Kashmir: Ask your Barkhas and Rajdeeps

Animal Farm, George Orwell, propaganda, Divide-and-Rule; Hindus-Muslims-Dalits-Christians, Lilliputian,  NewsBred, presstitute, news-peddlers, Kashmir, Hurriyat, NC, PDP, militants, stone-pelters, Poonch, Kargil, J & K, Srinagar, Ananthnag, Baramullah, Kulgam, Pulwana, Shias, Dogras, Kashmiri Pundits, Sikhs, Ladakhis, Gujjars, Bakarwals, Paharis, Baltis, Christians, Mulsims, Azaadi, Secessionists, Hindus/Dogras, Kashmiriyat, Ladakh, National Conference
The pictures in Kashmir Valley that don't make a headline

I sincerely believe we would never know the forces of our world till we read “Animal Farm” from George Orwell. It tells you that a society consists of only two forces, one who wants control and the other who is controlled. The one which wants control uses propaganda, deception, money, violence and terror. It covers up its tracks with moral positions. The other one is easily duped by these methods. You and I only fall in either of these two categories.

Propaganda makes use of s primary weapon: the historical/religious/caste/race divides which are ever-present in any society. Propagandists keep driving a wedge on these faultlines so that society remains divided. The classic “Divide and Rule" formula. Hindus-Muslims-Dalits-Christians are made suspicious of each other. They tear each other apart rather than rejoice in common themes between them.

Their lilliputian leaders ride on this animosity to win elections. They are damned if they improve the lot who've voted them to power. Nor the propagandists fret. For it was never the aim. The society remains weak and polarized. Like a patient who never leaves the couch of a loathsome doctor while he is sucked dry of all resistance and resources.

So identify either of the two groups you belong to. Don’t delude yourself in believing that you fall in between neither. In that case, you don’t matter. You could say you don’t care but be prepared for the price your children would pay. To be neutral is to be a criminal to your next generation.

I take my role, and one of NewsBred, for right or wrong, as the one to take on these propagandists. You could argue that the like of Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Ghose are not propagandists. That they believe in a just and equal society. That they believe in the freedom of an individual.  They don’t want intolerance and injustice.

Every time you delude yourself in such misplaced trust, and come out in defence of news-peddlers, give yourself a simple test. As an Indian you are told daily that Kashmir is burning. Ask yourself whether the propagandists whom you believe in, have told you these simple facts:

  • That out of 22 districts of Jammu and Kashmir, the trouble involves only 5 districts: Srinagar, Ananthnag, Baramullah, Kulgam and Pulwama;
  • That the residents of other 17 districts, unlike a few secessionists in these five districts, are completely pro-Indian;
  • That the population of these five districts is less than 15 per cent of the entire J and K state. Naturally a far lower number  must be the one of “secessionists”;
  • It ought to surprise you that there are more than 14 major religious/ethnic groups comprising 85 per cent of the J and K population who are pro-India. These include Shias, Dogras (Rajputs, Brahmins, Mahajans), Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Buddhists (Ladakhis), Gujjars, Bakarwals, Paharis, Baltis, Christians and many more;
  • The total number of Muslims in J and K state are 69 per cent of the population—and since only a handful are involved, it ought to give you the idea that not everyone is looking for “secession,” or “azaadi”;
  • That Shias (12 per cent), Gujjars, Muslims (14 percent), Pahari Muslims (8 per cent), Buddhists, Pandits, Sufis, Christians and Jammu Hindus/Dogras (approx 45 per cent) are totally opposed to separatism and Pakistan;
  • That out of a total population of 1.25 crores, majority do not speak Kashmiri as their mother tongue. It’s Dogri, Gujjari, Punjabi, Ladhaki and Pahari;
  • This “Kashmiriyat” narrative by propagandists would make better sense to you if you are told that almost 85 percent area of J & K state are not Muslim majority. The area-wise division of J & K is: Kashmir 15 %, Jammu 26% and Ladakh 59%.
  • That only a small number in Kashmir speak Kashmiri and this group controls narrative from business to bureaucracy to agriculture; from Hurriyat to militants; from National Conference to PDP; from media houses to think-tanks in Delhi—and the foreign forces who want a weak India;
  • That stone-pelting, hoisting of Pakistani flags and anti-India demonstrations are held in just 5 districts in Kashmir valley. Other 17 districts  have never participated in such activities.
  • Poonch and Kargil have above 90 per cent Muslim population. There has never been an anti-India or separatist protest in these districts.

So every time you are fed a narrative from our presstitutes, take the trouble of asking them whether they know these facts; and if they know whether they had cared to inform you the reader about these hard facts. And if not, what could be their sinister motive.

If none of you are informed, and there is no public stance from these presstitutes on these hard facts, ask yourself whether you are not being a sucker to these divisive forces. And whether it’s time you boycotted them and brought them to book. There is no bigger crime than betraying somebody’s trust—forget the money and time you spend on such worthless hacks. Whether for every story of division in our society, aren’t we obliged to run 100s of positive strains to communal harmony. India matters to us and our children. Not to those who don't have your or mine interest at heart. The classic "Animal Farm" syndrome where the majority are led by the ear by a few sinister forces. Chase them out of your mind and drawing rooms.

More by Ashish Shukla