There is always a silence on the Sundays for everyone, but not when you are a soldier in the counter-insurgency operation, looking for terrorists who are hidden in the remote area of Kashmir, Monday’s headlines were pretty dark as what the weekend witnessed, can be called quite a boost start for April, 13 terrorists were killed by the Armed forces including the killers of Lt. Ummer Fayaz Parray, almost a year after the death of the soldier.
But, I wanted to communicate about something much different from the search operations, I would today want to talk about the relations between Indian authorities and the local Kashmiris, one of the most strangled tie, but since it’s a tie, we all are still together.
I would be referring soldiers from Rashtriya Rifles as “Rashtriyan(s)” and Rashtriya Rifles as RR, thought this article is different from the previous ones as we will also throw some light on the faults from the side of India too. But, any of it doesn’t change my love, loyalty, and respect to the Indian Army and to the tricolour, my words shall only be considered as constructive criticism, not anything against the country.
The whole of the story starts from the 1990’s, yes, the decade, where the Indian democracy, secularism, and harmonization failed in front of the terror and only because of our unpreparedness and blind faith on Pakistan, there is nothing to hide from anyone, what occurred on the 19th January, 1990, when the real, radical face of blew straight in our face, lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits had to fly away, many of them were killed, women were raped but still, the whole India stayed silent like a puppet, even if today, the Pandits are upset with the Indian authorities, it’s very fine, cause we all just failed to provide home to the people who became refugees in their own land, successively, the face of terror had bitten Kashmir and the blood was flowing all over, the Indian government had failed to secure a safe stand for the country and once again, all the stress came on the shoulders of Indian Army.
It is when the Rashtriya Rifles were created if you have ever heard of the term counter-terrorists? The Rashtriyans were the CT in very real terms, they were like the terrorists who were born to destroy the terrorists, a terror for the terror itself. It would be right if I said that the RR today are much more at ease than the ones at the early stage of the RR. This Rifle doesn’t have any special code of dressing, you might see one with a nice beard and long hair, but mostly they do hide their face and head with cloth, so you can maybe assume a Rashtriyan as a guerilla soldier, but a very specially trained guerilla soldier, who doesn’t have room for mistakes and errors on his battlefield. RR was nothing that the forces ever wanted to have, but it was the only thing which Kashmir needed, nobody knew that there would be a team of soldiers with only AK-47 in their hands that would cleanse and save the Kashmir from the hell.
RR is something very heroic in the terms of laymen, I myself love the RR and hope that would be attached to them and work forward to bring peace in the valleys, but this peace-bringing force isn’t “white”, its “grey”, RR has spots on it and we have had to it accept it naturally, you would be wondering that why would I say something like that, so I must answer this question: The noise created by the footsteps of an RR unit patrolling can literally give you an anxiety attack, harassing or even disturbing the locals or innocents in the valley was never the goal of this force, but such desperate times of the 90’s had left the army nothing but with limited options.
The options were to either give up Kashmir, or to gun-down every single terrorist, who was sticking to the valley like chewing gum to hair, every terrorist has been taken down, personally, with great efforts and the great local self-intelligence of RR, but obviously, the locals had to pay a price for it, apart from some human-right violations which were actuals crimes committed, I am talking about the CASO, Combine And Search Operations, the limited and only option left to Indian force was this. CASO in the words of the laymen is: force based on their intelligence reports chose an area and do deep search interrogation, most cases, the villagers are taken outside of their homes to conduct the search, CASO was brought back by COAS Gen. Bipin Rawat after the increasing rate of casualties at the LoC, it’s nothing like the Chief is fond of COAS, neither I am but what would you do when your neighbor country sends cut heads of your soldiers? There is a limit to something, and Pakistan has crossed it over and over again.
CASO does create a bad image of the army in front of the civilians and also a disturbance in daily life maybe that is the reason why such highly result yielding type of search operation is taken as the last option, not to forget, these search operations saved the valleys in 90’s, when the terrorists were hidden through all the remote places of Kashmir. After slaying over 21,000 terrorists (still counting), the RR creates deep fear in the heart of its enemies, the number also indicate the desperation of Pakistan trying to destroy India, yet failing at the every attempt, even today, RR has developed and has become even more sturdy and stable, it’s foot in the valley is now ten toes down, still taking about 90’s always feel like opening old wounds.
Coming to today, Rashtriyans have learned and experienced a lot, even better, their intelligence and communication with the local Kashmiris have got better, they are more stable and even humanitarian, there wouldn’t be any force in the world who asked let the family of the terrorist convince him to give up arms.
Conclusively, the armed forces is already doing their job, but the guns are only useful when to kill the terrorists, but when it comes change the local Kashmiris, the ones without guns or stones in their hand, the one live ordinary lives like us, they need a narrative, a peaceful patriotic soothing narrative, to attract them and show them that India is their own and with us, as Indians, they can achieve great heights.
Till next time, vive la Indie, Vande mantram !