Indian Army chief Gen Bipon Rawat has come out with strange advice for bilateral relationship; subject to the secularization of Pakistan.
First of all , it is against the norms of service for army chief to advice/dictate a sovereign country ; setting the pre conditions of bilateral relationship because it s a foreign affairs issue, to be dealt with foreign office or political leadership of a country –not the army chief .I remember , once General Sundar Gee (then Indian army chief ) made a statement; saying that : “India has more internal threats from separatists in the country rather than Pakistan” , upon which, he was severely reprimanded by then Indian Prime Minister Mr. Rajev Gandhi.
In the similar situations, American government had removed their senior military commanders during Gulf war and in Afghanistan who made statements; beyond their positions. But probably with the fundamentalist government of India has changed the policy thereby giving the free hand to his services Chiefs to cross the ‘barriers’. Agreed, secularism exists on the pages of constitution of India.
With the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India enacted in 1976, the Preamble to the Constitution asserted that India is a secular nation. The laws implicitly require the state and its institutions to recognize and accept all religions, enforce parliamentary laws instead of religious laws, and respect pluralism but regrettably, the face of this clause /article of the constitution on ground is contrary to that, as the secularism has hardly been respected by Indian governments or the Hindu civil society.
Before the details of maltreatment meted out to Muslims in the hands of Hindu fundamentalists , the similar treatment with other practicing religions is also glaring, where targeted Killings of Sikhs and the denial of justice to the victims by the Indian state has been a common feature. The tales of brutal suppression of minorities in the Indian state are endless. The Christian minority in India has faced threats of death for practicing their faith. Christianity is seen as a threat to Hindu fundamentalists who enjoy the backing of fundamentalist/ Hindu political parties like the BJP.
In year 2000, an Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines was burnt alive along with his two young sons by Hindu fundamentalists. Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident. Many Christian priests have been killed or severely injured in hate motivated attacks and nuns have been raped all in a bid to put a stop to their missionary activities of serving humanity. In year 2008 Hindu fundamentalists unleashed a reign of terror on the minority Christian population in the Indian state of Orissa. Hindu fundamentalists entered several churches during Sunday services, attacked the Christian congregations and burned down countless churches. Hundreds of Christians were killed and tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes. In many cases when Christian went to file reports with their local police stations, the presiding officers refused to record them.
In addition to this, Christian groups continue to report the torture of their members especially their leaders in a bid to silence them and to put an end to their missionary activities benefiting many downtrodden people of Indian society.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many other groups face discrimination and inequitable treatment in the Indian state as well. According to Human Rights Watch, about 170 million Dalits (considered untouchables according to the Hindu caste system) are condemned to a lifetime of abuse and degradation in India just because of their caste classification. The Dalits and Adivasis continue to face widespread discrimination including: decreased educational opportunity; religious discrimination; economic deprivations and targeted violence against women which is greatly under-reported.
Now some historical facts of brutalities of Hindu fanatics in Kashmir , where ‘secular India ‘ has a dark history of events . On 14 October 1947, the Hindu Fundamentalists outfits ( RSS activists ) attacked various villages of Jammu district and after killing some Muslims, looted their possessions and set their houses on fire. There was mass killing of Muslims in and around Jammu city. The state troops led the attacks. The state officials provided arms and ammunition to the rioters. The administration had demobilized a large number of Muslim soldiers in the state army and had discharged Muslim police officers. Most of the Muslims outside the Muslim dominated areas were killed by the communal rioters who moved in vehicles with arms and ammunition, though the city was officially put under curfew.
Many Gujjar caste men and women who used to supply milk to the city from the surrounding villages were reportedly massacred en route. It is said that the Ramnagar reserve in Jammu was littered with the dead bodies of Gujjar men, women and children. In the Muslim localities of Jammu city, Talab Khatikan and Mohalla Ustad, Muslims were surrounded and were denied water supply and food. The Muslims in Talab Khatikan area had joined to defend themselves with the arms they could gather, who later received support from the Muslim Conference. They were eventually asked to surrender and the administration asked them to go to Pakistan for their safety. These Muslims and others who wanted to go to Sialkot, in thousands, were loaded in numerous trucks and were escorted by the troops in the first week of November. When they reached the outskirts of the city, they were pulled out and killed by armed Sikhs and RSS men, while abducting the women.
There were also reports of large-scale massacres of Muslims in Udhampur district, particularly in proper Udhampur, Chenani, Ramnagar, Bhaderwah and Reasi areas. Killing of a large number of Muslims was reported from Chhamb, Deva Batala, Manawar and other parts of Akhnoor with many people fleeing to Pakistan or moving to Jammu. In Kathua district, there was extensive killing of Muslims with women being raped and abducted.
The decade of 2000 has been full of horrors. The 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing was a terrorist attack that occurred around midnight on 18 February 2007 on the Samjhauta Express, a twice-weekly train service connecting Delhi, India, and Lahore, Pakistan. Bombs were set off in two carriages, both filled with passengers, just after the train passed Diwana near the Indian city of Panipat, 80 kilometres north of New Delhi.. Seventy people were killed in the ensuing fire and dozens more were injured. Of the 70 fatalities, most were Pakistani civilians. It was revealed later on that this brutal and inhuman act was planned and implemented by Hindu fundamentalists.
Before advising Pakistan, Gen Bipon Rawat should have studied the history of Partition of the subcontinent as what were the compelling factors which led to the breakup of Subcontinent with emergence of new States. In Pakistan army , the officers are taught the subject of Pakistan Studies in which ‘Two Nation Theory’ is focused in particular and is also a mandatory subject in promotion examinations for junior officers , therefore , Pakistan is an ideological state which cannot drift to Secularism , as ill advised by Indian Army Chief .
BY : Major(R) Muhammad Mahmood Khan Ghaziabad – Azad Kashmir 0300-8339056