The Kashmir

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


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

April 23, 2011

Peace-Process- Hidden Agenda

Filed under: Accords, Kashmir, Nationalism — Tags: , , , , — TheKashmir @ 4:40 am

 By Dr. M.K. Teng

Now that the Government of India has repeated its Sharam-ul-Sheikh performance at Thimpu and offered to resume the composite dialogue with Pakistan, virtually jumping over the stand it had taken in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Mumbai, there is much more that the Indian Government has to explain about what it intends to do in Jammuand Kashmir. Evidently the climb-dam by the Government of India on crucial issues involved in its policy in respect of Jammu and Kashmir, reflects a willful surrender. This perhaps eminates from its inability to face political blackmail and pressure brought to bear on the Indian leaders in the name of economic development and under the cover of peace and security of the region.

The Indian policy reflects a strange sense of helplessness, which pervades the outlook of the Indian political class and which acts as an impelling force to drive those in power to invite Pakistan to the conference table again and again, after every small and major misdemeanor Pakistan has committed. Every time, Pakistan has returned to the conference table, grumbling and growling at the inability of the Indian Government to make the composite dialogue purposeful and result oriented. The cause of concern is not the abrasive attitude of Pakistan, but the uneasiness with which the Indian political class reacts to it.

The Indian Government has rather, with deliberate intent, tried to play down the way Pakistan has expressed its dissatisfaction with the purpose and the pace of the peace-process. It is mainly because the Indian leadership has shown reluctance to face the prospect of laying down a baseline of its policy on the Kashmir issued In fact, the Indian political class has so far evaded the crucial decision of fixing the “irreducible minimum”, beyond which it would not go to reach a settlement with Pakistan on Jammu and Kashmir. Its exhortations to urge upon the Indian Government” to walk an extra-mile” from its “stated positions” in order to be able to reach an “out of the box” solution of the Kashmir problem and its extravagant eagerness to nudge the Indian Government “to go far enough in its engagement with Pakistan, to reach, a settlement on Kashmir”, are idle expressions used to camouflage the subterfuge it has indulged in so far. The truth is that the Indian political class has never mustered courage to stand upto its neighbors. In fact, the Indian political class has never shared with the Indian people the import of defending their borders.

 

Muslim outlook

The Government of Pakistan, its military establishment as well as the civil society in Pakistan, are, all agreed upon the baseline of their stand on Jammu and Kashmir. The civil society in Pakistan has, on no occasion, found it necessary to urge upon the Government of Pakistan, “to walk an extra-mile” in order to reach an “out of the box settlement” on Kashmir. Pakistan has stuck to its stated position that : (a) the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir are apart of the Muslim nation of Pakistan (b) the Muslims of the state of Jammu and Kashmir acquired the right to unite the State with the Muslim homeland of Pakistan from the partition of India, (c) the Muslims of the State were denied their right to unite the state with Pakistan in 1947, when the ruler of State Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India, against their wishes and (d) India, which pledged itself to implement the United Nations resolutions, envisaging a plebiscites to enable the Muslims of the State exercise their choice to determine the final disposition of the State in respect of accession, has not redeemed its promise.

From the very inception of the peace-process, which was primarily an Indian initiative, Pakistan has unflinchingly stuck to its self-righteous commitment that its claim to Jammu and Kashmir, based upon the Muslim majority composition of the population, is non-negotiable. Pakistan has stressed time and again that its claim to Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the Muslim majority composition its population underlines the principle on the basis of which India was divided in 1947 and the Muslim homeland of Pakistan was created. Pakistan has repeatedly stated that the partition of India marked the culmination of a historical process which underlined the Muslim struggle for a separate Muslim homeland in India, comprising the provinces and the regions of the British India populated by the majority of Muslims and Muslim princely states. Pakistan has consistently held that the partition of Indian recognized the Muslim majority composition of the population of the British India and the princely States as the basis on which the territorial jurisdiction of the Muslim homeland was determined. The Kashmir dispute, Pakistan has claimed in unequivocal terms, is a manifestation of the unfinished agenda of the partition of India.

 

The Muslim League laid claim to the Muslim ruled princely states as well, on the basis of prescription and conquest because it could nor bring itself round to accept the exclusion of the Muslim ruled states from the Muslim homeland of Pakistan. The Muslim League leaders considered the Muslim ruled princely states to be the citadels of the Muslim power in India, which had survived the establishment of the British rule inIndia. The insistence of the Muslim League on the lapse of the Paramountcy was used by it to isolate the Muslim ruled states. Except that the lapse of the Paramountcy caused the Muslim League some tactical disadvantage in the Jammuand Kashmir, its acceptance by the Congress brought India to the verge of disintegration. Were it not for the people of the Muslim ruled States, who defeated the designs of the Muslim League and the Muslim rulers, India would have been divided further. The ideological commitment of the Muslim struggle for a separate Muslim homeland in India to secure the Muslims in India, a separate freedom which ensured them the realization of their Islamic destiny was fundamentally Muslim in outlook. The territorial claim to a Muslim India, comprising the Muslim majority provinces of the British India and the Muslim ruled States the Pakistan Resolution envisaged, was also Muslim in outlook. The claim that the unification of Jammu and Kashmir with Pakistan is the unfinished agenda of the partition of India is also Muslim in outlook.

