I felt impelled to write this letter after reading your open letter to slain Kashmiri leader Burhan Wani and your subsequent Facebook post on the same topic.  I have also seen the Buck Stops Here show in which you appeared on the panel along with General Malik, Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari, Supreme Court lawyer Shabnam Lone and others.  I will say at the outset that my perception of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani is radically opposed to yours.  I am writing because I am hoping that you and others who share your views will be at least open-minded enough to give a hearing to an opposing view.

As you say Burhan Wani could have been anything he chose to be–doctor, lawyer or computer scientist.  Indeed his parents offered to send him away from Kashmir to a city in India and even abroad.  But at the ripe age of fifteen he resolved to join the armed struggle against Indian rule in Kashmir.  For that reason he left what must have been a comfortable home and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen, the pro-azadi group which has been active in the valley since the late eighties.  Your Open Letter argues that he turned his back on a conventional career because he was drawn to the seductive world of social media with its promise of instant celebrity and all encompassing fame.  May I point out that your analysis has made a big leap in identifying social media stardom as the reason why fifteen year old Burhan Wani embraced the dangerous life of an outlaw—exposure to inclement weather through much of the year and other forms of privation, being always on the run, always hunted by Indian forces in  Kashmir.

The transformational event is now well known.  It ought to have been covered at length in your widely read Open Letter since it has a critical bearing on Burhan’s conversion to militancy.  It is disingenuous to call Burhan a terrorist who waged war against India without going into the reason why he took up the gun.  Better to acknowledge and address the causal chain.  As you know fifteen year old Burhan and his older brother Khalid had gone for a bike ride in their village in South Kashmir when they were stopped by Indian soldiers who sent them to buy cigarettes. The cigarettes were duly purchased and delivered but the brothers were given a beating all the same. Khalid was beaten till he became unconscious. Burhan vowed he would take revenge and soon after that he disappeared from his home.  If the transformational event had not taken place, if Burhan had been spared such a direct encounter with the unpredictable, everyday violence ensuing from the militarisation of Kashmir he might have moved on to a conventional career.  The bright fifteen year old schoolboy that Burhan once was would have been allowed to fulfill his promise.  The Indian army and the police would not have remorselessly hunted and killed him in the bloom of his youth.  Kashmir would not have exploded in rage and grief.  A small handful of powerless observers like myself would not be mourning his death along with that of every young Kashmiri who joined the armed struggle against Indian rule because he witnessed or underwent gratuitous violence resulting from the presence of the Indian military in his region.  As you know the civilian fallout from the killing of Burhan has been incalculably grim–more than 50 young people dead, children and young people doomed to live out their lives in darkness or with impaired vision, thousands injured many of them with serious wounds and permanently pellet scarred faces.  All of this could have been avoided.

You have said in your Facebook posting that there would be a lot of dead 23 year olds if every ten year old who got slapped picked up the gun.  Permit me to submit that it is a gross misrepresentation to imply that Burhan was merely slapped and to omit specifying the perpetrator of violence. Burhan was beaten by Indian soldiers for no reason.  His brother Khalid became unconscious because Indian soldiers posted in Kashmir gave him a savage beating.  How is it possible to gloss over such gratuitous violence?  It is not enough to issue a perfunctory condemnation.  You are condoning the violence by refusing to address it in any depth or detail.  What recourse was there for Burhan Wani?  The Supreme Court’s direction regarding the use of excessive force in disturbed regions was only issued two weeks ago.  It did not exist in 2010 when fifteen year old Burhan had his fateful and ultimately fatal encounter with Indian soldiers.  Is it so surprising that Burhan concluded political and social justice could be obtained only by driving Indian forces out of Kashmir?  It is difficult for the privileged to empathise with those who lack their advantages.  Still I will request you to attempt this exercise.  How would you have reacted if you had been the fifteen year old native of a disputed region held by military force and had received an unprovoked beating from soldiers posted in your area?  What if your brother had been beaten till he was unconscious?  Would you have thanked the soldiers for sparing your life?  Would you have chanted Bharat Mata ki Jai and hoisted the Indian flag to show your gratitude for being subjected to gratuitous violence?

