The Kashmir

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

Exposed : In Kashmir money is being paid to stone pelters !

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , — TheKashmir @ 10:51 am

Some great piece of journalism by Ms Smita Prakash  , Editor News , Asia News International [ ANI ]

 

“I am not going to say to you that the stone pelters did wrong. They were misguided. They had energy, they were angry and didn’t know how to say No, when money was offered for a seemingly non-dangerous assignment.”

“This discontentment was channeled by the separatists for their ends. For example if the separatist got 500,000 rupees from Pakistan or the other Muslim countries, which fund the separatist movement, they distributed 100,000 to each leader. They in turn paid each young boy 5000 rupees to throw stones. Those young 16-18 year old boys who were sitting at home because of schools being closed due to bandh calls by separatists, and who have little job prospects, with nothing to do and fed on azadi slogans, picked up stones without realizing that they were being used as pawns. We all did it.”

“Now, those boys are either dead or in jail for the past several months under the PSA Act (Public Safety Act). But those who sent them to throw the stones are still getting money from both the Government of India and the Government of Pakistan. They still travel abroad whenever they want, they attend international conferences, the interlocutors meet them, and their children are studying in Delhi. Yes, I am talking about all the Hurriyat leaders. What fools they have made of you Indians and Pakistanis.”

 

Continue reading HERE 

 

Also watch this Video , [ Confession of a mastermind behind stone pelting in Kashmir ]

 

Exposed : Kashmir being most militarized zone is a propaganda & a myth

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , , — TheKashmir @ 8:19 am

A very well researched post by a leading blogger @pragmatic_d exposing the media which believes in sensationalism without researching the facts , exposing the separatists claims of Kashmir being most militarized zone .

……. So the actual strength of security force personnel dealing with the people in the state is nowhere near the figure of 7,00,000 which is usually floated in the media. Barring the 2,20,000 policemen, paramilitary troopers and Rashtriya Rifles soldiers deployed among the population, the rest of the army soldiers shall continue to be deployed on the LoC, AGPL and LAC irrespective of the internal security situation in the state. Even among the 2,20,000 troopers, a fair share of the police force would still be required to maintain the law and order in the state which has a population of 1,25,48,926 as per the 2011 census.

Meanwhile, let us get another fact out of the way. These deployments are for the complete state, and not just for the Kashmir Valley. For example, the Rashtriya Rifles units are deployed as Counter Insurgency Force (CIF)- R in Rajouri and Poonch, CIF-D in Doda, CIF-V in Anantnag, Pulwama and Badgam, CIF-K in Kupwara, Baramulla and Srinagar, and CIF-U in Udhampur and Banihal. Kashmir Valley, or the Vale of Kashmir, forms just 7 percent of the area of the state of Jammu and Kashmir ….

Read the complete post HERE

May 23, 2011

There is a liberal bias. It’s demonstrable !


Though NDTV is believed to have largely been shy to highlight the trauma , pain and anger of Hindus of Kashmir , also commonly called Kashmiri Pandits , for a change yesterday they did a discussion about ‘possibility’ of return of Hindus back to valley .

I would not like to give any personal opinion on the discussion , which was hosted by Ms Barkha Dutt , however I would like to share some tweets which I saw after the program .

These tweets are largely from :-

  1. Muslim Group :- Who largely want Kashmir not to be part of India
  2. Kashmiri Hindu [ Pandit ] / Nationalist group : – Who are staunch nationalist , however forced into exile by Islamists .

Kashmiri Muslim Group

When translated , its a message to Aditya Raj kaul , It says … I spit on your face Aditya Kaul

Nationalist / Kashmiri Hindu group

May 16, 2011

The Amarnath Pilgrimage – History & Facts


Historically, the worship of Shivalingam has been a very popular religious practice in Kashmir. The same stands corroborated by Kalhan Pandit who in his monumental work, Rajtarangini, makes a mention of ‘vateshwar’, an ancient Shiva-lingam worshipped even in his lifetime. A king of Kashmir, Ravana, (1000 B.C)worshipped it as it was believed to predict future occurrences & events through the light emanating from the Sri-cakra engraved on it.1 The king was so devout in his worship of the Shiva-lingam that he consecrated the entire valley of Kashmir to the Math where-in he worshipped the Shiva-lingam.2 The Mahadev Peak, Dyaneshwar lingam &Sureshwar lingam, known as svayambhu lingams, have been objects of worship for the Hindus of Kashmir. In fact, the interiors of Himalayas possess numerous such lingams & Hindus reverently call them Shiva-dhams. Pilgrimages to the Shiva-dhams have been a regular feature without interruptions.

 

            The ancient cave of Amarnath known for its icy-lingam that is naturally formed has been a venerable spot of pilgrimage for thousands of years. The icy-lingam waxes & wanes with the waxing &waning of the Moon. It attains its full length form on the night of shravanPurnima. As per the written records the icy-lingam has been nomenclatured as’amresh’, ‘amreshwar’, ‘rasa-lingam’, ‘siddhi-lingam,’ ‘buddhi lingam,’ ‘shuddhilingam,’ ‘puratan buddhi lingam’ & ‘pumsavan lingam.3 The nomenclature of ‘amarnath’ as is in voguehas been drawn from & owes its genesis to the ‘Amarnath Mahatamya’, anauthentic work on the Amarnath as a holy place of worship.

 

            As per the ‘Amarnath Mahatamya’ Shiva in the form of  icy-lingam bestowed immortality on gods,devatas & thus he is known as ‘amresh’ or ‘amreshwar’. He delivers hisdevotees from the pains & pangs of old age & disease soon after they have his ‘darshan’ & ‘Satksatkar’ in the formation of icy -lingam. As per the Tantric erudites, He is Amarnath because He commences His ascent from’ama-kla’ to ‘purna-kala’ & a mere drop from it liberates a pilgrim, adevotee, from age & death & grants him the state of oneness with Supreme consciousness, the same as Shiva. A pilgrim, who in his extreme joyfulness& ecstasy, dances inside the cave, is considered a veritable rudra. 

Historical records

 

            The references to the holy cave of Amarnathare available in Bringesh Samhita, Nilmat Puran, Amarnath Mahatmaya & Rajtaranginis of Kalhan Pandit, Rajanak Jonraj & Shuk Pandit & othertravelogues by foreign travellers.

 

            Bringesh Samhita is a compendium of the Mahatamayas of all the prominent & well known tirthas (holy places) of Kashmir compiled by Bringesh, a scholar of eminence. In Kashmir, we have a galaxy of three persons bearing the same name of Brigesh. One was agana, an attendant of Shiva, the other was a sage & the third a scholar of eminence. Bringesh, the gana, being an unworldly recluse could not have any cultivated interest in writing & compiling the Mahatamayas. The research scholars hold that initial task of compiling Mahatmayas was taken up by Bringesh who was a known sage & the date for it is supposed to be 5thcentury A.D. The third Brignesh given to scholarship & scholarly pursuits is supposed to have aptly culminated the work as begun by the second Bringeseh in 12th century A.D.4. The entire work is unfortunately lost & the manuscript  available in the Ranbir Library, Jammu, is a truncated version &hence falls short of providing multi-dimensional & authentic informationabout the culture & mores of ancient Kashmir including  the topography of the region.

 

Mythology

             The Bringesh Samhita relates that Mahakala threatened the gods (devas) with death &destruction & they in all trepidation called on Lord Shiva & humblyentreated Him to protect them from Mahakala’s menacing threat of decimation. Shiva in all mercifulness freed them from Mahakala’s threat by showering uponthem the boon of immortality. Again to seek Shiva’s support & protectiongods (devas) could not see Him as He was deeply immersed in His devotional& meditative practices. In absolute distress the gods (devas) lifted theirhands to supplicate Him to appear before them. Shiva, the merciful, appeared inthe formation of an icy-lingam & this is the genesis of the Holy Lingam& subsequent pilgrimage to the holy cave of ‘amresh’ or ‘Amarnath’.

 

            Bringesh Samhita also relates that Kashmir was a vast expanse of water & the sageKashyap drained the lake for the land to appear. Bringesh, the sage, was scouring the swathes of the valley & discovered the cave wherein an icy-lingam in full length form was standing. Lord Shiva gave him a sceptre for protection of pilgrims which has now taken the form of Chhari Maharaj, the holymace leading the annual pilgrimage.

 

            As per Amarnath Mahatamya, Parvati, the consort of Shiva, was ultra-keen to know in full details the mysteries of life & immortality .Entreating the lord to reveal the mysteries to her, Shiva traversing the tops& ridges of the Himalayas took rest in a cave & disclosed to her all the secrets about life & immortality. Finally Lord transmuted Himself into an icy-lingam.

 

Nilmatpuran

             Vital to the history of Kashmir Nilmatpuran as a fascinating store-house of socio-cultural materials is the earliest work of 6th century A.D. which carries a reference to the Holy cave of ‘Amreshwar.6 It authentically establishes that the cave known for its icy-lingam was well within the active consciousness of general populace in Kashmir. The people of Kashmir in particular & the vast masses of people in India in general believe Shiva as the god of mountains laden with layers of white snow. Shiva’s consort, Parvati, is the daughter of the Himalayas who got wedded to Shiva who has His abode in the snow-capped mountains. Pilgrimages to the mountains as a home to gods have been an ancient practice of the Hindus. The Hindus of Kashmir as part & parcel of the Indian cultural mosaic shared the same cultural spirit & ethos & made pilgrimages to the mountain peaks & mountainous caves in search of spiritual upliftment & spiritual bliss of peace and ananda.

 

Amarnath Mahatamaya

             Amarnath Mahatamya gives a full & elaborate account of the pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Amarnath. It details out all the holy spots enroute to the Holy cave. It does not only mention the religious merit that a pilgrim earns by bathing & cleansing praxes at various holy spots, but also gives an authentic & credible account of their topography & geographical position. Amarnath Mahatamya has its essential base in the Adi-Purana establishing its original position as a Purana. It was regarded  as a standard Mahatamya giving lucid details & exact descriptions in concordance with well recognised literary  practices. The Amarnath Mahatamya certainly has a religious & legendary complexion, yet it is a mine of information on the cultural ethos of Kashmir in those hoary days of yore & also the socially-oriented behavioural indices of aboriginal Hindus of Kashmir.

 

Kalhan’s Rajtarangini (1148-50 A.D.)

             Kalhan Pandit, the Herodotus of Kashmir history, has made definitive & categorical references to the Holy cave of Amarnath. In Tarang I of his work, Rajtarangini, he makes a mention of a legend of Naga Sushravas, who had given his daughter in wed-lock  to a Brahmin youth for the help he had rendered him in harvesting the crops. But king Nara, the ruler of Chakradhar (Chakdar) near vijyeshwar (vegibror), tried to abduct the young Brahman’s youthful Naga wife. This aroused the wrath of Naga Sushruvas, who in all blood & fury, arsoned & destroyed Nara’s entire kingdom & put him to death. It was done in all bitter revenge & Naga Sushruvas, perhaps fearing fearful reprisals, carried his son-in-law & his spouse to his own abode, Sushram Naga, now known as Shesh Naga. Kalhan writes, “This place is now located en route pilgrimage to ‘Amreshwar’.