 

Irreducible Minimum

Pakistan has not allowed its stand on Jammu and Kashmir to be wrapped in any ambiguity. In fact it has spelt out the baseline of its stand on Jammu and Kashmir in unmistakable terms. It has refused to deviate from its stated position that the Muslim majority composition of the population  of the State is basic to any settlement on Jammu and Kashmir. It has refused to delink the Muslim majority composition of the state from the right of self-determination, which it has consistently maintained, flowed from the partition of India. Exactly, as the Muslim League agreed to divide the Muslim  majority provinces of the Punjab and Bengal and the Hindu majority provinces of Assam, on the basis of population, Pakistan has offered to accept the division of the State on the basis of population, as a basis for a settlement on Jammu and Kashmir. It has proposed the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State, comprising the Muslim provinces of Kashmir, the Muslim majority districts of the Jammu province and the Muslim majority district of Kargil in the frontier division of Ladakh and their unification with the Muslim homeland of Pakistan, as the irreducible minimum which it is ready to accept as the basis of a solution of the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir. The participation of Pakistan in the peace-process, in the ultimate analysis, is aimed to persuade  the Indian people to accept the application of the principle which underlined the partition of India, as a basis of a settlement on Kashmir.

 

Interestingly the peace-process carried on between the Vajpai Government and the Government headed by NawazSherrif; followed by negotiations between the Bajpai Government and themilitary regime headed by General Musharraf; the long and atrocious talk held at the Track Two level, largely a framework of conflict resolution, fabricated by the American diplomacy and the Manmohan Singh-Musharraf parleys leading to the so-called “non-territorial settlement” on Kashmir; reveal a continuity in the stand taken by Pakistan. The stand taken by Pakistan has underlined; the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State, on the Indian side of the Line of Control with their eventual disengagement from the Indian Union and their re-integration within a framework of political imperatives evolved by the two countries India and Pakistan, with the consent of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

The Musharraf plan lay bare theperfidy. It recognized the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State and their reorganization into a new political entity on the territories of India which was governed by Pakistan. The Musharraf plan envisaged the division of the State into six geographical zones of which five were Muslim majority zones, the transfer of power in the state to the Muslim separatist regimes under the garb of self-rule; withdrawal of the Indian armed forces from the State in the name of demilitarization; the unification of the Muslim majority zones situated on the Indian side of the Line of Control with theoccupation territories of Azad Kashmir under the cover of “irrelevant borders” and the placement of the State under the joint-control of India and Pakistan. Manmohan Singh cried aloud, undoubtedly to attract the attention of the Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir and perhaps, the Muslims in India, to the historical task, he had accomplished by putting Jammu and Kashmir on a ten year long journey tojoin Pakistan. The Musharraf plan provided for the revaluation of the arrangements made in accordance with its provisions after ten years a stipulation which the Indian Government tried to underplay.

 

 

Greatest Betrayal

 Pakistan appears to have convinced itself that India has finally accepted the principle of the partition of India as the basis of a settlement of Jammu and Kashmir. Evidently the impatience and the urgency, the Foreign office of Pakistan has exhibited about the progress of the peace-process, arises out of  its eagerness to evolve a procedure for the separation of the Muslim majority regions of the State, their disengagement from the Union of India and the eventual integration with the Islamic power-structure of Pakistan.

The territorial boundaries of Pakistan, laid down by the partition of India in 1947, were confined to the territories of the British India. The Indian princely states were not brought within the scope of the partition of India. The claim Pakistan has laid to Jammu and Kashmir on the basis of the Muslim majority composition of its population did not from a part of the process of the partition and the transfer of power in India. The right of the self-determination of the colonial peoples was an expression of the historic process of decolonization, the Second World War set into motion. The right of self-determination was never conceived as an instrument of any religious war. India was not divided to ensure the Indian people their right of self-determination.

 

Jammu and Kashmir forms the most crucial part of the northern frontier of India. It continues to be central to the security of the Indian borders in the north. Any prescription for a second partition of India, to disengage the State from the Indian Union will not usher in a State of peace between India and Pakistan. Peace  between the two countries  will always depend upon the mutual respect they have for each other’s strike capabilities. The Indian political class, whatever, the nature of its commitment to the Indian unity, cannot ignore the hard fact that Pakistan has a stock pile of nearly two hundred nuclear weapons in its basement. Pakistan is an ideological state-a fact, which the Indian people can overlook at their own peril.

