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Don’t administer under frustration

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By K.N. Pandit

The two-month-long Jammu logjam, and land related happenings in the valley are events of much historical consequence.  Definitely Jammu’s resurgence will have much to do with the shaping of future events in the state.

The news of a compromise brought relief to the beleaguered people of the region.  There is no sense in suppressing the instinct of celebrating the success of the struggle.

State administration headed by the government seems to be functioning in utter panic. It panicked when a couple of thousand of people in the valley brought out protest rallies, and without a second thought the Governor rescinded the land deal order.

Now that a compromise has been reached at, again the administration seems to give in to panic. Knowing that people would deliberate the success of their agitation in a big way, the government reacted in a shoddy and crude manner so as to betray its total inexperience and inefficiency of dealing with such situations.

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Untying Jammu logjam

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By K.N. Pandit

Nehru had denounced great nationalist movement of Praja Parishad.

Two-month old Jammu logjam appears to be coming to an end with New Delhi re-thinking its stand on land row.

Maybe New Delhi would have acted fast if Governor Vohra had not relayed the phlegmatic view of a senior Congress leader of Jammu that Jammu agitation would die down in two days.

What has sprung surprise is that a region engaged in a six-decades-old procrastinated but non-violent struggle against discrimination and deprivation has suddenly arisen to a massive mass movement that transcends religious, ethnic, linguistic and other divides.

Broad sections of national media have confirmed that Jammu movement is neither sponsored nor abetted by the rightist wing. Much did pseudo-secularists try to project it the handiwork of Hindu communalists but they had no evidence to prove their accusation. It is a mass movement of the discriminated, deprived and sidelined people of Duggar Desh as said by the leaders of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh members of the Sangarsh Samiti.

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A word of caution for SS

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By K.N. Pandita

Sangarsh Samiti’s (SS) call for strike has entered 54th day. It is a long and unprecedented event in the history of Jammu.

Congress has come out with a warning asking SS to wind up the agitation. How should this be interpreted?

Tactically, SS is at some slight disadvantage. The agitation started with opposition to the withdrawal of land allocation order by the government. The catalyst to mass movement was Governor Vohra’s insult to Jammu people.

That was New Delhi’s brief for him.. Even Congressman, Mr. Mangat Ram is reported to have told the Governor that Jammu stir would not last more than two or three days. Politicians with short vision have tremendous capacity for self delusion.

The SS focused on the land – deal issue whereas other chronic issues of immense importance — mostly political and economic — cropped up as agitation intensified. Vigorous debates in the media made it amply clear that the Amarnath land deal notwithstanding; there were much more serious issues that needed to be addressed, and particularly the issue of discrimination of Jammu by Srinagar regime.

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Mediaeval Kashmir Historiography

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By K.N. Pandit

The Calendar

What is the precise historical time to reckon as the beginning of mediaeval period? Scholars have forcefully debated the question. Western historians say that modern age dawned (in the west) with the advent of industrial revolution around A. D. 1688. Others believe that Renaissance of early 16th century ushered in a new era since it marked the end of Dark Age and the beginning of the era of enlightenment.

But to Muslim historians this distribution of historical period is somewhat confusing. According to them the period of enlightenment began when the Prophet brought a new faith and with that a different approach to material and spiritual life. The Muslim calendar begins from Muharram 1, A.H. 1 corresponding to 16 July 622 A.D., and the day on which Prophet Muhammad left Mecca and proceeded to Medina on the invitation of seventy-five inhabitants of Yathrib. His departure is known as hijrat, an Arabic word meaning “migration”. Hence we have the Muslim hijri calendar as against the Christian calendar. Muslim historians have used only the hijri calendar.

The Muslim Calendar is a religious calendar, and based solely upon the Moon’s changes. It is related that while reciting the khutba , or Sermon at his Farewell Pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad said: “ A year is twelve months, as at the time of Creation” (Mishkat, Book xi, chapter xi). The Qur’an says: “Verily twelve months is the number of the months with God, according to God’s Book, ever since the day when He created Heaven and Earth” (Sura ix, verse 36.).

