Congenital defects get repaired only in graves. But acquired insanity also becomes incurable once any idea grips the masses and becomes their second nature.

People say popular delusions got better of the Kashmiri Muslims many times before ’47 and in sporadic manner after freedom. I am witness to at least two such situations when people didn’t think. They were carried away by the surf of hatred at one time and brutality of happiness at the other instant, to unhinge their innermost desires.

Zia -Ul- Haq was given undue promotion by Z A Bhutto. Zia returned the favour by overthrowing him. The dictator knew that a popular leader like Bhutto was a potential threat. So, he got him hanged after observing all the judicial niceties. On 4th April 1979, Tarah Massi, the noose man whispered in the ears of Bhutto: Sir, I have nothing against you. Forgive me! And then did his job in presence of the four wardens who had carried Bhutto on a cot. Bhutto didn’t walk up to the gallows.

The Sun was very kind to Kashmir on this day. Sunny and pleasant! And then the news of Bhutto’s hanging broke. And all hell broke loose in the length and breadth of Kashmir.

I think there is hardly a place in the world that can rival the political hara-kiri as Kashmiri Muslims are capable of enacting at the spur of the moment. In order to get rid of a Shia King Yousuf Shah Chak, they connived with Mughals and convinced him to meet with Mughal Emperor Akbar for ensuring lasting peace. Yousuf Shah had repulsed twice incursions by Mughal Army. So, he went to meet with Akbar but was arrested. He died in a jail in Patna. His spouse Habba Khatoon deposed many pathetic songs. Even today these songs are very popular with the masses.

Next, the gentry invited Abdali to attack Kashmir to liberate them from coercive Mughals. Pathans next broke all the records of coercion. Funnier and funnier things happened till Sheikh Abdulla took charge.

Sheikh was in charge in Kashmir when Bhutto was hanged. People, on hearing the news came out on streets and started targeting Jamaat Islami (JI). Syed Ali Gillani was sole member of JI in the assembly. The Muslims were convinced that Zia was a Jamaat Islami (Pakistan) sympathiser. Thinking at an accelerated pace, the ire of the people fell on those having affiliation with the JI.

Ganderbal, is the home Constituency of the Abdulla’s. JI members had built a small mosque in a big compound in Ganderbal which had many aged poplar trees. The frenzied mob made this mosque the target and torched it. Not satisfied with the damage caused, the mob axed the trees and torched the green trees. When someone tried to drill some sense in the mob they declared the trees were Jamaat trees hence couldn’t be tolerated. The religious books were torched branding them as Moududi junk.

But the mob was more thorough in West Kashmir-Anantnag. A cleric is said to have wailed “Benazir! Your father has been murdered. Now who will oversee your marriage?” This infuriated the mob and they went hammer and tong against JI houses. The village Arwani and Redwani witnessed the worst.

A man was fleeing with a stone hand mill. When people informed him about the futility of the loot, he replied: “The cleric has advised me heavier the load of the loot, bountiful blessings will flow from Allah.”

The loot is justified as Mal e gamin (spoils of a war) in Islam. But the absence of war didn’t discourage them from ransacking the villages. A family which had lost its head member recently through natural causes, were so frightened that they forgot to carry the sleeping girl child with them. While ransacking the house they discovered her, rolled her in the bedding and threw her out of the window. She survived and that is a miracle.

What is reality? What is absurdity? The physical world is a reality. It doesn’t change. Astrophysicists are engaged in converting a reality into absurdity. Every day they talk about millions of light years away they have discovered this thing and watched that phenomenon. What has actually happened is that Newton cooked up the value of Big G to be on the right side of the Church. Einstein picked up from where he left. Next, they created an entire constituency of Star watching and sucking in budgetary provisions from social sector. But the Governments, especially the US allows the free loaders to have a party but create artificial intelligence to make America Great Again!

This is insanity of the scientific kind. The absurdity of course is a continuous changing of goal posts and justifying every change with the seriousness of a lunatic.

 II

The late Mufti M Sayed was sworn in the Home Minister of India on 3rd Dec 1989. The serious disease that (Political) Hindus of India suffer from is that they desire to be seen as non-communal. Hindus think that displaying absolute goodness is some sort of an armour which gives pause to criminality. Gandhi’s murder has taught them nothing.

On 8th Dec ’89 his daughter was kidnapped by militants to force release of five highly trained and motivated militants (Pl see ch 5 When Kashmir fell from Grace). V P Singh, the PM as we know now was a person of humble mental origins, panicked and negotiated a deal with the militants.

On 13th Dec my spouse had an appointment with Dr Mehraj u Din. We travelled up from Baramulla early in the morning with this intention that given the situation in Kashmir, we shall return post haste. But as we reached his clinic in Karan Nagar, we discovered that he had left. The only option we were left with was to stay put and fix another appointment with the doctor.

The doctor had another clinic at Hari Singh Street, just near the place where Justice Nilkanth Ganju was murdered in November. He had awarded death sentence to Maqbool Bhat JKLF leader. So, we went to our home in Srinagar and returned the clinic around 3PM.