 

            Kalhan Pandit describes the Shesh Naga lake as ‘the lake of dazzling whiteness resembling a sea of milk’ This authentic account available in Rajtarangini unambiguously buttresses the assertion that the pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Amreshwar must have been much in vogue in Kalhan Pandit’s time.

 

            The above-mentioned reference to ‘Amreshwar’ is not the solitary one that Kalhan Pandit has provided the succeeding generations about Amarnath. He as a historian possessed of an observant eye conveys more credible materials about the cave shrine.

 

            In Tarang II of Rajtarangini Kalhan Pandit conveys that “King Sandimat Aryaraj (34 BC) used to spend the most delightful summer in worshipping linga formed by snow in the regions above the forests.”7

 

            It is a clear cut reference to the icy-lingam at Amarnath cave.

 

            In another  reference to Amarnath Kalhan Pandit in his Rajtarangini, Tarang VII conveys that Queen suryamati, the spouse of king Ananta “submitted trishuls, banalingas and other sacred emblems in the name of her husband at Amershwar”.8

 

Jonraja’s Rajtrangini 

            In his second Rajtarangini, Jonraj, a fearless historian of Kashmir, writes, ‘Sultan Zain-ul-abidin (1420-1470) paid a visit to the sacred tirth of Amarnath while constructing a canal on the left bank of the river Lidder (lambodari)’. 9

 

Shuka Pandit’s Rajtarangini 

            In his fourth Rajtarangini, also known as Rajavalipataka, Shuka, the disciple of Prajya Bhatt, whose Rajtarangini is lost, gives full length detail of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath. Shuka informs that Akbar who as per history had annexed Kashmir at the pleadings & prodding’s of two political advisors of Makhdoom Sahib, a Naqshbandi sufi of indigenous origins, anti-shia to his bone-marrow, had made some queries from his governor Yusuf Khan about some political-cum-administrative affairs regarding Kashmir. In his reply to the query made by the emperor he mentions among other things the Amarnath pilgrimage in broad & incisive details. It establishes that the Amarnath pilgrimage was surely in vogue even in the times of Akbar who annexed Kashmir in 1586 A.D.

 

Asif Vilas by Pt Raj Jagannath 

            As reinforced by historical evidences Shah Jehan vandalised temples & other places of worship of Hindus in Kashmir & a shocked foreign traveller, Francios Bernier, writes, ‘The doors & pillars were found in some of the idol temples demolished by Shah Jehan & it is impossible to estimate their value.’11

 

            But the Amarnath pilgrimage continued un-interrupted despite the emperor’s vile iconoclastic activities. In his well-known eulogy of Asif Khan, Shah Jehan’s father-in-law, a reputed aesthete, Panditraj Jagannath, makes a categoric mention of Amareshwar while giving a poetic description of Nishat garden as laid out by Asif Khan. In his flight of imagination jagannath writes in the ‘Asif vilas’ that ‘ Indira, king of the galaxy of gods, comes here to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva.’12

 

Francois Bernier, The french physician  

            Francois Bernier, the French physician, accompanied Aurangzeb, the Bigot, when he was on a visit to Kashmir in 1663 A.D. Driven by curiosity & wander-lust he visited Trisandya, Verinag, Achabal, wular-lake & Sangsafed facing Harmukh & therefrom he pursued ‘Journey to a grotto full of wonderful congellations’. 13 It had taken him two days to reach the grotto, which surely is no place other than that of the Holy cave of  Amarnath.

 

            In the second reprint of Bernier’s Travelogue titled ‘Travels  in Mughal Empire,’ a noted historian, Vincent A. Smith, writes in his introduction, ‘ the grotto full of wonderful congellations is the Amarnath cave, where blocks of ice, stalagmites formed by dripping water from the roof, are worshipped by many Hindus, who resort here, as images of Shiva, glaciers surround the………………….’14

 

Kirpa Ram dutt & holy cave of amarnath (1675 A.D.) 

            At the behest of Auranzeb his governor in Kashmir, Iftikhar Khan, cruel & theo-fascist, subjected the Kashmiri Pandits to the worst ever persecution & torture for their conversion to Islam. Kashmiri Pandits, five hundred in number, under the astute leadership of Kirpa Ram Dutt, a known Shaivite Scholar, met at the Holy cave of Amarnath to devise a workable strategy to meet the challenge. One of the pandits at the Holy cave saw Lord Shiva in a dream directing him to call on Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-75A.D) at the village of Anandpur Sahib in the Punjab. It was from the Holy cave of Amaranth that kirpa Ram Dutta in obedience to the direction of Lord Shiva led the delegation of five hundred Pundits to Guru Tegh Bahadur & rest is history.15

 

Vigne, a foreign traveller 

            Vigne, another foreign traveller, paid a visit to Ladakh and Tibet during the times of Maharaja Sher Singh of the Punjab. He made an attempt to visit the Holy cave of Amarnath via the traditional route, but was forced to return from vayuvarjan (vavjan) because of inclement weather. Out of sheer curiosity he met various shades of people, mostly the natives and thus gleaned a lot of relevant material about the pilgrimage to the cave and put it to writing in 1842 A.D. In his reputed travelogue titled as ‘Travels in Kashmir, Ladakh and Iskardu’, vigne conveys, ‘The ceremony at the cave of Amarnath takes place on the 15th of the Hindu month of Sawan, 28th July…………… not only Hindus of Kashmir but those from Hindustan of every rank and caste can be seen, collecting together and travelling up the valley of Liddar (Lambodari) towards the celebrated cave, which from his description must have been the place which Bernier tried to visit but was prevented.’16

 

            What we get  from vigne’s travel account is that pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath was not only a local affair, but would draw a crowd of pilgrims from far and near in the country.

 

Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj (1563-1606 A.d.)

             It is a known fact that Guru Arjan Dev Ji Maharaj granted land in Amritsar for the ceremonial depature of Chharhi, the holy mace of lord Shiva, marking the commencement of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath. This gracious act of the Guru Maharaj lends unimpeachable credibility to the fact that pilgrimage to the holy cave was not confined to the natives of Kashmir, but would draw enthusiastic pilgrims from across the country. To earn religious merit many devout Hindus would donate lands and moneys to the religious  groups and institutions to provide facilities to the pilgrims bound for the Holy cave of Lord Shiva.

 Pt Sansar Chand Koul, a naturalist of Kashmir

             In his booklet ‘The  Mysterious cave of Amarnath’, Pandit Sansar Chand Koul, the first ever geographer of Kashmir, author and scholar, informs that ‘in 1819 A.D. Pandit Hardas Tiku founded the Chhawni Amarnath at Ram Bagh in Srinagar where saddhus (renunciates) from the  plains assembled and where he gave free rations for the journey, both ways from his own private resources”.17 The year 1817A.D. as mentioned by Pandit Sansar Chand Koul marks the end of the brutal and tyrannical rule of the Afghans who persecuted Kashmiri Pandits to incredible limits, out-smarting the pains and wounds inflicted on them by the sayyid-sufis from Central-Asian countries.

W. Lawrence’s Valley of Kashmir  

            In his celebrated work ‘Valley of Kashmir‘ walter Lawrence, the Settlement Commisioner of Kashmir, has not missed to make a mention of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath.

             He writes, ‘Puranmashi the full moon of the month of Sawan is the day when pilgrims must reach the distant cave of Amarnath and worship the snow-lingam which gradually melts away  after the puranmashi. Strict Hindus both male and female discard their clothes and put on shirts of birch-bark before they enter this cave……………………………’ 18.

 Routes to the holy cave of Amarnath

             The traditional route to the Holy cave of Amarnath has been via Lidder Valley despite the fact that the cave is situated in the geographical environs of the Sind Valley. The prominent holy spots enroute the traditional path have been elaborately mentioned in the Amarnath Mahatamya. The holy spots other than Anantnag as elaborated in the Mahatamya are :-

Balihar (Baliyar), Vaghashram (Vagahom), Hastikaran (Hasikhan), Chakresh (Chakdhar), Devak (Divakiyar), Harish Chander (Chandanyar), Surya-guha-vat (Sirigofwar), Sakhras (Sakhras), Badoras (Badur), Hyashashishram (Kamalnag), Uttarnag (Wotarnag), Sarlak (Salar), Khilyayan (Balkhyalan), Narayan-Maha-Khetra (Kolar), Mamlak (Mamleeshwar), Bragupati (Pahalgam), Sthanu-ashram (Chandanwor), Giripesh (Pishbal), Sushrumnag (Shishirnag), Vayuvarjan (Vavjan), Pancha-tarni (Panchtarni), Garbagar (Garabyatra), and Amravati (Ombravati).19

 

            After having ritual baths and performing other ritual practices at these holy spots the pilgrim’s progress blissfully climaxes at the Holy Cave where the icy-lingam, the transmuted form of Lord Shiva, is standing either in suyambhu form or in full-length form only to bless the pilgrims and grant them deliverance from sickness of the world caused by meshy layers of duality.

 

The Baltal Route

 

            The Baltal route to the Holy cave of Amarnath is the Sind valley route which has not been popular with the pilgrims, either natives or from various parts of India. The route lies in inhospitable terrain, arduous and difficult, risky and menacing. Thanks to the Border Roads Organisation a negotiable path has been carved out and constructed and in view of the facility a multitude of pilgrims is seen ambling on the path for ‘darshan’ of the Holy icy-lingam. The path remains open for all months of the summer. Distance wise, the Baltal roiute is shorter than the traditional Pahalgam route.

 

Route from Zojilla Pass

 

            The Zojilla route to the Holy Cave of Amarnath has been a known route and comparatively the shortest route to the sacred shrine of Shiva. It is just a track that can be trekked on foot and descends near the cave from the Amarnath peak.

 

Kishtwar – Seru Route  

            Kishtwar -Seru route has equally been a known route to the Hindus of Kishtwar and other belts of the mountainous region. Kashmiri Pandits, who doggedly refused conversion to Islam during the tyrannical days of Sultan Sikander (1387-1407AD) fled to Kishtwar for shelter and safety, trek the same route to pay obeisance to Shiva in the Holy Cave. For them, it is a popular route, though it was already popular with the indigenous population of the region.

 Sacki- Pantsal route

             The geographical studies of the region reveal that Sacki-Pantsal route is also a route leading to the Holy Cave. But it has not been much in vogue because of its difficult terrain and weather disasters.

 

Pigeons in the holy cave

             A pair of pigeons, present and flying in the cave, drench its chill-cold and weird environs in mystery and mystique. The pilgrims consider it extremely auspicious and feel blessed, thrilled and transported to mystical realms when they catch a mere glimpse of them. The pair of pigeons in the Holy  Cave has been reverentially depicted in the Amarnath Mahatamya as the two messengers of Lord Shiva disseminating  His revealed verities and truths to the world of humans for their spiritual upliftment and emancipation.

 

            As per the legend Lord Shiva revealed to His ever-eager consort, Parvati, the mysteries of creation, life and immortality in the Holy Cave of Amarnath. The pair of pigeons, quietly perched in some niche of the cave, overheard the secrets in full details as were revealed to Parvati by Lord Shiva. Having learnt of their presence in the cave, Lord Shiva granted them the boon of immortality and hence their eternal abode in the Lord’s cave.

