The Kashmir

January 9, 2013

An open letter to BJP leadership | @bjp4India

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — TheKashmir @ 5:07 am

Dear Gadkari Ji ,

 

Last few weeks Indians across the country have voiced their opinion in demanding safety and respect to women.  That BJP has been in forefront to demand the same and that is well appreciated. The world has an eye on us.

 

It was around 20th December that Congress spokesperson Mr Sanjay Nirupam , during a TV debate allegedly used many derogatory remarks on Ms Smriti Irani which insinuated on her character and even on her marriage, which is completely unacceptable by entire nation.

 

We in the social media took cognizance of the matter and took up the issue and objected to Mr. Sanjay Nirupam’s behavior  also made sure that he was exposed. Many across party lines and religious divide chose not to ignore the comments and expressed their displeasure in public.  Very promptly senior BJP leader and National spokesperson Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad addressed a press conference and announced BJP’s official boycott of Nirupam until he apologies and no BJP leader or spokesperson shall not appear on TV Panel Debates where, Nirupam is another panellist. This was well appreciated by all.

 

However yesterday, it was shocking to see Mr. Venkaiyah Naidu debate on the same panel as Mr. Sanjay Nirupam on NDTV 24×7.  As a normal TV viewer BJP seemed to have compromised on its resolve and the dignity of its own leader. It appeared as a party that didn’t keep to its own  words or a faction of it didn’t care about the rest.

 

As BJP sympathisers, we felt deceived by the leadership and seemed as if we simply don’t understand what the party stands for. As a citizen we felt that respect for women wasn’t important. It seemed like a casual attitude towards abusers. For BJP debating for party seemed to hold more value than anything else.

 

Gandhi Ji had said – I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect.

 

Sir, we wish to know & understand

 

1. Does the BJP leadership not know of the public announcement made ?

 

2. Someone suggested that Mr Venkiah Naidu was not informed about presence of Mr Nirupam on the panel. So when Mr Naidu became aware of Mr Nirupam’s presence , Why didn’t he walk out ? This would have conveyed a strong message  .

 

3. It is also suggested that Mr. Venkaiyah Naidu did protest in the break time. If he indeed did so, do we infer that the channel gave no value to his protest and everybody continued debating? Is that how they treat BJP leaders?

 

4. What action has party taken to convey the message to the channel?

 

5. Considering Mr. Nirupam  is a member of LokSabha and Mrs Smriti Irani a Rajya Sabha Member, has the party sent letter to speakers of both the houses over ‘these remarks’ ? If yes, can it be made public?

 

6. Has the defamation case been filed?

 

We in the social media are fiercely independent and committed to the cause thus we cannot close our eyes to errors such as these. We wish to see our leaders take a strong stand for them and for the ideology with effective media management. We wish the party reciprocates the sentiment and takes adequate measures that would assure us of the same.

 

Thanks and regards

 

October 22, 2012

Okus Bokus – The origin of the melodious lullaby

Filed under: Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits — Tags: , , , — TheKashmir @ 5:30 am

The new commercial of ICICI Bank has received tremendous response and many have been left wondering what does the lyrics mean .

Okus Bokus is actually a Kashmiri Lullaby . The word Okus Bokus over the centuries got corrupted from Hukus Bukus which means who is he and who is me OR Tchekus BeKus again maining who are you and who are me .

The translation is done here .

Tse Kus Be Kus Teli Wan su Kus
Who are you and who am I then tell us who is he the creator that permeates through both you and I

Moh Batuk Logum Deg
Each day I feed my senses/body with the food of worldly attachment and material love (Moh = attachment)

Shwas Khich Khich Wang-mayam
For when the breath that I take in reaches the point of complete purification (Shwas = Breath)

Bhruman daras Poyun chokum
It feels like my mind is bathing in the water of divine love (Bhruman = nerve center in the human brain, poyun = water)

Tekis Takya bane Tyuk
Then I know I am like that sandal wood which is pasted for divine fragrance symbolic of universal divinity. I realize that I am, indeed, divine (Tyuk = Tika applied on the forehead)

The message of this poem is rooted in Kashmiri spiritual tradition. The poem itself is ageless. Some say it came up during Lal Ded’s time, other’s say it dates back to the origin of Kashmir and Kashmiri culture itself. The poem, in later years, was made a song for children. For years it served as a poetic medium to pass down the essence of Kashmiri culture to little ones.

It is said that the tones produced by the arrangement of words in this poem as well as its rhythm has a calming effect for infants and toddlers of all times

Here is the ICIC jingle of Okus Bokus

And here is famous Kashmiri Singer , Kailash Mehra , singing Okus Bokus for Kashmiri Pandit diaspora in USA

Mr Anil Mattoo explaining the same , somewhere in USA

September 10, 2012

Wandhama Massacre ! Some Questions remain unanswered ! #Kashmir

Filed under: Human Rights — Tags: , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 12:13 pm

To,

 

The Honorable Members of Division Bench

J&KState Human Rights Commission,

Srinagar

 

Subject:       Rejoinder to the submission by SP Human Rights of CID, J&K Police regarding Wandhama massacre investigation

 

On the last hearing on 29.08.2012 we have been provided with the letter of SP Human Rights of CID Headquarters vide letter no: CID/HR/SHRC-250/2008 dated: 27/01/2012. We would like to submit the following as our arguments in response to this letter:

 

1.       The CID department alleges that the massacre of 23 Kashmiri Pandits was carried out by “some unknown militants” and based on the suspicion of the locals people it was ascertained that militants of Harkat-ul-Ansar were responsible for this brutal massacre.

 

2.       The CID department further claims that on 17th February 1998 hills of Safapora were cordoned and 6 militants of Harkat-ul-Ansar were killed and 1 was apprehended after being injured. The injured militant on being interrogated according to CID department divulged the details regarding the involvement of 21 members of Harkat-ul-Ansar in the killing of victims of Wandhama massacre. As per this CID communiqué the injured militant before his death on 24th February 1998 also informed the Police about CaptainShair Khan, the Commander of Harkat-ul-Ansar who ordered the massacre of Kashmiri pundits.

 

3.        As per CID letter later 13 other foreign militants who were also involved in the killings of Kashmiri Pandits of Wandhama were killed.

 

4.       The CID department should furnish the copies of FIRs and investigation reports under which they claim that these foreign militants were killed in encounters with armed forces. Based on this CID response there should be two FIRs where the killings of these foreign militants has been registered and investigated.

 

5.       If the police have filed FIRs regarding the encounters in which these foreign militants were killed then surely police would have identified these foreign militants responsible for killing victims of Wandhama massacre. We urge that the Police should be asked to provide list of these 20 foreign militants killed and the place where they have been buried.

 

6.       According to the CID department’s letter the statement of the injured militant who later died in the hospital is crucial, as that forms the basis of the police investigation regarding the Wandhama massacre. Therefore we request SHRC to order the police department to submit the statement of that injured militant and also the officers responsible for carrying out that investigation and recording that statement should be asked to depose before this Honorable Commission.

 

7.       According to this CID department response 20 foreign militants have been killed who were involved in the Wandhama massacre, while as, as per the statement of the injured militant questioned by Police, there were 21 militants involved in the massacre, which means that there is still one person who has not been brought to justice. We urge this Honorable Commission to ascertain from the police department regarding that one militant.

 

8.       If the injured militant has named the Commander of the Harkat-ul-Ansar who ordered the massacre, then surely he would have also identified the other 6 militants who were shot on 17th February 1998 along with him and also would have identified the names of the other 14 persons involved in the heinous crime.

 

9.       It needs to be ascertained what is the basis on which police claims that the 13 other foreign militants who were later killed were also involved in the Wandhama massacre.

 

10.     It also needs to be ascertained besides these 20 foreign militants which police claims were involved in the massacre, who was the 1 militant who was neither killed nor apprehended by the police so far.

 

11.     We do not think police has done the needful in terms of punishing the culprits responsible for the Wandhama massacre, instead we believe that Police department with very little evidence on record cannot conclusively prove that those 20 foreign militants killed were involved in Wandhama massacre. Also with lack of credible investigation the police department has closed the case as untraced even when according to their own admission the one more militant responsible for massacre is at large.

 

12.     We urge SHRC to order its own Police Investigation Wing to carry out a thorough investigation into Wandhama massacre, which will help in ascertaining the identities of the culpable and bringing them to justice, besides this investigation would help in instilling the confidence of the Kashmiri minorities.

 

Yours Sincerely,

Sanjay K. Tickoo

President

Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti

Date : 10-09-2012

May 8, 2012

Kidnapped , raped , converted ~ Rinkle Kumari | #Rinkle

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — TheKashmir @ 10:02 am

Exclusive picture of Rinkle Kumari ~ taken two weeks before she was kidnapped , raped and forcibly married . You may never see her smiling again .  Just in case she is still alive .

From Friday Times ~

Malalai Yusafzai, the brilliant Pakistani girl who defied Taliban’s dictation and stood firm on getting educated and persuaded her peers to do so, is a face of Pakistan that we all want to see. More and more. With pride and denial. We like to see Malalai in denial of Rinkle. Rinkle Kumari, the 19 years old Sindhi Hindu girl who was kidnapped and allegedly forcibly converted to Islam before coercively marrying her to a Muslim Naveed Shah. The ones who show this uncomfortable face of Pakistan are condemned to be the ‘traitors’ and ‘Pakistan-haters’. If trying to correct these painful imperfections of our society is treason, let me commit it for once. Rinkle’s story needs to be told loudly and to everyone.

Rinkle was kidnapped on February 24 by Naveed Shah and four other people. Police refused to lodge an FIR and to include the names of the influential Mian Aslam, Mian Rafique and their father Mian Mithu. She was produced in the court of Civil Judge Ghotki where she insisted on going to her family but the judge illegally sent her to the police custody in Sukkur Women’s Police Station.

