Dismantling cobwebs of confusion

By K.N. Pandita

Let me begin with spotlight on accelerated counter-terrorist strikes by the valiant boys of General Rawat. No less admiration goes to the gallant State police forces actively collaborating with the security forces. Ability of forces to zero in on the terrorist hideouts takes the wind out of their sails. We know why they target police personnel and their families. Ultimately, it is these brave hearts who will, sooner or later, announce the grand finale of the burial of terrorism in Kashmir. In subtotal, this is the response of the Indian State to the cacophony of initiating bilateral talks with Pakistan. The deception of terror and talks does not work with General Rawat In days to come, the might of the State will show its teeth and the terrorists will be hotly pursued, hounded out and gunned down. Their mourners will retire to heave a sigh of relief.

Why should India talk to Pakistan? It has to be made clear to the Hurriyatis and other separatists and even local traditional political circles that the Indian State will not buy peace but will impose it with all its might because peace is crucial to her development and to the development of her neighbours including Pakistani civil society minus her army and its henchmen in Srinagar.

For forty years, the Kashmiris spearheaded a political movement aimed at removing the autocratic Dogra rule and replacing it by popular governance. The Indian National Congress, particularly its stalwart leader Nehru gave them full support. They achieved success in August 1947, and a popular regime headed by Sheikh Abdullah was formed three months later. This regime resisted Pakistan sponsored proxy war. The popular leader went all his way to Lake Success in the US to personally apprise the Security Council what tyranny and barbarism the invading lashkars remotely controlled by Pakistan army generals had unleashed against Kashmiri people.

Only five years later the same popular leader changed goalpost. He had to be dismissed and arrested. He was wrong to think India had passed on J&K to him as his fief. Indian State would not tolerate sedition. Territorial integrity of India had to be preserved. Pakistan miserably failed in next two wars intending to grab Kashmir by sheer force of sword. In this background why shall India talk to a defeated enemy after having baled her out in Shimla in 1971?

Pakistan wants dialogue through the channel of terror. India is out to annihilate terror. When that is done peace will come in trail. It may take two or three or umpteen decades, so it is. It is India’s moral duty and an obligation under international law to provide all help to the oppressed people of Pakistan and help them get rid of terrorist oriented ruling and social apparatus. India as regional power has to dismantle the house of evil. She has the capacity and she has also the leadership when need arises.

In Security Council, India sought removal of illegal occupation of a part of the territory of the State. The Security Council recommended vacating Pakistan’s aggression as the pre-requisite to the holding of plebiscite. That was and is wrong. The right decision that should have come from the Security Council was that it should have asked Pakistan to vacate the aggression and India to reinstate Maharaja Hari Singh. Nehru shamefully and cowardly played fraud with Maharaja Hari Singh and indirectly paved the way for Pakistan to embark on perfidious role in Kashmir. A person charged with the crime of sedition and ousted from power was shamelessly brought back to the seat of power by Nehru’s daughter in 1975. That was the most disastrous blunder of Indian State. The price had to be paid by the innocent Pandits in 1990. The valley has been ethnically cleansed. See the Urdu pamphlet titled “Kashmir main aksariyyat to aqalliyat main badalne ki sazish” written and published in 1982 by the then NC MLA who later on became Finance Minister in Farooq government. It clearly indicates that the government of the day would have little hesitation in any attempt by any quarter to dismantle secular edifice of Kashmirian society.

In 1990, forty-three years after the accession, Kashmiris, instigated by Pakistan, rose in an armed revolt against Indian presence in Kashmir. Against whom was this armed insurgency directed? It was against the entity that had responded to their urgent call for protection against a predator in October 1947. It was against the entity that gave them the right to elect their own ruling authority and system of governance – something for which they had followed their popular leader for forty long years of struggle against autocratic rule. It was against the entity that offered logistics and wherewithal for economic development. It was against the entity that promised to pull them out of the morass of millennia of servility, decadence and abject poverty. It was against the entity that opened upon them the window of social justice, rule of law, atmosphere of enterprise and space for the growth of personality and identity. It was against the entity that opened on them the doors of education – free from class 1 to post-graduation and broad-based admission in professional institutions on minimum fee. It was against the entity that provided Degree Colleges in each district and even each tehsil. Indeed the armed insurgency was against the very conscience of the insurgents. The world has rarely an example of a thankless people.

In 1990, Kashmiris decided to destroy themselves by first trying to destroy the vast democratic structure. In reality what they wanted to destroy was actually the forty year long struggle for popular rule led under the guidance of their popular leader. They threatened to desecrate his grave so much so that security had to be mounted for its protection.

This is the thankless people now demanding secession from India and accession to Pakistan. Kashmir secessionists are naively under the impression that. Pakistan does not know that proverbially speaking Kashmiris are faithful to none not event to their selves.

Some of the separatists speak of commonality of religion. Does this narrative carry any sense when discussed in historical perspective? Were not the Bengalis of Sunni Hanafi faith? Where did religious factor evaporate in thin air when nearly three million Bengalis (Mostly Muslims) were massacred and nearly a million Bengali women (mostly Muslims) raped by Pakistan soldiers? Read Hamudur Rahman Report. Where did the right to self-determination evaporate in thin air?

Sheikh Abdullah went to Pakistan in 1964 with the Confederation proposal. Ayyub Khan told him to shut up. What did the Shiekh do? Signed the 1975 accord just becaue he was convinced that Pakistan had become irrelevant after Bangladesh war. What has been the undisclosed NC emissary talking during his intermittent jaunts to Islamabad? Why does not NC disclose it to the party men if not to Kashmiris at large?