I have been emphasising the beating given to Burhan Wani by Indian soldiers because it was to be the turning point that led to his joining the armed pro-azadi struggle that seeks to bring an end to Indian rule in Kashmir.  I repeat there is no basis for thinking that Burhan’s life as a militant started with his longing for social media stardom.  His boyhood experience of gratuitous violence at the hands of the Indian military led inexorably to Burhan being killed in the bloom of youth.  Now you Major Gaurav Arya are saying that a bullet awaits Burhan’s successor Mehmood Ghaznavi.  Did you ever wonder what turning point led Mehmood Ghaznavi to join the militant pro-azadi cause?  What about the twenty boys who went missing on the night of Burhan Wani’s funeral?  Have India’s armed forces identified the bullets that await these boys?  How much killing will be enough killing?  How much blood must flow in Kashmir?  When will India’s armed forces decide Kashmiris have been maimed, tortured, blinded and killed in sufficient numbers?

In your Open Letter you have taunted the slain leader Burhan Wani calling him a would be Rambo with a delirious female following.  Surely the dead leader should have been treated with some respect even if you perceived him as a terrorist who waged war against India by targeting Indian forces stationed in Kashmir.  It is just as well that you don’t find it in your heart to blame Burhan’s family.  His family had nothing to do with Burhan’s rebelling against Indian rule in Kashmir. It all started with fifteen year old Burhan’s brutalisation by Indian soldiers who acted on the assumption that Kashmiris could be bullied, humiliated and and beaten at their sweet pleasure.  And who was to stop them?  The enforcers of colonial rule have always despised the natives.  Naturally the Indian soldiers who beat Burhan and his brother Khalid did so because they looked down on Kashmiris and felt entitled to treat them in a brutal way.  Burhan’s family tried to hold back the enraged boy.  But the spirited fifteen year old lad disregarded their efforts to pacify him.  Some years later he paid with his life when the Indian army launched its manhunt. You acknowledge that there might be an occasional bad apple within what you say is a moral army.  Well one of those occasional bad apples precipitated a series of events that led to Burhan Wani being killed.  In consequence Kashmir will be grieving for a long time to come.

Surely Major Gaurav Arya you despise the people whom you call your Kashmiri brothers and sisters.  You imply that Kashmiris are mindless beings who lack agency.  They are subject to the manipulations of the Hurriyat Conference on the one hand and those of Pakistan on the other.  Above all it seems Kashmiris are ignorant.  They don’t have a clue as to the origin of the insurgency of the nineties and of Pakistan’s role in fomenting Kashmir’s armed struggle for self-determination.  Therefore you have taken it upon yourself to enlighten your Kashmiri brothers and sisters in great detail regarding this history.  Specifically you say that Pakistan introduced armed militancy in Kashmir in the late eighties.  That’s a very questionable statement.  It is contradicted by much of the academic scholarship on the conflict in Kashmir.  The insurrection was in fact indigenous in its origin.  It was launched by the JKLF (Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front) whose members crossed the LOC to obtain weapons and training in Pakistan.  Pakistan aided what was primarily a home-grown insurgency resulting from the decades long sabotage by New Delhi of democratic rights, processes and institutions.  But I am getting deflected.  No need to go into details of this sordid history here.

You say that Kashmir’s political salvation lies in embracing the Indian Constitution.  Also that 1.2 billion Indians find solace in the Constitution.  Really?  All of them?  Even the Dalits who were stripped and flogged for hours by gau-rakshaks in Una, Gujarat a few days ago?  Did you see the terror on the faces of the victims?  May I say that the Constitution is just a useless piece of paper if the fundamental rights that it guarantees are withheld from a particular population.  As we have just seen in the ongoing crisis Kashmiris may not exercise the fundamental right of free assembly.  The civilian death toll from the firing on unarmed mourners is now in excess of 50.  The crime committed by the injured and the dead was to break curfew orders in order to pay their last respects to a beloved leader.  Why were curfew orders imposed in the first place?  Is it because Kashmiris do not have the right to attend the funeral of someone dear to them?  Sorry I forgot.  Everything that takes place in Kashmir is orchestrated by Pakistan and the Hurriyat Conference.  Kashmiris are merely despicable puppets who dance to strings manipulated by India’s adversaries.