Everything was peaceful. The doctor arrived. Satisfied with the recovery of my spouse advised no more visits. He was actually reducing our chances of exposure to danger. At about 5 PM we exited the clinic and lo and behold, the Street was choke-a-block with people and vehicles. We were taken aback. What had happened! We enquired and were given the first shock: we have won! The government has surrendered. Our comrades have been released. But there is no news about Rubiya.

We escaped through the only narrow pathway and emerged on the exhibition side. We were not thinking. Just moving and becoming a part of the crowd. At the exhibition gate, we hired an auto which carried us to Butmaloo bus stand. Luckily a bus half empty, passengers mostly Sikhs were in the bus. We exchanged furtive smiles and occupied our seats.

The scene that unfolded in Srinagar was one of great rejoicing and merry making. Fireworks and folk dancing continued for the entire night. As we knew latter, Arif Mohd Khan and IK Gujral were in police HQ to receive the captive. Rubiya was ultimately released from Sopore.

This abject surrender by the VP Singh Government encouraged the Muslim youth of Kashmir on to a path of complete destruction. As the mass insanity gripped the people their minds got fixated on to a slogan -Aazadi! The young oblivious of the fact that crossing into POK, when snow had already cut-off the passes, was a dangerous expedition went and started paying with their own lives the price of misadventure.

19th January saw the unprecedented show of strength. After the evening prayers all mosques in the length and breadth of Kashmir blared threats to Hindus. The start was tumultuous as it was scary. The insanity of panic gripped the Hindus. Mass migration started.

The Muslims of Kashmir are not brave and war monger types. Their leaders thought it prudent to invoke the blessings of religious places spread all over Kashmir to ensure victory. In late Feb masses would start collecting at one point early in the morning to visit holy shrines en mass.

But the funniest order that was issued by militant leaders baffled even the mentally retarded. Allah will crown us with victory by the end of March. So, all are asked to transfer their savings to the J&K Bank.

The faithfuls followed the instructions and a mad rush for withdrawals or transfers to J&K Bank started. The panic displayed at that time by the depositors was rivalled by the scenes of anxious people in ques after De-monetisation was ordered in 2016. In this way the people were tricked into exposing their hordes. Next started demands for parting with money to fund the struggle. The extortion stories can be collected if people are contacted individually. Collectively they will say: We shall eat green grass but fight for Aazadi!

The shrine visiting idea was an exercise in mass mobilisation. The insanity continued for some days. On 5th March the caravan was stopped from reaching Baramulla. The lull was broken when Moulvi Farooq was assassinated. Then the State picked up the challenge.

The collective insanity of Muslims has now been cured but not completely. Once in a while when a militant is killed they revisit their insanity and travel down memory lanes. But those who ignited the fire are not alive except for a few arm chair revolutionaries. The revolution eats her own children!

III

The Capital city also witnessed mass insanity when Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own guards. They being Sikhs the ire fell on the Sikh community.

My observational activity I indulged in for decades taught me: if you don’t know mathematics you can choose any profession. But you should never become a ruler for there are 90% chances you may end up in a battlefield!

The magnetic attraction which griped soldiers in the past and grips democrats at present, to be near the National Treasuries has not weakened. Democracy has opened up opportunities for even lesser mortals to rub shoulders with high and mighty in the corridors of Power. Indira Gandhi was not even a matriculate, yet became the Prime Minister of India. The upwardly mobile Hindus are so short sighted that they can’t make a difference between ‘huge’ and ‘great’! So, they mix up things and once situations fall apart they panic and issue mad executive orders.

The Brits handed over official files to the Hindus and they changed file covers and declared freedom. Pakistan, on the other hand had to start from a scrap and made a lousy country. The Hindus were lucky. Jinnah gave them a walkover in Delhi and obliged the Hindus. But the Hindus never recognise that Jinnah’s error of judgment gave them a country. That India even now is not more than 50% governable doesn’t sink in them.

“Life’s tragedy is that we get too old too soon and wise too late”- Benjamin Franklin. The political murders committed by power players in Pakistan are committed to memory by people in Pakistan. Here in India we saw Nehru died in the wake of defeat in the icy battle fields of ‘62. Shastri in the wake of battles of 1965 with Pakistan. Indira Gandhi in the wake of attack on Akal Takht. Rajiv Gandhi in the wake of LTTE mis-adventure.

The fact is that every new ruler gets the feel of the hugeness of the problems in the first few days of his/her taking over. Next all the enthusiasm wanes and firefighting through short cuts starts. Rulers start trading on their integrity. Compromises and betrayals follow. That is when the seeds of failures start sprouting. The point of no return follows.

When love becomes hysteria, emotions take over from reason. Accumulated frustrations sprout anger. Mass hysteria provides an opportunity for the people to flush out their anger. Recklessness follows only to be replaced by remorse when surf of anger dies. It happens because the sources of their troubles are not consumed in the fire and tumult.

The mass insanity which gripped the Hindus and created unprecedented harm at the spur of the moment is tragic. But the part played by the States in all the three cases, discussed above is unpardonable. The failure of the law enforcing in 1979, 1989 and 1984 could have been avoided had not the political compulsions taken the better of civility and fair play.

Here I reproduce one letter in support of my argument. This letter was published in The Hindustan Times on 27 10 1997.