Candid Reflections & Random Thoughts
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3. The Diaspora and Plight of Kashmiri Hindus (Pandits)
4. Glory to secular India: Bloody!!!! I am on artificial ventilator
5. The Lost Horizon
Preface: The Problem?
Listless day! Dusk was about to set in…..I thought of going out for a stroll… leisurely walking, I noticed a group of people talking to each other at the end of lane………..conversation was a bit loud and one could hear everyone from the group talking of problems of whatever they thought or perceived in a forceful manner………..coming closer I noticed a few of my neighbours amongst them discussing and debating problems of all kinds from specific localities to state and national level including election campaign in far flung west between Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton..........emotions ran high and atmosphere looked so charged enough to remind one of an acrimonious parliamentary session…….not wishing to be drawn into the debate I continue to walk……
Almost by an impulse I was led down my memory lane and reminded of a problem that I vividly recall was thrust on me as a six year old child. The problem (indeed a nasty one) was created by those who didn’t want to live in peace with those whom they believed were not in tune with their religion and culture…..an evil which no one could have even imagined in their wildest dreams was born in October 1947 as “Kashmir Problem”………this problem has been stretched by vested interests to such an extent that the real cause of problem appears lost in the din of madness…….as British left India, Kashmir remained independent with Maharaja the ruler at first not acceding to India or Pakistan in terms of the partition formula…..Pakistan was carved out on 14th August 1947 and following day India gained independence with Kashmir remaining as it was an independent state-. This independence was short-lived as Pakistan invaded Kashmir to forcefully annexe it…….Maharaja sent state force to repel the attack but could not check the onward march and vandalism of aggressors and as a result was forced by the circumstances then to seek India’s help and sign the instrument of accession with India. This was supported by people and their leaders who were already agitating against Maharaja to quit Kashmir….Indian army landed at Srinagar in Oct 1947 to push out the aggressor and as the aggressor was on run a unilateral ceasefire was declared and large parts of Jammu & Kashmir territory usurped by the aggressor. It is pertinent to point out that had Pakistan not invaded Kashmir as it indeed did, Indian army would not have landed on the soil of Kashmir and Kashmir would have remained as a state or country like India or Pakistan……even though Maharaja was quite liberal than his counterparts in other princely states of undivided India (his noteworthy contributions being efforts to modernise primary education, healthcare, peoples representation etc), the uprising against him had taken firm roots…..It is again interesting to recall that during many preceding centuries in past when Kashmir was ruled by aliens there wasn’t even a whisper against the ruler -ostensibly because of being co-religionists……it is logical to assume that as the uprising against Maharaja gained momentum it would have become difficult for Maharaja to ignore the agitation and forced him as it were to arrive at some compromise formula and grant political space to agitator, eventually rendering his position weaker and even insignificant to be bundled out at will and Kashmir and valley in particular freed from the rule of a Hindu Raja…….
Now who is responsible for this mess that we are in? Is it India or Pakistan...India did not intervene of its own! It was on the request of Maharaja, people and their leaders that they chose to do so……had Pakistan not invaded Kashmir the history of Kashmir would have been very different …….It is an open secret that since its failure to annexe Kashmir forcefully in 1947, Pakistan has consistently worked overtime to achieve its incomplete agenda……this ugly drama
was repeated in 1965, 1971, 1986 and finally in 1989/90. For six decades they have planted such unbelievable stories against India that it has affected the very psyche of the people at large in the Kashmir valley……a impression seems to have gone down the line that the invader was indeed a helper, brother and rescuer instead of being an enemy and valiant occupier…..what a tragedy? Lies, false propaganda parroted day in day and day out coupled with blatant military training and supply of combat AK47 rifles has drastically changed the situation in Kashmir.
Everybody and anybody who matter or do not matter have his or her own formula for solving the problem. Some are for implementation of UN resolution that calls for plebiscite, some wish Kashmir to merge with Pakistan and some cry hoarse for ‘Azadi’ (freedom) while some want autonomy or self rule etc…….rationally speaking one can understand every option except the ‘Azadi’……while everyone has the basic right to shake the shackles of imposed cultural, social, economic, religious and political suppression, one needs to ask whether such suppression existed as far as dominant Muslim majority is concerned……apparently the state economy has been in good health compared many other states of India. While one could argue that it is not among the first healthy few but it must be realised that despite almost two decades of militancy and terrorism it certainly does not count among many poorer states of India…..also one ought to remember that during six decades following independence from British no visible or invisible signs to demean or suppress Islamic values have been noticed, the fact being that Kashmir’s Muslim majority has enjoyed full religious freedom and indeed flourished and thrived under secular India than their co-religionists in many Muslim countries worldwide……..on the political front propagandist have relentlessly promoted a paranoiac view that centre (read central Govt in Delhi) is responsible for all the ills of valley and for the so-called Kashmir problem, while reality is just the opposite…..Kashmir under the Indian constitution and more so under the special act called Article 370, enjoys more autonomy than other sister states including the privilege of having its own constitution and laws….elections have been held with regular periodicity and democratically elected state governments installed with representations from entire political spectrum including the hardliners and avowed secessionists……peoples elected representatives continue to be members of Indian parliament where they often voice the issues and concerns of the state….entire election process by and large has been free and fair over the decades, a fact vouched by even independent observers including United Nations…..