 

*(The writer heads Panun Kashmir advisory).

Source: Kashmir Sentinel, April 2011 issue

July 16, 2010

Hindu minority homeless in Kashmir – AjJazeera report

Filed under: Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits — Tags: , , , , — TheKashmir @ 10:34 am

Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri reports from Jammu & Kashmir about a Hindu minority left homeless by Islamic radicals and the demand of Hindu refugees for a separate Homeland in Kashmir

May 26, 2010

Panun Kashmir disappointed with Amnesty International

Filed under: India, Jihad, Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits — Tags: , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 9:47 am

PANUN KASHMIR

H.No-172, Sec. 3,  E.W.S Colony, Lower Roop Nagar, Jammu-13

Tele: 0191-2593166

Ref:…. PS/37-2010                                                                   Dated: 24/5/2010

Brief of the statement issued on 24 . 5 . 2010 during the  press conference addressed by Dr. Ajay Chrungoo Chairman Panun Kashmir,  Sh. O.N. Trisal President (ASKPSC)  & Sh. Kuldeep Raina General Secretary Panun Kashmir at Jammu.

Panun Kashmir states emphatically that the first visit of Amnesty International has been a totally disappointing experience for the Hindu Community of Kashmir.

The way the Amnesty International has conducted itself during their recent visit to Kashmir Valley has given an ample demonstration that their visit to Kashmir Valley has been guided more by political considerations than any concern for Human Rights.

Amnesty International for a long time has been having only a state specific agenda and has cared little for assessing, evaluating and commenting on the role of non-state actors in committing human rights violations and unleashing genocidal wars in the territories of their influence and control. By deliberately choosing to ignore the involvement of non-state actors Amnesty International has eventually served only the cause of those who are leading relentless campaigns of religious and ethnic cleansing and are destroying the plural texture of societies.

By persisting with its state specific agenda Amnesty International has not been able to dispel the doubts about it being essentially an instrument of foreign policy of those who want to subvert the independence of India and destroy its national unity.

Amnesty international during its maiden visit conveniently chose to side track the issue of religious cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus, as it has over the years chosen to ignore the genocide of Hindus living in Pakistan and Bangladesh and Hindus of Pak Occupied Kashmir. The first priority for any human rights organization would have been to visit the state and meet these people. For Amnesty International despicably it has never been a priority.

Outraging the sensitivities of victims of religious cleansing Amnesty International sought the audience and cooperation of such leaders of Islamist Jihad and political terrorism like Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik who stand in the same dock in which the fascist war criminals of Germany and the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in Eastern Europe are placed.

We want to clearly state that the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir , which the representatives of Amnesty international came to assess, are mainly the violations committed by Jihadi terrorist groups against the whole community of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir who were subjected to genocide and extermination.

We also want to state without mincing words that the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir are a whole process of excesses and oppression for which the religious wars, ideological states and war groups waging Jihad are responsible. If the Amnesty International refuses to recognize the real content and character of the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and seeks to politicize resistance against the Jihad and international terrorism, it is actually trying to put the human rights movement upside down.

Panun Kashmir recognizes that human rights violations are clearly defined by universal Declaration of human rights and the international covenants on Human Rights. Amnesty international, by its actions, is trying to redefine human rights, primarily to play international politics. Amnesty International has no right to camaflouge the genocide and the ethnic extermination of Kashmiri Hindus by the Jihadi groups and terrorist regimes operating in Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

Panun Kashmir also strongly disapproves the action of government of India to allow the Amnesty International to visit Kashmir after having rightly denied it the permission to do so far last two decades.

S.K. Handoo

Press Secretary

May 25, 2010

‘Amnesty International’ a Jihadi Collaborator: Kashmiri Pandits


ROOTS IN KASHMIR

Webwww.kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com

E-mailkashmiris.huamanrights@gmail.com

ATTENTION – Press Release

‘Amnesty International’ a Jihadi Collaborator: Kashmiri Pandits

May 25th 2010

New Delhi: Roots in Kashmir, a frontline initiative of Kashmiri Pandits in exile came down heavily upon the Government of India today to allow a tainted organization and a known Jihadi collaborator for ignoring the plight of half a million Kashmiri Pandits living in forced exile due to their human rights violation at the hands of the very people who Amnesty International met on their six-day visit to Kashmir.

The recent visit of a two member team of Amnesty International to “assess human rights situation” in Kashmir comes in the wake of its already maligned image of having collaborating with the Jihadis. As if Gita Seghal’s revelations were not enough proof already of what Amnesty stands for its meetings with killers and mobsters like Yasin Malik and Syed Ali Shah Geelani left nothing to imagination.

