Must Read: An Ex-Army Major’s Open Letter to deceased militant Burhan

The killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief Burhan Wani in Kashmir has created ripples across the valley and power corridors in the national capital.

A predictable civilian uprising has left over 34 people dead already.

Some have eulogised Wani as a youth icon, a martyr whose death will continue to haunt the state. Some others, including Prime Minister Modi, have openly expressed their disdain for romanticising a ‘terrorist.’

In line with that sentiment, Army veteran Major Gaurav Arya has written a strongly worded open letter to the deceased chief of the valley’s largest militant group.

Gaurav_aryaEver since you were terminated in a forces-led operation in the Valley, 23 people have died. I don’t know why they died. The majority were possibly overcome with grief and fury and wanted to avenge your death. That did not happen, for obvious reasons. A policeman was thrown along with his vehicle into a river and he drowned. I grieve with your family and with the families of all those who lost their lives. Despicable though you may have been, I cannot find it in my heart to blame your family.

He writes about the dangers of using social media as a tool to recruit and how Wani’s initiation into the “seductive world of social media” meant death from day one.

The day you started your social media blitzkrieg, you were a dead man. You encouraged young men of Kashmir to kill Indian soldiers, all from behind the safety of your Facebook account. You died when you were 22. Had you survived this operation, you would have died when you were 23. Just a different date on the calendar, that’s all. The intensity of violence and the result would have been the same.

Arya then says that he wishes he could have met Wani in person and explained to him the politics of what happens in Kashmir and how young men are used as pawns in the larger game of power.

I wish we had met and I could have explained to you (before killing you) that the old men of the Hurriyat Conference are like leeches. They feed on the blood of men. They send young Kashmiris to face the Indian Army. What sort of a war is this, where lambs are sent to fight lions?

He then asserts that “every Kashmiri separatist leader’s daughter or son is rich and safe, outside Kashmir. Jihad is for other people’s sons.” Quoting the example of Syed Ali Geelani, the head of the Hurriyat Conference, Arya says that all his relatives are living comfortable lives, while young men in the valley are waging a “war.”

“Kashmir’s young and restless blame the security forces for killing them. But they never question the Hurriyat. No one asks Syed Ali Geelani why Burhan Wani is not from his family,” he writes.

He concludes the letter by making a brutal assertion:

You were a terrorist. You chose to wage war against India. Like for all other such perpetrators in the past, it didn’t go too well for you. When you choose to fight against the Indian Army, know this; THEY WILL KILL YOU. Your supporters now want blood. So be it. Cheers!  

By Gaurav Arya, Ex-Major, Army