 

            Foreign travellers having found their way into the purlieux of Kashmir have not missed to make a mention of the pair of pigeons in the cave-temple.

 

            Anchored in speculation, waxing eloquent on the topic of pigeons, vigne, a foreign traveller, writes, ‘The dove (pigeon) has always been an emblem of peace, the sublime and preter-natural     have always been concomitants of wildness; solitude accompanied by an extra-ordinary degree of remoteness has often been a cause of sanctification. And the wild and gloomy the locality, the better has it been thought qualified to become the peculiar residence of God.’ 20

 

Swami Vivekanand on Amarnath cave (1897 A.D.)

 

            Swami Vivekanand, an eloquent and eminent spiritualist of India, paid a visit to the Holy cave and was mystified by the icy-lingam in the Holy cave where Lord Shiva had dwelt upon perennial subjects of creation, life and immortality that have ever been intriguing humankind from the days of its creation. As per his well known biography Swami Vivekanand is reported to have conjectured about how the Holy Cave could have been discovered. The author writes ;-

 

            ‘I can well imagine how this cave was first discovered. A party of shepherds, one summer day, must have lost their flocks and wandered here in search of them. What must have been their feeling as they found themselves unexpectedly before this unmelting ice-lingam of white camphor, with the wall itself dripping offerings of water over it for centuries unseen of mortal eyes ? When they came home they whispered to other shepherds in the Valleys how they had suddenly come upon Mahadeva.’ 21

 

            On having entered the cave Swami Vivekananda was overwhelmed with a mystical experience. He had a darshan of Shiva. He called the place religious, inspiring and extremely beautiful. He wove meticulously beautiful poetry about the icy-lingam and its impact on his total psyche.

 

The tyrannical Rule of Sultan Sikander 

            Sultan Sikander, who had pawned his soul to a Sayyid-Sufi from Central Asia, Mir Mohammad Hamadani, was not only an iconoclast, but a misanthrope, hater of books, enemy of aesthetics and worst form of Islamist. He issued an atrocious and contemptuous government decree ordering the Kashmiri Hindus to get converted to Islam or flee the native land or get perished. As a result, thousands of Hindus were brutally massacred, thousands got converted and thousands fled the land for shelter.

 

            The Sultan’s numerous crimes against humanity are :-

 

1.       He did not permit the Hindus to go to temples to pray and worship.22

 

2.       He did not permit them to blow a conch or tolll a bell.23

 

3.       He stopped Hindus from performing their religious practices and celebrating their festivals. 24

 

4.       He killed them if they put a tilak-mark on their foreheads.25

 

5.       At the apperance of the new moon, the Hindus were not allowed to worship or take out processions.26

 

6.       He burnt six mounds (1 mound = 37 kilos) of sacred threads worn by Hindus as a mark of their religious initation only after putting them to cruel death.27

 

7.       He stopped Hindus from undertaking pilgrimages to all Shivadhams (Amarnath, Sureshwar, Harsheshwar, Dyaneshwar, Mahadev Peak).28

 

8.       He stopped Hindus from burning their dead.29

 

9.       He demolished and destroyed the marvellous temples of Martand, Vijyeshwar, Chakrabrat, Tripureshwar, Sureshwari, Varah and many others.30

 

10.     He imposed the hated Jazia (poll-tax) on the Hindus, thus declaring them dhimmis.31

 

11.     He waged war on the Hindus when Mir Mohammad Hamadani declared them ‘Kafirs at war’.32

 

12.     He burnt books on Hindu knowledge, science, astronomy, astrology, music, dance, poetics and medicine.33

 

          The worst ever hurricane fury of genocide of the Kashmiri Hindus 34 unleashed by Sultan Sikander and vigorously pursued by Ali Shah and their armies 35 forced Hindus to burn, hang and drown themselves in rivers and wells and jump over steep precipices to protect their religion. The genocide of Hindus acquired a renewed speed and impetus when another wave of Sayyid Sufis led by Sayyid Jalal-ud-din Bukhari 36 entered the borders of Kashmir. The Hindus and their cultural signs and symbols were ruthlessly destroyed the same manner as locusts destroy and devour the lush green paddy fields.

 

Q-factor in the History of Kashmiri Hindus

             Zain-ul-abidin came to the throne of Kashmir in 1420 A.D. In his treatment of and attitude unto the remaining small number of Hindus, not more than proverbial eleven families, the Sultan slavishly followed the marked foot-prints of his predecessors and felt no reason to swerve away from the state policy chalked out by the foreign Sayyid-sufis in choke-hold of state apparatus. The Sultan at the behest of Sayyid-suifs in his court repalced Sanskrit as the official language of court by Persian37. He showered lavish and unprecedented patronage on the foreign musicians from Khurasan and other Central Asian belts thereby discouraging and disparaging the indigenous trends and shades of music38. His court was under the total siege of foreign Muslim ulema and Sayyid-sufis whose inflow into Kashmir had gained tremendous volume and speed. As he was in the line of foreign unsurpers Zain-ul-abidin failed to architect a state that would transcend religious hue and complexion. Encouraging foreign craftsmen to pursue their crafts in Kashmir he dealt a massive blow to indigneous crafts and craftsmen, their jobs being practically stolen by foreign Muslims from distant countries. Sharia-bound the Sultan did not order the execution of a foreign Sayyid-sufi when he murdered a saffron-clad recluse in cold blood. The reason cited was that he was a Sayyid-sufi and hence above law and immune to severe punishment. The state that Zain-ul-abidin assiduously built was an all-round affair of the Muslims from distant lands and people in general though forcible converts to Islam remained deeply mired in despondency and alienation. As social and moral cohesion and bonding had ruptured and shredded the individuals as units in the social fabric were reduced to a state of sheer lawlessness and chaos.

 

            No historian of Kashmir has been precise in citing the date and time when the Sultan developed a fatal boil on his body. All sorts of treatment by a host of foreign physicians was administered to the ailing and wailing Sultan. In all desperation the Sultan was informed of a Hindu physician, Shirya Bhatt by name, who had somehow survived the holocaust and was living in obscurity away from the prying eyes of Muslim maruders.

 

            The Hindu physician was called in. In all Jitters and a chill going down his spine Shriya Bhatt examined the awe-inspiring patient, Zain-ul-abidin, the son of Sikander, the iconoclast and commenced his indigenous treatment. Some days elapsed and lo! the high profile patient showed encouraging signs of turning the corner. He recovered and came to live a normal life. Happy and elated the Sultan sent for the Hindu physician, a native under duress in a gulag and in all generosity asked him to name the beneficence or bountiful reward he would like to have from the Sultan.

 

            What the Hindu physician, Shirya Bhatt, in all humility and supplication asked for as the beneficence or bountiful reward  from the Sultan worked as Q-factor in the history of Kashmiri Pandits. A pious and noble soul, altruistic in his world view and harassed to his bone-marrow, Shirya Bhatt shell shocked the Sultan when he asked for naught for himself, but prayed for the return and rehabilitation of multitudes of his compatriots who had fled their native land to avert the Muslim persecution, allowing them to pursue their indigenous form of education and have jobs in government. The Sultan, more or less, chastened by the fatal boil and under a debt of gratitude to the Hindu physician ungrudgingly conceded all what the Hindu physician had supplicated for.

 

            The Sultan to the absolute  disapprobation and annoyance of Muslim Ulema and Sayyid-sufis despatched messengers to various parts of the country to spot out exiled Hindus and earnestly urged them to return to their native place. He reduced the quantity of Silver (4 tolas in weight) to be paid as Jazia (poll-tax) by half, but was not gracious enough to withdraw the hateful imposition in full thereby granting them total exemption from the punitive tax.

 

            As the Hindus could not cremate their dead under a despotic decree from the Muslim Sultan called Sikander, they were left with no option but to cremate their dead inside their dwellings and kept the ashes in an urn placed in a space created by removing mud and stone from the main doors of their dwellings. Srivar, a historian of Kashmir, writes that when the Sultan Zain-ul-abidin permitted the severely persecuted Hindus to immerse the ashes of their dead in the Gangabal Lake, ten thousand of them miserably perished in a horrific snow-storm that cruelly hit the upland regions the time they were on a return journey after performing rites and rituals connected with the immersion of ashes40.

 

            Srivar also informs that he as a faithful courtier had to pay tax-money, a monstrosity, for the cremation of his father. When he cheekily brought it to the personal notice of his Sultan in the court, he condescended to reduce the tax money, but was again not magnanimous enough to remit the levey in toto that was punitively imposed on the Hindus by Sultan Sikander41.

 

            The Muslim Sultan, Zain-ul-abidin, as a result of fundamental shift in his attitude permitted the exterminated Hindus to celebrate their religious fairs and festivals, circumambulate around the Sharika Parbat and chant hyms and mantras in high decibel and undertake pilgrimages to their holy spots and Shivadhams42.

 

            It becomes stark clear that pilgrimage to the Holy Cave of Amarnath was cruelly stopped by the Muslim ruler Sultan Sikander, from the day he launched a Muslim crusade against the natives and could not be resumed till Zain-ul-abidin suffered a change of heart after the fatal boil that was treated and cured by Shirya Bhatt, who was later included in his court and put in charge of health facilities for the people.

 

            As per the historical archives, Ibrahim Shah II (1552-54 A.D.) granted religious freedom to all. The Hindus were granted freedom of worship only on payment of Jazia (poll-tax). The Hindus made a request for the remittance of the oppressive tax. The Sultan in all hostility replied, ‘How can I who is a Muslim cease to levy tax from the Hindus?’43

 

            The chak fanatics (1554-85 A.D) who were Shias by faith re-imposed Jazia in full on the Hindus of Kashmir. Any Hindu wearing a sacred thread had to pay an annual tax to the chak rulers. Shuka Pandit, a contemporary historian, makes a comment, ‘The Hindus were overpowered by religious intolerance the same way as the sun is overpowered by the grey sable clouds.’44

 

            By implication what is conveyed by Shuka Pandit is that Hindus performing any religious act including a pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath had to pay a tax to the Muslim rulers.

 

            The Afghans as per all available versions of Kashmir history were barbarous, crude, cruel, ignorant and inhuman. They chopped off every twig from the tree of mercy. The atrocities inflicted on the Hindus of Kashmir by Afghans were unheard of and  beat all previous records. They plundered their houses, looted all what they had by way of material possessions, and anybody complaining or resisting was straight-away put to axe or sword. Persecuting and massacring Hindus was designed to exterminate their entire race or achieve their conversion to Islam. The Hindus fled their land of ancestors to the tropical plains of India to save themselves from the barbarous Afghans. When Hindus were existentially in peril, how could they  have thought of living a pious life of religiosity and performing pilgrimages to the holy spots (tiraths) that they reverred and worshipped for spiritual attainments ? The brutal Afghans stopped them from undertaking pilgrimages to well-known Shiva-dhams or even celebrating their auspicious fairs and festivals. They condemned them as manifestations of infidelity and heresy violative of Sunna and Sharia 45.

 

            The people of Kashmir in general heaved a great sigh of relief when the Sikh army from the Punjab expelled the brutal Afghans from the territory of Kashmir. The soothing relief to the Kashmiri Hindus was that all vexatious and oppressive taxes levied on them were mercifully withdrawn in toto and pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath was resumed. It was during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that the Holy Mace symbolic of Shiva’s Mace was stored at Amritsar and pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amaranath would kick-start right from Amritsar.