While there is definitely a need to assess human rights situation in Kashmir one must ask is Amnesty the right organization to do so? Could Jihadi collaborators be human right assessors too? “We at Roots in Kashmir strongly condemn the Government of India which allowed a tainted organization to send its members to “assess human rights situation” in Kashmir. We ask what could these people whose motives are already known, assess but collect data to make reports that are pre-conceived and biased.” said Mr. Sanjay Peshin-the coordinator of the group.

“And if they really did want to know about human rights of Kashmiris why did they not meet Kashmiri Pandit leadership or for that matter visit camps of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu. Does Amnesty not believe that a forced exodus of a million people is a reason enough to “assess human rights situation”? Does it not believe that the ethnic cleansing of Pandits too deserves its attention?” asked Mr. Amal Magazine, an activist of the group.

“Such attitude where only Pak backed Muslim separatist leadership is attended to simply goes on to show which side of Amnesty International’s bread is buttered” said an angry Mr. Piyush Kaul of the group. To escape persecution, more than 500,000 Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their home and hearths back in the Valley of which more than 50,000 refugees are still languishing in uninhabitable refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi.

It simply doesn’t matter what report they give because as an organization its credibility is already eroded but the very fact that government allows such kite flying missions makes light of what is a very important matter.

For further information contact on above mentioned E-Mail ID

January 18, 2010

India-Pakistan Road Map to Peace: Insult to Indian Patriots


By Kamal Hak

Panun Kashmir

The 150-odd gathering in the India International Centre Auditorium was oblivious of the irony of the situation. While Yaseen Malik, self-proclaimed father of religious terrorism in Kashmir, was threatening the nation with a return to arms, a couple of highly agitated Kashmiri Pandits outside were inhumanly dragged into police custody. Their fault? They were trying to be mirrors to reflect the failure of Indian civil society towards their internal displacement in the land.

In my heart of hearts, I was glad Rajinder Sachar provided us an opportunity to give vent to our pent-up frustrations. Listening to Sachar’s apologetic introduction on ‘Indian treachery in annexing Kashmir’ (yes, it’s true, he said that), I found reasons for continuing my struggle for a separate homeland in Kashmir.

Yaseen Malik was not destined to have it easy that day. This group of young displaced Kashmiri Hindu boys and girls were determined to make the event memorable for him. He looked ruffled. As somebody pointed out, no man would like to be damned as a ‘ra—t’ in the presence of his wife. Later, his repeated attempts to explain his position clearly betrayed his discomfort and invited more protests.

I resisted a strong temptation to be adventurous. Perhaps the spectacle of young boys and girls, many of whom might not have set foot in the lost homeland even once, taking over the baton of our struggle had a calming effect on my nerves. I sat down patiently to listen to the trash being blared out from the dais. An elderly lady sitting to my right with a snobbish expression on her wrinkled but botoxed face declared the protestors ‘oxymorons’. I was amused and felt sorry for her; later I discovered she was part of the organizing team.

Yaseen was boring. His articulation is more self-aggrandizement, distortion of facts and constructed ideology. He laid claim to five thousand years of Kashmir history and dumped Kashmiri Pandits as only a small class of society. A small section of the audience with preconceived notions nodded in approval. He proceeded to insult displaced Kashmiri Pandits by accusing the protestors of being ‘paid whipping boys of Indian intelligence agencies’. This evoked another strong reaction from the protestors. This prompted me to look towards the young boys and girls shouting at the top of their voices. Sudden realization dawned…

The parents of most of the youngsters expressing anger at the VIP treatment being accorded to the person responsible for rendering them refugees in their own country are personally known to me. Yaseen Malik dubbed them members of an affluent section of Kashmiri Pandits. This might be an exaggeration. That these youngsters belong to families that have done well during the last twenty years can’t be denied. But was it so always?

Many of these young persons were either not born or were mere toddlers when the Malik-led JKLF unleashed a campaign of terror against their families. The process of selective killings of Pandits reached its climax with a mass frenzy created through an eruption via thousands of mosques dotting the Kashmir landscape during the night of 19 January 1990. And while the boorish section of the audience were enjoying their cushy lives in India and abroad, the parents of these young persons were abandoning their homes and ancestral homeland in the stealth of dark winter nights. I still shudder at the memory of those initial years when most of us struggled to provide some semblance of human existence to our children and parents. I wish Yaseen Malik had seen us living six to eight persons in 8ft by 8ft rooms without basic amenities.

Today Kashmiri leaders and their cohorts in India lament the tragedy of the families who fell to the bullets of militants or security forces. I wish they were there with us when most of our parents and grandparents died a thousand deaths before succumbing to heat-strokes, mosquito bites, stress-related diseases, unnatural accidents and unfulfilled longing for their lost homes.