Major Gaurav Arya, I will end this letter with a modest proposal.  It is often said that the pen is mightier than the sword or the gun in this case.  So why stop with the killing of Burhan Wani and Mehmood Ghaznavi?  Many writers of Kashmiri, Indian, and other nationalities have taken up the pen and have written in support of Kashmir’s struggle for self-determination with all the eloquence at their disposal.  You could say that such writers too are waging war against the Indian state.  So why not kill them as well?  Cheers.  Let the killing flourish!

Radha Surya is a freelance writer.  Her articles have appeared on Znet and Countercurrents.

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  1. Sundar s v says:

    Pl let me know of one Hurriyat leaders children in the so called Kashmiri struggle. They are all safe abroad or in Pakistan and gullible and naive writers like you shed crocodile tears, get real.

    • fed up. we do not care where or where not their families and children live and what they do. this is the struggle of each one of us, hurriyat or no hurriyat. hope that answers the question.

  2. So Radha, lets just say there is a robbery in my neighborhood and while undergoing investigation the neighbor suggests that I could have stolen things and police comes to my home and gives me a good thrashing to try and get me to say where the jewels are. They destroy my home. I must then seek revenge by joining a terrorist organisation and swear and dare to bring down the Indian government? The indian government is not one entity in which there will be some rotten eggs. he could have chosen to join the army and ensure that that such things did not happen but he chose to be a terrorist. That was HIS choice. that was not the only choice though.

    • very well said rashmi…yes radha joining terrorist grp wasn’t the only solution..he could have worked hard to get into his country’s system and then could hv easily punished or corrected some of these rotten eggs. but he was misguided in wrong direction. a direction that leads to nowhere..there are thousands of examples in our country where such childhood bitter memories turned the kid into a high rank officer in govt. and he later helped cleaning the system.. burhan could also hv done that..cleaning the system not raging war against it.

      • Dear Biplab and Rashmi, a good example you both have given here to counter Radha Surya, Nice one. However I am still confused that as presented in the example, would you people seriously praise the police force for their behaviour if such things happens with you or your home. Would you not go for lawyers, or social organisation, demanding penalty from police force for their harsh behaviour towards your family, without any proof ? And if you do not find such organisation or lawyers, then would you not take the help of local politicians or someone who knows them so that you can retrieve your penalty from the department? The organization that burhan joined may be a terrorist organization for all of us but for that 15 yr old boy, that organisation was just like a social service organization or NGO, who were able to understand his pain or at least what that 15 yr old boy believed. I can not support everything what Radha Saurya shared in this article. But also can’t criticise the 15 yr old boys decision without feeling that pain. And so should you. Giving an example to counter attack, but in reality facing calmly such situation is very much different things.

        • Nitesh Kumar says:

          What sort of social service and ngo is terrorist organization.
          Could you explain Mr Anand.
          In india there are lot of cases in which people are thrashed or bad treated by govt official. Do you expect every one to pickup gun against the government and seek for azadi. U have problem with system come into system.
          Kashmiri pandit who suffered inhumanity. How many of them pick up gun. Some kashmiri wants to have seperate nation not in india and not in Pakistan.
          Do you think after this Pakistan will going to leave them. They will make 2 nd taliban. This kashmiri are safe till they are under the Indian armed forces. Daily 24*7 our army are protecting them and in return this triator are throwing stone on our forces

  3. Manish Sharma says:

    . So why not kill them as well? ::Let the time come

  4. Mani Bhushan says:

    Then Radha , What about Kashmiri Pandits …Do you suggest that they too pick the gun and take revenge …is it solutions Radha …..And yes Radha if army feels that you are threat for this country ..they will kill you too…

  5. Rajesh kumar says:

    I don’t know who u r but ur statement that ” Indian constitution is just useless piece of paper” shows ur mentality.. We always had some jaichand and jaigopal with us..no problem.any terrorist who tries to break India ll die dog’s death.

