Separatism in Kashmir will not be cured by dialogue – Ajay Chrungoo

Kashmiri youth in Srinagar

Dr Ajay ChrungooA de facto Muslim state on the territory of India was bound to move towards religious fascism just like Pakistan. … The present unrest in Kashmir is an expression of a totalitarian stranglehold on the social milieu and political establishment. The unrest is fundamentally regressive in content. It has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with the destruction of freedom. – Dr Ajay Chrungoo

Allowing democratic secular space to promote and perpetuate a regressive fascist political order is the ultimate crime against democracy as well as secularism. In the name of political process this crime has been committed with impunity in Jammu and Kashmir. We have now a situation in Kashmir where religious fascism is expressing itself boldly and brazenly.

What is now being recognised as the radicalisation of the polity is actually continuity. We have seen the progression of an exclusivist religion-based identity movement into an unabashed fascism. In fact, special status, greater autonomy, self-rule, independence, secession to Pakistan or building up of an Islamic caliphate now clearly appear to be stages of an evolving totalitarian religion-based fascist order.

The root cause theories of erosion of autonomy, rigging or bad governance have been actually concoctions of the Indian political class. This class indulged in concoctions to avoid contesting the religion-based identity politics in J&K. They did it so because of a belief that in a Hindu majority country only Hindu communalism has to be fought. They thought all minority communalism is merely a reaction and will be cured automatically if Hindu communalism is contained and defeated.

They forgot that J&K was the only Muslim-majority state in a Hindu-majority country. Its functioning as a healthy secular polity was no less critical than the functioning of the rest of India as a secular polity. It ended up creating a permanent Muslim sphere of interest in J&K. Instead of delegitimising the two-nation theory for all time to come after Partition, they helped to create a special state on the territory of India which was premised on the same principle as the creation of Pakistan.

A de facto Muslim state on the territory of India was bound to move towards religious fascism just like Pakistan. The genocide of Bengalis in undivided Pakistan was the expression of fascism. The genocide of Hindus of Kashmir in J&K is similar. The present unrest is an expression of a totalitarian stranglehold on the social milieu and political establishment. The unrest is fundamentally regressive in content. It has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with the destruction of freedom.

The separatism in Kashmir now needs to be exposed with all its regressive content. The political class must realise that it is not the number of people supporting a movement that makes it sacrosanct but its ideological content that makes it progressive and revolutionary.

Separatism in Kashmir will not be cured by a dialogue but by clear ideological contestation. Fascism is fascism, and it doesn’t matter how many people support it. – Deccan Chronicle, 1 September 2016

» Dr Ajay Chrungoo is chairman of Panun Kashmir

Kashmir Security Force