At times I pity Yaseen Malik’s intellect and laugh at his idiotic articulation. For him, Kashmiri Pandits living in Delhi need not be taken seriously as they drive their own cars and live in air-conditioned homes. The oxymoron in him forgets Kashmiri Pandits, unlike his own community, have traditionally valued only two things – their own roof over their heads and their children’s education. Malik, though aware of this fact, doesn’t allow his politics to admit it. I have a strong conviction that Malik and his ilk can’t reconcile with the survival and prosperity of displaced Pandits. It would have mightily pleased them to see Pandits begging on the roads of the Indian plains.

The self-declared intellectuals sitting in the auditorium and frowning at the protestors would have done well to understand the sociology of the Kashmiri Pandit community. They would have understood how even under extremely hostile circumstances, the Pandits not only survived, but most even prospered. I wish they knew “We are because We believe.”

We may not eat one meal, but we will not deprive our children the best education. Our success is due to this inherent quality. The Maliks and Sachars of this world have no right to deny us the claim on our homeland because we came to protest in our own cars. Unlike those whose millions have accrued from liberal contributions through Indian peace interlocutors, Pakistani masters, and other dubious sources, Kashmiri Pandits have shed their own blood and sweat for their little accumulations. While Yaseen shows his discomfort at the prosperity of Pandits, his sympathetic audience should have known that displaced Kashmiri Pandits collectively pay enough Income Tax to feed all the poor families in the Valley.

Yaseen Malik finished his speech with threats of returning to militancy and no achievable solutions to offer. He was clearly shaken by the protestors accusing him of the alleged rape and murder of a Kashmiri Pandit girl. Meanwhile, a young person in a black jacket came up to me and asked:

-        “Sir, don’t you think it is unfair to brand him as ra—t?”

-        “Why?” I counter question.

-        “Because you can’t prove it,” he replied, almost innocently.

I decided he deserved no further attention.

The next speaker went through his speech unhindered and it was time for summing up. Under fierce pressure of the protesting youths, Rajinder Sachar allowed a few interventions. Further shocks awaited us. To an observation from a Kashmiri Hindu, Sachar brazenly declared that the nation should be grateful to those who centuries ago forced the Kashmiri Pandits out of Kashmir. He extended a sadistic logic behind his assertion, “we would have otherwise been deprived of persons like Nehru.” There was more commotion and still more before the session ended.

We came out of the auditorium and decided we could not partake lunch with the people who paid no cognizance to our geo-political aspirations. We also did not want to give company to the biggest terrorist in the country. We began dispersing. Some of us had a task at hand. We needed to seek the release of friends detained earlier for objecting to the presence of a staunch enemy of the nation in the national capital. For me the day was not finished. A person calling himself Engineer Rashid, a sitting Kashmir MLA, walked up to me aggressively and started a discussion.

-        “Are you Pandits aware that during the last two decades more than 80,000 Muslims have lost their lives in Kashmir?” His tone was arrogant.

I may not agree with the figures, but I can’t deny the immense human tragedy that has befallen Kashmir. But I was in no mood to prolong the discussion. Though the country may have failed to utilize Kashmiri Pandits in understanding the psyche of Kashmiri Muslims, given an opportunity no one can score in a dispassionate argument with them.

-        “Why are you lamenting the death of 80,000 Muslims?” I asked Engineer Rashid.

-        “These people died for a cause as they wanted to be part of Pakistan. And why should thousands of Pandits have died? They had no cause to die for.”

Probably Rashid understood where this discussion could lead; he walked away sheepishly.

As I was walking towards my car, I was suddenly stopped in my tracks by the young man in the black jacket.

-        “Sir, you didn’t answer my question. How can you prove Yaseen Malik r—d and k—-d that girl?”

Impressed by his persistence, I decided to give him some hard-earned wisdom. On enquiry, he revealed his connections with some civil liberties group (but naturally).

-        “Have you ever heard of Bitta Karate?”

-        “No sir.”

-        “Haven’t the apologists told you about him?” He looked awkward at his ignorance.

-        “Please ask your promoters about him and if they don’t tell you then call me to know your answers.”

He stared at me bewildered as I walked away.

[Bitta Karate is a Kashmiri terrorist who confessed – to a journalist on video – to killing around 40 Kashmiri Pandits. He was arrested for his crimes and released without conviction for want of witnesses]

The writer is a displaced Kashmiri Pandit living in Delhi and a senior Panun Kashmir activist

Source : Vijayvaani

October 6, 2009

CONSTITUTION & POSSIBILTY OF CREATION OF PANUN KASHMIR


CONSTITUTION & POSSIBILTY OF CREATION OF PANUN KASHMIR 

Continuing with the discussion of what the constitution says about creation of a separate state /union territory , I would touch the few specific points available in constitution of India , J&K and under article 370.