    • Radha Surya says:

      Please do not quote me selectively. The Indian Constitution is a noble document and I had no intention of denigrating it. All I am saying is that constitutional guarantees should be delivered by appropriate institutions and practices.

      Radha Surya

      • Sai Sharma says:


        I will raise a pertinent question to you, if you can answer that properly, I will agree with whatever you have written in this article.

        Case 1: Say, you and your family were living in your house, and a group of individuals come and point a gun at ur mom and and u. Blackmailing your dad, to pass a bank loan for an individual. Your father knows well that the loan is seed funding for the their so called movement against the injustice of the constitution. Your father resists and loses his eye and a hand as an outcome.

        Question: Will you still have the same tone as you have now in this article?

        Case 2: Added to the above instance, lets say, your dad was injured badly and is bed-ridden permanently.

        Question: What will be your tone?

        Case 3: Added to case 1 and 2, what if your mother was violated and ur father was killed.

        Question: What will you believe in?

        Case 4: Added only case 2 and 1, lets say the right to existence leads the army, police to hunt the perpetrators down and give you and your family a compensation.

        Question: What will be your take on those people’s movement? What will be your take on the army, police and the govt in general.

        If your take is still propolice army and govt then you are a hypocrite. If its against them , then you should seek a psychiatrist appointment and people like us can stop taking your kind seriously.

  6. goldenfig says:

    If people disobey the constitution, the answer lies in governance based on the constitution. Not in disrespecting it. If a policeman instead of enforcing law and order disrespects the constitution, the remedy lies in justice to the deprived. See http://modernandnormal.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-black-deeds-of-materialistic-modern.html

    • Sai Sharma says:

      Your logic will not be acknowledged here. Cant you see, propaganda and pushing agenda is written all over this article?

  7. Arun Kumar says:

    How come Kashmir militancy started once soviet left Afghanistan.
    Simple Mujaheddin are useless and needed a new Job.

  8. Madam Radha Surya

    Those who say that The PEN is MIGHTIER than the GUN has NEVER

    faced the firing from an AK 47

  9. Most Idiotic Open Letter i ever read infact even rotten tomato burkha was better than you radha…

    you said burhan want his home back? then what about pandits? shut your mouth and keep watching the T20 Match by my army… the language only they can understand was MG’s and Granates…
    #weindiansstandwitharmy always…

  10. “The civilian death toll from the firing on unarmed mourners is now in excess of 50. ” Unarmed mourners…I am confused whether I should laugh at this or feel pity for your comprehension.Writing this from US in your AC apartment,you fled India the first chance you got and now you are teaching us to partition our country.Killing anyone is bad but not if he threatens the very place we are living in.Ohh..but you are not living here anymore.

    • Radha Surya says:

      India has the third largest army in the world. Burhan and his small band were by no means a threat to India. I am not advocating the partition of India.

      Radha Surya

      • Parantap says:

        Burhan and his small band were by no means a threat to India. I unfortunately agree. In fact you are a threat to India and that too even sitting somewhere in the world. I feel sorry for a people like you who abuses our soldiers without knowing anything. Just try once the same thing in a country where you are eating and you will understand. You, yourself are no lesser threat to India.

      • Sudipta Kumar Ghosh says:

        Why dont you just pick up the Gun and complete the tasks of Burhan… or if you dont then just die in the memory of Burhan. But do something if you are so sad on his death..common u can do it Radha… I would like to see you doing something rahter then just sitting somewhere and writting all these bullshits.
        Never Ever question Indian army, I wish Burhan must have taken 2-3 lives of your family members then it would have been nice to see your reaction.

      • Mridul Pathak says:

        You Say about the size of our army.

        how is that related to sovereign status, the army of any state is expected to maintain??

