Of Azaadi And Kashmiri And Other False Words

193 Comments

There has been a slew of pro-Azadi, anti-India articles in the Indian mainstream press recently (two examples: Link, Link) with one of these fine specimens of mediahood proudly recounting how he became a stone-thrower for a day pointing out quite pointedly that the only thing that saved him was the “Hindustan” times card with the emphasis being on the sub-string Hindu. Of course of all these marvelous bits of journalism, with their objectivity and integrity misaals in their own right,  my favorite piece is the one by one M.F. Hussein, extraordinary connoisseur of Bollywood derrieres (do see Gajagamini if you don’t believe me) , who tells us how he left India for its lack of freedom. Yes and presumably found it in Qatar, an Islamic theocracy where freedom of all religions sans Islam is severely restricted and where apostasy (leaving Islam) is a crime.

I like that the most because it reminds me of a World War II joke I read once in Reader’s Digest. An American and Russian were having a conversation. The American says “US is the freest country in the world. I can go to the White House, walk upto the table of the president,  bang my hand there and tell Harry S Trueman exactly what I think about Harry S Trueman.” To which the Russian says “Hah we are as free. I can go to the Kremlin, walk upto the table of the General Secretary of the Party, bang my hand there and tell Stalin exactly what I think about….Harry S Trueman”. Yes Mr. Hussein you are absolutely free in Qatar to paint Hindu Goddesses in the nude but things will be different should you choose to paint a picture of …well you know who I am talking about. This is not to condone the acts of vandalism of your work, which was done by goons with no respect for the pluralistic traditions our country stands for, but to castigate India for being “not free” while being a voluntary citizen of Qatar is the height of hypocrisy.

Anyhow, this post isn’t about M F Hussein nor about the way forward in Kashmir nor whether trying to bribe the local population with money will work nor about the draconian AFSPA (which I believe needs to be repealed—the Armed forces have to be made accountable in civilian contexts like everyone else) nor about the recent violence per se.

It is about the Kashmiri “fighting for independence against the wicked Indian state” thing that we see repeated ad nauseum not just from Pakistan but in Indian mainstream media outlets.

My first beef is with the word “independence”. Historically independence struggles have been fought against foreign powers,  those who have taken control over a piece of territory for the purpose of economic exploitation. It has also been fought between peoples of the same nation, like the Bangladesh independence struggle where a section of the population that has attained power (Punjabi Muslims) treats another ethnic or linguistic community (in this case Bangali Muslims) as second class citizens, systematically annihilating and depriving them of their most basic rights.

In the case of Kashmir, none of this is true. India does not “economically exploit” Kashmir. On the contrary it spends a massive amount on the state trying to buy the loyalty of the population. (NY Times, which last time I looked wasn’t a right wing newspaper, says: “The dirty little secret of Srinagar, the heart of the movement to secede from India, is that many of its residents live quite well on the Indian government’s money.” [Link])

At the very least, no one can accuse the Indian government of taking anything out of the state, if for nothing else but because there is not much to take out.  It is of course true that a lot of the development money lands up in wrong hands (that happens everywhere in India) but there are far more deprived areas of India that have no “freedom struggles”. As to the rights of Kashmiri citizens, they have privileges over property ownership that very few Indian citizens outside Kashmir have, making them “super citizens” rather than inferior ones.

So none of the traditional characteristics of freedom struggles hold here. But it is true that Kashmiris are fighting. But not for independence. They are fighting to establish a theocratic Islamic Shariyat state, aligned with or as an intrinsic part of Pakistan, where “independence” is defined somewhat as it is defined in Qatar, with subjugated status for minorities, and where the establishment of  “liberty, equality and fraternity” , the ideals of any freedom struggle, is farthest from the minds of the stone-throwers and those that support them.