What does the Constitution of India say ?

According to the constitution of India and its first schedule,the The territory of India shall comprise:

The territories of the States The Union territories specified in the First Schedule; and such other territories as may be acquired. In the article 2 , it states that Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.

In the article 3 it states that Parliament by law may form a new State by separation of territory from any State .

In the above context the law is clear that a new state formation is possible by a law passed by the parliament.

Possibilities according to constitution of J&K and the role of SADAR -E-RIYASAT

Under Article 370 , any changes to be bought should be passed by the J&K assembly. Where does that lead us ?

The answer does not stop just here.Firstly we must understand that Article 370 is a temporary provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Moreover there have been many contradictions itself within the constitution, according to my understanding, unless i am being made to understand otherwise.

The constitution of J&K recognise the heading officials as “Sadar-E-Riyasat “( President) & “Wazir-E-Azam” (Prime Minister),the terms which have now been abolished but may still be reflecting in the constitution.

The Constitution of J&K says the qualification of the “Sadar -e _riyasat ” has to be following :-

The Sadar-i-Riyasat shall be the person who for the time being is recognised by the President as such:

Provided that no person shall be so recognised unless he:

(a) is a permanent resident of the state;

(b) is not less than twenty-five years of age; and

(c) has been elected as Sadar-i-Riyasat by a majority of the total membership of the Legislative Assembly in the manner set out in the First Schedule.

In the present case I do not feel that the Governor (Sadar-E-Riyasat ) is any longer required to be a resident of the state ,and no longer requires an approval from legislative assembly. The reason I am discussing the role of the Governor is because the Governor of J&K has many powers which can alter the future of J&K state.

The constitution states that the Governor ,except in few matters can not bring in a rule unless approved by the legislative assemble of J&K by 2/3rd majority. However at the same time the constitution states that the constitution make such incidental and consequential provisions as appear to the Sadar-i–Riyasat to be necessary or desirable for giving effect to the objects of the Procla-mation, including provisions for suspen-ding in whole or in part the operation of any provision of this Constitution rela-ting to any body or authority in the State :

The rule can easily be surpassed by will of the central Government by invoking Article 356 and 357 of the Indian Constitution which was extended J&K in 1964, giving emergency powers to the President in the event of the failure of the Constitutional machinery .

The authority of the Governor or Sadar -E Riyasat can not be challenged in court as the law states in act 143 that :

143. (1) The Sadar-i-Riyasat shall not be answerable to any court for the exercise of performance of the powers and duties of his office or for any act done or purposing to be done by him in the exercise and performance of those -powers and duties , and in part 2 it states that

2) No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the Sadar-I–Riyasat in any court during his term of office. No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the Sadar-i-Riyasat shall issue from any court during his term of office.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR PANUN KASHMIR

We all should understand that a strong Government is required at Centre ,capable of taking strong decision in national interest.

The Public awareness has to be created to make the nation understand the necessity of a separate Union Territory.

Good Friends have to be made across all Political Parties.

WOULD CONSENT FROM ALL NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTIES MAKE PANUN KASHMIR POSSICBLE.

Not necessarily. Considering the case of Telangana case of right for statehood, all Political parties with the exception of Congress(I),have given their formal support.

Even in last election the Congress promised the separate Telangana state and its ally was TRRS.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

According to my understanding the Supreme court can play a BIG BIG role in affairs of J&K. Maybe as I said the political will is needed.

Any legislation can be stuck down by Supreme court and that may include article 370 as well.

The example being In 1974, the Supreme Court of India in the landmark case of Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala enunciated the Basic Structure Doctrine, which expanded the scope of judicial review to include the power to review Constitutional Amendments passed by the Legislature. Using this doctrine, the Supreme Court has struck down the 39th Amendment and parts of the 42nd Amendment as being violative of the Basic Structure of the Constitution. The doors of Supreme Court are also open for us to alter the consitution.

WHAT DOES ALL THE ABOVE TELL

1. Panun Kashmir is possible constitutionally.

2. Achieving Panun Kashmir is certainly not an easy job,neither is it easy for anyone else as well. It would be a long sustained campaign and can be achieved through our collective effort.

3.The idea of Panun Kashmir has to be sold to all Indians and each Kashmiri pandit would have a role to play.

4. Panun Kashmir has to present themselve as nationalistic rather than a Hindu right wing organisation.

Changing strategies as needed is important. We should have  more thoughtful people to be part of the Team to help us achieve the goal. Would we have a fellow soldier in you ?

July 29, 2009

India Got Talent – Priya Raina


For a Change , besides usual Politics , I would be introducing the readers of this blog to the youth of Kashmiri Hindu Community , their talent and their contribution to the society.

These youth are the future of Panun Kashmir.

To start with , please find below video of Priya Raina , who now hails from Jammu at “India Got The talent Show” . This show featured on 19th July 2009.

