Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Ram Madhav has said that the influence of Iranian and Turkish politics in Kashmir was a growing factor.
Adding that there is growing “radicalisation” among the youth in Kashmir which according to him was a new challenge for the country.
Madhav who was removed from the post of party general secretary while writing for Open Magazine has said, “This wave of radicalisation is different from the past. Radicalism witnessed in the past was largely about autonomy and special status of J-K, championed by groups like the JKLF, Hurriyat and others. The Indian state has succeeded in curbing the activities of these forces. But that space is now being taken over by radical Islamist forces. It is Islamic radicalism that is weaning away the Valley youth towards a dangerous course,”
He further said that the young population of Kashmir is getting truly internationalised, “You will find a Turkey, a Saudi, a Malaysia and an Iran in Kashmir today besides, of course, the continued presence of Pakistan. Of late, even China has entered the popular chatter on the streets of Srinagar.”
He further raises concerns on rising profile of Turkey in the valley, “Posters and photos of Recep Tayyip Erdog˘an, President of Turkey, are a wide presence in Kashmir today, When Pakistan aired the dubbed version of the Turkish television serial Dirilis Ertugrul (Ertugrul’s Resurrection) last year, it became one of the widely watched shows in Kashmir too.”
Adding that the Urdu and Arab “Jihadi” literature of the Islamic clerics like Syed Qutub and Syed Abu Ala Maudoodi’s interpretation of Islam or the Salafi preachings of Ibn Tayimmia to recent ones like Yusuf al Qaradavi are freely available in the Valley’s villages through the Jamaat-e-Islami-controlled mosques and maulvis.
He also terms the influence of Iran in Kashmir as a growing factor, “The influence of Iran in Kashmir was limited to senior Shia clerics in the past. But now, even among the ordinary Shias, the influence of Iranian politics is a growing factor. When Major General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in Iran, was killed in a drone attack last year in Baghdad, many Shia areas in Kashmir were dotted with his posters, an uncommon thing in the past,” he writes.