 

            With the Dogra takeover of Kashmir in 1846 A.D. the pilgrimage to the Holy cave assumed a new scale and dimension. The number of pilgrims increased manifold and proper arrangements for safe conduct of yatra were meticulously made. The Dogras managed the shifting of the Holy Mace from Amritsar to Srinagar where it was stored at Dashnami Akhara where from it is traditionally taken to the Holy cave in a massive procession of devotees, pilgrims, sadhus, sanyasis and general mass of Hindus.

 

Malikhs of Batakoot

 

            Before discussing the role and status of Maliks of Batakoot it becomes quite imperative to place the Maliks as a generic term in proper historical perspective. It can be gleaned from the pages of Hindu history of Kashmir that the Hindu rulers were extremely vigilant in guarding the frontiers of their kingdom. There were routes and passes that were vulnerable and militarily sensitive and could be used for incursions, surprise raids or full-scale aggressions by the invading hordes. To guard their territories the rulers had set up military-cum watch stations put under the charge of officials designated as dwarpals or dwarpatis. They were also tagged as ‘margeshes’ meaning those who mastered the routes or pathways. These military-cum-watch stations were so fortified  in terms of men and materials that the marauding armies of Mahmud Ghaznavi failed twice to invade Kashmir and conquer it.

 

Records Alberuni —   

            ‘They (Hindus) are particularly anxious about the natural strength of their country and therefore take much care to keep a strong-hold upon the entrances and roads leading to it. In consequence it is very difficult to have any commerce with them…….’ 46

 

            It broadly explains how Kashmir resisted going the Islamic way for full six hundred years after the advent of Islam in India.

             In the wake of the launch of Muslim crusade against the natives of Kashmir by Sultan Sikander and his Sayyid-sufi mentor from Central Asia, Mir Mohammad Hamadani, the dwarpals, dwarpatis and margeshes like all other hapless segments of Kashmiri Society were coerced, tortured and brutalized to change their indigenous faith. After they got converted merely as statistical Muslims they were renamed as maliks and were allowed to retain their profession or else they were to be de-mobilised. When army was used for whole-sale conversions by Muslim rulers, all the exit routes were totally closed for the fleeing Hindus so that they would not escape the orgy of conversion47. The same converted Maliks guarding the passes and other exit-points faithfully executed the atrocious writ of the tyrannical rulers.

             Maliks as a vital cog in the Muslim state apparatus were tortured, hounded out and made to flee in the aftermath of chaks getting defeated by the mighty Mughal forces. Most of them perished and some survived by hiding themselves in secluded mountainous regions. The surviving ones had no option but to make a truce with the Mughals to earn reprieve. They were permitted to pursue their profession of guarding the routes and ingress-points on mountains girting the valley.

 

            With the advent of Dogras the Maliks lost their professional moorings and utility as they established the same improvised policing methods and techniques that were largely prevalent in the Punjab, perhaps introduced by the Britishers.

  Myth of Discovery of the holy cave of Amarnath by a Malik

             It is a mere myth, a fib, a lie and a fabrication that the Holy cave of Amarnath was discovered by a Malik in1845 A.D. The litany of references and allusions to the Holy Cave are so profusely splashed in the historical works and theological literature of Kashmir that in no uncertain terms establish its enormous antiquity. Most of the Muslims rulers as borne out by historical records banned the pilgrimage to the Holy cave or created insurmountable hurdles and difficulties for the pilgrims to undertake the pilgrimage. Sultan Sikander banned everything that had a Hindu flavour. Ibrahim Hussain Shah imposed Jazia (poll-tax) on a Hindu to practise his religion including undertaking pilgrimages. Chaks were crude and intolerant fanatics. They used all wild and cruel methods in their armory to exterminate Hinduism from Kashmir. Afghans were the cruellest of the cruel. Their persecution of Hindus is bone-chilling and beggars description. The pilgrimage to any and all Shiva-dhams became impossible during the barbaric period. The pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath was a continuous affair. All written records amply bear it out and fully buttress it. It got interrupted during the time-periods when indigenous religion, medicine, theology and architecture were decimated. The unrelenting natives under constant on-slaught during the Sultanate chunk of history and even during post-Sultanate period resisted and rejected conversion and fled the land of their birth six times48. In the history of Kashmiri Pandits the stark resemblances to the Jewish history of the exoduses and persecution are writ large. The small numbers that survived the Muslim genocide or those who found it wise or expedient to return to their native land from the plains never severed and abandoned their linkages with the hall-marks of their religion and culture. Steely and resilient they continued to pay obeisance to the Holy cave of Icy-Lingam for spiritual fulfilment and ascendance. This fact is amply reinforced by the calender of the native Hindus, nearly five thousand year old in which the pilgrimage to the Holy cave of Amarnath is included as a day of fasting on account of ‘Shrawan Purnima’, the culminating day of the pilgrimage to the Holy cave.

 

Association of Maliks with the Amarnath Pilgrimage

             As per my personal findings the Maliks of Batakoot are those who proved stubborn beyond limits and failed to reconcile to the Mughal conquest of Kashmir and to avoid annihilation hid themselves at a distant place in the mountainous region away from the gaze of the Mughal soldiers. As they lost their ancestral occupation and had become rudderless and vagrant the Dogra rulers in view of their history harnessed their services as guides to the pilgrim’s enroute the Holy cave of Amarnath. Over the years they were assigned the additional jobs of maintenance of the rough track, raising of small sheds on the routes and physical safety of the pilgrims. In lieu of their services they were paid a sufficient part of the offerings that the devotees offered to the Icy-Lingam in the Holy cave.

 

            To reinforce my stand-point I refer to W.Lawrence who lucidly mentions that pilgrims on way to Holy cave were joined by Brahmins at Mattan and further up at Batakoot Maliks used to take charge of the pilgrimage. He also adds that Maliks were supposed to keep the track in order, guide or escort  the pilgrims and carry sick pilgrims and ensure that nothing was stolen and received one-third of the offerings at the Holy Shrine of Amarnath.

 

            My probe into the affair has led me to an alternate theory that the Malik clan after their conversion to Islam would collect tax money or Jazia (poll-tax) from the native Hindus and the devout pilgrims across the country on a pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath. For most of the Sultanate period barring a short-lived interlude the native Hindus, their religion and its prominent signatures littered over the entire region were under a determined onslaught and decimation. If Hindus were allowed some sort of vague religious freedom, anathema to Islam, they had to pay tax-money or Jazia (Poll-tax) for their religious observances and pilgrimages. As Maliks were stationed at all vulnerable spots, if Amarnath route was one and I believe, it was, they could have been assigned the authority of collecting the hated tax from any Hindu pilgrim, a dhimmi as per Islamic practices.

 

Who is Secular?

 

            With the eruption of mass frenzy over the diversion of some chunks of forest land at Baltal to Amarnath Shrine Board, some half-baked Muslim leaders, immature and ill-informed media men and ultra-liberals have claimed that the association of Muslims with the pilgrimage is something uniquely secular. Let these worthies be told that it is the Hindus who are ultra-secular for having allowed the Muslims to be a part of the pilgrimage and have a share from the offerings. Do Muslims allow the Hindus or for that matter Christians or Jews to be a part of their annual pilgrimage? It is an established fact that the Hindus have a catholic and tolerant view of the world and are accommodative and assimilative and view God’s essence in all men of all faiths. Their tolerant world-view gets established by the vedic dictum – Reality is one, interpretations vary.

 

            If some chunks of people involve themselves in economic activities during the period of pilgrimage to the Holy cave it is absolutely an absurd position to highlight it as basis for orchestration of the secular credentials of that chunk of population. The fact of the matter is that pilgrims on way to the Holy cave duly purchase the services of a chunk of people who happen to be Muslims. It is no charity, it is no benevolence, it is a simple position of purchasing the services of a labourer, a courier, a pony wallah willing to sell his muscle or bodily strength or any other means of assistance to a pilgrim. To color the pilgrimage as an expression of syncretic culture of Kashmir and to project it as a shining precedent of secularism are mere absurd constructions and far-fetched and irrelevant stipulations. The Kashmiri Pandits who have been hounded out of their native place sufficiently know the worth of syncretic culture of Kashmir and its facade of secular credentials.

 —- The Beginning —-

Author : Prof. Mohan Lal Koul

May 2, 2011

Osama is dead : Remarks by the US President on Osama Bin Laden


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 02, 2011

Remarks by the President on Osama Bin Laden

East Room

11:35 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

END 11:44 P.M. EDT

 

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

October 1, 2010

Ayodhya Verdict : It is Ram Janam Bhoomi

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

 

DECISION OF HON’BLE SPECIAL FULL BENCH HEARING AYODHYA MATTERS

Please click HERE for the judgement

 

Meanwhile ,Hashim Ansari ,the lone suriving litigant in this case has said that hindus should now be allowed to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya 

 

September 4, 2010

ICONOCLASM IN KASHMIR-MOTIVES AND MAGNITUDE

Filed under: Kashmir, Temples — Tags: , , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 7:12 am

Photo : John Burke , Year 1868 (once a Hindu temple now Zein-ul-ab-ud-din's Tomb, in Srinagar. )

This photograph is reproduced in Henry Hardy Cole’s Archaeological Survey of India report, ‘Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir’ (1869), when Cole wrote, ‘In the Panels of the Gateways, there is proof that buildings had previously existed, in which columns play a part…The break in the roof is also remarkable as occurring in conjunction with the simplicity of the enclosing wall, and indicates, I think, that the Gateway is probably more modern than the wall, and may perhaps have been set up by the Mahomedans out of some of the materials of other ruined temples of which a quantity lies strewn all over Srinagar.’  Sikandar has been tainted in Kashmiri history as Butshikan or idol-breaker.Zeinabuldin , the Sultan , was Sikander;s son.The fertile valley of Kashmir offered a retreat from the crossroads of Asia in the high Himalayas, and developed its own distinctive architecture. Buddhism was established here from the 3rd century BC but was eclipsed by the 8th century AD by the flourishing Hindu Vaishnava and Shaiva cults. Kashmir finally became a great centre of the Shaiva religion and philosophy and a seat of Sanskrit learning and literature. By the 14th century Kashmir came under Islamic rule. Most of its early temples were sacked in the 15th century and their remains were sometimes incorporated in later Islamic monuments. The tomb of the mother of Zain-ul-abidin was built in c.1430 on the foundations of an old Hindu temple, and was decorated with glazed tiles. Immediately to the north of this building is an enclosing wall and gateway made of Hindu materials, which contains a number of tombs, one of which is said to preserve the remains of the Sultan himself.

………..While no one can deny the fact that Kashmir was greatly influenced by Sufism and has produced some great Sufi saints and mystic poets(both Hindus and Muslims),we must stay clear of attaching a Sufi tag to every Muslim Godman.