Pls do vote for Priya Raina

July 27, 2009

Panun Kashmir Resolution by various state Goverments ?

Filed under: History Of Kashmir, India, Panun Kashmir, Politics, Protests/Events — Tags: , , — TheKashmir @ 12:47 pm

MP Assembly passes historic resolution on ‘Panun Kashmir’


The Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a resolution unanimously today expressing support to the demand of Union Territory for Kashmiri Pandits in the valley of Kashmir. The resolution was moved by Mr. Umashankar (MLA) and supported by Mr. Deshraj Singh (MLA) and state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mr. Kailash Vijay Wargi. The resolution was passed at 6:15pm today after an hour long discussion on the subject. The resolution besides other things demanded that the Government of India should in the meanwhile establish a commission of enquiry to find reasons for the plight of Kashmiri Pandits which includes their exodus from Kashmir. It also demanded that Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) including an economic package be announced for the community. It also demands that a bill to protect temples and shrines of Kashmiri Pandits be introduced with the concurrence of Kashmiri Pandit representatives for which a dialogue should be initiated with ‘Panun Kashmir’ the representative body of the community. The resolution further demanded that the Government of the country should take all necessary measures to ameliorate the sufferings for the community.

Panun Kashmir

When the bill was introduced, discussed and passed in the Madhya Pradesh Assemby; a team of community members was present in the Speaker’s Gallery of the Assembly, besides others who were present included Dr. Agnishekhar, Convener, Panun Kashmir and Shri Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, President, Panun Kashmir.

Source : PTI , Yahoo , Hindustan Times , Zillr ,

Pls download the day actvity of Madhya Pradesh assembly MP – PK Resolution  HERE

September 21, 2008

‘Panun Kashmir’ Homeland – Better Sooner to save India !


A Homeland for the seven hundred thousand displaced Kashmiris in the valley will be the only logical, natural and permanent solution for the displaced Kashmiris. Homeland is where home is and home is where land is and our land is in the valley of Kashmir. Our demand for a Homeland within the valley, from where we have been driven out by armed Islamic terrorists, is an assertion of our rights as much as of our patriotism for India. In order to save Kashmir from the clutches of Pakistan which has been instigating, encouraging and perpetuating terrorism in Kashmir, the Indian nation has to shed all inhibitions and unequivocally declare its resolve of resettling tbe displaced Kashmiri Hindus in the Homeland which will serve as a bastion of secularism and democracy in an otherwise Islamic State.

 

Panun Kashmir is an expression of the innermost hopes and urges of the Kashmiris displaced from Kashmir valley, that were suppressed for centuries and lost in the nethermost corner of their subconscious. It is a natural and instinctive desire of the community to seek its roots, to preserve its identity and to assert its political, legal and historical nghts. It provides a nascent political rostrum to translate the idea and vision of an honourable and peaceful existence emanating from a sense of pride and a feeling of self- esteem which has been snatched from this community. 

 

Essentially the Homeland will contribute to the aims a ideals of democracy, secularism, free exchange of thought, trade and culture, right to work and right to live, justice and equality for all, including women. It will not be a theocracy. It will identify with the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India and exist in amity and brotherhood with all the regions and provinces of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and with the rest of India.

We have asked for the area North and East of the River Jehlum. The valley has to be divided in acceptance of our claim. River Jehlum provides a natural geographial divide and, therefore, shall represent a line of demarcation between the Homeland and the rest of the valley. The southern region of the State to the North and East of the Jehlum with the National Highway passing through it also happens to be the region with most of our holy shrines including the holiest of the holy, Sri Amarnath. Logistically and demographically, this area is most suitable for conversion into the Homeland with a Union Territory status. 

Picture courtesy : Mr R.Raina ;Mr Aditya Raj Kaul

Contents : www.panunkashmir.org

 

September 9, 2008

PANUN KASHMIR


PANUN KASHMIR is an effort to Save Kashmiri Pandits…. to Save Kashmir…. to Save India.

 

For more details log on to www.panunkashmir.org

August 15, 2008

Demystified Myths -Jammu Agitation


It was a friend from UK who wrote a mail to me and suggesting that “violence against Muslims in Jammu” should be stopped as it would further alienate the Muslims. It made me wonder of of how successful the separatists , politicians of Kashmir and the pseudo seculars of India have been to spread a disinformation campaign which would only hurt the genuine sentiments of people of Jammu. This disinformation campaign is a result of centuries of slavery syndrome the Hindu Indians have , having been slaves of Moguls and Afghans for many centuries,and till today the appeasement is carried on.

Myth-1 : Jammu Agitation for transfer of Amarnath land  is communal 

The fact remains that Muslim’s of Jammu are supporting the Shri Amarnath Sangarsh Samiti in the agitation and in last 40 days of the agitation not a single Muslim has either been attacked or hurt in Jammu. 