        Treason against one’s country is the biggest crime and is certainly punishable by death.

        And people like you are the real disease eating up our country, but yeah it’s a good think you don’t live here in india otherwise you would pollute it more with your imbecile thoughts and ideas , defending terrorists My God!! when will people learn some thing!

  11. Adesh Dhadiwal says:

    Wow!! What an inspiring article! With the greater focus on the fact that his brother was beaten up so, he became the terrorist, you’ve put well your point.

    But Madam, if this was the normal thought process of the youngsters in the country, we would have ‘N’ Number of Wanis because, daily somewhere, someone is troubled for no reason. Does that mean they all become terrorists? Awesome, with that pace, we would have good number of terrorists in India.

    SO, please think before you write anything. Blogging is good thing, but its even better if it is done with some sensibility.

    My english may not as good as yours, but I hope I have made a point.

  12. abhishek karanwal says:

    a salute to you mam you write so much about the terorist burhan. have you ever write about the soldiers who sacrifice their life in kashmir. you wanted that indian army left kashmir and pakistan who has no right on kashmir given to the pakistan

    • Radha Surya says:

      I am not advocating handing Kashmir over to Pakistan. Kashmir is a disputed region. All the parties to the dispute–India, Kashmir and Pakistan should jointly resolve the dispute. What is essentially a political problem should not be outsourced to the military for decades with no end in sight. It is demoralising for the army to be stationed for decades in a disputed region where civilians have to be treated as enemies. Indian soldiers should not have to sacrifice their lives in Kashmir.

      Radha Surya

      • I don’t know who you are but you and your article/thoughts are the exact reason why peace in Kashmir is difficult. You and people like you are obstructing the path to peace and a political solution in Kashmir.

        Instead of denouncing violence you are justifying violence and portraying terrorists as heroes. Major Gaurav Arya’s letter to youth of Kashmir is a positive message to open their eyes and denounce violence for a better future and peace. Your message is to advise people to become terrorist as answer to any sort of injustice— how hypocritical then to advocate that we should “jointly resolve the dispute.” when your article is nothing but divisive.

        and BTW, The Indian Army is not demoralized by being in Kashmir. They will proudly die fighting to protect the their motherland. What is demoralizing is your tone and thoughts that justify violence over peace.
        You write for “Countercurrents” and that’s what your articles are….countercurrents to peace, countercurrents to human rights and democracy. As
        you said the “Constitution is just a useless piece of paper.” Thus, you have no faith in finding any justice or solution though a non-violent process.

  13. Radha,

    I doubt if that’s even your real name. What an illogical way to prove your and terrorist’s narrative. Put yourself in army’s shoes and think for once. If you’re a terrorist sympathizer I rest my case here.

  14. Chintan S says:

    U feel pain for this man who took up a gun for being smacked by a man in uniform? By that logic last nite i was slapped by a cop for not having a licence so should i pick up arms against the system?

    Where were ur tears when hundreds of soldiers and innocent civies died in India in bomb blasts or other terrorist attcks? What about kashmiri pandits who r driven out and killed?

    Naah! Ur Bosses will pay you only when u write against Indians. Its a shame to have people like u around.

  15. To the point says:

    The author is amateur . She has tried hard to find a logic but failed desperately .

  16. Khushbu says:

    Evrn though you don’t deserve a reply or attention but we are talking about my country here, and thankfully my parents taught me to respect my country.

    So Ms Radha, I believe over all the writing and arguments is the the human soul and mind that feels. But I don’t think yours belong to Indian value system or rather, human logic. Yes the world is at war and there will always be a bunch to disregard your existence but it’s your choice to be the mature one. You are trying to justify a fifteen year old’s irrational choice as a heroic one. Why didn’t he report it anywhere? Maybe that’s what they are taught in Kashmir. Eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.

    And yes, if you have kids, please teach them this logic- whenever you are insulted or thrashed, kill the person. That will solve the problem.

  17. Sameer Bhatia says:

    I absolutely wasted my 4 minutes reading this crap Ms Radha, rather than educating Major Arya I think you should do two things.

