If Zakir Naik can be tackled, why not Kashmir terror-promoters
JAMMU: Bangla-desh today banned hate- preacher Zakir Naik’s Peace TV channel after reports that his provocative speeches inspired some of the terrorists to carry out the country’s worst terror attack at a café in Dhaka. Coming at the time of Kashmir being on boil, why doesn’t India emulate and take similar action against a section of media which has been glorifying terrorists in Valley as role models for youth?
Could civilian killings in south Kashmir be averted, had the governments in New Delhi and Srinagar acted professionally and without consideration of appeasing those who keep aiding and abetting terrorism? Burhan Wani was glorified beyond proportion.
An icon was made out of an ordinary young lad, who took to arms as many others do in the Valley of radicalism. Who promoted him and what was the motivation? Answer to this will be meaningless unless certain crucial facts are analysed in proper perspective.
The 2010 killings of stone-pelters, followed by death of two women in Shopian, exposed the perpetrators of terror hugely, who wanted to put Kashmir on flames on one pretext or the other. They included over ground supporters of Jihad, who funded youngsters and made available logistics to carry out stone-pelting as Intifaada; politicians, who kept espousing their cause by providing moral support and crying hoarse on human rights violations; thirdly and importantly, a section of so-called mainstream national media which kept providing oxygen in the shape of publicity to terror mongers.
The large scale hue and cry over killing of stone-pelters encouraged the terror-perpetrators to seek maximum involvement of Kashmiri youth to keep Kashmir on boil, as also to make the Jihad indigenous.
This was felt necessary as Pakistan was getting exposed at international level for its nationals being either eliminated as infiltrators on border or done to death in encounters on the mainland Kashmir. It was hugely becoming embarrassing for the rogue enemy to justify involvement of its nationals in Kashmir terror. This wider thinking set a stage for Burhan Wani to become a motivating factor for local recruitment of terrorists. Larger than life size blow up of the teen- terrorist in the shape of ‘exclusive write-ups’ and ‘special photo-ops’ in prominent magazines and on premier television channels across the country simplified the job of handlers, who had been toiling hard to brain-wash and indoctrinate young minds. They presented before them a model, who had acquired heroic stature, courtesy the media.
Burhan’s growing popularity had earned him cross section of friends, which ultimately peeved someone, out of jealousy to turn informer resulting in his bump-off, if rumour mill is to be believed. Nothing after death even for a terrorist, but the fact remains that poor Burhan had been made an icon by all those, who have vested interest in continued terrorism in Kashmir. It should not be forgotten that terror has become an avocation for separatists, secessionist, a section of mainstream politicians and all others who have benefitted immensely during the past two and half decades. They all joined together and got into business of making a glamourised Jihadi in Burhan.
Burhan’s pre-and-post killing media blow-up reveals volumes on motivational publicity. One wonders whether the US or UK media would give such a ‘pleasant coverage’ to any terrorist or terror motivator. Efforts are being made as if he was fighting for a holy cause. During his lifetime, his videos were played by several media channels, thus serving the purpose of those who shot these in order to reach out to larger audience. The newspapers carried special features, showcasing him as a victim of circumstances. Even after his death, exaggerated reports are being carried out with a purpose, knowing well this can harm Kashmiri youth more than doing them any good. Attracting more youngsters to become Burhan may, of course, be the agenda of terror perpetrators but will every father aspire to become the elder Wani, who lost his son to ‘martyrdom’?
The entire myth woven around Burhan by motivated media reminds of Pakistan’s overt and covert efforts of ensuring wide publicity for terrorists and terror activities since onset of terror in Kashmir. The indepth survey conducted by a noted journalist Praveen Swami and carried by Frontline magazine reports, inter allia, in 1997, “An internal briefing document of the Intelligence Bureau (I.B.) acquired by Frontline suggests that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) routinely uses the West Asian hawala network as well as “Kashmiri pressure groups working from the U.K. and United States” to fund politicians affiliated to terrorist groups. This money is then passed on by these leaders to armed organisations. The I.B. document suggests that much of this money is skimmed off by the Hurriyat leaders, as well as their proxies, who include businessmen and journalists, for personal benefit”. This fact continues to remain relevant even present times, especially in the wake of ‘larger than life size projection of a terrorist like Burhan’.
Now that New Delhi has woken up to dangerous flow of information through Zakir Naik’s Peace TV in the aftermath of Dhaka slaughtering of non-Muslims, the Indian agencies need to scrutinize footage on Kashmir terrorism and find out motivation behind all that glorifying terror in Kashmir. This is necessary in the backdrop of IB findings that hawala money is being pumped into journalists among others, as revealed by Praveen Swami. Instead of taking cue from the startling IB leaks, the two governments have been ‘rewarding’ the terror-glorifying media by way of incentives, loans, concessions and advertisement support.