But then one can say—“So? So they want to establish an Islamic state. That’s their decision. What right does the Indian government have to interfere?” This brings us to my second bone of contention. The word “Kashmiri”. Like “independence” this too, in this context, is a false word. A better more honest descriptor would be “Kashmiri Sunni Muslims”. There was a time when Kashmiris meant both Hindus and Muslims but then the Kashmiri Hindus were killed and driven out from the state by  “Kashmiris”. Since these Hindus are not part of the “freedom struggle” it is not fair to use the word “Kashmiri” to refer to the agitators, who since they use Islam as their reason for wanting “independence” and identify themselves solely by their religious orientation, should also not object to being called what they actually are—Kashmiri Suni Muslims.

The question should now be framed as: “So what is wrong in letting Kashmiri Sunni Muslims, after they have driven out the large section of the minorities, from establishing an “Islam is the answer” “independent” non-democratic state? Their free will—they shall do as they like.”

Good. Sounds good. But let me as you these questions.

If tomorrow the majority in Jat-land start an armed struggle to establish an autonomous Khap-istan where honor killings and dowry and marriages of minors are legal and where inter-caste marriage implies death and retributive rape , would you call that an “independence” struggle and say that India should just let them have their way and not have the Army fight them? If day after tomorrow, India’s most-hated state Gujarat decides that it wants to throw out its Muslim minorities and establish a Hindu-theocratic Dhokla-land will the same Indians who post “Stop illegal military occupation of Kashmir by terrorist-state India” on their Facebook feeds also support the rights of Gujarati Hindus to choose how they wish to be governed because that’s what “Gujarati” majority wants?

I think I know the answer.

So please sirs and madams do protest against the Indian state and the Indian Army and sign petitions and protest outside the United Nations while drinking Starbucks and discussing EB2 Green card priority dates. Do whatever you want to do but please, for the sake of truth of labeling, do drop the “independence struggle” from the description and please qualify the word “Kashmiri” with what should come after it.

Of course if you do so, then the romance and the liberal “feel good” of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with an independence movement is gone and hurling stones at the Indian Army would be seen not as an act of supreme passion and justified frustration but as an act of war against the Indian state, something I believe which there are laws against.

Which is why you won’t do it.

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193 thoughts on “Of Azaadi And Kashmiri And Other False Words

  1. Loved the post – unfortunately our media does work with the same logic – i am sure Arundhati Roy could write a book as a counter argument with big words

  2. Well said.. we always have the tendancy to overreact without looking at both sides of the coin.

    On an unrelated note: I dont appreciate your usage of Rajnikanth’s pic for establishing humor :)

  3. Was going through an article in times recently.Forgot when there the author describes that the youth of Kashmir,the new face of Kashmir are not behind Azaadi calls.They want to be a part of India.They want opportunities.They want jobs.Which i think our PM has promised to provide.Then the person goes onto give examples of the Kashmiri cricketer who was suspected to be a terrorist in B’lore and was left after interrogation hitting a half century to prove his point and abt the IAS topper who also happens to be a Kashmiri.

    I think the youth of Kashmir ve been thru a lot and would feel that sticking to India is the best way to be free.

  4. Was going through an article in times recently.Forgot the issue there the author describes that the youth of Kashmir,the new face of Kashmir are not behind Azaadi calls.They want to be a part of India.They want opportunities.They want jobs.Which i think our PM has promised to provide.Then the person goes onto give examples of the Kashmiri cricketer who was suspected to be a terrorist in B’lore and was left after interrogation hitting a half century to prove his point and abt the IAS topper who also happens to be a Kashmiri.

    I think the youth of Kashmir ve been thru a lot coz since the 80s the extremism rose and i feel that sticking to India is the best way to be free.

  5. Is there a single mainstream report that mentions the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus – living in camps for decades – when the report about the plight of the Kashmiri ‘youth’?

  6. Very powerful and meaningful post. Thanks. I am not capable of articulating thoughts like you , so I am going to take print outs of this article and give it to all my friends who talk nonsense in the name of taking a liberal stand.