    1) Spend enough time in the valley.
    2) Face the likes of Mehmood Ghaznavi with your mightier pen.

    And if you survive, I am sure your next article would not be on the same lines.

  18. This is just an exercise by Ms Radha for cheap popularity after that wonderful letter by Major Arya. It is sad that you have so much of mighty pen for a slain terrorist and none for the soldiers, or the pandits and Sikhs who had to leave Kashmir…You personify everything that is wrong with a lot of leftists even in India…

  19. There might be some bad elements in the Army and its possible that they have done some terrible things. There’s no denial that this should be dealt with with strict punishments and measures. However Burhan Wani was a terrorist, a threat to the nation. Why he became a threat and what can we do to prevent Kashmir’s youth to become next Burhan Wani is a completely different discussion. In the moment he was already a terrorist and any threat to the nation shall be terminated as earliest as possible without any exception and that’s what Indian Army did. You cannot negotiate with a Terrorist, no developed country on this planet does that. You have every right to talk about injustice but for god’s sake stop glorifying a Terrorist and Terrorism.

  20. Rahul Sharma says:

    I thought the letter was written by someone from a terrorist outfit. It’s only at the end that I realized I was wrong. Shabby attempt at publicity by a two-bit nondescript pseudo journalist (self proclaimed).

  21. Mayuresh says:

    So the way he gone to terror ways on one single incident in a filmy way of Badla, but from not that selective soldier but entire India as nation & whole Indian army. Please tell which way Kashmiri Pundits to choose, the way they are thrown out of valley?

  22. Shashank Sekhar says:

    Very nice letter….fantastic line”pro-azadi struggle that seeks to bring an end to Indian rule in Kashmir. ”

    According to folk etymology, the name “Kashmir” means “desiccated land” (from the Sanskrit: Ka = water and shimeera = desiccate)

    The so called Kashmir issue started from 1947, when the former princely state became a disputed territory, now administered by three countries: India, Pakistan, and the People’s Republic of China. And this was because of Nehru as we know.

    But for your kind information now in few years it wont be a disputed territory. India will have complete control on its length and breadth. Those who support India will live peacefully, those who oppose with violence(guns,stones etc) will be KILLED by our Indian Armed force……I support you Major Arya……………..

  23. Shaurav says:

    This is Major Gaurav Arya’s response to this letter, read till the end.