On one hand we have the great Sufi Tradition of Nund Rishi,Shams Faqir,Ahmed batwario,Rahim Saab,Swoch Kral,Prakesh Ram Kurigami,Govind Kaul,Ahmed Dar, on the other we have self styled god-men like Bul Bul Shah and Syed Ali Hamdani on whom this label of Sufi is stuck to make them more palatable to the larger masses.
Syed Ali Hamdani or Shah-I Hamdan as he is popularly called by Kashmiri Muslims is widely regarded as the man responsible for conversion of Kashmiris to Islam.As we already know that the Shah-i-Hamadan mosque was built after demolishing a Kali temple(and there are enough historical records to prove that, apart from the fact that to this day Pandits perform prayers alongside the converted structure).

Now that itself should restrain our Marxist historians from making “religious divines” claim.
That not-withstanding I would like to inform the readers that before Shah-i-Hamadan left Kashmir he ordered the king to impose the following sanctions on Non-Muslims.I am enumerating them for your reading please.

1) The Hindus will not construct any new temples under the rule of Muslims.
2) They will not repair old temples fallen into ruins.
3) They will respect Muslims.
4) They will not dress like Muslims.
5) They will not ride a horse with saddle & bridle
6) They will not put on a ring.
7) They will not carry swords or bows & arrows.
8 ) They will not adopt Muslim names
9) They will not harbour spies or act as spies
10) If any relation of their’s wants to embrace Islam, they will not oppose it.
11) If a Muslim comes to attend a Hindu meeting he will be respectfully received.
12) They will receive Muslim travelers into their houses & provide them hospitality.
13) They will not prevent Muslim travelers from staying in their temples & shrines.
14) They will not mourn their dead loudly.
15) They will not buy Muslim slaves.
16) They will not build houses in neighbourhood of Muslims.
17) They will not sell intoxicating drinks.
18) They will not carry their dead near the grave-yards of Muslims.
19) They will not openly practice their customs & usages among Muslims.
20) They will not give up their traditional dress so that they can be distinguished from Muslims.
In the end the fiat in the form of an advice dictated if any Hindu dares to flout any of conditions, he should be first looted and then possession of his body is halal(Zakhiratul- Muluk).

Read the well researched complete write up by clicking HERE

September 3, 2010

Kashmir is not an economic problem

Filed under: Jihad, Kashmir — Tags: , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 8:31 am

It is fashionable for bleeding heart liberals (BHL) to offer unsubstantiated arguments on behalf of the militants of Kashmir Valley. Lumpen liberals like that one book wonder Arundhati Roy (who proudly proclaimed in the US two years ago that she had seceded from India since India was not a democracy) need not bother us here. But when other BHLs talk about hurt aspirations of the people of Kashmir, we need to sit back and wonder what is happening.

Why are Kashmiris hurt? According to the BHLs, the first reason is that polls were often rigged in J&K (not just in K). This argument is specious because in that case the first candidate to secede from India should be Bihar where polls have been rigged from time immemorial. Or Bengal, for that matter. Jyoti Basu could not have lost his Baranagar seat but for rigging by Siddhartha Shankar Ray’s Juba Congress boys. Now, in every poll, the CPM repays that compliment.

The Dalits of western UP can tell horror stories of rigging by Jats till the arrival of AN Seshan and the BSP in that order. But none of these states want to secede from India. The stone-throwers of Kashmir should realise that even though some polls may have been rigged, our general elections are different from those in Pakistan where the generals get always “elected”.

The second grievance is the socio-economic condition of Kashmiris. The government of India has recently constituted yet another committee to suggest ways to improve the state’s economy and employment. However, J&K is near the top in almost all economic parameters. Consider:

The per capita net state domestic product at factor cost (at 1999-2000 prices) was Rs17,590 for J&K in 2007-08, which is higher than that of the Bimaru states (Bihar, UP, MP, etc). It also figures in the top quarter of Indian states (CSO figures). The state received more money from the Centre than anyone else.

In 2008-09, out of a total revenue of Rs19,362 crore, more than 70% came as grant from the Centre. All the Central assistance came as grant, and not loan (state budget documents & RBI), unlike other states.

On the other hand, the urban property tax generated by the state in 2008-2009 was — hold your breath — a measly Rs1 lakh (state budget documents). Despite such poor tax collections, the state is not at the bottom in terms of development indicators.

Among the 1.6 million households in the state, 37% are covered by banking services, 65% have radios or transistors and 41 % possess TV sets — one of the highest in the country. Per capita consumption of electricity, at 759 kwh (2006-2007), is much higher than in UP, MP, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal (Rajya Sabha Question No 2908, April 21, 2008). Some 81% of households get electricity (rural 75 % and urban 98%) and only 15% are dependent on kerosene. This level of electricity usage is highest among states.

Kashmir’s per capita availability of milk (2005-2006), at 353gm per day, is much higher than most of the states with an all-India average of 241gm a day. The per capita spending on health (at Rs363) is much higher than most states, with Tamil Nadu at Rs170, Andhra at Rs146, UP at Rs83 and West Bengal at Rs206 and a national average of Rs167.

The percentage of children under age three who are undernourished on Anthropometric Indices (stunted, wasted or underweight) is lower for J&K than many other states: 28 for stunted (too short for age), 15 for wasted (too thin for height) and 29.4 for underweight (too thin for age) against the national averages of 38, 19 and 46 respectively.

It goes on. Any socio-economic indicator one looks at one finds that the state is in the top quartile or among the top 10 percentile. If Jammu feels neglected, it could only be because the people there don’t know how to blackmail the country. They are foolish enough to carry the national flag in their agitations!

The Valley is imitating Pakistan on two counts. Pakistan begs globally by threatening to self-destruct even while the elites of Pakistan send their children to study abroad and the poor Abduls and Kasabs are made to die for the cause. The same hypocrisy is practiced in the Valley by its leaders.

The stone-throwing youngsters shouting azadi on the streets of Kashmir should ask themselves whether they would like to be a part of India that is democratic and becoming a world power or want to be ruled by the ISI of Pakistan. If it is the later, the road to Muzzafarabad can be opened for those willing to leave their land of honey and milk! As far as India is concerned, it should hold an all-India referendum about the timing to scrap Article 370. That is the only referendum we should think of.

Source : DNA

Author : R Vaidyanathan

August 31, 2010

Kashmir online poll . What is your vote ?

Filed under: Kashmir — Tags: , , , , — TheKashmir @ 6:44 pm

July 26, 2010

Letter to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi – Jagmohan


Jagmohan -Ex Governor J&K

Jag Mohan Malhotra (born 25 September 1927) is a former governor of Jammu and Kashmir in India. During his tenure as the Governor from 1984 to 1989, militancy in Jammu and Kashmir was at his peak and he was credited with providing capable administration to the state. In Jammu & Kashmir], Jagmohan is credited with bring order to one of the most revered shrines of Hindus, called Mata Vaishno Devi. He created a board that continues to provide administration for the shrine. Infrastructure was developed and that continues to facilitate pilgrims.

[The letter is being reproduced as this letter is of prime importance for readers to understand the callous attitude of central Govt in handling the terrorism in it’s initial stage ]


Letter to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi - Ex Prime Minister of India

By Jagmohan
April 21, 1990

Dear Shri Rajiv Gandhi,

You have virtually forced me to write this open letter to you. For, all along, I have persistently tried to keep myself away from party politics and to use whatever little talent and energy I might have to do some creative and constructive work, as was done recently in regard to the management and improvement of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine complex and to help in bringing about a sort of cultural renaissance without which our fast decaying institutions cannot be nursed back to health. At the moment, the nobler purposes of these institutions be they in the sphere of executive, legislature or judiciary etc. have been sapped and the soul of justice and truth sucked out of them by the politics of expediency.

You and your friends like Dr. Farooq Abdullah are, however, bent upon painting a false picture before the nation in regard to Kashmir. Your senior party men like Shiv Shankar and N.K.P. Salve have, apparently at your behest, been using the forum of the Parliament for building an atmosphere of prejudice against me. The former raked up a fourteen-year old incident of Turkman Gate and the latter a press interview an interview that I never gave to hurl a barrage of accusations of communalism against my person. Mani Shankar Iyer, too, has been dipping his poisonous darts in the columns of some magazines. I, however, chose to suffer in silence all the slings and arrows of this outrageous armoury of disinformations. Only rarely did I try to correct gross distortions by sending letters to the editors of newspapers and magazines. My intention was to remain content with a book, an academic and historic venture which, I believed, I owed to the nation and to history.

But the other day some friends showed to me press clippings of your comments in the election meetings in Rajasthan.

That, I thought, was the limit. I realised that, unless I checked your intentional distortions, you would spread false impression about me throughout the country during the course of your election campaign.

WARNING SIGNALS: Need I remind you that from the beginning of 1988, I had started sending “Warning Signals” to you about the gathering storm in Kashmir ? But you and the power wielders around you had neither the time, nor the inclination, nor the vision, to see these signals. They were so clear, so pointed, that to ignore them was to commit sins of true historical proportions.

To recapitulate and to serve as illustrations, I would refer to a few of these signals. In August 1988, after analysing the current and undercurrents, I had summed up the position thus: “The drum-beater of parochialism and fundamentalism are working overtime. Subversion is on the increase. The shadows of events from across the border are lengthening. Lethal weapons have come in. More may be on the way”. In April 1989, I had desperately pleaded for immediate action I said: “The situation is fast deteriorating. It has almost reached a point of no return. For the last five days, there have been large-scale violence, arson, firing, hartals, casualties and what not. Things have truly fallen apart. Talking of the Irish crisis, British Prime Minister Disraeli had said: “It is potatoes one day and Pope the next”. Similar is the present position in Kashmir. Yesterday, it was Maqbool Bhat; today it is Satanic Verses; Tomorrow it will be repression day and the day after it will be something else. The Chief Minister stands isolated. He has already fallen-politically as well as administratively; perhaps, only constitutional rites remain to be performed. His clutches are too soiled and rickety to support him. Personal aberrations have also eroded his public standing. The situation calls for effective intervention. Today may be timely, tomorrow may be too late”. Again, in May, I expressed my growing anxiety: ‘What is still more worrying is that every victory of subversionists is swelling their ranks, and the animosity is being diverted against the central authorities”. But you chose not to do anything. Your inaction was mistifying. Equally mistifying was your reaction to my appointment for the second term. How could I suddenly become cammunal, anti-muslim and what not ?

When I resigned in July 1989, there was no rancour. You wanted me to fight, as your party candidate, election for the South Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Since I had general revolusion for the type of politics which out country had, by and large, come to breed, I declined the offer. If you had any serious reservation about my accepting the offer of J and K Governorship for the second term, you could have adopted the straightforward course and apprised me of your views. I would have thought twice before going into a situation, which had virtually reached a point of no return. There would have been no need for you to resort to false accusations.

May be you do not consider truth and consistency as virtues. May be you believe that the words inscribed on our national emblem – Satyameva Jayate – are mere words without meaning and significance for motivating the nation to proceed in the right direction and build a true and just India by true and just means. Perhaps power is all that matters to you – power by whichever means and at whatever cost.

REALITY: In regard to the conditions prevailing before and after my arrival on the scene, you and your collaborators have been perverting reality. The truth is that before the imposition of Governor’s rule on January 19, 1990, there was a total mental surrender. Even prior to the day (December 8, 1989) of Dr. Rubaiye Sayeed’s kidnapping, when the eagle of terrorism swooped the state with full fury, 1600 violent incidents, including 351 bomb blasts had taken place in eleven months. Then between January 1 and January 19, 1990, there were as many as 319 violent acts – 21 armed attacks, 114 bomb blasts, 112 arsons, and 72 incidents of mob violence.

