An old quote reads, “a lie gets half way around world while the truth is still tying its laces”. Indeed! And this adage is applicable in all spheres of life with equal ease. Be it mundane human activity or the highest form of statecraft. Goebbels is credited, or accused, of turning lies into an art of propaganda. A few countries are so fond of this lie-making that it seems there is no thread of truth in their DNA.
Rhetoric aside, we must give what is due to the devil. India shares some common chromosome with Hitler’s Nazi party. After all it is no coincidence that the swastika is commonly used in the Indian political and religious landscape. It holds a special place in Hindu religion and is proudly painted and displayed in temples. Hindu India has taken many lessons from the fascism of Hitler and his ideology. And the greatest among them is to follow Goebbels in letter and spirit.
What was Goebbels’s fame? He presented lies in such a twisted way to the world and repeated them so often that truth got lost under the heap of lies. The BJP is good at assimilating any and all lessons when it comes to deceiving the world about the dark side of India.
Take the example of “Shining India”. This was the election slogan of the BJP in 2004, when 50% of India was living below the poverty line. India had one of the highest rates of suicide among peasants. The lure of a billion plus customers is too difficult to resist for external industries, and much of India’s murkier aspects are overlooked for economic gain.
India has hidden an ugly truth about the plight of its minorities. Gross violation of fundamental human rights is most visible when it comes to Kashmir. India has used its soft power and Goebbels philosophy hiding its feral face in dealing with Kashmir. This is a point on the agenda of the UN Security Council since 1948. It is an unresolved international dispute and not a bilateral clash. Kashmir was raised at the UNO by the Indian side and the world body promised to resolve it on points of principle.
That dream is yet to be realized but we can accept whatever meagre efforts the UN has made, in this regard. It has raised an observer group, composed of multinational military officers, to observe and report any incident of violation of ceasefire agreement. UNMOGIP (United Nation Observer Group in India and Pakistan) as it is called, is deployed in both India and Pakistan. Both countries are required to facilitate this group to move freely along LoC to monitor and report a violation. Pakistan has been cooperating with it. India has always been reluctant to give UNMOGIP free access to the LoC for obvious reasons. Freedom to move within Kashmir would expose Indian brutality and atrocities in Kashmir.
Before Narender Modi’s coming to power as premier, India was never in flagrant violation of UN resolutions on Kashmir. But since 2016, the Indian government has denied UNMOGIP any semblance of cooperation in performance of their mandatory work. This is occurring in complete disregard of international treaties and resolution of the international body. And India is able to deflect any flak on its belligerency.
It is easy to establish the reason for Indian reluctance. Since 2014, Kashmir has been subjected to a sinister campaign of terror by Indian forces. Kashmir has been up in flames since 1989. It is third generation of Kashmiris that is protesting for its rights. The Indian state has applied every nefarious tactic to stem the rise of peaceful political demonstrations, but in vain. The Indians have now taken a leaf from the book of that other occupying power, Israel and implanted it in Kashmir. Indian forces use pellet guns on protesters. It is considered a non-lethal weapon but Indians have used it to intentionally blind protestors. A complete generation is being blinded as a punishment for the Kashmiris’ demand for their inalienable rights.
When all coercion has failed, India has tried to play another oft-tested card of infiltration from across the LoC. How ironic that the Indian media and state mouthpieces have forgotten that India has heavily fenced the LoC and the fence is guarded by nearly half-a-million military and paramilitary forces. Kashmir is the most heavily militarized region in the world.
Indian forces resort to incessantly heavy firing. This is again used as smoke screen to mask the bitter reality of Indian atrocities.
The world is worried about the two nuclear-armed neighbours and makes all efforts to deescalate tensions, but it conveniently ignores the atrocities in Kashmir. This is what is desired by India. There is a method behind this madness of escalating tensions on the LoC. Firing across the LoC shrouds the Indian crimes against civilians in Kashmir.
Firing across the LoC has been a favourite ploy of Indian forces to divert the attention of the world from the real issue. But under Modi’s extremist government, it has been used to a degree unknown in the South Asian context. A few statistics would reveal the extent of misadventure across the LoC by Indian forces. The Pakistan Foreign office reported 1,300 incidents of firing along the LoC in 2017 alone. These firing incidents resulted in loss of 52 lives and injured some 175 innocent civilians. And the start of 2018 has seen abnormally high firing incidents by Indian forces.
Since PM Modi took over office, there have been nearly 7,000 firing incidents. This is in sharp contrast to roughly 1,100 violations of the LoC from 2003 to 2013, a period of 10 years. 1,100 violations in 10 years makes 110 incidents in a year and Modi govt has raised this volume of violations to nearly 2,000 violations a year. This is the true face of secularist, moderate, peace-loving, democratic India. Any casual reader can also deduce the plight of people living along the LoC. How much disruption of daily life would they be undergoing? No media reports this horrific state of affairs of these civilians.
India refuses UNMOGIP to patrol the LoC to verify the “alleged infiltrations” from Pakistan because the words of a neutral body like UNO would carry weight. India is unhappy with UNMOGIP since it flatly refused to verify the Indian “alleged surgical strike” in Pakistan in October 2016, since it had never occurred. How could India tolerate an independent minded world body?
India is continuously firing across the LoC which is causing unimaginable misery and suffering to civilians living along LoC. Pakistan is displaying patience and restraint of the highest degree, but there are limits to everything. The Pakistan government and army are trying not to respond to India in the same coin. The world has to take notice of this unprovoked violence and firing across LoC before it gets out of hand and turns into a conflict nobody can control.