When we talk about the love towards Indian Army by people of Kashmir one cannot forget taking the name of General KJS Dhillon , he is loved by lakhs of Kashmiris….By Al Ibrahim
Reported by Team RK
Most of the Indians have a perception, that people of Kashmir hate the armed forces but it is totally wrong one! In fact, the security forces are loved and welcomed by all Kashmiris except the Pakistan preachers though very few in numbers. It has been a major success of Indian Army in Kashmir since 1947, as on date terrorism is almost neutralised in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, the credit goes to the unsung warriors of our Nation who work day and night risking their lives for the protection of people. Cross border terrorism or local militant attacks is being monitored and tackled in way that people residing in territory of J&K shouldn’t face any kind of problem.
When we talk about the love towards Indian Army by people of Kashmir one cannot forget taking the name of General KJS Dhillon (former GOC 15 Corps, responsible for operations in Kashmir). He is loved by lakhs of Kashmiris irrespective of the religion, words may not be enough to describe the personality of General KJS Dhillon, after coming to 15 Corps as GOC, he had to face some major challenges ahead that he might hadn’t expected, but all the challenges were tackled and managed so easily by him and his team that Kashmiri people saw a ray of hope in him as he’s the man who can actually resolve the plight and miseries of Kashmiris. Working in Army and facing hard challenges is not an easy task for army men in Kashmir but he and his team always tried and did their best to spark the light of peace to make Kashmir paradise again, as the number of militant joining ranks kept increasing soon after the death of Burhan Wani in 2016. Youth were being radicalised by some of the terror groups operating from Pakistan and also the Hurriyat leaders of Kashmir which made Kashmir a daily encounter region. A non-Kashmiri Army General who spent almost 30 years of his service in Kashmir and had served in both the Southern and Northern Kashmir, is an expert in counter insurgency operations and proved it many times during his tenure as GOC 15 Corps.
Gen KJS Dhillon has become an inspiration for many youths in Kashmir, due to his calibre and love towards Kashmiris. His professionalism and experience can’t be described on pages as we know how the preparators of “Pulwama attack” were targeted in 100 hours without creating any huddles for the civilians. Article 370 and 35A was abrogated and we saw not even a single bullet was fired and fortunately no civilians lost their lives after such a big step by Government of India. The credit goes to Gen KJS Dhillon and his team for continuously maintaining law and order situation in connection with other security forces and civil administration all the essential commodities were easily available to the people, hospitals were running, medicine shops were open, daily use items were easily available to the people, students of AGS were going to their schools. Indeed, after such a big decision all these services were easily available to the people without any difficulty. Even Army went from house to house to extend phone calling facilities to the people for calling their loved as part of “Khariyat Patrol” as phone services were barred for maintaining law and order.
Soon after taking charge he went out directly to appeal the people of J&K to shed the path of terrorism and violence that has been going since long for no reason, he launched some successful operations in Kashmir for the betterment of Kashmiri people, the first one was called “Operation MAA (Mother) for Mission Kashmir” where he in a presser appealed to the mothers of Kashmir to protect their children from joining the militant ranks and shun the path of violence and rejoin the mainstream for safe rehabilitation, as their future lies in “pens and books not in guns and grenades”. Lauding the important role of women folk in Kashmiri society he said “Mothers, sisters & daughters are key to family life, in Kashmir households”. Giving hope to them he said “You are the future family builders. May you achieve much in your personal, social & professional lives” and “Mothers are the pillar of society. Since young boys invariably listen to their mothers, I urge them to guide their children to follow the righteous path” said Gen KJS Dhillon (quoted from a press report). This operation made a good impact on the youth of Kashmir and the graph of militancy eventually went down in a couple of months. Even during ‘encounters’ mothers have spoken to their sons convincing them to ‘return’. Results have convinced more mothers and sons to reunite happily while their identities remained safe. More than fifty youths have abandoned terrorism and the laudatory messages from mothers are priceless ‘gifts’ to him. The main reason behind this operation was to give a chance to the local militants for returning to their homes.
