By Aditya Aamir
The Government of India order on cessation of army operations in Kashmir during Ramadan is a farce. Ramadan was never an addendum to peace throughout Islamic history. And security forces in Kashmir have been dealing with year-round no breaks in terror for decades. In 2014 their hands were untied. Now, almost four years to the so-called nationalistic BJP coming to power at the Centre, their hands have been tied again. Beats logic because the terrorists are on the run and shouldn’t be given the chance to regroup and attack.
Peace is not the terrorist’s credo. And “before peace could get a chance” on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, that fact was proved right: Terrorists in Shopian district in South Kashmir were merrily and murderously firing away at the Army within 90 minutes of the Home Office directive to give peace a chance. If the Home ministry cannot rein in separatists, it should get out of the Army’s way.
Let’s admit it, Ramadan or Ramzan has never been excuse for Islamic warriors to stop fighting or firing. They continued to fast and say their five times a day Namaz with swords in fists and fingers on the trigger. The month of fasting doesn’t mean militants and terrorists will sit and while time away for Iftar to be announced. No, they do what they do year-round: Pick up the AK-47 to kill and maim in the name of Allah. In Kashmir. In Syria. In Afghanistan. In Pakistan…
Even the most moderate of Muslims will not stop fasting or praying just because there’s an ongoing war or there’s battle raging on the riverfront a mile away. They will wait through the day with parched throats and empty stomachs for the call from the mosque to break their fasts. Dates and fruit and the kebab and the mutton biryani and mutton stew have the uncanny knack of appearing on dining tables just when there’s the craving for them.
And those who breakfast in the evening hour are not just “peaceful Muslims” but also “fighting Muslims”. So, just when you are mulling Karnataka and stuff that is government-formation, up appears breaking news that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has ordered a unilateral ‘Ramadan Ceasefire’ – cessation of military operations in the volatile Kashmir Valley.
What’s this Mr. Home Minister, did you not hear what Army chief Bipin Rawat said a couple of days ago, that the army is not in the Valley to commie-coddle terrorists and their shepherds across the border? It baffles the rationalist: Since when did the Indian State turn selective-religious from committed-secular? Why a 30-day chance for peace, why not the entire year off if peace is what is at stake?
Such short-sightedness! Such foolhardiness. Such betrayal! Trust not the soldier in uniform with his assessment of the situation but trust Mehbooba in mufti with her highly partial perception of the enemy! The order from the Home Office is ‘fire when fired upon’ and ‘fire to protect innocent civilians’ but ‘cordon-and-search’ is out of the window. Such a wretched codicil. The militant/terrorist is free to fire at will on security forces and scoot to inner sanctums to recuperate and reload.
The question is simple: Does the Muslim stop fighting wrongs when Ramadan holds hostage the calendar? Ramadan has never come in the way of righteous battles and wars to rid the world of scourge, any scourge. Did Muslims stop Ramadan fasting during the several years of WWI or during the four years of WWII? Did Muslims give a chance to peace when Pakistan committed genocide in Bangladesh or force Kargil on India? Did Kashmiri Muslims stop fasting when and after Kashmiri pandits were shooed out of the Valley at gunpoint and threats of rape?
Islamic conquests during Ramadan include Badr (624 AD), Mecca (630 AD), Guadalete (711 AD), Al Zallaqa (1086 AD), Hattim (1187 AD) and Ain Jalut (1260 AD). Closer in time, 400 attacks during Ramadan in 2016 and 300 during Ramadan 2017. The Global Terrorism Database says there was an average of 15 terror attacks every Ramadan day from 2006 to 2015. This whole thing about Ramadan Peace is all a bloody hoax.
So, who is Mr. ‘Kadi Ninda’ Rajnath Singh fooling? The BJP for the second time in three months has succumbed to pressure from alliance partner PDP and given to terrorists and stone-pelters a chance to go about their nefarious business in the Kashmir Valley. Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar may go to Lahore to give Pakistan a chance but the pseudo-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party does it from right here in Delhi. Maybe, there is meaning to giving away the caretaker rights of the Red Fort to a private company, after all. Words spoken from the ramparts of Lal Qila lost relevance from the day the Modi government took charge of India.
PS: It shouldn’t shock the Home Ministry that within 90 minutes of the Ramadan ceasefire announcement terrorists struck. So much for peace and Ramadan. BTW whatever happened to Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju? The man’s not been seen or heard in quite some time. Hope all’s well. (IPA Service)