Read the complete story HERE 

March 11, 2012

PANUN KASHMIR , A POSSIBILITY OR A PIPE DREAM | #Kashmir

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , — TheKashmir @ 10:21 am

FOR THE DOUBTING THOMASES

PANUN KASHMIR , A POSSIBILITY OR A PIPE DREAM

Preface to the Paper: On the onset of Islamic Insurgency in the mountainous State of Jammu and Kashmir in the year 1989-90 a small but significant ethnic minority called Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes. Though estimates vary on the number of those who were forced to leave Kashmir valley in the winter of 1989-90, it is broadly believed, on the basis of various figures available with the government, that a total of 56000 plus families forcibly migrated to the plains of India. The exodus which followed a spate of killings and vandalisation /burning of Pandit houses and places of religious worship was described by the NHRC or the National Human Rights Commission as “akin to genocide”.

As a response to the ethnic cleansing, a frontline organisation of Kashmiri Pandits called the Panun Kashmir (Our Kashmir) demanded the following:

  • The establishment of  a  separate homeland  for Kashmiri Hindus in the Kashmir Valley, comprising the regions of the valley to the East and North of river Jehlum;
  • That the constitution of India be applied in letter and spirit in the homeland in order to ensure  right to life, liberty, freedom of expression, faith, equality and rule of law;
  • That their homeland be placed under central administration with a Union Territory Status till it evolves its own economic and political infrastructure;
  • That all the seven lakh Kashmiri Hindus, which includes those who have been driven out of Kashmir in the past and yearn to return to their homeland and those who were forced to leave on  account of  the terrorist  violence in  Kashmir, be settled  in the homeland  on  equitable  basis  with  dignity and honour.

 

Various “un-constitutional experts” whom we shall call “Doubting Thomases” here have from time to time raised the issue of the homeland (UT Of Panun Kashmir) being a constitutional & political impossibility.

Thus in this paper we will try and look at the reorganisation of States in India and what factors caused the reorganisation, whether re-organisation of territories can happen on the basis of ethnicity and thus address the issue of whether the proposed Union Territory of Panun Kashmir is constitutionally and politically possible or not.

I therefore submit my hypothesis as under:

There is nothing that prevents the formation of a Union Territory of Panun Kashmir, either under the Indian Constitution or the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. It will thus be a question of the will & determination of the Panun Kashmir organisation to determine the result of the Union Territory of  Panun Kashmir.

History of Reorganisation of States in India:

India was an amalgamation of more than 600 princely States at the time of British Raj. Upon the dawn of Independence in South Asia the Hindu Majority Areas became India while the Muslim majority became Pakistan. When the Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950, India became a union of states with extensive autonomy and some states  administered by the central government. Under the Constitution, there were three kinds of states — nine Part A states, eight Part B states and 10 Part C states. Part A states were former governors’ provinces in British India — Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Bombay, Madras, Orissa, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Part B states were the former princely states such as Hyderabad, Saurashtra, Mysore, Travancore-Cochin, Madhya Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh, Patiala & East Punjab States Union and Rajasthan. Part C states included a few princely states as well as former provinces governed by chief commissioners such as Kutch, Himachal Pradesh, Coorg, Manipur, Tripura and so on. J&K was granted special status (under article 370 ) as a result of its merger into the Indian State upon being attacked by Pakistani Trained Tribals.

How one man’s sacrifice changed the course of the State Reorganization:

The winter of 1952 could be termed as a watershed in the reorganization of the Indian States. A petite Gandhian Potti Sriramulu fasted for 56 days and died while fasting. His death unleashed a huge wave of protests not just in Madras where he fasted for the statehood of Andhra Pradesh but all over South India. All through his period of fasting Nehru, the left leaning moderate first Prime Minister of India, maintained a stony silence and made no efforts to save the dying man. But that’s for another day. What it however did was that it forced Nehru into announcing a separate statehood for Andhra Pradesh , just three days after Sriramulu’s death.

Jawaharlal Nehru was left with no option but to appoint a State Organization Commission for creation of States on the basis of linguistic similarities. The State Reorganisation Act came into effect from 1st of Nov,1956. Simultaneously an amendment was made to the constitution which is the now the famous Seventh Amendment. The distinction between Part A and Part B states was removed, which were now known simply as “states”. A new type of entity, the union territory, replaced the classification as a Part C or Part D state.

But this was not the end of the reorganization of the states but just the beginning.

It is very important to understand the logic behind the formation of the new states and union territories in order to know whether the proposed Union Territory is possible or not. We shall in this light examine how we arrived at the present 28 states and 7 union territories and as a case we shall study the reorganisation of the Punjab (which was not done on the basis of linguistics) and North East (where states were created on the basis of ethnicity) and take Mizoram as a case study(where a single hill district attained statehood).

India has witnessed three main reorganizations, the first which we have already mentioned above, in 1956, the second in late 1960’s (when Punjab was Split) and 1970’s when the northeast was split up and several new states were created following the formation of the State of Nagaland and the third in 2000 when the states of Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh were created. So as we can see the formation of the states has been a continuous process with new states and union territories being created from time to time in the Federal Structure of India.

Before we move to the process of creating new States or Union Territories and the constitutional jargon, which incidentally isn’t much, let us study what caused these states to come to fore. Once the principle of linguistic states had been accepted it was only a matter of time that other considerations such as ethnicity would come to fore as a reason for formation of new territories and that is why precisely what happened. In the first reorganization of states Punjab was not touched. It remained as a whole comprising of the former princely state of Himachal Pradesh, the now Haryana and the present day Punjab. The Akaali Dal which was a minority in the erstwhile united Punjab launched an agitation to carve out a Punjabi Suba. There was a lot of Politics behind this, the details of which may only lengthen this paper but it would suffice to say that a mask of language was put on what was purely an ethnic identity question or state or one can even say a matter of religious identity. The Akali Dal manifesto to the SRC declares that, “The true test of democracy, in the opinion of the Shiromani Akali Dal, is that the minorities should feel that they are really free and equal partners in the destiny of their country…to bring home a sense of freedom to the Sikhs, it is vital that there should be a Punjabi speaking language and culture. The Shiromani Akali Dal has reason to believe that a Punjabi-speaking province may give the Sikhs the needful security.”

Read again…give Sikhs the needful security

The manifesto makes no bones about the real reason for the demand for formation of a new state .But as one would imagine that it would be an anathema to Nehru as it would be to a lot of so called moderates like our doubting Thomas. The manifesto is abundantly clear as to why the Sikhs and not Punjabis want a new State. Even today most of the low lying hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh have linguistic and cultural similarities with Punjabis, far greater than they have with people living up in the mountains whose language also borrows most of its syntax and word bank from the Punjabi language.

Eventually in the September of 1966 the demand for a Punjabi Suba was accepted and the state was trifurcated when it could simply have been bifurcated because no one else asked for a separate state. The basis given for trifurcation by the Shastri government (Nehru had passed away by then) was that people who speak a derivative of the Braj Bhasha would have a separate state of Haryana and the ones who spoke Pahari or Kangri would be merged with Himachal Pardesh. The government wanted a façade of the linguistically organized state to remain though it was very clear as to why the State of Punjab was created. What this reorganization did was that Sikhs became a majority in the new Punjabi Suba or Punjab as it is called. It is particular importance to this paper that there were no deaths during this agitation although a huge number of people did go to jails.

Now let us move to the more difficult area of North East where reorganization of the Seven Sisters from the unwanted mother Assam, who eventually became a sister herself, took place purely on the basis of preservation of the distinct ethnic character of each of the tribes.

The regional composition of the North East at the time of independence consisted of the Assam plains of the old Assam Province, the hill districts, the North Eastern Frontier tracts (NEFT) of the North Eastern borderland, and the princely states of Manipur and Tripura, both of which opted for merger with India in 1949.As for administrative changes in the wake of the transfer of power on 15th August, the administrative jurisdiction of the excluded and partially excluded areas in the hills of Assam was transferred to the government of Assam which acted on behalf of the Government of India.

The Constitution promulgated in 1950 contained a special provision in the form of the Sixth Schedule for the administration of “tribal” areas that were meant to protect the tribal people who were living scattered throughout the country. The provision was applied to the ethnic groups in the hill region of the North East.

Under it, the “tribal” areas in the North East were divided into two parts, Part A and Part B. The United Khasi and Jaintia Hills District, the Garo Hills District,the Lushai Hills District, the Naga Hills District, the North Cachar Hills District,and the Mikir Hills District were placed in Part A as Autonomous Districts administered by the Government of Assam, The North East Frontier Tract, the Balipara Frontier Tract, the Tirap Frontier Tract, the Abor Hilland Mishmi Hills Districts and the Naga Tribal Area came into Part B, which was administered by the Governor of Assam acting as Agent of the President of India. Tripura and Manipur were not promoted to states but were made special administrative regions under the control of central government. Hereafter, state formation in the North East followed a process whereby the area once unified into Assam was separated and ultimately turned into a state.

Stupid as it may seem, the SRC had suggested that the State of Assam be enlarged to include the princely states of Manipur and Tripura. The ethnic people of the entire North East were up in arms and some literally were and demanded separate states for separate ethnicities. Language as a basis had once again been thrown to dogs. Nagaland was the first state to be created in 1963 .But our considerations lie elsewhere. The representatives of Hill Districts, yes Hill Districts, which were then one district hill towns expressed the hope of forming their own hill state. Far Fetched as it may have seemed for the Ghasis, Jantiyas and Khasis to form a state of Meghalaya it did happen .In 1970 the autonomous Meghalaya State was established which later became a full fledged state in 1972.Meghalaya was still 3 hill districts but imagine a single hill district becoming a full fledged state. The Mizo Hills area which was Lushia Hill District or Mizo Hill District of Assam in 1954 was accorded the Status of a Union Territory in 1972 and attained full statehood in 1987.Now who but an optimist and he who believed in the idea of a separate State of Mizoram would have imagined that one day it would be a separate state within the Federal Structure of India.

