Every story has two sides. And both sides can seem equally convincing to a person sitting far away reading the morning news on his iPad. After reading dozens of articles from famous publications and well known journalists, it appears that the case of Burhan Wani must not be taken lightly. This is far from over.
On one hand we have a large number of people in Kashmir who have called him a “martyr” after he was terminated. and on the other hand we have people hailing the efforts of the indian armed forces in carrying out a successful operation and killing an important man. And important why? Here’s why.
The case of Burhan Wani is really simple to understand. It is rather black and white. One can easily connect the dots between events that led him to leave his educated household at the age of 15 to become a militant. If my memory serves me right, it was his brother who was assaulted by the armed forces for no reason and it was the outrage that drove him into militancy. And as far as i am concerned here in lies the problem. This was a critical time in young Burhan’s life and things could’ve gone either way. His outrage is perfectly understandable. And the actions by the armed forces in that case and many similar cases have been questionable. I say this with a heavy heart as I am from an army background but even I sometimes feel that the troops deployed in the Kashmir valley consider themselves larger than life. Make no mistake, i am forever in their debt for keeping our borders safe and winning several wars. It is the humanitarian inside me that questions these actions against civilians. These actions that disrupt daily lives of the local population and their outrage is understandable when they are left with very less to survive on.
Taken from another angle, young Burhan’s decision to take up arms was not at all the best decision. Needless to say his young mind was brainwashed by ideas and pushed to the front lines by terrorist leaders who sit behind closed doors of safe houses and deploy their minions to do their dirty work. As far as they are concerned, they will find yet another Burhan. And then another. If one is to hear the intercepted conversation between the terrorists and their handlers during the attacks in bombay, this can be seen clearly. Earlier conversations were encouraging and telling the likes of Ajmal Kasab to carry on and promises of paradise were made. Towards the end of the siege however, their tone changes completely. They are heard instructing them to avoid getting captured, that they must be tired and exhausted, they must be low on food and rations. So they must go out with a bang and sacrifice themselves. Clearly, this is terrorist propaganda. And young confused angry men like Burhan are their prey. Even now it is the local Kashmiri population mourning the death of their beloved son and not one of his handlers or bosses have expressed remorse. Or even if they have, I’m sure they don’t mean it. Agreed that the attacks in bombay were strictly from an attack point of view, Burhan’s quest was driven more towards the freedom and liberation of Kashmir from militarisation. But in the end these are both acts of terrorism.
The deployment of troops is also understandable as far as i am concerned. Our noisy neighbours cannot be trusted to keep their word and infiltration is at an all time high. How is one supposed to abandon a perpetual war zone and expect things to be fine? Islamist terrorist leaders have used the call of the religion to rally troops from all across the world. However if you really sit down and ask them the why’s, what’s and how’s of the matter, i don’t think they will be able to provide an explanation worthy of hearing. That’s why it is always about the holy leader who calls upon them to pick up arms. It is never explained how he gets these messages and what is the logic behind his interpretation. And the confusion about religion has been utilised to its maximum potential.
In the light of all this, one realises the importance of education. Every religion has a preacher who claims he is righteous in his acts because the big man upstairs commands him to do so and thats what some book says he must do. I come across several people in my religion too who make remarks that are insensitive. But here’s the thing. i can tell that he is full of himself. i know he claims to know what he is talking about but in reality he’s an illiterate buffoon and he too uses religion as a tool to rally people for support. Take for instance how the BJP government used the Babri Masjid as an excuse to rally support for the elections. That is all everything ever really is. Leaders using sensitive matters and issues to create a divide and gather support for themselves to become even more powerful.
The case of young Burhan Wani is the same. If someone had tried to explain things to him, if someone had shown him the right way to express outrage, if someone had shown him to channelise his anger into something productive, if only someone had told him that violence only leads to more violence. Even in his death, 21 others have died in the past few days in protests.
The central government too has a role to play in all of this. Remarks have been made by senior party members calling the people of Kashmir anti-nationals. Claiming that anyone who supports a terrorist and calls him a martyr is a traitor to his own country. But people like Burhan are a product of the system. We created Burhan Wani. Even though i do not accept his actions, i understand his reasons. I understand what must’ve happened to him and what must be his state of mind when he ran away from home. Such is our country and such is our faith in the legal system that young boys are fleeing their homes to join terrorist ranks. Yes, they are misguided but for them, their quest is justified.
The armed forces need to understand that these actions are only causing more harm. And there is no dearth of Burhan Wani’s. There are enough angry youth present in the valley. How long will the central government turn a blind eye to this matter? How long before they realise that these actions of needless aggression towards civilians and showing utter disrespect will only spawn more and more militants? how long before they realise that the people have been oppressed long enough?
Surely there is another way of dealing with this. I’m no strategist and i don’t have all the answers. I am just a man expressing my opinions. And while many of you may get angered by my opinions here, please read what i wrote once again to fully understand what i am talking about. Understand that the need of the hour is for the troops to behave and for the people of Kashmir to shield their children from the teachings of radical islam. To educate them about what islam actually teaches and not what some televangelist tells them. It is indeed sad that this war never really ends and there is no real end in sight. If people were to just walk a mile in each other’s shoes, they would understand. They would understand why is isn’t anti-national to call him a martyr. They would understand that instead of resorting to violence and extreme measures, a dialogue can be productive too. They will understand that people’s livelihood gets disrupted from these constant curfews and pointless attacks and arrests.
As far as i am concerned, no one is right or wrong. Burhan Wani was created by the system. and in the middle of all this terrorist/political propaganda, a young promising youth walked down a dangerous road and paid the ultimate price. It is a sad day indeed. And those rejoicing his death live in utter ignorance that we have not fixed the problem. We have not terminated the threat. Everything is NOT back to normal in the valley. Infact, the way i see it, things are about to get ugly.