That a large number of Kashmiris are involved in spying for the state is a fact all too well known. It is probably ‘normal’ in a place like Kashmir where people see the state as an entity of occupation and the state is constantly looking for collaborators and informers to maintain its writ. The people are engaged in a perpetual battle, in the streets as well as their minds, to see the last of this occupation. The state on its part sees the use of unmitigated violence against the people as its mainstay to keep the population under the jackboot. A 24×7 surveillance of the people is a critical part of this strategy of controlling the people to perpetuate the occupation. These policies of the occupier have been and are common across all lands occupied in the past or at present – Libya under Italians, Algeria under French, Palestine under Israelis, Afghanistan first under Russians then under Americans, East Timor under Indonesians, even India under British – everywhere the patterns of subjugation are similar. In all these places the collaboration and cooperation from some locals became a key component in keeping the wheel of occupation turning on crushing in its way all forms of resistance. Kashmir is just another small example although the dark secrets of the controlling mechanisms do not usually come in the public as they are heavily firewalled by the state.
Certain things have of late been trickling out that point to some grim realities of how the Kashmiri society is being morally hollowed out.
There are reports out there that a large number of girls are involved in spying for the state forces and intelligence agencies. They are paid handsome amounts, their mobile bills, travel expenses and most other needs are bankrolled by the agencies. In some cases even education fees are paid for by the agencies. The most unfortunate and alarming part is that this liaison with the state forces and agency men doesn’t remain confined to being just informers. As interactions progress and freebies flow in, the girls often ‘develop’ intimate relations with their handlers. There are also reports that some local men act as pimps, or flesh pimps to be more accurate, in getting these girls into this cycle where spying and sex go hand in hand. There are also disturbing reports of illegal abortions, even children being born out of wedlock.
This is our dirty dark underbelly.
The society’s focus is elsewhere and these dark realities hardly get attention. The so-called leaders who claim to fight for people’s rights are too busy plotting their politics over the spilled blood to which they actually owe little or no loyalty – something that was so starkly demonstrated during the recent killings in Kupwara.
Sexual liaisons whether they are voluntary or made out of compulsions or under duress is immaterial. The long term consequences of such spy-and-sex relations are disastrous as such activities threaten to rip apart the already damaged moral fibre of our society. Civil society, parents, social and religious reformers and other stake-holders need to wake-up to this grave issue of how the chastity of our young girls, some of whom are barely in their teens, is getting compromised. They have to show responsibility. These activities are happening not only in the city, but more often in towns and villages where men in uniform intermingle with the locals and enjoy easy access to their households. Parents and elders need to be alarmed over the activities of their young daughters.
At the root of cultivating and running these unholy liaisons are mobile phones. A sustained awareness campaign needs to be run so that unsuspecting and gullible parents and elders monitor the abuse of mobiles by their daughters.
Perhaps, with the busting of the infamous sex racket in 2006, we thought prostitution in the society too has been busted. It is there today even more vigorously; only difference is that it is well covered up from all sides.
Time to wake-up and smell our dirty reeking backyard.