SRINAGAR: The Punjabi word “Dulatti” mean a very strong kick by a cart-pulling horse with the hind legs when whipped violently by the owner. The kick might even topple the cart.
The disclosures about the Kashmiri leaders by former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief A.S. Dulat are designed not only to topple their cart, but also discredit the entire society.
There is no doubt that Kashmiri society, including its leadership, exhibit many character weaknesses because of the prolonged extern rule lasting a few centuries. In fact, a number of foreign authors like Sir Walter Lawrence and Canon Tyndale Biscoe have pointed to these flaws, attributing them to centuries of ‘colonisation’. Lawrence maintained that just two generations of a just and strong regime would reverse these weaknesses, and bring out the best in a Kashmiri. Unfortunately the Valley has not seen this till date.
On the contrary, as confirmed by Dulat’s book, Kashmiris have been living through manipulations that bring out the worst in the Kashmiri character.
Disclosures by a former spy are not new. This happens all over the world. The most notorious agency in the world is the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States. A number of its former officers have written books about the “dirty tricks” the agency has been indulging in all over the world. The CIA , in fact, has a special “Department of Dirty Tricks”. The job of this department, it appears, is to spread disinformation about various people especially politicians and others both within the US and all over the world.
William Blum, a former CIA spy has written a book, the “Rogue State” which describes in detail the “Dirty Tricks” indulged in by the Agency all over the world. He maintains that the CIA had once even contemplated the assassination of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, on lines similar to what Dulat reveals about the approach towards Hurriyat leader Syed Geelani. It is well know that doctored pornographic videos of Dr. Soekarno were distributed in Indonesia to discredit him. Similarly, RAW had distributed a “Red Book” about the properties of the Abdullah family to keep the then leader Sheikh Abdullah on the “right track.”
As regards the receipt of substantial amounts of money by leaders of all factions from the agencies of both India and Pakistan, this is common knowledge in Kashmir. In fact, all these so called disclosures have been known to common Kashmiris. The most important information source in Kashmir traditionally has been the baker’s shop. Every morning Kashmiris in every locality gather in a baker’s shop. There is always a rush in the morning and people have to wait sometime even for an hour to get their turn to collect the bread. During the waiting period people exchange information and express their views on various issues.
Quite often people from Delhi have descended here with trunks full of currency notes to buy peace. A typical event of that nature was the holy relic agitation of 1963/64 when Lal Bahadur Shastri came here to buy peace. He had carried along trunks full of money! After the dethroning of 1953, money had been flowing to Sheikh Abdullah’s family and others through Jehangir Khan who was implicated in the famous conspiracy case subsequently withdrawn by the Indian government in 1964, when Sheikh was released unconditionally on Nehru’s intervention.
It has been alleged by many that Dulat’s disclosures are with the consent of the Indian government for discrediting the Kashmiri leadership and the society in general. However, it hardly makes a difference as the present leadership on its own has lost credibility by failing to provide a practical and workable vision and a road map to reach the ultimate goal. They have not been able to go beyond the hartal (shutdown) strategy. In spite of that, they may be the only generation with whom the authorities can still talk!
The most worrisome episode at present for the Indian authorities is not the so called discredited leaders but the new leaderless generation. They are all leaders in themselves and mean business. Recently, the National Security Advisor and the Army Commander expressed serious anxiety about the Kashmiri young men joining militancy. In fact, 21 students of the Army School in Kupwara were stopped from crossing the Line of Control. They were intending to go across for arms training. Incidentally, it is not the unemployed educated youth numbering almost a million who are joining militancy but many highly motivated employed young men. Some personal security officers including that of a minister in the present government have run away with their arms and joined militant ranks.
In such a situation, Dulat’s disclosures even though sensational and dramatic, are not going to have any appreciable impact on the simmering discontent and unrest among the youth caused by extreme alienation which may burst soon like a volcano!