So we have no dearth of examples of states and Union Territories being created on one pretext or another and despite Nehru’s wishes of a hugely centralized administrative machinery the formation of new states and reorganisation is and was not just a political compulsion to keep the Union of India together and but an acceptance of the diversity of the various constituents of Indian Union accompanied with the frailty or strength of the Federal Structure depending upon how we look at it. Whatever may be the reasons, the truth is that new States were created and the Indian state like the Universe though may be whole but is in a constant state of making and unmaking within.

That brings us to the important Part of this paper which will deal with the process of creating of a new Union Territory or a State with special reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the context of it having Article 370 and a separate constitution.

Process of formation of a UT/State within the Indian Dominion

I will try and make this as lucid as I possibly can so that the spirit of the Indian Constitution is not lost on us. The Parliament has the power to form a new state or territory within the Indian Dominion. Articles 2 and 3 of the Indian Constitution bestow on the Parliament the power to establish new states on such terms and conditions as it deems fit. The Article 3 of the Indian Constitution which deals with the power and procedure to establish new states reads

3. Formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States.—Parliament may by law—

(a)form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State;

(b) increase the area of any State;

(c) diminish the area of any State;

(d) alter the boundaries of any State;

(e) alter the name of any State:

Provided that no Bill for the purpose shall be introduced in either House of Parliament except on the recommendation of the President and unless, where the proposal contained in the Bill affects the area, boundaries or name of any of the States, the Bill has been referred by the President to the Legislature of that State for expressing its views thereon within such period as may be specified in the reference or within such further period as the President may allow and the period so specified or allowed has expired.

2 THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA 3

Explanation I.—In this article, in clauses (a) to (e), “State” includes a Union territory, but in the proviso, “State” does not include a Union territory.

Explanation II.—The power conferred on Parliament by clause (a) includes the power to form a new State or Union territory by uniting a part of any State or Union territory to any other State or Union territory.

We have to read the Articles 2 &3 with reference to the 4th Article of the Constitution which reads.

4. Laws made under articles 2 and 3 to provide for the amendment of the First and the Fourth Schedules and supplemental, incidental and consequential matters.—(1) Any law referred to in article 2 or article 3 shall contain such provisions for the amendment of the First Schedule and the Fourth Schedule as may be necessary to give effect to the provisions of the law and may also contain such supplemental, incidental and consequential provisions (including provisions as to representation in Parliament and in the Legislature or Legislatures of the State or States affected by such law) as Parliament may deem necessary.

(2) No such law as aforesaid shall be deemed to be an amendment of this Constitution for the purposes of article 368.

It is very important to refer to the 1st Schedule of the Indian Constitution which clearly defines the geographical area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

So the creation of the Union Territory is the prerogative of the President and the Parliament and the State Legislature’s interference is limited to just giving its opinion. Although on account of Article 370 of The Indian Constitution which gives special but temporary status to the State we have to be careful to read the law. The Parliament can make laws but the applicability of such powers or even the power to make such laws in case of J&K is limited to those matters in Union and Concurrent Lists (we will see later in our paper how Parliament’s supremacy holds even in matters related to State List) which unfortunately is silent on the re-organisation of the State. So are we at a dead end ? Well far from it. The President has the power to issue a public notification which may either cease the powers of the Article completely or they may be applicable with certain provisions or modifications. It is under those powers that the 1953 position when India Parliament or the Central Government controlled only Four subjects (defence, external affairs, communications and ancillary) now holds a sway over most of the policy making and law making instruments. We must also read the Instrument of Accession to know how land can be acquired in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The point six of the instrument reads:

Nothing in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature to make any law for this State authorizing the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose, but I hereby undertake that should the Dominion for the purpose of a Dominion law which applies in this State deem it necessary to acquire any land, I will at their request acquire the land at their expense, or, if the land belongs to me transfer it to them on such terms as may be agreed or, in default of agreement, determined by an arbitrator to be appointed by the Chief Justice of India.    

There also is nothing in either the article 370 or the constitution of J&K or the Instrument of Accession or the Indian Constitution that forbids the formation of the UT within the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Yes there may be no precedence on the issue but then there wasn’t any precedence of the formation of Hill Districts as States in the North East.

Also noteworthy are numerous references in the constitution especially in the part of the constitution concerning the relations between the Union and States i.e Part XI. Time and again it reiterates the Power of the Parliament even regarding those issues which may fall in the purview of the State List. In the same Chapter mentions and I quote,” 251. Inconsistency between laws made by Parliament under articles 249 and 250 and laws made by the Legislatures of States.—Nothing in articles 249 and 250 shall restrict the power of the Legislature of a State to make any law which under this Constitution it has power to make, but if any provision of a law made by the Legislature of a State is repugnant to any provision of a law made by Parliament which Parliament has under either of the said articles power to make, the law made by Parliament, whether passed before or after the law made by the Legislature of the State, shall prevail, and the law made by the Legislature of the State shall to the extent of the repugnancy, but so long only as the law made by Parliament continues to have effect, be inoperative.

We will also look at how the amendment will be made once the bill is passed in both houses of Parliament and an Act comes into effect. It is then a mere formality that the necessary amendments as they may be for the creation of the new state/UT. Article 368 confers on the Parliament to make amendments. Although it is not within the scope of this paper to define the procedure of the covenants or riders yet we must know this simply to understand the process. The Article 368 reads as follows:

368. Power of Parliament to amend the Constitution and procedure therefor.— (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may in exercise of its constituent power amend by way of addition, variation or repeal any provision of this Constitution in accordance with the procedure laid down in this article.

(2) An amendment of this Constitution may be initiated only by the introduction of a Bill for the purpose in either House of Parliament, and when the Bill is passed in each House by a majority of the total membership of that House and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of that House present and voting, it shall be presented to the President who shall give his assent to the Bill and thereupon the Constitution shall stand amended in accordance with the terms of the Bill:

Provided that if such amendment seeks to make any change in—

(a) article 54, article 55, article 73, article 162 or article 241, or

(b) Chapter IV of Part V, Chapter V of Part VI, or Chapter I of Part XI, or

(c) any of the Lists in the Seventh Schedule, or

(d) the representation of States in Parliament, or

(e) the provisions of this article,

the amendment shall also require to be ratified by the Legislatures of not less than one-half of the States by resolutions to that effect passed by those Legislatures before the Bill making provision for such amendment is presented to the President for assent.

(3) Nothing in article 13 shall apply to any amendment made under this article.      

[(4) No amendment of this Constitution (including the provisions of Part III) made or purporting to have been made under this article whether before or after the commencement of section 55 of the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976] shall be called in question in any court on any ground.

(5) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that there shall be no limitation whatever on the constituent power of Parliament to amend by way of addition, variation or repeal the provisions of this Constitution under this article.]

For the formation of the UT the amendment makes no changes in the a) to e) section of the Article 368(2).

Conclusions:

States/Union Territories can be created not just on the basis of linguistical similarities or dis-similarities but on the basis of preservation of ethnicities and in some cases even religious identity of a particular group.

The Formation of the Union Territory/State is purely a prerogative of the Parliament and even if the State Legislature from which the new territory is to be carved votes the proposal out (though the President only seeks their views and not consent) yet the supremacy of the Parliament will prevail.

The Proposed Union Territory of Panun Kashmir has a valid reason to be established because it will help stop the erasure of the unique ethnic culture and tradition of the Kashmiri Pandits.

The Union Territory of Panun Kashmir-How and When:

Now that we established that there is a precedent for creation of Union Territories on the basis of ethnicities and States on the basis of religious similarities and the Constitution is not an impediment in the creation of the UT in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, we must ask how and when it is likely to be established.

Some two years back the Legislative Assembly of the Madhya Pradesh State (on the insistence of the Panun Kashmir organisation) passed a resolution by voice vote asking both the Centre and the State Government to carve out a separate area within the State of Jammu and Kashmir for the ethnic minority called Kashmiri Pandits. Though the resolution may have no legal or constitutional validity it does point to how and when the Panun Kashmir organisation can push forward the passage of the bill to create UT of Panun Kashmir. The passage of the bill can be smooth only when there is a favourable dispensation (towards the idea) and when the dispensation has numbers on its side to have the bill passed through both houses of the Parliament. Difficult as it may seem today it is not an impossible task by any means. There is every likelihood that in near future (30-40 years) time a dispensation (like the one of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the MP-CM) will rule in the Centre and will have numbers to pass the resolution .It is then that the Panun Kashmir Organisation should press for a resolution of the issue and have a bill passed in both houses of the Parliament. Till that time they need to keep working hard in raising the political pitch on the issue, a sizeable part of that work is already done or is in the process of being accomplished. There is no doubt today that most in the media or policy making circles or even the successive Government at the Centre recognize(only PK has represented Kashmiri Pandits on all round table Kashmir Committee set up by the government) Panun Kashmir as the organization representing Pandits though every now and then some formations like third front in the Centre do prop up but they vanish as fast as they appear. The State Legislature will never be favourably inclined towards Panun Kashmir and towards Pandits at large but be that as it may ,its negative feedback on the issue or its throwing out or not admitting the bill has no bearing once the Parliament has passed the bill.

We must also understand that formation of UT’s or new States does take time and to expect results like a cup of instant coffee may just not be possible. So for those who ask how long I must say, long enough as it has been for every other state be it Punjab or be it Mizoram. Although we have gone into some detail over the history, politics and constitution with regard to formation of new states I reiterate that even if there is no history or even if the constitution does not have the necessary provisions the will (here I mean intensity and not mere numbers) of the people who want the state will eventually prevail over the them and provisions will be and always have been made to accommodate the aspirations and genuine demands of the people. For those doubting Thomases who may keep parroting that it is a constitutionally impossibility we have shown it is not, but more important than that for them and for us is to understand that  many nations have been created and many have merged since the formation of the United Nations .None of them had a constitutional provision to either merge or break, so it is only for the naysayers or the unbelievers to look for a written word as a permission to bring forth a new idea or implement a new one and that too when the written word is not divine but written by mere mortals like us or by those on whom we enshrined the responsibility of writing the constitution.

