Today, India is a country under siege. Terrorism coupled with ultra-Left violence makes many parts of the country seem like no-go zones. Externally, there are numerous challenges in the neighbourhood. The least that can be done is not to create more problems in the name of being “humane”.
The Union government is considering a policy to rehabilitate militants from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) who want to surrender and lead normal lives. There are large numbers of such militants who are “stranded” across the Line of Control and who want to come back. There is a groundswell of support for such “boys” in J&K. The state government is drafting a policy which will allow this. Local political compulsions are behind this move.
No sooner had this been announced than Punjab too started demanding such a measure for its own militants who live abroad. In this case too, Union home minister P. Chidambaram said the government may consider an amnesty, provided a proper policy is drafted. In addition, militants should give up the idea of Khalistan. his is a bad idea.
The problem is very serious in the case of J&K. Sitting far away from the scene of turmoil, not many citizens realize how a day begins and how it ends in the Kashmir valley. There are two different sets of people who engage in two very different activities in J&K. The first set comprises stone-pelting young persons in downtown Srinagar. This is a daily affair with no checks by the parents of these teenagers. Even if one such youngster dies in police action, the entire state comes to a standstill. At the receiving end are the jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force,?or?one of the paramilitary forces. It is from this crowd that militants are created. It is these militants from crowds of bygone years who now want to come back to India. There will, of course, be no accounting of those who died at their hands. If anything, it will encourage more youngsters to become militants.
Such policies are an insult to the sacrifices of thousands of men and women who risk their lives to protect the country. They will also discourage many from taking up this challenging task. It also reinforces the idea that India is a soft state where “everything goes”: become a militant, kill people and a pardon will be waiting for you. A great country to be a terrorist.
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