  7. I think Anupam Kher’s recent tweet “Mr.PM, I am also HURT & ANGRY for last 20yrs about my familly thrown out of Kashmir. Pls reach out to me, my family and other pandits too. ” tells the whole story. This whole azadi balderdash is nothing but religious hate-mongering with the ‘kashmiriyat’ tag being thrown in to prevent people from seeing through the religious basis. Added to it the fact that neither Leh nor Jammu wants to secede and its just the sunni muslims in the kashmir valley which is what, one third of the area of the j&k state?

  8. Finally a rightful answer to all the pseudo-secular bullshit thats going around in media. The culprits for army deployment now are crying victims. Remembering what happened to Kashmiri pandits still makes me wonder why on earth is the Con-gress party wants to do with this country. Mr. MMS wants to give kashmir some sort of special independence just for the sake of it. This is beyond bullshit.

  9. I have worked for a oil company in Jammu and Kashmir. I was the S&D incharge of oil (petrol and ATF). I was based in Jammu.One of my priorites, Well the only priorty, was to make sure no matter what happens keep oil in Kashmir flowing.
    The oil was transported from Jammu to Kashmir via trucks. And I would sign off some 100-150 trucks any given day before september.(Winter)

    The owner of this trucks was a chap who had some one married into the Abdullah family and some one married into the Gelani family.ONe smart chap he was. Out of my fleet of 200 trucks half of the trucks were operated by him.NO matter what the strike was about, His trucks would go aroundJ&K uninterrupted.

    For every trip a truck made from jammu to the valley they got some where around Rs10,000 to Rs.13,000.

    Coming to the point.
    If you remember not so long ago there was a Amarnath sangarsh Samiti, who were protesting the withdrawl of land from the Amarnath shrine board by J&K Govt.

    It was suddenly urged that the sangarsh samiti was imposing a blockade in the valley.
    What blockade ???
    I was pumping out 150 trucks a day full of ATF and petrol,, There was no blockade for me.

    The main point of this blockade is to suspend the construction of the railway track which is being made from jammy to Srinagar. If they disrupt it till spetember, After september it will be too cold for any work to be done.
    I think they have managed to sucessfully do that.

    http://www.sananews.net/english/2010/08/05/trains-in-held-valley-on-hold/

    Because once the railway line is fully operational it will render the trucks which carry food medicines and fuel from Jammu useless.

    Everything will direclty reach Srinagar from delhi. Lot of pockets will become light
    It was all bloody natak by the media and pro congress elements that BJP was starving poor muslims of the valley to death.

    One more quick point that I would like to make.
    As a part of my job I was to inspect pumps in the regions of Annantnag Kistwar and Doda.

    In one of these pumps i found a store room full of gunny bags with tea powder. (Kava)

    I asked the owner if he had opened a tea powder agency, To which he replied that he had stocked tea powder in case of a strike or hartal.
    This amazed me.

    If he can stock up 50 bags of tea Just imagine how many bags of rice, wheat, and other food stock he must have stocked and the amount of cash he must have in his house.!

    Poor kashmiris …naaah!!!!
    Rich spoit Kashmiris…… O ya.!

    We need some one like Indira gandhito use a iron fist and put this to fire. Congress will not do this as it needs to prove to the India’s 20% minority that it loves muslims much more than the country itself.

    All the Hartals start in summer and end in winter, we had a term for that March to September was Hartal season or the Hurriyat season for us.
    As soon as winter sets in no more hartals, people are at home enjoying the warmth of wood fire and drinking their beloved Kava.

    Have no pity for them.

  10. Pingback: Of Kashmir and the Kashmiri trouble | Tejaswy (dot) com

  11. I met a busdriver in Norway once who told me that there were a lot of Indians, Pakistanis and Kashmiris living there.

    Where the world has not been broken into narrow domestic walls, will just remain a Tagorian fantasy.

    Ditto for that that dig about MF Hussain. That was exactly what I said, but I used the actual words instead of the” ..well you know.”

  12. Thank you ….. Without covering the big prolem “kashmir” …in few words you have hit the nail on it’s head.

    Kashmir remains a religios problem

  13. GB

    Great post.
    Wish someone like you could come in front of MSM camera and say this for rest of the country.