This paper is definitely not the final word on the issue and I am willing to stand corrected, guided and evolved by people who have more insight and knowledge of the issue at hand.I hope that this rather preliminary note of mine spurs the real constitutional experts to delve deeper into the issue, with their knowledge and erudition into the understanding of the constitution. It should also bring this issue to debate and the Kashmiri Pandits as a community should thread bare discuss the law and politics which will make the UT of Panun Kashmir a reality.

References:

1. The Constitution of India.

2. The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.

3.  Instrument of Accession

4. The States Reorganisation Act 1956.

5. The Punjab Reorganisation Act 1966.

6. The North Eastern States (Re-organisation) Amendment Bill 2011 as presented in Lok Sabha.

7.  Marg Darshan Resolution of Panun Kashmir adopted in 1991.

8.  Singh, Gurharpal, 1995, The Punjab Crisis Since 1984: A Reassessment’, Ethnic and racial Studies Vol. 18.

9.  Phadnis, Urmila, 1989, Ethnicity and Nation-building in South Asia, New Delhi, Sage Publications.

10. Pal, Kiran, 1993, Tension Areas in Center-State Relations, New Delhi, Surid Publications.

 

Follow the author on Twitter @rashneek

February 18, 2012

The Snow Is Calling Once Again | #Kashmir


The Snow Is Calling Once Again 

By Ramesh Manvati

This time, I made my arrival quite early,

With the hope to embrace you tightly,

But, nowhere could you be seen.

Day in and day out, to meet you, I am so keen.

I am calling you once again.

Oh, Pandit ! Don’t you realise my pain?

The winter has set in yet again.

Have I to continue to seethe in pain?

I had called you in the past,

Your eerie silence has made me aghast.

Your roots, over five thousand years old, continue to seethe in pain.

I fail to understand what is the gain?

Over twenty painful years, we are already ages apart.

Your journey back home – not yet ready to start?

Seems, I have to bear, still, your being so upset.

To welcome you back, do I need to re-assure you,

That I will lay my best and thick velvety carpet?

Everything you have forgotten, so I feel.

Compelling me to remind you, with a fresh appeal.

On the onset of every winter, you would wait

for my arrival, with much zest and zeal.

And on my arrival from the heavens above,

within the warmth of your ancestral homes,

peeping through the doors and

through the windows-partly open,

or many a times from the ‘dub’ of your ‘bub’,

the leisure time you would enjoy,

gazing my elegant movements in sheer joy.

sonna sheen vollun dhaaray-dhaaray,

maharaaza raaza kumaaray aaw……”

some would merrily sing. And, at times, many

sipping ‘sheeri-chaai’ or even some hot ‘kehwa’

in the traditional ‘khos’ or a ‘kenzi-khos’,

held on the sleeve of your ‘pheran’,

prepared in a ‘samawaar’ and served by a ‘nosh’,

with a ‘garma-garm’ ‘taeil-woar’, ‘tomlla-tsaot’ or ‘ makkaai tsaot’,

or with it, even some enjoying ‘soa’tt’,

With a cosy ‘kaangar’ beneath your ‘pheran’;

The eldest among you, even smoking a ‘jajjeer’.

Forgotten? Occasional ‘shalfaa-malfaa’ , you had

with your toddlers to warm their hands and feet. And,

simultaneously narrating to them local folk-tales and lullabies.

Even ‘nav-sheen’ you celebrated,

in the company of your kith and kin,

music and dance; well dressed and decorated,

with the choicest of your dishes. And,

a ‘welcome drink’ would not be a sin,

even in the ancient times; just recheck

from the treasure of your ‘Neelmat Puraan’.

 

Remember? On my very first arrival,

the new brides you would routinely tease,

Forcing them to bring a ‘paschin’ - raw or cooked,

from their ‘maaluen’ with much ease.

Children would playfully sing everywhere,

sheena petto-petto, maama itto-itto…………”.

Even the stray dogs would dance merrily here and there,

on the roads, in streets or outside your ghetto.

You can be so forgetful, baffles me.

When I have not forgotten, how can you?

Walking, through your orchards and rice fields -spread across Kashyap’s valley.

Or through the towns and villages or ‘Sri-nagaree’ of goddess Sharada’s seat;

Through the serpentine and uneven lanes and narrow by-lanes,

with a ‘khraav’ or ‘pullhor’ or a long boot or a ‘duck-back’ shoe protecting your feet;

Your daily routine, even though being hurt, once in a while,

because of pervading ‘tulkattur’- exposing my frozen attitude,

would continue with serenity and great fortitude.

Even your cursing me at times – that, at times, I would mind,

while finding it difficult to move around.

Still, my cool but peaceful white cover on the ground,

over the surrounding houses, trees and the distant mountains,

lovely murmuring streams, though in deep sleep;

would make you overlook my hurt and dirt.

At the same time, no more feeling of being slighted, I am telling you.

Stray dogs, cows, crows and other perching birds,

without a fail and religiously you would feed, I still remember.

In the plains or atop a nearby hillock, temple bells you would ring,

Morning and evening, ‘kashiri leelaai’ you would sing.

As a habit, whether young or old; men or women,

busying yourself in the company of holy men,

always keeping your household, body and mind-neat and clean.

oftenly, you would praise my beauty and the surrounding scene.

My periodic arrivals and my stays

long or short, you enjoyed and cherished too.

I too enjoyed, let me now reveal to you,

your rolling me into a ‘sheena-mohneow’ occasionally-

in your ‘waaeri’, in the streets, or in nearby open fields. And,

even the ‘sheena-jung’ with your ‘mohalla’ friends.,

I remember vividly, why cannot you?

The vacations, children spent in their ‘maataamaal’, during the stay

of my old friends like ‘chillai-kallaan’, ‘chillai-khorrud’ and ‘chillai-buchcha’.

Remember? The sheer panic of being caught red handed,upon the sudden

bursting of a stolen egg – hidden inside the embers of your cosy ‘kaangar’ ;

Or, making and eating of a ‘mallai-kulfi’ on the ‘braer-k’anee’ of your residence,

secretly from the prying eyes of your elders including ‘bub’, ‘dyed’ or ‘baed- maej’,

 

Also, the ‘faaka’ many of you kept for the entire sacred month of ‘maag’;

Or the visit of your family priest, on the eve of ‘gora-trai’ of this month to your homes

with handmade pictures of ‘Saraswati’-blessing new brides and youngsters; and

exhorting them to continue the ancient tradition of learning.

I have just not forgotten; how can you?

hayrath-pooza’ was incomplete till, some of you, made my use.

That I had to be there even in the summer month of ‘haar’,

to defeat the evil designs of a tyrant Afghan ruler-Jabbar Khan,

and to uphold the sanctity of your sublime faith.

The popular tease - “wuchutoan yi jabbar jandha, haaras ti korrun vandha…..”

is an ample proof of my historical claim.

Even performing of your annual ‘jattae’n-ttae’n……..’,

on ‘teela-aettham’- concluding day of the sacred festival of hayrath’;

Or distribution of ‘dooen’ to ‘haenz’ children, curiously watching on the ‘yaarbal’ and,

offering of burning ‘chaeng’ to holy ‘Vitasta’ in the evening of the day,

Have you so conveniently forgotten?

I have not, how can you?

The aroma surrounding many of your winter festivals, rituals like

‘kheschri-maavas’, ‘gaada-batta’, ‘kaaw-punnim’, or

shishur’ of a new born child or a ‘nav-nosh’; And,

the twenty three day long ‘hayrath’ celebrations, still haunts me.

Such ancient festivities you will be observing in exile, so I earnestly hope.

Though, in an alien land, difficult it surely must be for you to cope.

The special dishes, as per your ‘reeth’, that you

prepared on such joyous occasions, still water my mouth.

Oh, Pandit ! Treat me back to that aroma and couth.

Decades have passed; have not heard a Lall-Vaakh,

“ hayrath maej aayay, marscha papar kyaaway………”

or “thukk-thukk, kuss chuv….”, nor seen anyone playing with cowries,

Please no more deprivations, I pray thee.

You cannot be so cruel to me.

Holding back the tears and trying to be brave.

My children – ‘shishar -ghaaent’, many now grown and

many on their way, hover in desperation. And,

for the warm kiss of your teeth continue to crave.

The winter has set-in, once again,

This time, I made my arrival quite early,

with the hope to embrace you tightly.

But, nowhere could you be seen.

Oh, Pandit ! I am reminding you once again,

Don’t you realize my seething pain?

Over two decades already, we continue to be apart,

Journey back home to your very own-‘Pannaen Maej-Kasheer’,

Still not yet ready to start???

      __________________________________________________________________________________

The writer , a Sr. Activist of Panun Kashmir, can be reached through e-mail : paannyaar@rediffmail.com /rameshmanvati@yahoo.co.in

        __________________________________________________________________________________

This poem is dedicated to the Youth of ‘Internally Displaced’ Kashmiri Pandit community ( now scattered across the globe) on the eve of “Ist International Kashmiri Pandit Youth Conference” organized under the aegis of Panun Kashmir, in Pune ( India), on 7- 8 January 2012


January 20, 2012

Curfewed Night – A book review ~ by Prof. GL Jalali | #Kashmir

Filed under: Jihad, Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 5:06 am

Book review –    Curfewed Night

Prof. G.L. Jalali

Packed with facts and fiction, narrated in a locale of electrified human emotions

TITLE……………………Curfewed Night ; AUTHOR………………….Basharat Peer

DATE OF PUBLICATION…………….2010 ;PAGES………………………………….221

PUBLISHER……..Harper Publications, London

Its racy prose is both lyrical and moving, subject matter most poignant It describes what a heaven it (Kashmir) was and what a hell it is now – all man made.

