Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Kashmir Struggle is all about establishing Islamic Caliphate and Sharia

As different terror groups fight for dominance in Kashmir, they make it clear that resistance and struggle is only about Islamic Caliphate

As radical Islam spreads its tentacles in Kashmir an
increasing number of women can be seen in
fully covered veils (burqa) Photo: Vivek Sinha 

Vivek Sinha
twitter: @viveksinha28

Zakir Musa, the recently ousted terrorist commander of Hizbul Mujahideen’s Indian arm, has unveiled the motivations driving Kashmir saga for the world that had hitherto remained secretive and was never talked about in the open. In a series of video messages, Musa has clearly spelt out that Kashmir is part of Islamists’ agenda to establish Islamic Caliphate and there is nothing political about their “movement”.

Musa’s video message has come in response to a recent statement from Hurriyat Conference leaders where they claimed that Kashmir struggle is political and has nothing to do with Islam. But Musa was quick to denounce Hurriyat’s intent. He minced no words as he questioned the rationale of using mosques and Islamic gatherings as a platform through the years where Hurriyat leaders openly advocated Islamic Sharia and an ambition to establish Islamic Caliphate across Kashmir. “…we want to ask these political hypocrites if Kashmir is a political issue then what’s the meaning of these slogans? Azadi kaa matlab kya? La Illaha Ilallah, (What is the meaning of Azadi? There is no God except Allah), Pakistan say rishta kya? La Illaha Ilallah (What is our relation with Pakistan? There is no God except Allah).”

He went on to say that these (Hurriyat) hypocrites cannot be our leaders. “We warn these Hurriyat people not to interfere in our matters…remain with their dirty politics… otherwise we will cut their heads and hang them in Lal Chowk (Srinagar, Kashmir Valley),” Musa asserted.

Musa’s video initiated swift reactions and denials came quick. Hizbul Mujahideen issued a statement distancing itself from Musa’s remarks, which was followed by a second video message from Musa, where he claimed that he stands by his stand and announced his decision to quit as Hizbul’s India chief. He explained that he cannot be a part of any political movement and will fight only for the cause of larger Islamic resistance. Musa followed this by a third video wherein he categorically asked his comrades not to fall in the trap of nationalism and remain on the path to establish Caliphate. “Khilafat (Caliphate) Unites but Nation Divides” read the poster in his video message.

Abdul Gani Dar, a local leader of the ruling People’s Democratic
Party (PDP) 
was shot dead at this spot by terrorists at
Pulwama in Kashmir Valley.
Photo: Vivek Sinha
Genesis of this “Kashmir issue” lies in Pakistan’s belief that erstwhile princely state of Jammu Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of India’s partition.

When India was partitioned, the princely states had the option to join either the Indian or Pakistani dominions. On October 26, 1947 Jammu Kashmir’s Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession with India thus making the entire Jammu Kashmir as an Indian state. Pakistan has refused to accept and honour this accession which was the same for all princely states and has been stoking Islamic passions in the Kashmir Valley to fuel disturbances. It’s propped up political outfit, Hurriyat Conference is a conglomeration of different leaders in Kashmir Valley who officially maintain that Kashmir is a political problem, but recruit Kashmiri youth into their fold by drilling into their minds that Kashmir resistance is part of the larger Islamic struggle to establish a Caliphate and Sharia across the world.

This double speak continued all through the years, but as penetration of social media grew in the Kashmir Valley and sources of news flow increased, the local Kashmiri youth have come to realise this double speak of Hurriyat and their masters in Pakistan. It was this realisation that led Musa to come out openly against Hurriyat.

However, an open acceptance that ‘Kashmir struggle’ is all about Islamic Caliphate and Sharia weakens Pakistan’s case on Kashmir across international forums. And so Hizbul Mujahideen quickly disassociated from Zakir Musa and he was asked to quit as its India chief. The Kashmir saga has now begun to unravel and the layers within layers are getting exposed by the day. Hizbul Mujahideen is struggling to keep its flock together, even as its members break away to form other splinter groups.

Musa has announced to set up his new group, an Islamic Sharia Rebel Group. The group has already announced its goal to set up Sharia in Kashmir. They called upon a meeting with some Salafi and Wahabi groups and have rejected to toe the line of Pakistan propped Hurriyat leaders. Musa announced to play a separate role for Nizam-e-Mustafa.

The Hurriyat Conference found itself on a sticky wicket when its top leaders admitted on camera that they continue to receive regular funds from Pakistan to foment trouble in Kashmir Valley. Hurriyat has since suspended its leader Naeem Khan.