    Dear Anyone in Kashmir,
    Thank you for writing to me. I understand your angst, as I hope you will understand mine.
    The army of any nation is a blunt instrument. It’s not a scalpel, but a broadsword. That’s just the nature of armies anywhere.
    I reiterate….if anyone even touches a child, a woman or an elderly person he should be put behind bars and the keys thrown away. He can be from any arm or department of the government. Not for one moment am I advocating violence for violence’s sake.
    I have served in Kashmir and I understand your perspective even if I don’t fully agree. I am witness to full scale violence by militants who were not even Kashmiris. I have seen Afghans and Pakistani Punjabis in the Valley, raping and killing. I have seen young kids being put to death by militants just because their brothers and fathers were suspected to giving information to the army. What I did not see was one bandh, one protest or one condemnation. Many Kashmiris even failed to acknowledge that these things happened. All their attention is forever on the security forces.
    It gives us no pleasure to put an entire state under AFSPA. Neither does it give us any pleasure doing cordon and search at 3 am.
    My letter was directed at Burhan Wani and his ilk…those who pick up arms against the state.
    Please read up on statistics. More people die in Bihar and UP due to violence than in Kashmir. There are more custodial deaths in UP and Bengal. All this does not make it all right. My issue is not with the Kashmiri youth’s having a complaint with India and that complaint finding its expression in protests. My issue is with Pakistan deliberately fanning strife in Kashmir. My issue is with Hurriyat getting daily wage labourers to throw stones at security forces and putting women and children in front as shields. You say that kids are killed. I ask, what’s a 5 year old doing outside when stone pelting is going on? Why was he brought outside? You make it sound like someone entered a house, deliberately chose a 5 year old and said “Great…lets shoot him”. No. These kids are brought outside so that when there is teargas, firing and confusion the kid gets hit in the chaos and Hurriyat can then have a funeral photo op.
    Before 1989, there was no militancy in Kashmir. There was political discontent but there was no violence. Violence in Kashmir coincided with the end of the Afghan jihad and the withdrawal of the Soviet forces. Please read about Operation Topac. Gen Zia-ul-Haq started terrorism in Kashmir. He used legitimate political discontent and did in Kashmir what he did in Afghanistan….money and weapons. He succeeded in Afghanistan but failed in Kashmir. Do you know why? Because Soviets were an invading force in Afghanistan but Kashmir has been part of India for thousands of years…before there was a Pakistan and before there was a UN Resolution.
    If you want violence to end in Kashmir, give it 2 years. Knock at the gates of the Supreme Court and trust me, justice will be swift like in the case of Manipur. But then your patrons wouldn’t like that, would they? Finding justice like all Indians do…that would be a nightmare for the Generals in Rawalpindi. And there will be no funerals of 5 year olds. The last thing Pakistan wants is peace in Kashmir. They have fed opium to their citizens for 70 years and have neglected the entire population of Pakistan in pursuit of the Kashmir dream. They have no other agenda. How can they be loyal to Kashmiris if they cannot be loyal to Punjabis, Sindhis, Mohajirs, Pashtuns and Baluchis?
    The solution is within the framework of the Indian constitution. It may not be attractive to Pakistanis because they have mangled their own constitution so many times that’s it’s a joke. But it should be attractive to Kashmiris. We all find peace in our constitution and so will you.
    Major Gaurav Arya (Veteran)

  24. Kumar Prashant says:

    Radha, U believe a terrorist’s account that army men beat his brother and he died and started justifying the killings of fellow army personnel. Problem is that you don’t believe in India, her constitution and your army. Dissent in democracy is healthy but to criticise a particular govt. you go to such extent of supporting enemies that too condemned for various terror activities on our soil is unjustified. It is time to make clear with whom are you either with those terrorists who have killed thousands of inncocent civilian, waging war on India or with men in uniform who even do supreme sacrifice for nation so that you have peace and liberty to write all these bullshit. Just imagine what would have happened to you if you had been in China or any middle east nation including Pakistan, you would have received crushing blow. So please do not misuse freedom of expression to an extent that you start hating your own people.

    • completely Agree with the above!

      as I mentioned earlier…..

      Radha your article/thoughts are the exact reason why peace in Kashmir is difficult. You and people like you are obstructing the path to peace and a political solution in Kashmir.

      Instead of denouncing violence you are justifying violence and portraying terrorists as heroes. Major Gaurav Arya’s letter to youth of Kashmir is a positive message to open their eyes and denounce violence for a better future and peace. Your message is essentially advising people it’s ok to become terrorist if you experience any sort of injustice— how hypocritical then that you advocate that we should “jointly resolve the dispute.” when your article is nothing but divisive and promotes violence over seeking justice through other means that is possible in a democracy like India unlike in China or Pakistan. Yes, it takes time sometimes to get justice in a democracy but it is possible and violence is certainly not means to get justice. Just remember, India gained it’s independence via strong commitment to non-violence.

      and BTW, The Indian Army is not demoralized by being in Kashmir. They will proudly die fighting to protect the their motherland. What is demoralizing is your tone and thoughts that justify violence over peace and promote terrorists as heroes.

      You write for “Countercurrents” and that’s what your articles are….countercurrents to peace, countercurrents to human rights and democracy. As you said the “Constitution is just a useless piece of paper.” Thus, you have no faith in finding any justice or solution though a non-violent process.

  25. Radha Surya says:

    I am writing a blanket response that addresses the general trend of reactions to my letter to Major Gaurav Arya. Some readers posted comments outlining hypothetical situations in which state agencies inflicted violence on civilians and asked if it was appropriate for the victims to respond in kind. I will explain that I am neither a philosopher nor a social theorist. I am not qualified to speculate as to whether individuals may justifiably seek justice at gunpoint.