It is an emotional tale of mans’ love for his land, the pain of leaving home and ultimately the joy of return

In the wake of the ongoing Muslim insurgency in the erstwhile princely Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir that broke out in 1989 a spute of books, dealing with the J&K insurgency, have flooded the world book market. These books were authored mostly by the persons living either outside J&K or some foreign writers. There were a few Kashmir authors who wrote copiously on the Kashmir subject. Mr. Basharat Peer, the author of Curfewed Night (under review) is one such author who has the distinction of writing a revealing book on the ongoing political turmoil in his native land – the scenic valley of Kashmir. His book “Curfewed Night” is the memoir of a young Kashmiri Muslim Journalist who spent his childhood and adolescent years in the strife ridden Kashmiri valley.

Belonging to a well-to-do Muslim Peer (priestly) family, Basharat’s father Mr.GA Peer is a serving bureaucrat (now posted as Commissioner-cum-Education Secretary in J & K state).His mother serves as a school teacher while his grand father is a retired head-master of a Government Secondary School. His upbringing was unlike that of other Muslim boys in his native village, Seer which is on way to valley’s internationally known tourist spot. Gifted with rich imagination and deft of thought, Basharat Peer describes his village environs-open paddy fields, neighboring mountains, rich flora and fauna, village houses with thatched roofs, running and roaring brooks – in an artistic manner couched in a simple, readable and, above all, racy style of his prose reminiscent of any matured and experienced English writer. Still, the young scribe has to go miles ahead. For his style of writing I offer my hearty congratutions to Mr. Basharat Peer.

The book consists of sixteen chapters running over two hundred twenty one pages. Each chapter carries an appropriate heading, capping the details given inside the chapter. Chapters from one to eight describe author’s early life up to the period when he is all set to leave the valley for plains in search of new green pastures and to make a successful career. In the second part the author of the Curfewed Night describes his journey as a reporter of a Delhi based newspaper through length and breadth of Kashmir, meeting a cross-section of the Kashmiris and noting their reaction towards the militancy that engulfed his homeland.

So the book titled Curfewed Night is an anecdotal record of the events seen through the prism of a writer who, overtly or covertly, sympathizes with the militants. It is a chronicle of events keenly observed by a young Muslim journalist who grows up watching this charming valley turning into a hotbed of Muslim insurgency.

Basharat Peer’s narrative takes the reader into 1990s when almost the whole of Kashmir valley was overtaken very badly by Pak-sponsored militancy. The author was only 13 years old boy, reading in a village school when the Indian army was fighting a tough gurrila war with the Pakistan trained militants.

Pakistan had never reconciled with the Indian stand on Kashmir.  When General Zia-UI-Haq came to power in a military coup against the democratically elected Bhutto Government, Pakistan started a proxy-war to grab Kashmir. It started indoctrinating Kashmiri Muslim youth, giving them arms training at military camps set up in PoK by Pakistan’s infamous ISl. Thus started the Jihad in Kashmir. It burst forth with vigor in 1990. The civilian government in the valley was almost subverted. That is what Mr. Basharat Peer, the author of the book the Curfewed Night under review, calls “Independence movement”.

Even in his adolescence, he was swept by this “Freedom movement” which was in full bloom. Once it so happened that he had to join a procession of “Freedom Fighters”, he felt himself a part of “something larger’……”Fighting and dying”. Fired with a strong urge to usher in an Isiamic order and to overpower the enemies of their so-called freedom, Basharat’s school friends would cross high-mountain peaks, standing magnificently all along the border with PoK, to receive arms training in alien climes. The rebel in the young school-going boy, Basharat, take the place of a coy- some sibling of a middle-class rural Muslim family and decides to join the much talked about freedom-struggle as Mujahideen. He wants to bid adieu to studies at school.

Peer’s parents heard about their sons firm resolve to join JKLF, the then premier militant outfit, fighting for valley’s independence. His parents intervened and succeeded in preventing young Basharat from joining the militant outfit. “He can join after finishing his studies,” they said to their overzealous son. Rebellion, his father said repeatedly, were led by educated men. The young boy had to yield to the wishes of his parents. He draws a pen picture of the situation appering in February 1990 in the valley, particularly in Srinagar. The author says, “By February 1990 Kashmir was in the midst of a full-blown rebellion against India. Every evening we heard the news of more protests and deaths. Protests followed killings, and killings followed protests. News came from Srinagar that hundreds of thousands of people had marched to pray for independence at the shrine of the patron saint of Kashmir, Nooruddin Rishi. All over the state similar marches to the shrines of Surfi saints were launched. I joined a procession to the shrine of a much revered Zain Shah Sahib at Aishmuqam near my school”(page 17). It is worth mentioning that Saint Zain Shah was originally a Kashmiri Brahman converted to Islam in 15th century,. When Kashmir was ruled by some fanatic Muslim rulers, including the infamous idol breaker Sikender Butshekan. As admitted by the author of the Curfewed Night, it was a full-fledged revolt against India, provoked and abetted by Pakistan in collabration with the Sunni Musllim Community. So, the so-called political movement was no less short of a religious movement aimed at seceding Kashmir from India on the “basis of two-nation theory, the sheet-anchor of the bloody Partition of the Indian subcontinent. It is on account of this premises that former President of Pakistan,Ghulam Ishaq Khan called the Kashmir issue “unfinished agenda of Partition”. To call the ongoing Jehad as Independence Movement by Mr.Basharat Peer, the author of the Curfewed Night, is sheer travesty of truth and the distortion of historical facts

His remarks about the former Governor of Kashmir, Jagmohan are unwarranted and condemnable in the light of facts. ‘The night of January 20, 1990 was long and sad. Before dinner, my family gathered as usual around the radio for the evening news on BBC World Service. Two days earlier, Jagmohan, an Indian bureaucrat infamous for his hatred for Muslims, had been appointed the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He gave orders to crush the incipient rebellion……”(page15). To this question the author will find a suitable answer in the “My Frozen Turbulance’ written by Jagmohan two decades ago. He says when he had assumed the charge as the Governor of J & K state, the strife-torn state was “slipping away from India” as a result of conspiracy hatched and worked out by Pakistan’s infamous ISI, named “Operation Topac”. As a patriot and well-wisher of the peace-loving Kashmiri’s he had no option but to bring the deteriorating situation under control. It goes to the credit of Mr. Jagmohan that he retrieved the valley for the Indian-nation and let the flag of secularism flying aloft on the ramparts of the Red Fort. Had he remained as the Governor of J&K state for some time more the history of the strife-torn state would have been decidedly different and there would have been no Kashmir issue. Unfortunately, some anti-national elements, emboldened by false media propaganda by Pakistan against Jagmohan, this visionary and ace-administrator was unceremoniously removed as Governor of the state. I, as reviewer of Mr. Basharat Peer’s book Curfewed Night, am not holding brief for the former Governor Jagmohan, but stating facts for the information of the author of the book who appears to rely upon what former militants and their sympathizers have stated in their interviews with the author of the book.

His reference to the Gowkadal firings and killings needs to be discussed in the light of volatile propaganda. On page 15,the author say’s “One protest march began from a southern Srinagar area where my parents now live, passed the city centre, Lal Chowk, and marched through the nearby Maisuma towards the shrine of a revered Sufi Saint of a few miles ahead. Protesters were crossing the dilapidated wooden Gawkadal Bridge in Maisuma when the Indian paramilitary, the Central Reserve Police Force, opened fire. More than fifty people were killed. It was the first massacre in the Kashmir valley. As the news sank in, we all wept…? It was no doubt, a great tragedy. There was reliable intelligence reports that some mischievous elements in the protest march were bent upon raking up communal riots by setting ablaze on way Hindu houses in nearby Kashmiri Pandit localities, including Ganpatyar, Habba Kadal etc. That might have been the reason for the Indian Security Forces to take such a strong action. On hearing about such happenings, the heart of every Kashmiri – Hindu or Muslim- is bound to bleed and ache, let alone that of the author of the book under review.

One thing, as pointed out by a critic, goes to the credit of the author of the book Curfewed Night, is an extraordinary memories that does a great deal to bring the Kashmir conflict out of the realm of political rhetoric between India and Pakistan and the lives of Kashmiri’s. Again, Mr. Basharat Peer refers to his unsuccessful visit to Kunnan Poshpara Village in Kupwara district of North Kashmir were the security forces were alleged to have raped a number of village Women. It was just a propaganda stunt by Pakistan. A probe into the alleged rape incidents by the state authorities brought the fact to limelight that these charges leveled against the Indian army were totally false and fabricated. I wonder how an impartial news-reporter was led away by this propaganda stunt. His emotional out burst on these fabricated crimes committed by the security forces can be gauged from his own description !  “He sits at a bus-stop watching for the bus to take him to Kunnan Poshpora, but when it arrives he just goes on sitting, listening to the sound of reviving engine, and watching the bus drive away. For all the stories of suffering he seeks out, there is one he cannot bring himself to look at too closely.”

The author has no word to say about the Chattisinghpora and the Wandhama carnages committed by the militants on non-Muslim villagers. In Chattisinghpora village, situated close to Bashart Peer’s native village in Anantnag distinct, over thirty- Sikhs were brutally killed, while twentyfive Kashmiri Pandits in Wandhama village in Ganderbal Tehsil were gunned down mercilessly and their houses set on fire. A thirteen year old Kashmiri Pandit boy was the lone survivor in this village where almost fifty Pandit families lived prior to this brutal massacre of innocent Kashmiri Pandit Villagers. Their burnt houses still remain a living eye-witness to the atrocities perpetrated on the Kashmiri Pandit Community.

There is just one stray reference to the forced mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the land of their birth. The author went to attend his village school one fine morning. He found no Kashmiri Pandit teacher present in the school as all of them had fled the valley. Of course, he felt very sad and puzzled. ‘The murders sent a wave of fear through the community and more than a hundred thousand Pandits left Kashmiri after March, 1990. The affluent moved to houses in Jammu, Delhi and various Indian cities. But a vast majority could find shelter only in the squalor of refugee camps and rented rooms in Jammu and Delhi’ (page 184).