All Muslim Jammu Federation issued a statement in which Mr.Abdul Majid their leader stated ““We want to make it clear that Hindus in Jammu have not targeted Muslims.”, while as his colleague and district vice president Chaudhary Bahddrudin Bhatti said,” there are no reports of any Muslims being killed in the ongoing agitation.” [ Indian Express ]

Tahir Nadir,Imam of Jama Masjid at Khatikan Talab,Said: “I got calls from various places, including Kashmir, asking about attacks on Muslims. I told them that all these are rumours and we are safe here.

Meanwhile Jammu Shia federation leader Aashiq Hussain has congratulated people of Jammu for maintaining peace and harmony.

“There is no question of leaving Jammu. Nobody has attacked us. These are rumours being spread by some vested interests. Jammu has been a perfect example of communal harmony. We were offered refuge when our own people in Kashmir disowned us”, Abdul Hameed, a Kashmir migrant, said. [ The Tribune ]

Abdul said: “All Kashmiri Muslims who migrated to Jammu were against armed insurgency in the valley. We protested against the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. However, the extremists started targeting us”. [ The Tribune ]

As Jammuwalla puts it “People of Jammu are not against the Kashmiris or Muslims or Kashmiriyat, but they are dead against the politics of imperialism practiced by Muftis, Abdullahs and the ilk

It is a well known fact that terrorists and their supporter separatists leaders which happen to be from even many main stream political parties have spread this disinformation campaign of communal violence to justify the continued violence against Hindu minorities in Kashmir region.

 

Myth – 2 : There is/was a economic blockade for Kashmir by Jammuites

It was interesting to see insignificant leaders like Sajjad Lone suddenly get prominence on National TV and he used every opportunity to give ,what comes natural for a Kashmiri separatist, a false sob sob story to the world that there is a economic blockade in Kashmir. The same was followed by other separatist leaders like Mehbooba Mufti and Mirwaiz Omar Farroq and they went on to narrate of how baby milk and medicines are in great shortage in Kashmir.

The fact remains that there was a traffic disruption for few days right there at Lakhinpur /Madhovpur border of Jammu/Punjab because of which the supplies were delayed by few days . Now this Lakhinpur is an entry for Jammu region through which the supplies travel to Kashmir and Ladakh by road. If the supplies were stranded at Lakhnipur border , the people of jammu and Ladakh were as much affected by it as were the cry babies from Kashmir region. However as ever the separatists and their pseudo secular friends friends from India chose to debate the word called “economic blockade to valley.”

As on today the separatist leaders continue to tell the world that there is a economic blockade for the valley while the fact remains that there is no economic blockade.

“…..The home ministry on Wednesday released figures countering the claim of agitationists in the Valley about the economic blockade and arguing that truckers and unions of fruit growers openly aligned with Hurriyat were also engaged in myth-making about the blockade……
 
Referring to the stranded trucks in the Valley, an official said a fleet of them actually belonged to one individual known for his close affiliation with Hurriyat. The transporter refused to move his vehicles towards Jammu despite the promise of full security cover along the route…………….. [ Times Of India ]
This myth about so called economic blocakde has already been covered by “thekashmir” earlier . Also check  All Politics, No Blockade
According to official reports till 14th August in last 12 days, 9000 trucks carrying fruits, vegetables ,medicines etc have reached the valley.As Kulwant Singh a truck driver states “There is no blockade,everything is just fine” Read the complete report HERE 

Liar Media 

Media, i wonder if they know the facts about topography of Jammu & Kashmir and if they know,they still do not care to educcate the people about the facts. The fact remains that ,contrary to most reports in the media,  Jammu & Kashmir (J&K)  is not a state where only Kashmiri Muslims live. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state with 64% Muslims, 33% Hindus, and 3% Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and others. There are three distinct geographical regions – Ladakh  (with 58% of the area, and 3% of the population), Jammu  (26% area, 45% population) and Kashmir  (16% area, 52% population: of which over 90 % of the region’s minorities, i.e. 3% of the state’s total population have been driven out). The primary languages of Ladakh  are Ladakhi and Balti, of Jammu: Dogri, and of Kashmir: Kashmiri. In addition, Gujari, Pahari, Punjabi, Shina and various dialects and mixed languages are also spoken by different ethnic groups within the state.[a]

While as the puedo secular and appeasement of the separatist continues ,certain section of media do not wish to be left behind to defame the Jammu agitation and labeling it as communal and anti muslim . An interesting example is a picture which has appeared in Indian Express with the tag line written as “A gujjar Muslim lady sitting before her burnt house in Jourian, Akhnoor.” Now have a look at the picture to which the tag line was attributed and pls make me figure out the burnt house !!!!

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