You, perhaps, never cared to know that all the components of the power structure had been virtually taken over by the subversives. For example, when Shabir Ahmed Shah was arrested in September 1989, on the Intelligence Bureau’s tip- off, Srinagar Deputy Commissioner flatly refused to sign the warrant of detention. Anantnag Deputy Commissioner adopted the same attitude. The Advocate-General did not appear before the Court to represent the state case. He tried to pass on the responsibility to the Additional Advocate General and the Government council. They, too, did not appear.

Do you not remember what happened on the day of Lok Sabha poll in November 22, 1989 ? In a translating gesture, TV sets were placed near some of the polling booths with placards reading “anyone who will cast his vote will get this”. No one in the administration of Dr. Farooq Abdullah took any step to remove such symbols of defiance if authority.

Let me remind you that Sopore is the hometown of Gulam Rasool Kar, who was at that time a Cabinet Minister in the State Government. It is also the hometown of the Chairman of the Legislative Council, Habibullah, and also of the former National Conference MP and Cabinet Minister, Abdul Shah Vakil. Yet only five votes were cast in Sopore town. In Pattan, an area supposedly under the influence of Iftikar Hussain Ansari, the then Congress (I) Minister, not a single vote was cast. Such was the commitment and standing of your leaders and collaborators in the State.

And you still thought that subversion and terrorism could be fought with such political and administrative intruments.

Around that point of time, when the police set-up was getting rapidly demoralised, when intelligence was fast drying up, when inflitration in services was bringing stories of subversives plan like TOPAC, your protage, Dr. Farooq Abdullah was either going abroad or releasing 70, hardcore and highly motivated torrosists who were trained in the handling of dangerous weapons, who had contacts at the highest level in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, who knew all the devious routes of going to and returning from Pakistan and whose detention had been approved by the three member advisory board presided over by the Chief Justice. Their simultaneous release enabled them to occupy key positions in the network of subversion and terrorism and to complete the chain which took them again to Pakistan to bring arms to indulge in killings and kidnappings and other acts of terrorism. For example, one of the released persons, Mohd. Daud Khan of Ganderbal, became the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of a terrorist outfit, Al-Bakar, and took a leading part in organising a force of 2,500 Kashmiri Youths. Who is to be blamed for all the heinous crimes subsequet}y committed by these released 70 terrorists ? I would leave this question answered by the people to whom you are talking about the “Jagmohan Factor”.

The truth, supported by preponderence of evidence, is that before January 19, 1990, the terrorist had become the real ruler. The ground had been yielded to him to such an extent that dominated the public mind. He could virtually swim like a fish in the sea. Would it matter if the sea was subsequently surrounded ?

LABELLING ANTI-MUSLIM: In your attempt to hide all your sins of omission and commission in Kashmir and as a part of your small politics which can not go beyond dividing people and creating vote banks, you took special pains to demolish all regards and respects which the Kashmiri masses, including the Muslim youth, had developed for me during my first term from April 26,1984, to July 12,1989. Against all facts, unassailable evidence, and your own precious pronouncements, you started me labelling me as anti-Muslim.

May I, in this connection, also invite your attention to three of the important suggestions made in my book, Rebuild- ing Shahjahanabad: The Walled City of Delhi. One pertained to the creation of the green velvet between Jama Masjid and Red Fort; the second to the construction of a road linking Parliament House with the Jama Masjid complex, and the third to the setting up of a second Shahajhanabad in the Mata Sundari road-Minto road complex, reflecting the synthetic culture of the city, its traditional as well as its modern texture. Could such suggestions I ask you, come of an anti-Muslim mind ?

FORUM OF PARLIAMENT: How you and your associates use the fonum of Parliament undermine my standing amongst the Kashmiri Muslims, was evident from what N.KP. Salve, MP ?, did in the Rajya Sabha on May 25, 1990.

Referring to the so called interview to the Bombay Weekly, THE CURRENT – an interview which I never gave – Salve chose wholly unjustified expressions; “There was a patent and palpable attitude if very disconcerting communal bias and, therefore, he (Governor) was happy under the garb of eliminating the terrorist, the saboteurs and the culprits, in eliminating the whole community as it were; now the Governor has himself given profuse and unabashed vent to his malicious malignity, hate and extreme dislike, branding every member of a particular community as a militant”.

I know Salve. I do not think, if left to himself, he would have done what he did. Clearly, he was goaded to say something which was against his training and background. But the elementary precaution which any jurist, at least a jurist of Salve’s imminence, would have taken, was to first check up whether any such interview weekly had been given by me, and if so, whether the remarks attributed to me were actually made. The unseemly haste was itself revealing. The issue was raised on May 25, while the weekly was dated May 26 June 2, 1990. You yourself rushed a let to the President on May 25, on the basis ofthe interview that in reality did not exist. You explained that V.P. Singh had appointed a person with “Rabid Communalist Opinion as Governor. You also got your letter widely published on May 25 itself.

Since your party men did not allow me to have my say in the Rajya Sabha, even when an opportunity came my way to speak on the subject, I was left with no other option but to file a 20 Lakhs damage suit against the Current Weekly in the Delhi High Court. The case may take a long time and I may donate the damages, if and when awarded, to charity, but I intend sparing no effort to expose all those who have played dirty roles in the disinformation-drama.

ARTICLE-370: You created a scene on March 7, 1990, at the time of the visit of the All Party Committee to Srinagar, and made it a point to convey to the people in 1986 I wanted to have Article 370 abrogated. At that critical juncture, when I was fighting the forces of terrorism with my back to the wall beginning to turn the corner after frustrating the sinister designs of the subversives from January 26, 1990 onwards, you thought it appropriate to cause hostility against me by tearing the facts out of context. Whether this act of yours was responsible or irresponsible, I would leave to the nation to decide.

What I had really pointed out in August-September 1986 was: ‘Article 370 is nothing but a breeding ground for the parasites at the heart of the paradise. It skins the poor. It deceives them with its mirage. It lines the pockets of the “power elites”. It fans the ego of the new sultans, in essence, it creates a land without justice, a land full of crudities and contradictions. It props up politics of deception, duplicity and demagogy. It breeds the microbes of subversion. It keeps alive the unwholesome legacy of the two-nation theory. It sufficates the very idea of India and fogs the very vision of a great social and cultural crucible from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It could be an epicentre of a violent earth-quake, the tremors of which would be felt all over the country with unforeseen consequences.

I had argued, ‘The fundamental aspect which has been lost sight of in the controversy for deletion or retention of Article 370 is its misues. Over the years, it has become an instrument of exploitation in the hands of the ruling political elites and other vested interests in bureaucracy, business, judiciary and bar. Apart from the politicians, the richer classes have found it aonvenient to amass wealth and not allow healthy financial legislation to come to the State. The provisions of the Wealth Tax, the Urban Land Ceiling Act, the Gift Tax etc, and other beneficial laws of the Union have not been allowed to be operated in the State under the cover of Article 370. The common people are prevented from realising that Article 370 is actually keeping them impoverished and denying them justice and also their due share in the economic advancement.’

My stand was that the poor people of Kashmir had been exploited under the protective wall of Article 370 and that the correct position needed to be explained to them. I had made a number of suggestions in this regard and also in regard to the reform and reorganisation of the institutional framework. But all these were ignored. A great opportunity was missed.

Subsequent events have reinforced my views that Article 370 and its by product, the separate Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir must go, not only because it is legally and constitutionally feasible to do so, but also because larger and more basic considerations of our past history and contemporary life require it. The Article merely facilitates the growth and continuation of corrupt oligarchies. It puts false notions in the minds of the youth. It gives rise to regional tensions and conflicts and even the autonomy assumed to be available is not attainable in practice. The distinct personality and cultural identity of Kashmir can be safeguarded without this Article. It is socially regressive and causes situations in which women lose thier right if they marry non-State subjects and persons staying for over 44 years in the State are denied elementary human and democratic rights. And, above all, it does not fit into the reality and requirement of India and its vast and varied span. What India needs today is not petty sovereignties that would sap its spirit and aspirations and turn it into small “banana-republics” in the hands of ‘tin-pot dictators’, but a new social, political and cultural crucible in which values of truth and rectitude, of fairness and justice, and of compassion and catholicity, are melted, purified and molded into a vigorous and vibrant set- up which provides real freedom, real democracy and real resurgence to all.

I must also point out that when other States in the Union ask for greater autonomy, they do not mean separation of identities. They really want decentralization and devolution of power, so that administrative and development work is done speedily and the quality of service to the people improves. In Kashmir, the demand for retaining Article 370 with all its ‘pristine purity’, that is, without the alleged dilution that has taken place since 1953, stems from different motivation. It emanates from a clever strategy to remain away from the mainstream, to set up a separate fiefdom, to fly a separate flag, to have a Prime Minister rather than a Chief Minister, and Sadr-i-Riyasat instead of a Governor, and to secure greater power and patronage, not for the good of the masses, not for serving the cause of peace and progress or for attaining unity amidst diversity, but for serving the interests of ‘new elites’, the ‘new Sheikhs’.

All those aspiring to be the custodians of the vote-banks continue to say that Article 370 is a matter of faith. But they do not proceed further. They do not ask themselves: What does this faith mean? What is its rationale ? Would not bringing the State within the full framework of Indian Constitution give brighter lustre and sharper teeth to this faith and make it more just and meaningful?

In a similar strain, expressions like ‘historical necessity’ and ‘autonomy’ are talked about. What do these mean in practice ? Does historical necessity mean that you include, on paper, Kashmir in the Indian Union by one hand at a huge cost and give it back, in practice, by another hand on the golden platter ? And what does autonomy or so called pre-1953 or pre- 1947 position imply? Would it not amount to the Kashmiri leadership say in: ‘you will send and I will spend; you will have no say even if I build a corrupt and callous oligarchy and cause a situation in which Damocles’ sword of secession could be kept hanging on your head’?

KASHMIRI PANDITS: You and the like of you have made India a country which has lost capacity to be true and just. Anyone trying to be fair is dubbed communal. The case of the Kashmiri Pandits bears eloquent testimony to this fact.

Whatever be the vicissitudes of the Kashmiri Pandits’ history and whatever unkind quirks their fate might have brought to them in the past, these all pale into insignificance in comparison to what is happening to them at present. The grim tragedy is compounded by the equally grim irony that one of the most intelligent subtle, versatile, and proud community of the country is being virtually reduced to extinction in free India. It is suffering not under the fanatic zeal of mediaeval Sultans like Sikander or under the tyrannical regime of Afghan Governors, but under the supposedly secular rule of leaders like you, V.P. Singh and others who unabashed search for personal and political power is symbolized by calculated disregard of the Kashmiri migrants’ current miserable plight and the terrible future that stares in their eyes. And to fill their cup of pain and anguish, there are bodies like ‘Committee for Initiative on Kashmir’ which are over-anxious and over active to rub salt into their wounds, and to label anyone who wants to stand by them in their hour of distress as communal.