The author refers to the secular and harmonious atmosphere prevailing In the valley prior to 1989. ‘The practice of Islam in Kashmir borrowed elements from the Hindu and the Buddhist past, the Hindus in turn were influenced by Muslim practices. In my childhood nobody raised an eyebrow if Hindu women went to a Muslim shrine to seek the blessings of a saint. The religious divide was visible only on the days India and Pakistan played cricket. Muslims supported the Pakistani Cricket and the Pandits were for India. My father’s best friend was and remains a Pandit; my mother had long friendships with Pandit women who taught in the same school”( chapter 15, page184).

The chapter titled “Papa-II”deals with the author’s interviews with some militants. The details givien by these militants about some of these interrogation centres are horrible and blood-curdling ancedots. The discription of these horrible stories invoke the sympathizes of the reader, no matter how callous-minded the reader may be. If true, one cannot but condemn these inhuman acts committed by the army investigators. But there stands a question mark: are these real acts of the India’s disciplined army? However, there may be exceptions here and there. Perhaps it is aimed to tarnish the image of our security forces.

One such centre was shut and later on occupied by a top-ranking Oxford Educated Kashmiri bureaucrat as stated by the author of Curfewed Night, Says the author, “Before moving in, the Oxford-Educated Officer called priests of all religions to pray there and exorcise the ghosts”(page 133, chapter 11).

The author has almost sidelined describing the gruesome killings of some eminent Kashmiri Pandit leaders, Lawyers, Doctors, Journalists, Business men, Teachers and Scholars. Can the Kashmiris particularly Kashmiri Pandits forget brutal killings of Pandit Sarwanand Premi and his son, whose eyes were gorged with an iron rod and the bodies cut to pieces or Sarla, a school teacher in a Kupwara school, sawed to death in a sawmill. Militants are equally responsible for turning the happy valley into hell. Without describing these killings, the author has not taken his narrative to a successful conclusion.

However, author’s search for his “lost teacher”-Pandit Chaman Lai Kantroo- evokes our admiration for this budding Kashmiri Muslim author. He desperately makes a search for his childhood Kashmiri Pandit friends. He visits Awtar’s hut in Jammu where he meets his father’s adopted Hindu sister Gouri  wife of Awtar, Jee. “Is he Ammul’s son?” says Gouri. “Ammul was my father’s childhood name which hardly any one outside the family knew. My eyes were wet,” narrates Basharat Peer (page 183). He met his childhood friend, Vinod, by chance in Srinagar where he worked as Area Manager of a Pharmaceutical Company. After a long search he met his Master Jee Chaman Lai Kantroo, in a rented room in Amphela in Jammu. “A step stair led to the rooftop. Behind a curtain of clothes hanging on a nylon rope was a garret. “Come in, Basharat,” Mr Kantroo called out. I looked at him ; he had aged. His checks had sunk deep, his hair was almost white; his eyes were deep down, but seemed to have lost their verve.”(page190). His teacher gave him a book of poems composed by him. The cover of the book read “Eternal Sin”. His partings were surcharged with emotions on either side-from his old student Basharat and his teacher Pandit C.L. Kantroo.

He describes valley’s corrupt bureaucracy. Even bureaucrats demand huge bribes for sanctioning monetary relief. “The files do not move by itself from one table to another. Out of the relief money of one lakh, the applicant has to spend 25 per cent to thirty thousand rupees. Otherwise he will waste years visiting offices. And once he pays that, we ensure that his name in the compensation job list goes up and things move fast.”(page 164). He gives a pen picture of the devastated Rughnath Mandir in the interior of Srinagar city and the abandoned Martand temple at Mattan sans (missing) Shiva idol. At the end of the Curfewed Night the author crosses the Line of Control at Uri which now “functions as a defecto border between two parts of Kashmir” He comments, “The Loc did not run through 576 kilometer of militarized mountains. It ran through the reels of Bollywood coming to life in dark theatres; it ran through the conversations in Coffee shops and TV screens showing cricket matches. It ran through whispers of lovers. And it ran through our grief, our anger, our tears and our silence”. (Page 220-221). It ends with the people awaiting eagerly for the bus coming from the other side of our valley. “I watched thousands of men, women and children stand and along the soldier-laden road, welcoming the ones who had stepped across the Iine.”(page221).

I wish Basharat Peer writing his new book, describing the return of 4 lakh displaced Kashmiri Pandits to their land of birth and their Muslim brethren according them warm hearted welcome in the true spirit of “Kashmeriat” of which the author of the Curfewed Night is a strong votary Amen !

In the end I agree that the “Curfewed Night is an emotional tale of man’s (author’s) love for his land, the pain of leaving home and ultimately the joy of return”. Its racy prose is both lyrical and moving, subject matter most poignant. It describes what a heaven once it was, and what a hell it now is – all man-made! Buck up Basharat Sahib-that is my message to you!

*(The author is prolific writer and editor Samachar Post)

January 19, 2012

Future of Kashmiri Pandits | #Kashmir


Future of Kashmiri Pandits

  By B. Raman

It is 23 years today since Jammu & Kashmir saw the beginning of the ethnic-cleansing of the Kashmiri Pandits, the original inhabitants of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), from their homeland at the instigation of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by a group of Kashmiri jihadi elements trained, armed and motivated by the ISI.

2. The lead in this act of ethnic-cleansing was initially taken by the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). Other jihadi organisations, which subsequently came into existence after having been trained and armed by the ISI, kept the ethnic-cleansing going till practically all the Kashmiri Pandits were driven out after having been subjected to numerous indignities and brutalities such as rape of women, torture, forcible seizure of property belonging to the Pandits etc.

3. The Pandits, who survived these acts of indignities and brutalities, were forced to leave their homeland and seek shelter in camps for refugees set up in Jammu and Delhi. Within a few weeks of the outbreak of the ethnic cleansing, a majority of the Pandits found themselves reduced to the miserable status of refugees in their own country.

4. As the Pandits and their wifes and children were subjected to indignities and brutalities and driven out of their homeland, the State of India totally caught by surprise watched helplessly and pusillanimously, as the plans of the ISI to change the demographic composition of the Kashmir Valley in order to make it a predominantly Muslim area were sought to be implements by the jihadis trained by the ISI.

5. Neither V. P. Singh, who was the Prime Minister when the ethnic-cleansing was carried out nor any of his successors had the least idea of how to deal with the situation. There were various options available. I would cite only two. The first option was to direct the Army to re-establish Indian sovereignty over Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Gilgit-Baltistan as a punitive measure. Pakistan had by then acquired a military nuclear capability, but not a nuclear arsenal. It did not have a satisfactory delivery capability. We could have, therefore, easily re-taken the POK and Gilgit-Baltistan without fear of provoking a nuclear war. The V. P. Singh Government did not exercise this option.

6. The other option was to train and arm the Pandits and ask them to go back and re-occupy their property and fight against the ISI-trained jihadis. This option was carefully examined and given up as not advisable. There were legitimate fears that this option could polarise for ever the relations between the Muslims and the Hindus and play into the hands of the jihadis who wanted such polarisation.

7. The option finally chosen was to look after the Pandits in the refugee camps and other areas where they had settled down with their relatives and wait for the restoration of normalcy in the Valley so that these refugees could be helped to go back, re-establish their ownership of their property and resume a life of dignity as the residents of their traditional homeland.

8. The Pandits have been waiting for 23 years hoping that the day of their return with honour and security to their homeland would come. It has not so far despite the considerable improvement in the ground situation. In the meanwhile, the plight of the Pandits has been slowly forgotten. Everybody sheds crocodile tears over their sufferings, but there is nothing more by way of action. The future of the Kashmiri Pandits as an important dimension of the Kashmir problem is less and less talked about.

9. There was one man, who spent his years of retirement in attempts to ensure that the promises made by the nation to restore the honour and dignity of the Pandits was not forgotten. He took a lively interest in their future and interacted vigorously with leaders of the Government and opposition political parties to see that this dimension of the Kashmir problem was not forgotten.

10. His name was R. N. Kao, a Kashmiri himself, who was the legendary founding father of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW). The Kashmir tragedy broke out five years after he finally retired from public service in 1984. From 1989 onwards till his death in 2002, he devoted a lot of his time to his self-assumed task of restoring the honour and dignity of the Pandits.

11. Since Kao’s death in 2002, the Kashmiri Pandits find themselves orphaned. There is no one at the political or bureaucratic level, who is prepared to come to the forefront, stick his neck out and demand action to restore the dignity and honour of the Pandits. Hopes that the BJP-led Government would pay lively attention to the future of the Pandits were sadly belied. The BJP-led Government was as confused and as inactive as any of the other Governments that had held office since 1989.

12. How to move forward? Two realities have to be kept in mind. Firstly, it is too late in the day to think of identifying and punishing those who were responsible for the ethnic-cleansing. Any ill-advised attempt to do so would complicate the situation further.

13. Secondly, the return of the Pandits to their homeland cannot be enforced unilaterally by the Governments of India and the State. It has to be the outcome of a consensus among different political parties of the State and leaders of different communities. The Government of India has a moral responsibility for working towards such a consensus. Presently, it has not been doing so. It should be made to do so through public pressure. It is time to stop meaningless breast-beating on the plight of the Pandits and their future. It is time to work for concrete ways of enabling their return to their homeland in dignity and honour.

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com  Twitter : @SORBONNE75 )

Source 

January 1, 2012

2011 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — TheKashmir @ 7:37 am

2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

August 6, 2011

Kashmir Resolution Introduced In The House Of Representatives | #Kashmir


 

HRES 387 IH

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 387

Recognizing that the religious freedom and human rights violations of Kashmiri Pandits has been ongoing since 1989.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 1, 2011


RESOLUTION

Recognizing that the religious freedom and human rights violations of Kashmiri Pandits has been ongoing since 1989.