    I am merely an observer of Indian and international politics. I am opposed to the militarisation of Kashmir. It has resulted in a situation in which ordinary Kashmiris are pushed to the wall and are not allowed to live in peace and dignity. Kashmir is a political problem. The Indian state is evading its responsibilities by outsourcing a political problem to the security forces.

    I was questioned by some readers when I said that the Indian military is demoralised by being stationed amid the civilian population. Nevertheless my stand has been corroborated by someone with a more intimate knowledge of the Indian army than I can claim to possess. Please see the excellent article by Lalita Ramdas at

    Radha Surya

  26. Ms Radha Surya,

    Your letter is utterly detestable – and without head or tail.

    By your logic, Blacks in USA should take arms against America and demand secession because they suffer disproportionately high violence (and killings) at the hands of police. By your stupid logic, Barack Obama should have been a terrorist because his community is victimized by the police (as Obama himself has said on many occasions).

    There is no one in India who does not have a bad experience from Indian government machinery – be it government hospital, police, judiciary or whatever. So, we should all become terrorists.

    Let us say Ms Radha Surya that you were gang raped – let’s say by civilians. Then will you secede from India? Let us say you were raped by an Indian Army soldier- will you secede from India? Should all women secede from India to demand their separate homeland? If you think yes, than you do have a bullet with your name written all over it – forget whatever led to your treacherous behavior.

    And lastly, Ms Radha Surya, every story has two sides to it. Were you there when Burhan Wani was beaten by Army soldiers – for “no reason” as you claim? How can you be so sure why he was beaten up without any reason? Did you interview the soldiers who beat him up to find out what exactly was the provocation – before branding it totally unjustified? Do you even know for sure that he was beaten up?

    According to you, all terrorists become terrorists for some valid reason. So, by your logic, all ISIS terrorists chose terrorism for a valid reason. Ditto Taliban, Ditto any terrorist group. It is very well for you to write your stupid article from the protection and security shield afforded to you by the Indian Army. I will love to see you in the hands of terrorists whose behavior you are so justifying. I will love to see becoming the concubine of these terrorists.

    Lastly, you seem to be an utterly self-hating low-life without any respect.
    And one last thing – do not call the Indian constitution a “useless piece of document”. India has many imperfections, as any nation does, but our constitution is the best in the world. If it is not implemented perfectly, then the concept of a garden cannot be faulted if gardeners do not know how to do their jobs correctly.

  27. No where in this long article madam wrote about Kashmiri Pandits, going by her logic 4 lakh Kashmiri pandit should have started an armed struggle..

  28. Zaid Hamid says:

    Even if I ignore the fact that I disagree with the point you are trying to make, your journalistic, rational and logical sense is SO poor that you have ended up harming your writing career. Just one of the many examples would be the part where you claim that Burhan Wani (terrorist) joined a terror outfit as he experienced a bad encounter with the army as his brother was beaten up. How stupid can you be? Did that even happen? Even if it happended, lets assume, with that logic every second Indian will become a terrorist as most of us are poor and face “tough” times

  29. Anirudh says:

    As you say respected journalist…let the killing flourish..everyone who stands for Kashmiri separatism even by word should be delt in the same way that son of headmaster andman who lost his brother for throwing stones in name of buying cigarette s….
    That was really a good idea madam.

  30. Rahim indian says:

    The day when indian army allowing stop photo graphy of act things will stop.

    Befor attack terrorist let them take human right activist as front line runner. we will see courage of human right activist and let them know how terrorist treat them.

    Request indian army please please do not declare you caught 1 terrorist 2 terrorist or killed one terrorist or 10 terrorist.

    once you catch them get info and vanish them like wind.

    you say we caught terrorist immediate valture of human rights are circling above you because that is they are looking for publicity pray.

    Do not use pallet guns, or laser guns or bullets just use hand granade to stone thrower.