DEBATE: The ‘Kashmir Question’
DEBATE: The ‘Kashmir Question’
While there is unanimity on the right to free speech, academic freedom, execution of Afzal Guru, opinion is sharply divided on the ‘Kashmir question’
The NDA-government and sangh parivar backed crackdown on JNU on the alleged ground of ‘anti-national’ slogans such as ‘kitne Afzal maaroge’  and ’Pakistan Zindabad‘ having been raised on the campus has, among other things, given a fresh lease of life to the Kashmir issue. Some might see it as the ‘law of unintended consequences’ in motion. Others view the ominous developments since the February 9 meeting at JNU as the workings of a devious design.

Ever since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed, BJP-dominated, NDA government has assumed power at the Centre, the sangh parivar which had nothing whatsoever to do with India’s freedom movement has been posturing as the only true patriots and nationalists.
Recall the neat division of citizens between ‘Ramzaadas’ and ‘haraamzadas’ by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti a minister in Modi’s government. Recall the, ‘If you want to eat beef, go to Pakistan’ declaration of another NDA minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Recall the ‘Crackers will be burst in Pakistan if BJP loses the Bihar elections ‘warning’ of BJP president, Amit Shah. Recall the ‘all those opposed to Modi should go to Pakistan’ cry of senior BJP leader from Bihar, Giriraj Singh.

Any talk of growing intolerance in the country was damaging India’s image overseas and those doing so were also, what else, ‘anti-national’. In short, you are either with us (sangh parivar) or you are ‘anti-national’.

In the last two months or so the campaign against ‘anti-nationals’ the sangh parivar has deployed its student wing, the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) target non-conforming student bodies across the country (Hyderabad Central University, Jawaharlal Nehru University…) with full support of the Modi regime.

It’s no longer a question of growing intolerance. The ‘anti-national’ mantra is now being chanted, with enthusiastic support from some of the TV news channels to whip up hatred and mass frenzy, incite violence.

Meanwhile, with the crackdown at JNU the Modi government, the BJP and the rest of the sangh parivar have latched on to the ultimate test of nationalism: Afzal Guru and the Kashmir question. And on this, opinion is sharply divided even within the Left.
SabrangIndia is starting a debate on the subject.