    I find it surprising that currently, when 3 stone throwers are killed by army bullets is Breaking news while 3 Army personnel killed by Terrorists is not even news.

    same on Indian Media for forgetting that they are “India”an media!!

  14. For once I have come across an article, that assures the faith in me that Kashmir is an integral part of India. All the articles I came across since past few weeks have been so depressing. No non sense – crisp and to the point with of course a very strong touch of humor which the author is very good at.

  15. Nicely put. I think the liberals are doing a good job of taking the debate forward. We also need to push the debate into un comfortable areas to understand better. In the end its about coming to a solution not who is right. Both sides have to give up positions and see merit on either side.

  16. I hope it is pure coincidence that very similar thoughts are on the RSS mouthpiece organizer right now. In the search for nuance,let’s not recycle right wing talking points.And your definition of “independence” would ensure that East Timor and Eritrea (for example), had no right to independence…

  17. Dude, totally bang on target (Or is it Bong on target :)

    Exactly my thoughts on the issue. It sounds ridiculously frustrating that after years of systematic ethnic cleansing (to chose a very strong word), they are now talking about referendums and stuff.

  18. yes sir as Vivek nicely pointed out its the only post which re-assures me that Kashmir is indeed an integral part of India…….well written congrats…..

  19. I agree with your article for the most part. My only objection is when you call Gujarat India’s most hated state. I know you are being sarcastic here – but the fact remains that Gujarat is loved by Indians; just its riot-provoking, encounter-promoting leadership is not liked by most people.

  20. @Santanu
    That’s an unfair comment. It is a reasoned and thought-provoking article. If it appears on the RSS website, that does not doom its logic to the doghouse

  21. Well written.

    I am reminded of this wisecrack I read somewhere: “You can not buy an Afghan’s loyalty but you can rent it!”

    When people in the public sphere – the media, intellectuals et al., talk of Kashmir, they refer only to the ‘Valley'; Jammu and Ladakh and the displaced Kashmiri Pundits, the unfortunate refugees in their own country do not figure in their scheme of things.

    All I can say is, India has been too tolerant.

  22. great thought-articulation arnab-da. you have said whats echoing in minds of most of us, but dont know how to speak out.

  23. Very Aptly written. I also agree with it. But how should we counteract it? Policy of appeasement and favoritism seems to have given no fruits. Military action is next? if not then what?

  24. Thats a very comprehensive point of view. I completely agree with your views. Although i feel that there is also lot of ‘Economics’ involved here considering the amount of money involved. So i think that the problem of ‘Religion’ is sustained there for economic gain.

  25. Excellent article!! I have been searching blogosphere for an article that gives proper voice to these issues. The search ends here!

  26. I liked your post it’s just i don’t read much of these things my problem i know but i think this post has given me good bit of gyan on how things are !

    Thanks Man

  27. While I agree that the “sunni muslim kashmiris” are better off with India, I dont think its possible to suppress their wishes for ever with army. If they overwhelmingly want to have an independent nation or a part of pakistan, it does not make sense to act against their wishes for long ( yes, acknowledging the fate of the silent mini-genocide of Hindus in the valley). Same goes for any province/state. The Gujrat example seems a bit far-fetched, Gujratis may behave like the Texans but like Texas, they dont REALLY want to secede from India.

  28. Yes, Yes , Yes exactly. I also think the Indian state should really show these people what an occupying force does, which is bring in settlements of outsider populations protected by serious firepower thereby driving the indigenous people into ghettos. We could take a leaf out of Israeli and Chinese strategy on occupation.
    That would be clever, inhumane and effective but I am glad we are not like that.

  29. In India you wouldn’t be able to draw pictures of Hindu gods/goddesses OR Prophet Muhammad. Qatar is no paragon of freedom, but Hussein does have a point.

    Ankur,

    That is an outright falsehood. M.F Hussain has been able to draw and paint Hindu goddesses fornicating with animal in India. He drew those paintings in 1970. Prophet Mo on the otherhand my friend is a different ball game!