Whereas Jammu and Kashmir has an ancient culture of religious tolerance and pluralism, where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Christians practiced their faith freely in an atmosphere of mutual respect and peace until 1989;

Whereas Kashmiri Pandits are the original inhabitants of Kashmir, tracing their heritage and culture back several millennia;

Whereas Kashmiri Pandits have been the victims of documented human rights violations resulting in the severe curtailment of their religious freedom for more than two decades;

Whereas the Kashmiri Pandit population has declined from 400,000 in 1989 to a current level of less than 4,000 in the Kashmir valley and many Pandits continue to live in refugee camps;

Whereas international human rights organizations have noted the campaign of intimidation and violence directed by foreign militants and foreign terrorist organizations against Kashmiri Pandits;

Whereas thousands of Kashmiri Pandits, elected officials, and military personnel have been killed in terrorist attacks; and

Whereas numerous groups that have claimed responsibility for these attacks have been designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the United States Department of State: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) condemns the extremist violence, lack of religious freedom, and human rights violations committed against Kashmiri Pandits, which they have endured for more than two decades; and

(2) Insists that terrorist infrastructure in the region must be dismantled and terrorists should be held accountable for their actions.

 

Also Read HERE

August 5, 2011

Kashmiri Pandits, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian hypocrisy – Reply to Mr Aditya Sinha | #Kashmir

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 12:10 pm

Different versions of Kashmir in political, social and religious context are nothing new. Mr. Aditya Sinha’s article “Kashmiri Pandits, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian hypocrisy” that appeared in Daily News & Analysis (DNA) on 31st July 2011 prompted me to write back. I disagree with Mr. Sinha’s view regarding Kashmiri Pandits.

It was surprising to see equation between Kashmiri Pandits and Sri Lankan Tamils. Although we are sympathetic towards Sri Lankan Tamils, one cannot equate the two as unlike the Sri Lankan Tamils, Kashmiri Pandits are citizens of India. Our main concern should be first for the citizens of our own country and then others.

The onset of turmoil in Kashmir valley in 1989-1990 was marked with the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Kashmiri Pandits. Ethnic cleansing is an attempt to create ethnically homogeneous geographic areas through the deportation or forcible displacement of persons belonging to particular ethnic groups. United Nations defines ethnic cleansing as rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group. Many Kashmiri Muslims (and not all) joined the so called freedom movement and chose to be part of armed struggle. The objective of militancy in Kashmir was to create a valley homogenous in its religious (read Islamic) character. To create such homogeneity, Kashmiri Hindu minority was forced to leave the valley.

Ethnic cleansing sometimes involves the removal of all physical vestiges of the targeted group through the destruction of monuments, cemeteries, and houses of worship. Ethnic cleansing may involve death or displacement where a population is identified for removal from an area. In Kashmir, houses of minority Hindu Pandits were burned; temples were destroyed. Notices were pasted on the walls of Pandit houses mentioning them to leave the valley or to perish.

Genocide may be used as means to carry out ethnic cleansing. Genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. 

Article 2 of 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: 

  1. Killing members of the group;
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in a ruling on 11 June 1999 stated that “Against the stern definition of the Genocide Convention, the Commission is constrained to observe that while acts akin to genocide have occurred with respect to Kashmiri Pandits and that, indeed, in the minds and utterances of some of the militants a genocide-type design may exist, the crimes against the Kashmiri Pandits are near-Genocide and not Genocide.”

In the speech on 7 April 2004 the UN Secretary General said, “Wherever civilians are deliberately targeted because they belong to a particular community, we are in the presence of potential, if not actual, genocide.”

1990s were painted with genocide of Kashmiri Hindus. Many Kashmiri Hindus were murdered. Kashmiri Hindus were targeted by the militants in 1989 and afterwards until they didn’t left the valley. The official figure of Kashmir Pandit killings is 219. Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), a valley based NGO, disputes the government figure. In its first list of asurvey, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) suggests that 399 Pandits were killed and the list of KP killings is still incomplete. KPSS did the survey in 2008 and 2009 to find the exact number of Pandits killed, which revealed that 302 members of the community were killed in 1990 alone. Selective killing of minority Hindus amounts to genocide.

In exile, thousands of Kashmiri Pandits have died due to change in environmental conditions. Kashmiri Pandits were forced to live in hostile conditions in make-shift camps in Jammu/Delhi. During summers, the average temperature of Kashmir would generally be in thirties while in Jammu/Delhi, it is in forties. Think of 45ºC and 6-8 people living in a tent. The habitat changed resulted in sun-strokes, anaemia etc. which caused many deaths. Moreover, deaths happened due to snake bites as slum-like conditions of camps became the breeding ground for snakes. Even after 21 years, some are still living in camps.

Those Kashmiris who chose/supported the gun are responsible for the grievances of all Kashmiris whether Kashmiri Muslims or Kashmiri Hindus. It is amusing when the separatists (some of them were terrorists in 1990s) state that they are in favour of return and rehabilitation of Kashmir Pandits. Because they are the same people who were responsible for the exodus of minority Hindus from the valley.

Kashmiri Pandits have been denied justice from past 21 years. The human rights violation of Kashmiri Pandits ought to be addressed now. Kashmiri Pandits haven’t suffered physically only but culturally and psychologically also. Kashmiri Pandits have been suffering in a political-religious war in which they don’t form any part.

Author : Varad Varenya [ Twitter Handle : @VaradVarenya  ]

July 21, 2011

Fai, my beleaguered friend by K.N. Pandita

Filed under: Kashmir, Terrorism In Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 4:29 pm

Fai, my beleaguered friend
By K.N. Pandita [ref]

It was the summer of 1992.  An African NGO at the UN Human Rights Commission at Geneva had given me accreditation, and I spoke usually on IDP issues at the UN.

I sat sipping coffee in the lounge. A neatly dressed person of rather smallish height, carrying a portmanteau, came to me, introduced himself as Ghulam Nabi Fai, pulled the chair and sat down. I leapt, and fetched him a sizzling coffee, and we both sat down to speak in chaste Kashmiri. We felt, or I felt, relaxed. In response to his inquisitive probing, I said that I was a Kashmiri Pandit and a RAW agent. He chuckled, but had no courage to say he was ISI agent.

Our long association usually interspersed with pleasantries and sarcasms continued throughout our two decade-long associations in Geneva, Brussels, London, Washington and elsewhere. Talking to his flock from both sides of Kashmir at Geneva or Brussels, he used to tell them about me,” This Pandit is the guide and path finder for the Indians.” I think for a long time he did believe that I was a mole of Indian intelligence. My reaction was let sleeping dogs lie.

I will recount only two jokes about him that I can recollect. Once, Fai and I sat in the spacious lounge at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva with a large group of Kashmiri separatists drawn from both sides of Kashmir whom he was briefing. We talked on Kashmir culture. Fai was euphoric about Kashmiryat and delivered a short but passionate speech. I posed a question. What is Kashmiriyat, please concretize. He started with many elementary things, salt tea, wazeh-wan, kangari blisters (nareh taet) etc. I quipped, “Fai Sahib, our real Kashmiriyat was the widespread head skin disease of favus (khaer in Kashmiri and Ganjapan in Hindi). Curse the Indians, now not a single Kashmiri afflicted with favus is to be found in the valley.” Peals of laughter from the audience. Fai retorted, “Damn you! We could be squire with the Indian might but you damned Pandits of Kashmir are our Achilles heel. Such sadists are you, the Lucifer.”

At the NGO Committee meetings of the ECOSOC at UN in New York, India opposed Fai’s application for ECOSOC status for his NGO (KAC) and Pakistan opposed my application for the same for our NGO (Asia-Eurasian Human Rights Forum). Year after year and session after session since 2001 our applications were deferred because the Indians and the Pakistani delegates opposed us respectively. I told Fai let us make a compromise formula. We tell both Indians and Pakistanis to accept both and we sill work together in unison as human rights activists. With this proposal, we first met the Paki but unofficially. After hearing our proposal, he exclaimed in Persian, “ yak na shud du shud” meaning so far there was one scourge but now there will be two of them. We all had a hearty laugh, and neither of the two has been granted status so far. I wonder what this Committee will do with our application in its next meeting when it again comes up for consideration.

Fai is suave and a soft spoken person. He is a decent man in his bearing, never irritated, never angry. At lunch time, he would often beckon me to come along to the restaurant for eating together. We did so many times. But once I had a 2-hour long one-to-one meeting with late Ayub Thukar in Geneva. We talked about the need of inter-community dialogue without government interference in Kashmir to bring normalcy in the strife-torn valley. It was around 2003. In the course of that talk, Thukar hinted that we did not need inclusion of Fai in our effort as Fai was only pseudo-academic and a failure on ground strategy. Some months later Ayub Thukar died of throat cancer in London but some weeks before his death he had sent me an email saying he cherished the return of peace to the valley.

In my personal meetings with Fai, he never talked of politics much less Kashmir politics. He talked mostly of Kashmiriyat and many vague things. I never felt any need of dragging him to a discourse on political issues.

In the briefings at the UN in Geneva, Fai seemed to be dominated by another anti-India and pro-separatist activist and theoretician, namely Barrister Abdul Majid Tramboo, who is now running the Brussels branch of Fai’s Kashmir Centre. While Fai would like that knowledgeable persons like I on Kashmir situation should be given the freedom to ask questions in the seminar/briefings and express views, Tramboo manipulated the briefings in a way that he left no scope for anybody to ask a question. The reason is that the speakers they dragged to the platform like Galloway and Victoria Schofield and others were paid persons and far removed from the history of Kashmir and the sub-continent.  We would and often did corner them and expose them.  So both Fai and Tramboo preferred to keep us out of those briefings.

