How does one bridge the gap between Indian soldiers dying in Pampore, Kashmir from hostile gunfire and civilians being held hostage on the one side, and a bunch of picnicking youngsters calling each other ‘comrade’ and masquerading as champions of liberty on the other.
At the outset, the enormity of a singular thought is striking.
Were these terrorists emboldened by the vast wave of publicity given the JNU cultural evening and the subsequent manipulation of that event which led to arrests and the last 10 days of divisiveness?
So imbued that they would choose the same region and the same time frame to rush into a building much like Pathankot and kill seven people in uniform and in civvies, regardless of their religion.
Often enough in the past few days, we have been told by mandarins in media and elsewhere not to connect the agitations with the role of the soldiers or take their sacrifices to muzzle protestors with emotional blackmail and that the two aspects are mutually exclusive.
We all nod wisely and agree.
This is a good time to ask why not? Why not make a nexus between those who shout for so-called freedom in Kashmir from the snug ‘paid-for’ campuses and generate negative imagery about their land with the soldiers into whose bodies thud high-powered bullets. Why be squeamish, Professor?
After all, you guys haven’t been squeamish about the refusal to hoist the Tricolour and you lot believe in your rights to go for broke. So why not take your delegation on a detour from marching on the streets to the home of the six soldiers and share with them your ‘mutually-exclusive’ grief and make the weeping widows understand that there is no way that your agitation and this latest terror attack is connected?
That you are sorry they died and you feel for their loss and are equally proud of the fathers and the mothers and the brothers and the sons, who now in the mountains lie sleeping but in your intellectual loftiness, they should not have been there in the first place, right? Like jaywalkers run over on the road by legitimate motorists.
Not that one expects it, but it would have been salutary as fellow Indians to have some comment from JNU students and faculty on this latest assault on India seeing as how both their protest and the hostage taking occurred over the same ‘territory’ while their agitation is still on. Not a peep of regret.
I am looking for that bridge this morning. So that I can reconcile children who have never earned a living, being such violent rebels with a cause and the chasm that yawns between them and the soldier’s father who holds his grief in check, and displays pride that his captain son laid down his life for his country — his only son. Go figure.
Is this the same country, the same people, Professor, with the leather patches and the scorn in your voice?
Are we all Indians in this together?
Run to your homes little children and fall upon your knees, pray to the gods to intermit this plague before it falls on thee.