  30. Anyone, Indian or non Indian, Individual or any organization who support such reasons which leads to the separation of a single square inch of Indian soil from India should be counted as an enemy of state and be punished with death sentence.

  31. Nicely put article. In my opinion, congress is aware of all these too, but they refrain to take any action against “kashmiris …” as they are the ones who help them win elections. To warn, not pruning these activities will only help them build an LTTE for India :(

  32. Agree with @Ankur .For crying out loud !An actress could not even mention her views on pre marital sex before getting some hundred cases on her.Maybe she didnt get whipped or flogged or stoned.But that would mean we compare us with the worst.

  33. Fuck you asshole for Calling Gujarat a hated state.You are the one filled with hate,Bitch.Go back to yo Mamata Di and suck her cunt

  34. really great post greatbong!!! loved it!! I am glad that someone has stood up to this nonsense!! really great work!! cant say enough good things about this

    Off late I had noticed a bit of lack of depth in the posts and an attempt to make people laugh. But I feel GB at its best when you try to point out the things in their natural manner. loved this post! Please keep up this sort of great work…

    Loved this. No other words for it!!

  35. @ Saurabh:
    Hope you keep your emotions under check, or at least learn to control them. this verbal ejaculation is going to dirty your own linen.

  36. Rather venomous second half, but have to agree. The problem with Kashmir is that it has never been integrated with the rest of India (Nehru’s fault entirely), and has always been treated with kid gloves. Abolish Article 370, bring Kashmir into India. But I suppose that would lead to war.

  37. @GB:

    I don’t think I can add much here to the super article. You totally nailed it. However, I can’t agree with you on a small point because of the cogent argument in favour of it — the AFSPA.

    You must remember that the Army is called in when things get out of hands for the local police, the paramilitary forces operating under laws guaranteeing civil rights etc. When this fails the situation becomes ‘special’ and the Army that is trained to fight external enemies is called in. The Army doesn’t like it but has to deliver. Their way of dealing with such situations is not conventional like the police and the paramilitary. That’s when you need special powers.

    The Army’s raison d’etre in Kashmir (and some other parts of India) is precisely because the situation has gone out of the hands of conventional security forces operating under restricted mandate (on a myriad of things).

    If you don’t have special provisions for the Army, then it will be as effective as the police or the paramilitary forces were before them.

    Of course, Indian Army’s record in dealing with counter-insurgency and terrorism is by far the best in the world. Take Iraq and Afghanistan for example.
    :)

  38. It is a fact that there are separate treatment/ Policy for Hs & Ms in India, especially in CONgress rule. Even manmohini says that Ms have first right on India’s resources.
    What is amazing that there is only one state (for all purposes, Govt. doesnot considers Jammu & Ladakh as part of J&K and only pays attention to valley)in India where Ms are in majority and look what happended – they have carried out a genocide there and driven all Hs out. But hardly anyone speaks against this terrorism of Ms against Hs. While on the other hand relatively small incidents against Ms are blown out of proportion and to castigate India.
    I am sure if in any other state Ms get to majority population, the scenario of Srinagar will be repeated in due course of time.
    The neglect of Leh is for everybody to see where there is hardly any decent hospital and so many people died recently in landslide due to lack of medical facilities. However, nobody hears that Leh wants secession from India due to lack of development.
    The mindset of appeasement of Ms and allowing them a free run despite their terrorist linkages has to simply stop. A terrorist or secessionist should be dealt sternly, whether H or M.

  39. “If tomorrow the majority in Jat-land start an armed struggle to establish an autonomous Khap-istan where honor killings and dowry and marriages of minors are legal and where inter-caste marriage implies death and retributive rape , … they wish to be governed because that’s what “Gujarati” majority wants?”

    This paragraph sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise coherent and meaningful post. This is a very juvenile “what-if” comparison. The parallels are obviously being drawn with a nation that would choose Sharia for the judicial system, seceding from a modern democratic system. But when was Sharia on the agenda of the KSM (Kashmiri Sunni Muslim) protesters? If so, it never got enough focus – not from them, not from the media. The point is that a people or a nation (in the sense of an ethnicity) doesn’t need a justification for its aspirations to be independent. We could give a thousand socioeconomic arguments why they shouldn’t be independent and that would be insufficient against the fact that “they want to be independent”.