Fai’s main work was to influence opinion makers, law makers, human rights activists, intellectuals and NGOs in the US and in Europe in favour of Kashmir’s secession from India and accession to Pakistan. He never supported independence of Kashmir. In that sense he is a dedicated Jammat-e-Islami and among the first few students of Ali Shah Geelani and protagonists of his pro-Pak ideology. Fai’s skill lies in roping in not only the European and American intellectuals only but some Indian and Kashmiri Pandits also. Even one of the three-member team of interlocutors, too, has been once the beneficiary of Fai’s largesse.  Their names are now fully known and the Times of India of 21 July has posted video clips of the speeches of one Jammu journalist and a Kashmiri Pandit in Fai’s latest seminar in Washington. They have been regular participants in his sponsored seminars and thus frontline beneficiaries of his largesse.

Fai invariably would send me a notification regarding a seminar going to be organized by him (KAC) giving the theme, the persons invited, the venue and all information. But he never sent me an invitation letter and I never attended any of his seminars. In response to his notification, I always wished him great success in deceiving himself and the deceivable Kashmiris.

Ali Shah Geelani has given a call for general strike on 22 July and the “separatists”. Forgetting that Fai stands for merger of Kashmir with Pakistan, Kashmiris will give him a thundering response. This buries their fake azaadi slogan deeper in its grave.

The Jammu-based pro-Fai media outlet has started the propaganda of calling Fai’s arrest as shift in America’s Kashmir policy. It is a shift, of course, and it is a facet of the intelligence sharing understanding between India and the US. But wait, many more skeletons will tumble out from the cupboard when the Home Ministry begins a through investigation into this anti-national perfidy.  In the first place, and without delay, our foreign office should immediately impound the passports of all those Indians who have been receiving ISI’s largesse through its Fai outlet and whose names have been mentioned by Fai in his website as having attended his seminars in foreign countries. But it has to be seen if New Delhi is content with making the US its cat’s-paw.

US Govt Department of Justice Press Release HERE 

Copy Of Criminal Complaint HERE

For G.N.Fai click HERE 

June 28, 2011

Ugh . It sounds nice !

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: — TheKashmir @ 9:57 am

An article on a website of a national newspaper [1] , a rather delayed response [2] and a counter argument was going on well , and I thought let us leave it as it is . Let the readers decide .

I personally am firm not to respond , as I have often witnessed that any discussion of a subject as serious as Kashmir , often tends to get ugly and ends up at personal attacks.

I was , honestly , not happy with the choice of words Sabah Ji had used in her post . But then one is free to write anything , and a satire should be appreciated even if you dont necessarily agree to it. And I must admit that I admire the wit of Sabah Ji , everytime I come across her post or a tweet.

Sabah Ji , had also tweeted to Pawan [?] that she has tweeted her response and is done with it.

As they say , hell hath no fury greater than of a woman scorned , I was hugely disappointed with a retweet done by Sabah Ji even after tweeting that she was ‘done with it’ ,  The tweet read as follows

Now that was one retweet , which I take offence to , as nowehere in my post is a line which in anyway directs hate towards anyone .  However I am glad , that Sabah Ji chose to retweet this and display it on her public twitter time line.

Coming back to her response ,  the subject line starts with Ugh !  The subject line is extremely interesting , and I am sure Ram Gopal Verma can surely make a movie on that subject . However on a serious note , why does a response from a person who has a different view point be responded with a ‘Ugh’ ?  But then , as I said …. I would end up admiring that subject line as well .

I wont comment further , let the civility prevail.

June 27, 2011

Are we ready to let Kashmir be? Yes , we already do . Only facts have to be told.

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , , — TheKashmir @ 11:40 am

In the age of information , nationalists have failed to build up relationship .  It is no surprise that people with  ‘separatist ‘  ideology on regular interval find it very easy to find space in leading national newspapers , especially Hindustan Times .

Hindustan Times has quite a ‘flexible’ editorial policy . It goes into a full page online request to Rahul Gandhi to shave his beard  [ 1]  and when he does , it is again followed by announcement that Rahul has shaved [2].

The flexibility and access is quite accessible and more to ideas where separatism seems to be either ‘justified or encouraged.’

It was a chance that I was directed to an article by Ms Sabah Haji in HT , dated September 11th .  Since the article may appeal to many so called ‘liberals’  , I wanted to share few thoughts about this article .

Sabah Haji starts with why does it justify to be called a Kashmiri for those living in the state of Jammu & Kashmir . She writes

We call ourselves Kashmiris because we can’t say ‘Jammu and Kashmiris’ without sounding silly. Also, we speak Kashmiri. So that’s our identity.

Now one must know that the culture , language , food etc of many region in the state are different . How can a person from say Ladakh , who may not even be able to say “hello” in Kashmiri call himself a Kashmiri ?  How can a Dogra from Udhampur , Jammu , Kathu , Samba call himself a Kashmiri when he hardly knows the language or doesn’t even live in . How can a a Gujjar Muslim from Poonch or a Shia from Kargil call himself a Kashmiri , when they speak a different language  ?

The fact remains that the state is of diversified culture , language and imposing of a name or a brand does not serve any good.  Respecting each region is a must and ignoring it in choice of words is not a job done well.

Sabah , further writes

No one in Kashmir drills their children with ‘Azaadi’ mantras and anti-establishment behaviour

In all fairness , I would be delighted to know how does a 5 or a 6 year old child know what different nations are ?  What “Azaadi” means ? Why  India should be hated ?  Does this not get picked up while watching how the elders behave or act .  This is purely a behavior a child from any community in Kashmir or elsewhere is likely to pick up from the parents or elders he/she witnesses each day .

Sabah Ji has very intelligently tried to balance and clear the issue of exodus and atrocities upon Kashmiri Pandits . She writes

And the Kashmiri Pandit exodus — what a shameful tragedy. India and Pakistan played a huge, unforgivable part in this horrific episode as did those Kashmiris (Muslims and Pandits) who supported communalising the movement, either actively or under threat or coercion.

Now isn’t that interesting , nowhere a courage to call spade a spade ! She doesnt mention or write that Kashmiri Pandits have been victims of Islamist agenda . Instead she goes to extent of even blaming , yes you have read it right , she has ‘blamed’ some Kashmiri pandits of ‘communalising’ the ‘movement’ as well.  A community which was trying hard to save themselves from marauders is being blamed .

Sabah Ji further writes

What irks us is that while your Bhagat Singh is a ‘shaheed’ (martyr), while Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a fierce nationalist, Kashmiris are to be typecast as violent troublemakers and written off for the same ideals and aspiration.

While as this argument may be appreciated by ‘ liberals’ or those who hold limited knowledge of history , but can Sabah Ji pls let us know if Subhas Chander had killed innocents and raped women ? Did Bhagat Singh go out and plunder places of worship of others ?  Subhas Chander and Bhagar Singh were nationalists who fought for independence of India from foreign occupation . Kashmir is different . Kashmir has been part of India since time immemorial . It is mentioned in MahaBharata and Raj Tarngini. One needs to read history with an open mind to clear whatsoever doubts are there .

I agree with Sabah Ji that no one can make her think of an Indian. And I am sure no one but she herself can help her to think like one .  As for someone asking “Aap Hindustan se hai ” to people in Kashmir , all I can say is that the argument is a bit to stretched by Sabah Ji . Unlike her, I am from the valley while she is from Doda district . I have interacted with many tourists and all I can say is that most of people in valley are extremely intelligent , and too while dealing with tourists. Most of them would be able to make a distinction between a Tamil , Kannadiga or a Telgu by just havinga look at the face and they even speak ” broken ” south Indian Language” .

Sabah Ji ends with a request for plebiscite  ,  and I could not help but smile . She should know that conditions for a plebiscite were not fulfilled by Pakistan to start with .  By it’s invasion of state , Pakistan lost out the reason to further the ’cause ‘ of plebiscite . If there is anyone to be blamed for this , it has to be Pakistan . Now plebiscite issue has become obsolete .  Ex UN Sec Gen , Kofi Anan , during his stint in Pakistan itself said….. “ UN resolutions on Kashmir did not come under Chapter 7 of the UN charter and were, therefore, not self-enforcing. Unlike the resolutions on East Timor and Iraq, which come under that particular chapter, the Kashmir resolutions require the cooperation of both parties for implementation……[ March 2001  During his brief interaction with the media at Pakistan's Chakala military ].

I personally admire Sabah Ji for being a thoughtful person . I would wish Sabah Ji works for other issues , including finding out reasons why her home region of ‘Doda’ has such a different male / female sex ration . In Doda male to female  population is 63:37. I am sure for that cause , she would find many ” Hindustanis” chipping in their support , as I see many ” Hindustani” already extending support to her charity schools up in hills of Doda.

Also Read This article by @primary_red

June 22, 2011

43,460 killed in Kashmir during last two decades . Nearly half of them were militants. | #Kashmir

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — TheKashmir @ 11:10 am

Exposing the propaganda of separatists organizations , and Pakistan media in particular , Randeep Singh Nundal has cared to explain how falsehood is being unleashed by separatist politics.

 Here’s what the data says. In the last 21 years, 43,460 people have been killed in the Kashmir insurgency. Of these, 21,323 are militants, 13,226 civilians killed by militants, 3,642 civilians killed by security forces, and 5,369 policemen killed by militants. The 21,323 militants were killed in operations by security forces and include both Kashmiri and foreign militants. And of the 5,369 members of the security forces, around 1,500 are Kashmiri policemen. ….

The records also show another slaughter that has gone on ceaselessly since 1990, a slaughter that nobody comments on, nobody laments: of Kashmiris killed by militants since 1990. Of the 13,226 civilians killed by militants, 11,461 were shot and 1,765 died in grenade blasts and explosions. 

These deaths are the ugly truth that Kashmir has learnt to ignore. The civilians killed fall into a black hole that Kashmiri society never discusses, remembers or protests against. They include two young sisters, Arifa (16) and Akhtara (18), who on January 31, 2011, were dragged out of their one-room house in downtown Sopore and killed. Akhtara took four wounds on her face and Arifa was shot in the chest. They were accused of being “immoral.”

Read the complete article HERE

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