27 July, 2021

The Hawk On The King's Shoulder

Last week's crackdown in the Valley was the NSA's idea. And a bad one.

The Hawk On The King's Shoulder
On August 25 the Indian state 'reasserted its authority' over the Valley. The authorities gave Praveen Swami of The Hindu a detailed explanation of why it had become necessary to do so. The Valley-wide crackdown that occurred on August 24 and 25 was crafted by one man: M.K. Narayanan, national security advisor (NSA) to the prime minister. On August 20 he descended upon Srinagar accompanied by a team of security chiefs, including P.C. Haldar, IB director-general. If one reads between the lines of Swami's report, Narayanan roundly criticised Governor N.N. Vohra for taking a 'soft line' on 'Islamists'.

To illustrate the meltdown of India's authority in the Valley, Narayanan also detailed the number of occasions on which the crowds had evicted the security forces from their bunkers, the premature pulling down of the national flag at Lal Chowk on Independence Day, the frequent hoisting of the Pakistani flag, the chanting of pro-Pakistan and pro-Lashkar slogans, and the jeering and taunting of Indian troops. So on August 24, nine districts...

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