The second operation was “Awam Aur Army – ‘Humsaya Hain Hum’. (Public and Army – ‘We are Co-Inhabitants’)The main motive of this operation was to develop a friendly relationship between the locals and Army as he used the term “Humsaya” (co-inhabitants) for locals, indeed this relation gained a lot of momentum as General KJS Dhillon including his team never stood back in developing the friendly relationship with the locals of Kashmir listening to their grievances and assuring them to resolve at the earliest and then doing it. He extensively used social, print and electronic media for assuring the public of their security and safety, he also made an important request to the people of Kashmir to stay away from encounter areas to avoid loss of any innocent lives. General Dhillon interacted with the religious gatherings in Kashmir he went out to pay a visit to “Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra” at “Pahalgam” and listened to the grievances of people, what problems they face during their Yatra and assured them of resolving all this at the earliest in conjunction with the civil administration. He paid a visit to “Hajj House” Kashmir from where Muslims leave for Hajj pilgrimage and interacted with them participated in various festivals like “Eid Millan” and annual “Mela kheer Bawani” emphasising the essence and importance of Kashmiriyat, the syncretic culture of Kashmir. Taking the ‘Humsaya’ commitment forward, many short- and long-term projects, for the betterment of the common man, have been projected to the Government of India for providing full support to the kashmiri people. This operation proved to be very successful as the relationship between locals and Army gained momentum, as we see these days if Kashmiri people face an emergency problem they directly contact the Army for help. Even some helpline numbers have been set up for the people by Army under “Khariyat patrol” and we can see on social media how people post their grievances and tag the official pages of Indian Army. Working for peace in Kashmir many a times Army has airlifted many emergency patients like pregnant women, severe ill patients in far flung areas and have helped them to reach the hospital on time for treatment.
Sadhbavna operation was reviewed under General KJS Dhillon and now various youth events and projects are being conducted and supported by Army to give an exposure to the Kashmiri youth for showing their talent at various platforms. The main motive of this operation was to connect youth with Army for professional and personal growth and to take up the many employment opportunities in the Army and also to give a message to the youth to stay away from “DRUGS” take education seriously respect parents and become a good citizen and son. To end Drug Menace in Kashmir brought in by Pakistan Army to destroy the future of kashmiri youth, Indian army conducted several seminars and campaigns for the youths to build their future and serve the nation with full zeal and zest.
The third successful campaign launched by Sir General KJS Dhillon was
‘Taleem Se Taraqqi’ (Development through Education)”
General Dhillon believes that people of Kashmir are filled with a lot of talent and potential, when they decide to do some work they never intend to step back, he has said this many a times in his interviews and press conferences. He has highlighted the role of “Army Goodwill Schools” (AGS) in providing quality education at various affordable cost, and the endeavour to modernise by digitisation of sixteen AGS through corporate social responsibility efforts of power Grid Corporation of India limited. Lauding the role of teachers he said “Mitti toh mitti hoti ha, Lekin jab Kumhar ka hath lagti ha to wahi mitti ek bhagwaan ki murti ban jati ha”. General KJS Dhillion and his team started an initiative of super 50 coaching classes for engineering students who wish to join the top NITs and IITs of India, and also super 30 coaching classes for medical students in Kashmir, where the teaching staff was local, to provide a friendly environment to the students. In the first batch of super 30 coaching classes result as 29 out of 30 students had qualified for Medical entrance examination. Similarly, Army went out to various Government schools and held various quiz, painting, sports, competitions etc. All these operations initiated by General KJS Dhillon are being carried and continued by his team with better and progressive efforts. His contribution towards Kashmir and Kashmiri people can’t be forgotten as, he left no stone unturned to make peace and progress prevail in Kashmir. His love towards Kashmir and Kashmiris will remain forever as we know recently Chinar Corps organised “Youth cum Sufi Festival” at SKICC Srinagar to provide a free atmosphere and enjoyment for Kashmiris wherein “Nooran Sisters” were major attraction and many local artists performed and new emerging bands of Kashmir were given a chance to perform and show their skills. Wishing Sir KJS a very long, healthy and happy life.
Writer Al Ibrahim (name changed) is fan of Indian Army and General KJS Dhillon, the main reason of writing this article was to highlight the various successful projects of Indian army in Kashmir.
Al Ibrahim is a Srinagar based Kashmiri Author and can be reached on twitter at @Al__Ibrahim