A question therefore arises whether the so-called Jihad (holy war) and the associated gun culture is justified and why is it that people talk of Azadi (freedom) when nothing goes against freedom in a democratic polity?…..or is it that the cry of Azadi is used by a section of Muslim majority to camouflage the resolve to secede from Indian union, apparently the religious card has been exploited to the hilt and fictitious theories concocted to promote an disinformation campaign intended to mislead the youth and innocent minds…….thousands have lost their lives in the name of Azadi , yet the why and what of this Azadi remains shrouded in mystery…….Army and paramilitary forces before 1989 were in barracks….who forced them to come out in open? Surely the gun culture and import gun AK 47 triggered it all…..what about the people responsible for this turmoil? They are still at large and the people in general have become a hostage to their ugly drama of propaganda and death….obviously some section of society are playing into their hands and keep the kettle of hatred boiling….real problem lies across the border where it all started in 1947 and keeps coming back time & again with the active support of a section of local population…..solution if any lies with common man (the people) who need to seriously introspect and make a clear distinction between aggressors or trouble makers and those who are true rescuers and well wishers of people ……..If this introspection leads to a proper understanding of Azadi, then let everyone including those who were coerced to submission or suffered the trauma of ethic cleansing, be it the Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs, Shias, Gujars, Bakarwals, Ladakhis, Jammuites, join this movement and work for freedom. Azadi can not be led by oppressors nor can religious fundamentalism, hatred of any faith or sect, extraterritorial loyalties, ethnic cleansing etc be a basis for it…….if they still persist with their nefarious designs then it must said loudly and unequivocally to them that your Azadi is a crude and rude joke……enough is enough, lot of blood has been spilled on religious sentiments and untrue stories….it is time to let the common man live in peace…..
Pakistan test fired a missile in March 2007 and named it ‘Babur Missile’. Some missiles tested earlier were similarly named after Ghazni and Ghauri etc, all of them Muslim marauders who invaded, destroyed and Islamized parts of India. This is their mind set. Couldn’t the Pakistan’s civilian or military leadership have named these missiles after their national heroes like Allama Iqbal, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan or Zulfikar Bhutto etc? No they won’t do that! Their ulterior motive is to keep the flame of hatred alive and Islamise India!
I recently saw an article entitled ‘Kashmiri Pandit: A secular by deeds’ that appeared in one of the periodicals. What are we trying to prove? Has anyone listened or cared about our credentials and secular way of life (our deeds). I like to shout at the top of my voice that I am a peace loving person and I definitely want to co-exist with my Muslim brethren (who don’t care for our values). Are there any takers? It has not served any purpose in past nor shall it do any good in future. For God sake, get out of deep slumber and be realistic.
Temple of Maa Sharika (Mother Goddess) at Faridabad. I haven’t seen it but that doesn’t matter. Maa Sharika is Maa Sharika and we are all spiritually and emotionally attached to Mother Goddess. Any prayer or festivity is incomplete without salutations to Maa Sharika. Apart from being a place of worship and Puja (prayers), it has a great potential to galvanise us and help build awareness and camaraderie. I understand that of the nearly half a million KP’s that were driven out of Kashmir valley over 15-20 thousand families live in Delhi and its surrounding areas of UP, Haryana & Rajasthan. This really gives a boost to the idea of being in a cluster. The Maa Sharika temple has enough dormant energy among its devotees to become something like Akal Takhat of KP’s not only for people living in and around Delhi but whole of India and elsewhere to share our social/cultural/religious concerns etc. Even though we have a number of associations functioning from various centres that issue statements through their magazines and periodicals, but no one takes them seriously. Given the proximity of Maa Sharika temple to Delhi and surrounding areas, programmes need to be evolved and undertaken to bring the KP’s together on one platform. People’s interest to visit this scared place in thousands needs to be aroused like it used to happen at Sheetal Nath in Kashmir valley. Let it become something like a mini Khumba Mela where all KP’s irrespective of their affiliations congregate in large numbers on specific occasions or whenever a call is made…..I am reminded of events in the valley during 1967, when all KP’s would religiously respond to the call from Sheetal Nath, assemble there and offer themselves for various voluntary acts including courting arrests. We need to recreate Sheetal Nath and all of us must put our heads together to build the right environment and attract people. Congregating at one place in thousands is important and it doesn’t matter if some self styled leaders abstain. Common people must come and participate and that is critical.
Blessed are those who conceived the idea of Maa Sharika temple and blessed are those who made it happen. My salutations to them and everyone associated with it directly or indirectly. It can become the Dandi of KP’s in exile. Programmes need to be such that one doesn’t have to reach to people but people on their own should throng the place for the love of it.
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