    Don’t forget that Kashmir doesn’t have the same legacy of struggle for independence from the British that a Bengal or a Maharashtra have. And little has happened to help them identify with the Indian union since independence. Even so, what would have happened if you had grown up in a stressful environment where soldiers who spoke a very different language and had different ways about them, were to patrol the streets of your neighbourhood every day, passing pointed / rude / hostile / lewd remarks at your kin, unleash brazen acts of violence on common people “in the name of law and order”, keep an iron-grip on your day to day life, and generally create and maintain a situation where you can never be stress-free, free of fear for the lives and safety of yourself and the ones you care for. Even if this didn’t happen in a region as unique as Kashmir but some other end of the country – people would still lose faith in the governing power as much. In your terse statement that you believe AFSPA should be repealed, you agree to a lot of the above.

    I do think that India has failed to find an alternative to AFSPA to keep its control over the state and needless to say, this is an opportune moment for a lot of vested interests outside the borders to fuel an all out “popular” revolt inside the state. It is true that thousands of Kashmiri Hindus (Pandits and Waz) were forced to leave the state under extremely traumatic and stressful conditions. They have since enjoyed considerable concessions from the central and in some cases state governments (like Maharashtra’s) and many have sold their properties in Kashmir to Muslims. But in the process the demographics have become further lopsided – and the Indian state has effectively encouraged it hoping to appease the KSMs – but little has come of it. So the ineptness and indecisiveness of successive governments (stemming out of a myriad factors, both internal and international as much as from the lack of political acumen) has let this problem snowball to the current proportions. But to write off the struggle as one that is not for “independence”, and not representative of the people (KSM being the overwhelming majority in the Kashmir region) is an immature and adamant perspective.

  40. Thalaiva Arnab anna ,

    Nice post quite pragmatic and logical….

    What do you think is a good way to move forward ?

    “lets drive them all out, kashmir is just land “-Indian Army /Govt will never go this path,As our official position is kashmir and its people belong to india…

    “lets do this bhai chara ” -We could see what sort of bahi -chara happened for the last 60 years,A hard core wahabi ideologue would never accept a kafir as his brother…

    -as tough as it may seem best way forward is ,
    split J and K in to three jammu ,ladakh and the kashmir valley …
    people Jammu and ladakh were always with india…

    _ create a deal with wussies at UN ,that
    “Pay a million dollars for every pandit /buddhist /shia family that was displaced let the UN countries pay for this ”

    If all the families get their due for displacement ,we can ask china /and pakistan to conduct parallel plebiscites ..(pakis in baltishan and “azad kashmir”,china in Aksai chin and the left over parts…)

    The hypocrites that they are pakistan and china would never agree to a plebiscite in their areas of kashmir…thus I believe India should take a risk and call their bluff.

    we would loose nothing with this deal except some land on which we are spending a gazillion dollars a year ,and people who do not want to be part of india..

    In case they get freedom kashmiris will only gain emotional confidence but who will fund their banks/electricity/telephones and aman ?

    status quo for kashmir is not the solution …unless Indians are happy to keep spending the billions on kashmir…

    -One Great south Indian fan of ,Thalaiva Arnab Da

  41. Hai, dear i believe you have not analyzed the situation in proper way.. sorry to say but you are biased in your opinion…
    Root cause of struggle is not Independence as you have mentioned in your post, connecting youth with mainstream society of India as they were promised while rhetoric..
    This is just their frustration that is out bursting…….

  42. @apurv ji ,

    I do not see any kashmiri protestor carrying a poster like

    “We are also indians give us rights”
    “I want to eat laddu payasam with my south indian brothers ”
    “make us part of your bollywood mainstream ”

    Whatever the reason the stone throwers clearly hate the nation ,they DO NOT WANT to be a part of it.They have diverted far away into their ummah ideology ..

