India like every other state. There is nothing special about Kashmir, just as there was nothing special about Nizam’s Hyderabad. If some Muslims in Kashmir do not wish to live with Hindus, remember that the Hindus in India can also say that they do not wish to live with Muslims. The right of self-determination cannot be one-sided. So if you want a plebiscite, it should not be restricted to only a part of the country – and that too a tiny part – and let all the 1210 million people of this country, that is, 1210 million Indians vote on whether the small number of Indians who wish to get out of India should be permitted to get out, or remain in India. There should be a national plebiscite, not just confined to Kashmir, as Bhushan and his lot want, but a full national plebiscite, for Kashmir is an integral part of India, and whether some Kashmiris want to opt out or remain in India is something that concerns all Indians, not only some Muslims, or the secular anti-Hindu crowd like Bhushan & Co.
These people say that the Indian army should be withdrawn from Kashmir. Why? Because the Bhushans of this world want it to. It is a national army and Kashmir is a part of the nation. The Indian army has a right, in fact, a duty to patrol and defend entire country, as and when it wants to, because that is what armies are supposed to do. Thousands, may be hundreds of thousands of our young men and women have given their lives in Kashmir defending the country’s frontiers, while the Bhushans of this world spend their time in plush offices in the Supreme Court, running them down. They have no business to insult our men and women in uniform, which is what they are doing when they ask the army to quit and go home. If the Bhushans are alive today, it is because of the presence of our brave jawans on the borders. It is a matter of shame that they do not realise this.
Bhushan says that he is only saying what Nehru used to say and what he says is official policy. He conveniently forgets that Nehru has been disowned by his own people who have rejected his disastrous policy on Kashmir. Not just Kashmir, but China too, and also economic policy. We are now paying for Nehru’s blunders and have rejected him totally, while the Bhushans want to resurrect him. Nehru acted against the advice of his own cabinet, and specially against the advice of Sardar Patel, whom he hated, just as he hated Hindus. Had Sardar Patel handled Kashmir, as he handled other states including Hyderabad, where the Nizam had ambitions of his own, we would not be in such a pickle today and the Bhushans and the secular crowd would not be in full cry asking our jawans to go home as if they were interlopers in their own country.
Let the Bhushans, and the Arundhati Roys and the Vinayak Sens be warned that nothing of the sort is going to happen. No jawan is going home, because he is already home. Kashmir is his home as much as that of the Kashmiris. An Indian is at home everywhere in India because the whole country is his home. It is only narrow-minded people like Prashant Bhushan who believe that an Indian is a Punjabi or a Tamil or a Kashmiri first, and an Indian afterwards. An Indian is an Indian, first. Kashmir is as much Indian as Delhi or West Bengal or Karnataka, and will always remain so. We are not Indians because of Nehru and his brood. It is destiny that has made us Indians, not Nehru & Co. His policy on Kashmir therefore is meaningless and we reject it totally.
I have no idea on what basis Annasaheb Hazare chose his team, if it is indeed a team. What do these people contribute to his work? They seem to be spending most of their time on TV shows, along with the rest of the Page 3 crowd. They appear to have no other work except appear on the idiot box and air their juvenile outpourings. We have great respect for Annasaheb and his mission to rid this country of corruption and other aliments it seems to have acquired during the Nehru-Gandhi regimes. With due respect, he should stick to his work and advise his followers accordingly, who seem to be increasingly eager to follow in the footsteps of politicians. Let politics be left to politicians for there are enough of them in this country without the Bhushans and the Kejriwals joining them. The views of the Bhushans and the Kejriwals on Kashmir – or, for that matter on anything other than corruption – are not worth the paper they are written on. Please Annaji, in the interest of your mission, and in your own interest, please ask these people to keep their mouths shut on pain of expulsion from the team.