New Delhi, October 8 (IANS) There can be nothing more horrifying than to see terrorists overrun parts of an independent nation. It has happened in Israel and the October 7 shock has been too unnerving for the rest of the saner world.
For many Indians, the situation is a reminder of the October 1947 invasion by raiders from Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Hordes of tribals from Northwest Frontier Province backed by Pakistan army invaded the Kashmir valley on October 22, 1947 under the code-name ‘Operation Gulmarg’.
An estimated 5,000-10,000 raiders armed with axes, swords and rifles supplied by the Pakistan army and also military lorries to capture Kashmir. The raiders plundered, looted, killed men, women and children. Hundreds of women were kidnapped and raped. The Sikhs and Hindus were particularly targeted.
The Maharaja of J&K, seeing the gravity of the situation, approached the Indian government for assistance on October 24. He agreed to accede to India and the Instrument of Accession was signed on October 26.
The first Indian troops were airlifted and landed in Srinagar on October 27. The raiders were punished and thrown out. But they left a huge trail of bloodshed and fear. Families were wiped out, women brutalised, and many were forcibly converted.
For J&K, October is a month of freedom from tyranny, and October 27 is annually observed as the Infantry Day to commemorate and pay tribute to the brave Indian infantry soldiers who lost their lives while defending the country against Pakistani invaders.
What India’s J&K endured in October 1947, similar is being witnessed in Israel, only that Muslims in Kashmir stood against the raiders and helped the army defend Srinagar. The crimes unleashed by the Pakistani raiders against Kashmiris and minority Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs then were barbaric.
The crimes being committed in Israel by terrorist-raiders are no less than what was endured by Kashmiris seven decades ago.
India was quick to condemn the attack and expressed solidarity with Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X, "Deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour."
Videos emanating from Israel showed women being brutalised and forcibly taken in jeeps by armed terrorists. The terrorists seemed to be enjoying a free run. They were breaking into houses and apartments.
The terrorists were seen shooting civilians, kidnapping people, including women and children, and taking them away as trophies.
In one horrifying video, a woman soldier was seen naked being assaulted by terrorists. In another video, the lifeless body of a soldier taken out from a vehicle is trampled upon by the terrorists and their supporters’ raising slogans. There are hundreds of similar shocking videos of Israelis being attacked savagely.
The calibrated attack took place during Simchat Torah and Shabbat, which are significant days of rest in the Jewish calendar.
The Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel borders under the cover of missile attacks. They entered Israel by land, sea and air using paragliders, said the Israeli army. The people were caught unawares as the terrorists attacked from the air and ground.
In earlier times there was no social media, only the stories remained and were carried from generations to generations. But in Israel everything is happening real time and people all over the world are witnessing the barbarity.
The images that emanated from Israel are deeply disturbing and unnerving.
The unprecedented assault saw Hamas gunmen infiltrating several Israeli towns and over 5,000 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. The infiltration came on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 War, which saw Israel's Arab neighbours -- led by Egypt and Syria -- launch a surprise attack on October 6 and lasted for three weeks. The 1973 War started on the holiest day of the Jewish Calendar.
And 50 years later, again during its holy day celebrations, Israel was attacked. This time not by countries but by terrorists.
The fact that terrorists could overrun a country like Israel, whose intelligence network is said to be the best in the world, should be a grim reminder to all those who believe in good and bad terrorists. India has long endured this and has been forewarning the world about the dangers of good and bad terrorists.
(Deepika Bhan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)