India’s NIA (National Investigation Agency) is now questioning Naeem Khan and other Hurriyat leaders.

As old comrades break ranks they are now desperate to prove their mettle for Islam. They need new recruits, arms and a name for themselves. Muslims in the Kashmir Valley are thus being forced to participate in this larger resistance to establish Islamic Caliphate. A couple of days ago, Syed Naveed Mushtaq, a constable in the Jammu Kashmir Police stole four automatic assault rifles and service revolvers and fled to join Hizbul Mujahideen. Hizbul’s spokesperson confirmed that Syed Naveed has joined ranks with them.

The coming days could see these splinter groups fight for supremacy and cement their place as the torchbearers of Islam in Kashmir. This, in effect, would mean more killings and an increase in terrorist activities. Last fortnight, five policemen of the Jammu Kashmir police and bank security guards were gunned down by the terrorists in Kulgam, Kashmir. This was followed by the murder of an unarmed Kashmiri army officer, Lieutenant Umar Fayaz, in cold blood. The only crime of Lt. Fayaz or the policemen were that they did not agree to play a part in establishing Islamic Caliphate in Kashmir.

( This article was first published at )

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

How new media ventures will change the meaning of "News"

Vivek Sinha  

The flow of information drives dialogue and discussions in a society, which is the bedrock of a vibrant democracy. The fourth estate comprising an army of Journalists aid and abet this information flow that in turn kick-starts societal discussions about legislative policies and executive actions. While doling out information Journalists rely on the five ‘Ws’ and one ‘H’ to apprise their audience, such that these five ‘Ws’ refer to What, Where, Who, When and Why while the ‘H’ refers to How. Several generation of Journalists have been taught and made to believe that of these six questions, ‘Why’ is the most important that requires the precision and trained eyes of a scribe to write a news report. This, ‘Why’ puts perspective to an incident by adding value to raw bits of information.

Interestingly, “Why” does an incident or an event becomes news worthy has undergone a sea change, for worse. To recall, in the pre-independence era newspapers were loaded with articles that castigated the British rule and dissected every decision taken by them thereby creating awareness about futility of British colonial rule in the Indian sub-continent. Why? Because the Journalists and Column Writers in that era were fierce nationalists whose aim was to initiate discussions about ways and means to gain independence from British rule. Things changed in the post-independence era and newspaper reportage was more about nation’s progress and talks centered on developmental issues.

However, over the last couple of decades the kind of news being reported has undergone a complete makeover. Entertainment has silently entered the lexicon and before we could realize it is now glued as a suffix to news and has given rise to the phrase ‘News & Entertainment’. Well, there is no anathema to Entertainment and happenings in the entertainment industry does have a news value, yet news and entertainment are of two different genres and attempts to club them together has deprived the sense of social responsibility that news dissemination once had.

This evolution has had far reaching ramifications. Now, events that have the potential to attract eyeballs and can boost TRPs (television rating point) are played up in the hierarchy of news importance. Reporters can be seen in pursuit of only those information-bits that have a sensational value or the potential to rake in moolah for their media houses.

In this scenario, news that is not 'sell'-able is no news at all. There is lure of money and in the process if ethos of Journalism gets eroded then so be it. This in effect explains attitude of the so-called “mainstream” Newspapers and News Channels where information presented as news have rarely any informative value or educative component. Pressing issues that concern well-being of our nation gets buried in the noise of ‘entertaining news’. The domino effect has led to constantly falling standards of discussions within the society with people shunning away all forms of social responsibility.

Ironically, all this is being done in the name of reader interest or the-audience-wants-it-so-we-give-it. Real news gets lost in this blind race to serve the lowest common denominator and discussions get skewed in a manner such that trivial issues take precedence on the nation’s center stage.

Thankfully, technology has been a great enabler in modern times that has opened new avenues across sectors, including news media. News dissemination is now no longer the preserve of a select few and rising Internet penetration has opened new possibilities for the exchange of ideas. The tech-revolution has pulled down the cost of setting up a new media venture. As a result, news portals are coming up across the world that raise issues untouched by big media organisations. 

Often the level of conversation in these newly born news portals through their incisive articles and columns is far superior than what the established media brands cater to their audience. Experts with vast experience in their respective fields of knowledge who were hitherto spurned by big media brands look towards these news portals to share their stories. New voices improve the texture, tenor and quality of discussions. 

This, indeed is a refreshing change but much depends on whether the momentum continues. Current indicators point that this momentum will build upon in the coming years. It should. Because healthy discussions lead to a better society.

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