Maj. Arya’s Letter To Every Soldier In Kashmir

SOMEWHERE IN KASHMIR
Dear Soldier,
During the last few weeks Kashmir has seen choreographed bloodshed, at a scale not witnessed in the recent past. And you, my friend, are in the middle of a media firestorm. They say that you have not exercised adequate restraint. They sit in air-conditioned TV studios and claim that you are a killer.
Over 3000 of your brothers have been injured in the past one-month, some critically. Many have been martyred. No one knows about this because for those who disseminate news, the country is inconsequential and you are expendable.
And this is how they want you to die – unknown, unwept, unsung and unforgiven.
All throughout your training and your service, you were taught that the enemy is across the Line of Control. I am afraid that is no longer true. The LoC has shifted from Kashmir to Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai and to hundreds of towns and cities across India. That is where the new enemy is, our own fifth column.
This enemy does not use guns. He uses social media. He uses lies and half-truths to tarnish your image. He tells common Indians that you, the Indian soldier in Kashmir, are a rapist and a murderer. Are you flabbergasted and heartbroken? Welcome to the new war, my friend, a war without honor and rules of engagement.
The enemy knows that you are undefeatable and so he has decided to break your morale.
You ask me what is this “azaadi” that the Kashmiri separatists want? You say that they have their own flag, their own penal code and their own constitution. What more could anyone want? My friend, they want Kashmir to break away from India and merge with Pakistan. That’s why whenever there is a mob on the streets of Srinagar you will never see a Kashmiri flag. You will only see Pakistani flags and the flags of the Islamic State (ISIS). This is the new reality.
Kashmiriyat died the day the first Kashmiri Pandit was killed in the Valley.
Kashmiri separatists love “funeral politics.” Have you ever wondered why the protestors who are hurt during clashes die when they could have easily been saved? Because Pakistan trained terrorists stop the ambulance midway and don’t allow it to reach the hospital. When the injured person bleeds to death, there is a grand funeral the next day. A new martyr is created out of thin air.
Doctored and fake images of bleeding women and children with pellet wounds are being circulated on social media, and young, gullible Indians are being told, “Look, this is what your army does in Kashmir”.
I am afraid for you because I know your own death cannot break you, but the image of a bleeding 5-year-old child easily can. You are a father, too. They want to break your heart so that you lose the will to fight.
But there is hope. Millions of Indians who were dormant are waking up. They now know the truth. They were scattered earlier. They are uniting now and every day they grow stronger. They may not wear the uniform but they are soldiers in spirit. And when the time comes, they will stand with you till the very end. You are not alone.
Soon, the sun will complete its westward journey. It will soon be time to clean your AK 47, fill your magazines and prime four HE-36 hand grenades. Your company commander is waiting for you. He will give you your mission brief for tonight.
Intelligence sources from Brigade Headquarters have confirmation that there are 5 Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists holed up in a single-storied house on the outskirts of Chowkibal, Kupawara. Your mission is to “neutralize” them.
It is 0300 hrs and a large Chinar tree close to the house is blocking the moonlight. This is the opening that you need. You will ask your buddies to quickly surround the house, blocking all exit routes.
As you stealthily move towards the house with four of your buddies, your rubber-soled boots ensure pin drop silence. You position yourself under a window near the main door, your AK’s fire selector switch now on “automatic” mode. The team’s number two takes out a HE-36 hand grenade and pulls out the pin and starts reverse counting. Five, four, three, two, one…the grenade is lobbed inside, followed by a loud explosion after 4 seconds. You kick the door open and storm the house.
There will be gunfire, smoke, screams and explosions. And then there will be the sweet stench of blood. Tonight, you will kill.
Good luck and happy hunting.
Major Gaurav Arya (Veteran)


*Content in article are personal opinion of the author, MagMug doesn’t endorses them.*

Stones Vs Pellets: Which Side Are You?

kashmir_stome_pelting_20100712.jpgA lot of discussion and debate has been done over the Kashmir issue, and I have always stayed quiet over it. But I got a few request saying as to why being an aspiring writer of Indian Military History, I haven’t yet let it out? Am I one of those ‘Bhakts’ who are supporting BJP or am I one of those ‘intellectuals’ who are supporting the Kashmiris.

