Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Romanticising Extreme Left

I was watching a debate on "The Buck Stops Here" program of NDTV. The program was debating recent student protests in JNU and government crackdown. One of the participants Prof. Apoorvananda of University of Delhi had written a very poignant piece in Indian Express calling "Umar Khalid My Son". 

Prof. Apoorvanand wished he had a son like Umar Khalid. While praising the idealistic rebel inside Umar Khalid, who had chosen a life of hardship and rebellion instead of a cushy job, Prof. Apoorvanand supported young students questioning idea of India and demanding azadi for Kashmir. Prof. Apoorvanand also said that India cannot hold on to land of Kashmir without any Kashimiri in it.  

One cannot but be moved by heart wrenching sentiment expressed by Prof. Apoorvananda. Many well meaning people of good intention think along the same line. A very similar sentiment was expressed by Arundhati Roy many a time in open meetings. Prof. Apoorvamand's thoughts were not very different from that of Ms. Arundhati Roy, who has ultra left leaning.

India has earned its freedom after a lot of struggle. At the time of partition, Kashmir became a part of India when Hindu Maharaja of Kashmir agreed to be part of India. But most Kashmiris being muslim, Pakistan claimed Kashmir to be part of its own territory. Since 1947 the debate is continuing, amid several wars and ongoing insurgency. Question then is valid, can India retain Kashmir without Kashmiri people wanting to be any part of India?

I would like to consider the following points:
  • Unlike many nations in the world, India is a very heterogenous country from the point of view of religion, language, ethnicity etc. To give voice to maximum number of people in decision making, India has opted for democracy and a constitution. Constitution gives us right to free speech. We can certainly debate the idea of India. Can we raise slogans encouraging break up India? 
  • It is an academic idea to have a country without border, its time definitely has not come. Borderless state is not a geopolitical reality. From a purely ideological point of view, if we let Kashmir be free, what would be the fate of Hindu Kashmiri's who were evicted from their land, from their home and hearth. This was an act of ethnic cleansing, undertaken to increase population of muslims in the valley.
  • What happens if Jammu and Ladakh decides to stay within India, while Kashmir valley decides to secede? This option may not be acceptable to Kashmiris. The whole idea of border less state will then fall apart. What if Pakistan occupies Kashmir after India makes it azad? What will happen to Indian border?
  • If we accept a borderless state, should we not agree to wall less home where everything is open to all. We do not. Same argument goes for states. We guard our borders. People lose lives to protect our limited freedom within our state boundaries.
  • In his article, Prof. Apoorvanand eulogised ideological pursuit of Omar Khalid and belittled career pursuit. Money making and career pursuit may be abhorrent to idealists, only a self sufficient individual can help others, if they choose to, and a self sufficient nation can take care of its citizens. To be fair, no one heard India's moralistic preaching while begging for aid from the world.
  • Followers of left leaning ideology, of which Omar Khalid is a member, most certainly Prof. Apoorvamand also subscribes to the same ideology, believed in taking from the rich and giving to poor. India has practiced this philosophy for sixty years, we know how we have been able to help our fellow citizens.





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