In a soft, superficial, permissive and, in many ways, cruel India which has the tragic distinction of creating over one lakh refugees from its own flesh and blood and then casting them aside like masterless cattle to fend for themselves on the busy and heartless avenues of soulless cities, chances for Kashmiri Pandits to survive as a distinct community are next to nothing. Split, scattered and deserted practically by all, they stand today all alone, looking hopelessly at a leaking, rudderless, boat at their feat and extremely rough and tumultuous sea to face before they can reach a safe shore across to plant their feet firmly on an assured future.

The deep crisis through which the Kashmiri migrants, or for that matter, the entire Kashmir, is passing is really the crisis of Indian values – the perversion, in practice, of its constitutional, political, social and moral norms. If I visited the camps of the refugees and tried to extend the firm hand of justice to a community in pain, if I instructed that, instead of cash doles, the migrant Government servants should be given leave salary, and if I conceded the demand of a widow of the person brutally killed by a terrorist, for allotment of a house on payment, I became communal, a known anti-Muslim, about whom concocted stories were planted in the press. If, on the other hand, someone falsely accused the Indian Army and the Governor’s administration, if he assailed Jagmohan in particular, of giving inducements through provisions of plots and trucks, without giving particulars either of plots or of trucks, his accusations got published all over the press, his reports were flaunted in national and international forums and were copiously quoted in Parliament by the members of your party and he was labeled as secular and progressive and champion of human rights and what not. Hard Evidence about ‘Jagmohan Factor’. I do not like to refer to anything that looks like indulging in self-praise. But not to let you get away with your calculated campaign of disinformation, about Jagmohan communal factor, I must invite attention to some hard evidence about what the people of the Valley actually thought about me before you and your proteges started the smear campaign on my appointment for the second term.

Your principal prop of current politics of Kashmir, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, was not to be left behind in the drive launched to create an ‘anti-Muslim’ image of mine. In his interview published in the Times of India of August 30, 1990, he said, “A known anti-Muslim was appointed as Governor of a Muslim majority state”. How untrue, how unfair, was the propaganda, should be obvious from the fact that on November 7, 1986, at the time of his swearing-in-ceremony, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, in a public speech for which the records exist, said: “Governor Sahib, we should need you very badly. It is, indeed, amazing that such remarkable work could be done by you in a short time through an imbecile and faction-ridden bureaucracy. If today three ballot boxes are kept – one for the National Conference, one for the Congress and one for you, your ballot box would be full while the other two ballot boxes would be empty”.

The misfortune of our country is that we have leaders like Dr. Farooq Abdullah who have no regard for facts or truth and whose superficiality is matched only by their unprincipled politics.

Incidentally, did it not strike you that Dr. Farooq was virtually accusing your late mother of being anti-Muslim because she was the Prime Minister when, in April 1984, a ‘known anti-Muslims’ was appointed for the first term, as ‘Governor of a Muslim majority State”?

Apparently in consultation with you, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, on February 15, 1990, issued a written statement to the press in Urdu in which he inter alia, said, “The Governor, in the personification of ‘Hallaqu’ and ‘Changez Khan’, is bent upon converting the valley into a vast graveyard. On account of continuous curfew since January 20, it is difficult to say how many hundreds of people have become victim of the bullets of the army and paramilitary forces, and in this general slaughter how many hundreds of houses have been destroyed. At this moment, when Kashmiris are witnessing their beloved country being converted into a vast graveyard. I appeal to the national and international upholders of humanity to intervene in Kashmir and have an international inquiry made into the general slaughter of Kashmiris at the hands of army and paramilitary forces”.

Here is your ‘patriot’ calling Kashmir “Aziz Wattan”, suggesting a separate country. Here is your ‘national leader’ asking for an international inquiry into the general slaughter of the Kashmiris by the Indian Army and paramilitary forces. Here is your ‘responsible friend’ speaking about the continuous curfew for 25 days in the valley and his consequent inability to find out many ‘hundreds of innocent and unarmed Kashmiris’ had been massacred and how many hundreds of Kashmiri houses razed to the ground, although he knew perfectly well that there had been a number of days when there was no day- curfew, partially or wholly, and the authorities had brought out the list of casualties, about 40 upto February 16, and were daily asking the public to provide with the additional names, if they had any, so that correction in the official list could be made. Here is an erstwhile Chief Minister who did not care to explain how ‘innocent and unarmed’ people were ruthlessly shooting down IAF officers, BSF jawans, senior officers of the Television and Telecommunications Department and young men in the streets; and how, while inciting people through lengthy and fiery statements, he did not find a single word to condemn such brutal murders.

Is the nation not entitled to know why you have not disowned such unfortunate behaviour on the part of Dr. Farooq Abdullah? And how do you account for his recent statement as published in The Times of India of February 7, 1991: ‘I directed my party men to lie low, go across the border, get training in arms handling; do anything but not get caught by Jagmohan’ ?

Stabbing me in the back at personal level, perhaps, did not matter. But by keeping the pot boiling, you your proteges prolonged the agony of Kashmir and caused many more deaths and much more destruction. The politics of unscrupulousness was brought to its lowest depth.

ROOTS: You once said, ‘I do not read history; I make history’. Apparently, you do not know that those who happen to make history without reading it, usually make bad history. They cannot understand the undercurrents and the fundamental forces that really shape the course of events and determine the ultimate destiny of a nation.

In the absence of historical perspective, you and the like of you never perceived the roots and tendrils, which gave rise to the current crop of separatism and subversion in Kashmir. Poisonous seeds were persistently planted in the Kashmir psyche. And these were liberally fertilised. Those of you whose obligation it was to stop these plantations and their fertilization, were not aware of even the elementary lesson of history; to compromise with the evil was only to rear greater evil; to ignore the inconvenient reality  was only to compound it; to bow before the bully was only to invite the butcher the next day.I could cite scores of cases to support my contention. Here I would restrict myself to only two examples.

Softness and Surrender. On October 2, 1988, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday his statue was to be installed in the new High Court complex at Srinagar. The function had been announced. The Chief Justice of India, R.S. Pathak, was to do the formal installation. But a few Muslim lawyers objected. They threatened to cause disturbance at the time of the function. The Chief Minister gave in, almost willingly, to the bullying tactics. The function was cancelled.

What are the implications of what happened ? A secular Kashmir, part of a secular India, could not have, even in its highest seat of justice, a statue of the Father of the Nation, of a sage, who laid down his life for communal harmony. Who was the person spearheading the move against the installation ? It was none other than Mohd. Shafi Bhat, an advocate of the J and K High Court and an active number of the National Conference, who was later on given party ticket for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in the elections held in November 1989 and with whom you kept warm company during your visit to Srinagar on March 7, 1990, to create as many difficulties as possible for Governor’s administration.

At that time there was National Conference (F) Congress (I) Ministry in office. Such was its lack of adherence to principles, such was the character of Congressmen who formed part of the Ministry and such was its disposition to cling to power that not even a little finger was raised when the function was cancelled.

The bully’s appetite could not have been whetted better. Intimidation could not have secured better results. The troublemakers could not have perceived a more casual and non- committed adversary. Was it not natural for them to nurture higher ambitions and think that more spectacular results could be achieved by deploying a more aggressive and threatening strategy ? Only a naive would believe that in the context of the Kashmir situation, softness and surrender on basic principles would not act as an invitation to terrorism and militancy.

The Union Government enacted the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988. It was made applicable to all the States of the Union except J and K. Because of Article 370, concurrence of the State Government was needed for extension of this law to the State. But the same was not given. Why ? Because J and K is different what an argument for having a law which aimed at eradication of misuse of religious premises for political purposes.

Nowhere was this law needed more than in the State of J and K. Nowhere were religious places misused more than here. Nowhere were seeds of fanaticism and fundamentalism sown every Friday more assiduoulsy than from the pulpits of the mosques here. Nowhere was it preached more regularly than here that Indian democracy was un-Islamic, Indian secularism was un-Islamic and Indian socialism was un-Islamic. And yet, neither the State Government which was ruled by two supposedly secular parties, nor the Union Government took the matter seriously. What intrigued the most was that the law which was considered good for 100 million Muslims in other parts of India, was not considered good for 40 lakh Muslims of Kashmir.

What was the use of the nationalist forces ruling the country when they would not act in national interest at all, when they remained mental slaves of the politics of communalism; when they were inclined to place reliance on words and not on deeds; when they did not lead, but succumbed; when they encouraged, and not defeated, separatist elements; when, instead of building a new society strong in human and spiritual values, they did everything, wittingly or unwittingly, to repair, renovate and strengthen the old decaying and smelly sitadel of obscurantism; and when they invariably gave precedence to expediency over the basic goals and principles of our Constitution ? What could be the result of all this? Did it require any unusual insight to understand where such imperious forces would take us?

I leave it to the well-wishers of the nation to consider, without any political or personal bias, a basic question. How was it that Dr. Farooq was calling me Hallaqu and Changez Khan, and you were travelling all the way to Srinagar to ‘expose’ me as anti-Article 370, anti-Kashmiri and anti-Muslim and, at the same time, Miss Benazir Bhutto was vowing to tear me to pieces – ‘Jagmohan ko Bhag-Bhag Mohan Kar Denge’ ?

There are many other facets of Kashmir’s truth which lie buried underneath the heaps of disinformation and also of superficiality and shallowness. These days I am busy in an attempt to remove some of these heaps. One day, I hope, the country will acquire the true perspective of the problem. The Kashmiri masses would also realise that I was their greatest well-wisher. I wanted to save them permanently from the exploitative oligarches and also from the machinations of religious ‘Czars’ and forces of obscurantism.

You have already committed the sin of letting down the Bharat Mata in Kashmir. Now do not add to it another sin of letting down the other Mata also. There is, after all, some power above. Conscious of her. She may condone your negligence. But she would not condone your sin of blaming an innocent person for what were your own faults, particularly when he had been persistently reminding you of your obligations.

So far as I am concerned, I am content with my gloomy pride of having done the correct thing in Kashmir. True, I seemingly and, perhaps, temporarily, lost the goodwill of some of the locals. But I was not seeking a certificate from anyone. I had gone for the second term to do a national duty.

The country’s polity and administration have assumed such a character that it has become incapable of solving from its roots, any serious problem. Elections have virtually lost all meaning. And these would continue to be meaningless until and unless Indian democracy and its constitutional structure acquires a healthy cultural base, a pure soul and soil, from which the seed of justice, truth and selfless service could sprout and blossom into a Great Tree providing shade and shelter from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. Currently, the inner light is gone, and we are being led virtually by blind men with lanterns in their hands. We stumble from one crisis to another. As a poet says:

It has happened
and it goes on happening
and it will happen again.

With best wishes,
Yours sincerely,
Jagmohan

Reproduced from:
Converted Kashmir – Memorial of Mistakes
A Bitter Saga of Religious Conversion
Author: Narender Sehgal
Utpal Publications, 1994

Source :Kashmir Information Website

July 24, 2010

The ugly world of Kashmir’s online rebels – PRAVEEN SWAMI

Filed under: Kashmir, Politics, Protests/Events — Tags: , , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 8:16 am

“I know I’m sexy,” Srinagar resident Junaid Rafiqi proclaims on his Facebook page, below a professionally lit photograph that, among other things, shows off his possession of an expensive pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.