Let me tell you, I am none. I am just a rational human who believes in supporting what is right after studying the cases well.

I heard people saying, ‘They are just throwing stones? Why pellets are being used on them?’

Then let’s consider this case, not long ago, ‘stone-pelting’ by mob was a capital punishment for accused in many parts of the world [even in India]. There used to be a pedestal and the mob was allowed to surround it with accused standing in the middle of it. They used to pelt stones at a brutal velocity and frequency. The one on pedestal used to run in all possible corners of the small area to find an inch where they could save themselves. But people being merciless kept pelting stones at an unarmed man or a group. They usually lost their vision, hurt their temple, got their private parts injured and a lot more serious injuries before they succumbed to a painful, merciless death. This practice was banned in most part of the world because it was inhuman, even the worst of criminals and terrorist didn’t deserve it.It was a strict violation of human rights.’ f70295c0906fa13efe0b3a2f369a-grande.jpg

Your security forces are getting to face this situation in Kashmir almost every now and then. They are surrounded by a brutal crowd and are heavily outnumbered. The crowd off-course of localites knows the nook and corner of their towns, surrounds the forces in a vicious circle and pelt stones on them. Not just this, many a times these men even use petrol bombs, tear gases and everything they can arrange for to hurt the security personnels. Even in this situation, the forces are asked to maintain, ‘maximum restrain’ and not fire until and unless the situation is ‘out-of-hand’. Do you know the definition of    ‘out-of-hand’? Most of the time it’s when the security men are on a verge of getting martyred in a protest which is a norm for the Kashmiris.

Have you ever thought of these men, as they too have family which cares for them. Try putting your own friend or a family member in place of that innocent jawan who has joined the defence forces thinking he will ‘serve’ the nation. He will live protecting you and me. Try thinking that what if he doesn’t fires a pellet or a tear gas to save himself and his men, what kind of painful death he will die?

srinagar_650_041715081117.jpgIf you say that pellets aren’t a solution then give me one. Sitting on a coffee table and discussing about this situation or applauding a journalist who is biased towards the Hurriyat to ensure her TRPs will bring out solutions? I don’t think so. Let me tell you, at times I don’t really care. You blame the current government and the security forces for being this oppressive. Then a quick reminder for you, Article 370 or AFSPA was not introduced by the present government in Kashmir, it’s the result of the ‘secular’ and ‘liberal’ leaders we had in past. And the situation now is so bad that gunshots need to be used no matter you like it or don’t.

You say killing of Burhan Wani was not judicial. What if a terrorist like Burhan Wani comes and points his AK47 on your forehead while you are vacationing in Kashmir? Should the security forces would have waited for a situation when Burhan Wani would have kidnapped some film star and killed him? May be that would have justified it, because in our country a film star can get away with murders but a soldier doing his duty can’t.

I am not saying every Kashmiri deserves to die but if they are perpetrating against our nation, they will get an answer. Indian Judiciary allows you to murder in self-defence. My forces have done that in the interest of the nation. I am sorry for the Kashmiri families who lost sons, brothers, husbands, fathers even if they were like Burhan Wani but I can’t see families mourning over the fact as to why they sent their sons, brothers, husband, fathers to guard a nation like that of us.

You think I am a ‘Bhakt’, yes I am a ‘Bhakt’ of truth. I don’t wear khadi and carry a jhola and comment on situations which are not in my control. I believe in being rational and supporting what is right. You want the pellets to stop, then stop the stone-pelting first. If they can’t, we can’t!

  • Udisha M.

    About The Author

    An Engineer by degree, Digital Marketer by profession and a Blogger by passion, Udisha is an aspiring writer and a published poet. She has contributed on leading Indian and international defence forums. A born foodie, she has a keen interest in contemporary literature and cinema. She’s biased towards humans with intellect. Reach her on udisha0902@gmail.com


  • Image sources: outlook, India Today, Google

* © MagMug 2016 . Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the Author and www.magmug.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content *