  43. Insightful and lets the netas sees this and do something to MY INDIA … We Indians are really tolerant losers, I wud say.. Desperately needed a Hitler kinda man for just 1 month. Do all the stuff and leave India clean and peaceful.. just like that

  44. @ Arnab anna ,

    I also know you do research on computer …
    Please also post a simple “P vs NP for dummies”
    The same way you did for subprime and CDO’s…

  45. Hahaha, even just reading the above comments(agreed which’s a very small sample size) we get the feel of the larger picture. I mean, tell me one good reason why India should even be considered a country? What’s the common ground… Religion? Is it?

    Unity in diversity, my foot! One state hating another state, north- south divide, division on basis of language, region, religion, caste, creed,sects, shape, size, you name it, and it’s there. Perhaps, the most glaring example was: this Maraathi Manoos propaganda by MNS. Oh wait, I have not even considered North-eastern state here. No, my friend ,forget Kashmir and its Azaadi part because I even doubt the Integrity of India as a country…

    With all due respect to the author, I do not agree with his simplistic approach… Well written but not well taken. Cheers!

  46. Our government is weak, weak, weak and corrupt to the core. We as a people lack pride and confidence in ourselves. Why do we keep looking for approval from the US or the UN for that matter. Forget Pakistan.

    India is a sovereign country. There is nobody above the law of the land. Every inch of India’s territory needs to be guarded and fought for. That is what every other country in the world id doing. Why are we so apologetic about fighting for our land.

    If Gujarat says that they want to be a separate country maybe with a little bit of Rajasthan and Maharashtra included in their territory tomorrow and pelt stones, it is only then that people will shut up.

  47. @Neeraj Jha
    And despite all you said, India is still a country with a garrulous sample size you see above.

    Now reconsider your comment.

  48. Greatbong you are baaaack man…You were a bit off in the CWG post but it may be because media tells only half-truths these days…Another thing is that only elements of the Kashmir Valley wants “Azaadi” but Valley of Kashmir only makes 15 percent area of even Indian Kashmir…Majority of Kashmir is comprised of Ladakh, Jammu , Northern Districts like Kargil to Siachen Glacier and Karakoram Pass….All people whoa re disturbed donot worry, nothing unceremonious will happen ..The Armed Forces which can win all 3000 sq kms of Siachen and all its tributary glaciers have India’s collective good always in its heart

  49. Hey!

    Agree in most part to your analysis but I must point out that benefits on paper/theory are far removed from benefits in reality… so…

    “The dirty little secret of Srinagar, the heart of the movement to secede from India, is that many of its residents live quite well on the Indian government’s money.”

    Well… that really sticks out as naive… “super citizens”?? Really? Based on Article 370 of our constitution?? A simple visit to the valley is enough to find out what these “super citizens” home is not even close to what we have in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai or even smaller cities like Pune or Luckhnow!

    It clearly is a Sunni Kashmiri Muslim problem (fanned by extreme un-employment, separatist movement, infiltration, an unimaginative Indian policy)… but more than just azaadi (which has become a much abused term) we have to open our eyes to the fact that self-determination as a state (or as an equal Indian citizen) does not exist for Kashmiris. To pretend that India has not messed up there would be akin to burying ones head in the sand.

    You present an overall balanced picture… but again I would implore you to dis-regard the theory and focus on the ground reality of their desperation (the causes of course you mention are plenty).

    And not all Sunni Kashmiri Muslims want ‘azaadi’ either… to club them all together would be our mistake and could further alienate the people who could be reasoned with.

  50. BUT…
    If day after tomorrow, “”India’s most-hated state Gujarat”” decides that it wants to throw out its Muslim minorities and establish a Hindu-theocratic Dhokla-land will the same Indians who post “Stop illegal military occupation of Kashmir by terrorist-state India” on their Facebook feeds also support the rights of Gujarati Hindus to choose how they wish to be governed because that’s what “Gujarati” majority wants?

    I am a Gujarati and will only say this “unwarranted”!!!

    I have great respect for you man… Dont want to loose it!!