He goes on with an enthusiasm unfettered by punctuation, spelling and grammar: “I got the looks that drives the girls wild I got the moves that really move them. I send chills up and down their spines” [sic., throughout and below].

Facebook users like Rafiqi have been sending chills down the spines of the police in Jammu and Kashmir for much of this summer. Much to the dismay of the authorities, social networks backing the cause of the Islamist-led protesters have proliferated on the Internet.

There is no evidence that social networks have been used to organise or fund the protests — but their content underlines concerns at the growing influence the religious right-wing has over the educated young people in Kashmir.

We Hate Omar Abdullah,” a network Mr. Rafiqi often participates in, gives some insight into the world of Kashmir’s Facebook rebels. The network hosts a collection of political satire. There is, for example, a digitally-manipulated image of Paul, the celebrity octopus, picking a dead donkey over the Chief Minister in response to a question who has “more guts.”

But much of the satire is venomously communal. Mr. Abdullah is repeatedly referred to as “Omar Singh” — a derisory reference derived, evidently, from the rumour that his wife is Sikh. The former Chief Minister, Farooq Abdullah, is shown offering respects at a Hindu temple, while another image caricatures the Chief Minister and his wife as pilgrims to the Amarnath shrine. The administrators of the “We Hate Omar Abdullah,” quite clearly see politicians’ efforts to reach out to multiple religious communities as a betrayal.

“The Dalla [broker] family,” the Ray-Ban wearing Rafiqi asserts in one post on the Facebook page, “should be hanged publicly.” Elsewhere, he refers to Mr. Abdullah as a kafir, or unbeliever. In another post on the page, a member asserts that Mr. Abdullah has been denied permission for pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia because of his marriage — a canard circulated by Islamists soon after he took power.

Some networks host express calls to violence. “Everybody,” exhorts the administrator of “Times Now is Anti-Kashmiri,” “[the] next time you see any Times Now correspondent pick up a stone and throw that on their face!.” Arnab Goswami, the channel’s editor-in-chief, one user asserts, “should be killed.” Ethnic-Kashmiri anchor Mahrukh Inayet comes in for unprintable abuse targeting her gender.

Hate group created Facebook

Barkha Dutt, arguably India’s best-known English-language television journalist, also draws flak. “We hate Barkha Dutt” contains claims that her reportage on the clashes lacked balance. Much of it, though, consists of personal invective — and threats. “Hell is meant for her,” writes network member Faizan Rashid, “but she should have some kinna punishment in this world as well…‘stoned to death’…wot say?”

Facebook’s terms of use prohibit content that is hateful, threatening or incites violence. Little infrastructure, though, seems to be in place to enforce those terms.

Not all protest-linked networks promote these kinds of invective. Barring the odd comment about “Indian dogs,” “I Protest Against the Atrocities on Kashmiris” has no abusive language. Most posts on this network address questions of media bias and political grievances, not individuals.

Even networks like this, though, are remarkable for the complete absence of the very kinds of serious commentary and debate they believe is wanting in India’s mainstream print and electronic media.

There is no way of telling just who the participants on these sites are: users contacted by The Hindu, including Mr. Rafiqi, did not respond to requests to be interviewed. For the most part, though, users seem to be English-speaking and Kashmiri. Judging by their clothing and cultural idiom, are middle-class. Despite the aggressive religious chauvinism evident on the site, there is nothing to suggest substantial numbers of users support established Islamist clerics.

The police say most young people held on the charge of throwing stones do not have a high-school education, and are either unemployed or semi-employed — a class quite distinct from that of the Facebook radical.

More likely than not, official concerns at these networks is exaggerated: their scale and reach is tiny. “I Protest Against the Atrocities on Kashmiris” has 810 members — small numbers compared, for example, with the Palestine solidarity page “Palestine Freedom,” which has 101,178. “We Hate Omar Abdullah” has 675 members and “Civil Disobedience 2010-Quit Kashmir Movement” 134. “Bloody Indian Media,” set up to protest the reportage of the street violence in Srinagar, has 58.

It is possible, though, that the ideas they propagate reflect new ideological trends among some sections of young people in Jammu and Kashmir — a prospect which, if true, holds out a real reason for concern.

Source of written text : The Hindu

July 22, 2010

Hartal, freedom and future

Filed under: Kashmir, Protests/Events — Tags: , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 11:37 am

So ,to begin with, after 20 years some saner minds have started to realize of how “Hurriyat” is bringing death to Kashmir

Strike & Violence is used by separatists to Talibanise Kashmir

Hartal*, freedom and future – Manzoor Anjum

By closing down all the schools, the leaders are pushing our next generation into an abyss of

Whatever is happening in Kashmir these days, people may have different explanations and descriptions for the same but fact of the matter is that whatever it is, it is intense. The fires that have engulfed the entire valley spread gradually. Life after life was lost and the fires of anger and pain continued intensifying.

If all the developments of the three weeks are looked at in a sequential manner, the results are shocking and surprising.

It seems there has been a pattern in whatever happened. To bring the situation to the boil, every killing took place at appropriate time; every protest was staged at appropriate time; every atrocity was committed at appropriate time and every demonstration was held at an appropriate time.

And this could have not happened without a proper planning. But how is it possible that two warring sides will have a joint strategy and planning. Then why this pattern, a question that may long for answers for times to come.

Fifteen precious lives were lost in two week’s time. Who is responsible – armed forces; government; those who instigated people or; peoples’ own anger and emotions? There are no answers and intention too is not to look for answers at this juncture. Important is to see what is happening next.

From three weeks life all over the Valley is paralysed. Sometimes it is the government curfew that cripples life, sometimes the civil curfew announced by separatists and imposed by stone pelters; Government relaxes curfew, stone pelters are again on the roads, protests are staged and thus again imposition of curfew and the deterioration continues unabated.

Both the factions of Hurriyat are eager to see the situation on boil. Both factions are in a race to take credit for protests and demonstrations. On the other hand, some angry youth are threatening leadership that if they call off strike, they (youth) would hoist Congress flag at Jama Masjid, Srinagar. Cowed down by such warnings, the leadership is trying to make it a ‘do or die’ situation. Dukhtran-e-Milat chief Asiya Andrabi threatens parents against sending their children to schools. Massrat Alam of Hurriyat (G) also tells people not to talk about education of children but to think of the children who have made sacrifices.

School Children - The Future undecided ! Hurriyat is suggesting that parents should stop sending children for education

One wonders how could a nation, whose leaders are so averse to knowledge and education, dream of freedom. Knowledge is the power that makes humans distinguish between freedom and slavery – good and evil. Uneducated, illiterate and knowledge-less people can’t have any appreciation for freedom. They live in the abyss of ignorance where ideals like freedom, dignity and honour have no relevance.

And here are the leaders who deliberately and intentionally want to push our young generation into the abyss of ignorance and then have cheek to talk about freedom. If these leaders are barring Kashmiri children from seeking knowledge for some noble religious cause, let somebody tell them that it is the knowledge only that helps humans to recognize and accept Allah.

It is unfortunate that the leadership is listening to the voices which are too emotional, vocal and angry but fail to hear the voices of sanity and logic, which are in majority but not as vocal and loud as those of groups of emotional people.

Logic and reason fail to understand that how the unending strikes, that harm none but Kashmiris alone, would force India out of Kashmir. How long will the leadership go forcing the people to observe strikes and how long could people survive remaining confined to four walls of their homes.

Those who threaten to hoist Congress party flag on Jama Masjid (if the strike call is taken back) need to be told that it will make no difference which flag they hoist where. One can’t get freedom by hoisting flags of one colour and neither can one defeat the aspirations of people by hoisting flags of some other colour. What percentage of youth is on roads enforcing hartal and civil curfew? And are those who don’t join them not for resolution of Kashmir? No, they too are for it but the only difference is that the majority of the youth understand and appreciate that they can’t get freedom by pelting stones. They have to acquire knowledge and education so that they know what freedom means and then strive for that the way civilized people are supposed to do.

A few days back when curfew was relaxed in Srinagar areas, people thronged markets. Life seemed back on tracks with shops open and traffic plying on the roads. Suddenly groups of youth emerged on the scene. Stoned vehicles and shops and enforced strike. Does that mean whatever is happening is happening under pressure and people are not with the movement? No, that too is not true.

People have made huge sacrifices for resolution of Kashmir issue and therefore they can never be against the movement. But fact of the matter is that people are able to think more rationally and logically than the leadership. They understand that if the situation continues to be what it is today, the movement will die once for all. They know that freedom is not round the corner which could be reached out at by observing strikes for a few days. And also, the strikes can’t continue for months and years together. People know that to sustain freedom struggle it is a must that our children go to school and the situation remains normal. It is only in a normal situation that a nation evolves in a positive direction.

Unfortunately we have a crop of leadership here for whom their own relevance is more important than the broader struggle. To show that they matter and they are heard, this crop of leadership is hell bent upon breaking the back of the entire nation by imposing unabated restrictions. And interestingly this crop of leadership is helped in furthering their agenda by the government forces who too are obsessed with imposing restrictions.

On July 15, while on one hand the stone pelters were stoning vehicles in Srinagar to impose civil curfew, armed forces did the same to enforce their brand of restrictions. Armed forces are not allowing ailing people to reach hospitals and same is done by stone pelting youth. Neither government is having any sympathy for ordinary people and any respect for human rights nor these angry youth. Caught in a Catch-22 situation, the common people have become prisoners of the situation. They (people) have lost all hope in the government; in separatist leadership and also in these youth whom they, at one stage, viewed as messiahs.

The rich of the society have already send their children outside Kashmir for pursuance of education and those who hadn’t earlier are doing the same now. But the people who can’t afford to do so (and majority is of such people) are seeing themselves caught between devil and deep sea. The bleak future of their children stares right in their faces and they are watching helplessly.

When I was writing this column, Hurriyat (G) had issued a fresh calendar asking people to resume normal life on Saturday (July 17) but just till 2 p.m. For rest of the days, again programme of strikes, agitation, sit-in and protests has been given and coming Sunday has been exempted from strikes and protests and people have been asked to do shopping on that day.

It seems that those who have issued this calendar are in possession of some hidden treasure. They will protest for six days; not work and therefore not earn anything and still come out on the seventh day and do shopping. To do shopping, one needs money and to earn money, one needs to work. A worker does work for at least eight hours a day and then earns around two hundred bucks and in that money he can’t even buy sufficient vegetables for his family. Those who issue calendars seem unmindful of the armies of widows and orphans who have to struggle to earn a square-meal. And when they are forced to remain indoors for six days, wherefrom they will get money to shop on the seventh day?

I have no hesitation in saying that more than freedom it is every individual life that is important. We can have struggles, movements and revolutions only when we are alive but Hurriyat calendar seems taking the entire nation towards death. This calendar is a humiliation to the entire Kashmiri nation. This calendar can’t get freedom but just destruction.

The author is Editor of Daily Uqab and the article has been translated from Urdu.  Source : DailyKashmirImages

*Hartal : Mass protest often involving a total shutdown of workplaces, offices, shops, courts of law as a form of civil disobedience.

**More & more Kashmiris are rising against the forced strikes by Hurriyat and other separatists.

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

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