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Other side of ‘do-nothing policy’

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By K.N. Pandit

Has the PM really adopted ‘do-nothing policy’ in regard to J&K, which BJP leader Mr. L.K. Advani wants him to shed? What if we put it the other way round?

Reliable sources computed the first anti-land deal demonstration in Srinagar at 4 to 5 thousand on the upper side. Srinagar urban elite and other components of civil society did not support it being mindful of its dire economic consequences.

Intriguingly, partisan print and electronic media blew the numbers out of proportion with banner lines likes “hundreds of thousands stage protest demonstrations in Srinagar.”

At the same time, sections of angry people in the valley attacked no fewer than 18 MLAs, mostly from PDP, accusing the party of reneging from the land-deal, and adopting bullying tactics. Again intriguingly, the media deliberately blacked out this major event.

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Put the record straight in Kashmir

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Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir,

This is with reference to ‘This is Kashmir baiting … ‘ etc. by Mr. Sajad Lone (Aug 9). Inaccuracies need to be corrected. Hindus have been worshipping Amreshwara Swamin/Amarnath Swami (Rajatarangini) for thousands of years. Yatra to the cave was suspended when mediaeval Kashmir Sultans and Sayyids of foreign origin unleashed tyranny and persecution against Hindus. That a Muslim Malik re-discovered the cave two hundred years ago is a tribute to the tenacity of powerful pre-Islamic Kashmiri clans of fame like the Maliks and Lavanyas (Lone) of not shedding their cultural and historical bonds even after accepting an imported faith.

The people in the valley started anti-Hindu demonstrations only after Mufti Saeed-Gilani nexus followed by NC Patron instigated them through their inconsiderate public utterances. These leaders survive on religious inflammability of their people. The meaning of “fanaticism” is better explained by the words and deeds of Mahbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah through their invectives in the parliament.

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Don’t let down Jammu

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By K.N. Pandita

Nobody in Jammu expected the near – farcical All Party Meeting to resolve the logjam. Government’s dubious intentions reflecting in its selective invitations naturally boded its failure. If the agitating Sangharsh Samiti was kept out because it would expose many sinister machinations of the administration run by an unpopular Governor, denial of entry of two Congress MPs from Jammu to PM’s All Party meet was equally insidious. Why was not Panthers Party invited? The design was to ensure that anti-Jammu rant of valley-based ambivalent leadership went without a challenge or a counter argument.

The focus of the agitating public of Jammu region is equally on their elected MPs and MLAs. The role of these representatives in ongoing agitation, particularly of 11 MLAs and 2 MPs of Congress has been dismal. For last one month of the agitation, they neither came out openly in support of the political movement nor tried to reach their constituencies to streamline their response by selling Congress prescription. Congress leadership should be ashamed of requesting BJP leader L.K. Advani to help douse the flames of turmoil in Jammu.

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Jammu fed up with Valley

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This letter to the Editor was lready published on The Pioneer of Delhi, on August 5, 2008.

By KN Pandita, New Delhi,

This refers to the editorial, “Jammu on boil” (August 4). Congratulations for a down-to-earth, outspoken and razor-sharp analysis of the situation in Jammu, its roots and its repercussions. Seldom do commentators muster courage to be honest and bold in telling the nation the facts of the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. This is a dangerous result of appeasing Muslims. It has to be noted that the ongoing agitation in Jammu is a powerful prelude to the separation of Jammu province and, in the process, of other two provinces as well, thanks to communal and regional bias of the rulers in Srinagar and New Delhi.

The sooner the Indian civil society presses hard for trifurcation of the State the better are the chances of saving Jammu from the onslaught of communalists and separatists. Declare Ladakh a Union Territory (people of Ladakh have been crying for it for decades); give greater autonomy to Kashmir Valley and carve out Jammu as a separate State or a confederating State with Himachal Pradesh. This is the solution of the Kashmir problem. How long will the Central leadership go on appeasing Muslims of the Valley and using the national exchequer to fill their pockets? Let spurious political leaders of Kashmir be cut to size. If this is not done, very soon the day will come when there will be Red Army in Ladakh, Green Army in Kashmir and Safron Army in Jammu.