Line of Un-Control4 min read
“No, you started it!”
“No, YOU started it!”
“Why don’t you just admit you started it?”
“Because you started it?”
This is literally what the recent LoC (Line of Control) situation has amounted to, for me. Two Indian jawans were killed in a recent crossfire in Kashmir by no one other than our most beloved frenemy Pakistan. This incident has been a lovely opportunity for our Indian politicians to play the blame game as they compete against each other to win the award for the most hostile comment and helping the media blow the situation out of proportion.
And guess who our latest contender to this political game is: our usually humble and soft spoken Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who publicly ousted Pakistan saying no business will be done with Islamabad till a public apology is given.
But let’s back up a bit. What exactly happened that started this incredible debacle?
This whole fiasco began when an innocuous 70-year old grandmother Reshma Bi, decided on a completely personal choice to cross over from the Indian-administered Kashmir over to the Pakistani-administered Kashmir in order to spend her last few years under the roofs of her sons’ homes. She fled from Charonda, which is a mere few meters away from the actual Line of Control. Her bold move flabbergasted the Indian army at the ease of which she had managed to cross the border with no real retaliation. This was a serious issue, one that hinted at their lack of safety.
And so began the construction of observation bunkers in Charonda which apparently was in complete incongruity with the terms of the Line of Control ceasefire agreement put up in 2003, upsetting the Pakistani side. Despite being asked to halt construction, India gave them a deaf ear. And this is when the war began; first killing a Pakistani soldier and later the supposedly ‘preplanned murder’ of Lance-Naik Sudhakar Singh and Lance-Naik Hemraj of the 13 Rajputana Rifles. Both bodies were mutilated and one of them, Lance-Naik Hemraj, was decapitated.
Pakistan has obviously vehemently denied being part of this charade.
Perhaps I’m not angered enough like the general Indian public (or rather politicians) to thrust my scythe in the air and demand for revenge. I admit the beheading of a soldier was barbaric and not necessarily military-like. But as if our political ties with Pakistan aren’t weak enough already, why do we somehow need to seep this hatred into the sports and arts as well? Are we trying to abolish some of the very few grounds on which we can remotely get along on? We’re asking the Pakistan national hockey team to leave the country, along with IPL fallouts and cancelling concerts of Pakistani singers (a Shiv Sena doing, by the way.)
I could not agree more with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar when she said India’s politicians are throwing this situation out of the ballpark. It is deterring our peace! We are mature countries that need to know how to control such situations instead of hurling insults and throwing fits demanding retaliation like five year olds. Isn’t war the last thing we need?
As for the two soldiers who lost their lives in Kashmir, we should be honoring and respecting their sacrifice. Why wasn’t General Bikram Singh present, who seemed so enraged by the death of his jawans and claimed to avenge them, at their own funerals? Where were the so-called antagonized politicians giving their due respects that day?
But my words will not reach the ears of the pedestaled army officers. Retaliation is already being engaged, leading to the death of another Pakistani soldier, increasing the total death toll of this calamity to five now.
Wasn’t it our very own Mahatma Gandhi who said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”? Oh don’t worry Mr. Gandhiji, we’re already almost there.
Nadia Lewis is Reporter, The Manipal Journal and a student of Manipal Institute of Communication.
The views expressed in the blog are personal.
Photo Courtesy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20954975