To sum up, the era of blackmail of Indian civil society by the ambivalent Kashmiris has come to sordid end. The game of double speak has no takers. Kashmiris are capable of intrigues but not of fair, just and decent administration. India is making the historical effort of democratizing Indian Muslims so as to become part and parcel of the free and democratic world society. He is pulling them out of isolation and segregation quarantine to which the Congress had pushed them for so many decades. Kashmiri Muslims have an opportunity and they must seize it by forelock. Any good friend of Kashmiris will tell them, “Friends, don’t let gun kill your conscience. It has already destroyed done so and now the process of total destruction of your individuality and personality is gaining a rapid pace. In the regional and world scenario, nothing can work against the national interests and sovereignty of the Indian nation. You cannot maintain your isolationist camp. Your exclusiveness cannot withstand the fierce and unrelenting thrust of modernity, technology, scientific temper, existentialism and other imperative of contemporary times.

Kashmir through the Ages

By Kashinath Pandit

Part I: Ancient Kashmir

Ancient Kashmirian scriptures call the land as Kashmir Mandala. Many virtues are attributed to it like the land of the spiritualists and of piety. The term Kashmir (or Kashmir) is variously interpreted. Indian antiquarians consider it composed of Ka meaning water in Sanskrit and Meera meaning dried up land. Herodotus and Ptolemy have called it Kaiser and Kasperia respectively. In Khurasan, the western province of Iran, there is a town by the name of Kashmar. However, Iranian etymologists have not established the etymological construct of the word. Continue Reading…

BJP and Jammu region in retrospect

By K.N. Pandita

Riding the Modi high-tide in 2014 assembly election, BJP Jammu region bagged 25 seats, an unprecedented performance in the State. Traditional parties like NC and Congress received a drubbing. PDP did not find the type of response it expected from the Muslim majority segments of the region. Despite putting its best foot forward by resorting to ambivalent polemics and pseudo-secularist jargon, PDP election strategy then did not go well with the Muslim segments of Jammu region. The voters were conscious of the consequences of saddling a militancy-born political group into the seat of power. The constituencies of NC and PDP considerably shrank in Jammu region primarily because of their ambivalence. Continue Reading…

J&K acceded to the Indian Union

By By K.N. Pandita

True story of accession is somewhat shrouded in mystery. A number of versions are afloat. Pakistani version is that the accession was never made and the document called Instrument of Accession is a fake one. They also say it was signed under duress. This line of thinking persists with some of our so-called “progressive” historians as well. If not contradicted and falsified vigorously a day may come when those who were premier party to the accession will sing to the Pakistani tune. Continue Reading…

Re-structuring of the RR Headquarter?

By K.N. Pandita

In a recent issue, the Daily Excelsior of Jammu informed that the Army was contemplating re-structuring of the Rashtriya Rifles Headquarters for better operational capability and strategic and logistic efficacy. Rashtriya Rifles (RR) force was raised soon after armed insurgency surfaced in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990. Ever since, the force with headquarters in New Delhi, has been fighting the jihadi armed groups raised in Pakistan and helped to sneak into our side of the border across both LoC and International border. Continue Reading…

The breaking of Kashmir impasse

By K.N. Pandita

In all probability the stalemate in J&K is finally heading towards an end and the legislators hitherto hibernating in suspended animation are gearing up for resumption of their normal function of law making. The political scenario unfolding now in Srinagar and New Delhi shows that stakeholders were silently working out a formula for breaking the impasse. It seems that good wisdom has prevailed and re-alignment of forces is round the corner. Political parties were given adequate time to cobble a government capable of delivering the goods. Continue Reading…

The penchant for rabble-rousing

By K.N. Pandita

In early August complete hartal for two days was observed in the entire Muslim belt of J&K State. Kashmir Valley is used to strikes in past decades but Sunday strike had one peculiarity. It was prominently noticeable in the Chenab Valley Muslim belt. That indicates deviation of this region from its known behaviour to calls from valley leadership in the past. Continue Reading…

Antics of Kashmir politics: post coalition blame game

By K.N. Pandita

Coalition government is an accepted option in democratic arrangement. However, coalition cannot be a mixture of opposites; at least a modicum of ideological compatibility is required.

In retrospect, nobody doubted that PDP-BJP coalition in J&K was blatant political opportunism and not a true expression of national aspiration. Credibility of coalition mechanism depends on the quality of political leadership. Continue Reading…

Sordid end of coalition government

By K.N. Pandita

The coalition government has collapsed, perhaps belatedly. Hindsight shows that much damage could have been averted if the government had fallen much earlier.

Coalition governments are not unknown in a democratic set up. However, at least there has to be a modicum of ideological compatibility. When BJP decided to be the partner in a coalition government with PDP after previous election, two things could become transparent. Continue Reading…

UN Human Rights Commission discredits itself

By K.N. Pandita

For the first time in the history of Kashmir question at the UN, the Chairman of Human Rights Commission Mr. Zeid Ra’d Al Hussein of Jordan has issued a 49-page tutored report spread over 20 paragraphs on “abuse and violation of human rights” in the State of Jammu and Kashmir mainly by India and peripherally by Pakistan. The report is a forceful indictment of India, particularly her security forces operating in Kashmir. Continue Reading…