It is sad and extremely unjustified that Kashmiris are being attacked by miscreants all over India for the terror attack on the CRPF convoy at Pulwama. It needs to be stressed that the very fact that some Kashmiris make the effort to escape the ghetto like situation in the valley and be part of mainstream India by venturing out of the state to either study or conduct business proves that all Kashmiris are not enamored of Pakistan and do not support terror. In fact, Pakistan is able to occupy mind space in the valley only because Indians have never really made the effort to understand or embrace the people of Kashmir. Most Indians act as if the land in Kashmir belongs to India and the people can go wherever they want.
The miscreants who are targeting Kashmiris are doing a great disservice to the nation. We, as a nation, have failed to assimilate Kashmir in India. Through our policies and attitude, we have ensured that general Kashmiris feel that the rest of India does not accept them as their own. If some of them still try to become a part of us by taking admission in educational institutes as far away as Hyderabad and Kolkata, set up stalls in handicraft retail spaces all over India and come to the plains to sell shawls, saffron or other Kashmiri items, they do so out of a desire to be one with us. By targeting them after each terror attack, we are pushing them away. The blood of most Indians is boiling after the cowardly Pulwama attack. But our response has to be measured and civilized. We need to target our anger at Pakistan and not at Kashmiris or Muslims. The government must take stern action against those who are targeting Kashmiris.
The government is taking the right steps – sanctioning freedom to the armed forces to respond to the attack at a time and place of their choosing, canceling Pakistan’s most favoured nation status, raising the duty on imports from Pakistan, removing the security cover of separatists in the valley, putting intense international diplomatic pressure and preparing a dossier of how Pakistan indulges in terror financing which will be submitted to terror finance watchdog FATF. The citizens can do their bit by helping the families of the martyred jawans. It is gratifying that many celebrities and common people are coming forward to help these families. The need of the hour is to stand behind these families who have suffered a huge loss.