    Cheers!

  51. Nailed it. Saw a comment abt Unity in Diversity being someone’s foot..yes only his foot!

    I heard from a very renouned scholar that Nehru was behind dicision of states based on language and C. Rajagopalachari was dead against it. Just wondering where India would have been had it been divided into geographical sections instead of language based partitions.60 years of that would have wiped off the inter language issues n all that crap as per me. Takes anyone ?

  52. Can anyone tell me for a fact whether something similar to Article 370 exists for the PoK? Are rest of the Pakistani citizens allowed to buy/own property there? If yes, that may be the answer we’re looking for Kashmir…

  53. Regarding the media role, normally I would be crying foul over their liberal bias. But this time, the media has been able to create an atmosphere for re-thinking. We used to think that no elected govt. in India would dare to go against the ” kashmir is an integral part of India” rhetoric for the fear of public backlash. But over the years, the media by repeatedly focusing on the Kashmiri grievances have caused a small change in heart among many people. The result being that the government is now bold enough to declare that they are considering more autonomy for the state. So, unwittingly the media have paved the way for a meaningful resolution of the issue as against the long status-quo.

  54. Without wait, Government should start by removing Dhara 370 from Jammu & Kashmir. Let Hindus settle back in Valley. After Hindus are in majority, split the state into 3 administrative regions. Then hold a plebiscite in Valley to show that people of Valley want to join Bharat.

    At the same time start demanding Human Rights for Kashmiris in Part of India now known as POK. This will putt the Pakistan on backfoot and force them to lay off their “adventure” in Kashmir.

    Though, for all this there seems to be only 1 leader who we can even dream of taking this up and he lives in “Dhokla-land” :)

  55. @ Dib

    Lets hope that the media starts gearing up for Hizbul to fly the flag of the religion of peace on teh Red Fort. That is what Hizbul and Lashkar wants.

    That way there will be a long term resolution of issues.

    What a bunch of Dhimmis.

  56. I was in Kashmir a coupla months ago. The Kashmiri Sunni Muslim driver said something flippant like “Kashmiri Pandits ran away from Kashmir when it got violent as compared to Kasmiri sardars who stayed.” That’s the sentiment among those people. It is no secret that Kashmiri Pandits were driven out of Kashmir until there weren’t any left. Maybe it’s time for the government to bleed that state dry and show the people where they’d be without us, though I’m afraid that that would push them further towards Pakistan

  57. Arnab

    Hats off!! brilliant Post. Unfortunately, this fact will barely reach out to the masses… coz our high brow media will never let it.

    Kashmiriyat -itself is a big maha-fraud of Kalamadi propotions that Kashmiri muslims have been tom-toming every time their communal underlinings are pointed out….

    Being a Kashmiri Pandit myself – living in exile… I have lived this fact…

    http://soulinexile.blogspot.com/2007/01/kashmiriyat-true-story.html

    Kashmiriyat is the biggest fraud of Kashmir…

    Kashmir issue is not about aazadi etc. If it were, the slogans on streets of Kashmir since 1989 would not have been the fanactic religious ones like
    “Yahan kya chalega – Nizam E Mustafa” (What will rule Kashmir – Rule of Allah)
    “La ilah Illalah – Pakistan banega Insalaah” (Praise to God! Kashmir will be Pakistan)
    “Kashmir mein agar rehna hai, Allah-o-Akbar kehna hai” (Only those who believe in Allah – (only Muslims) can live in Kashmir)
    “Aes gacche’ Pakistan, Batav ros’ te’ batnev saan” (we want Kashmir – without Pandit men, but with their womenfolk)
    “Battav ya raliv, chaliv nate’ galiv” (O Pandits – either join us, flee or die)
    (Read my first hand account – http://soulinexile.blogspot.com/2007/01/kp-exodus-day-19th-january-1990.html)

    -A Soul in Exile

  58. Arnab,
    I agree with what you’ve said here but would like to convey my disapproval of the Gujarat comparison that you have made.
    Do you actually mean that Gujarat is the most hated state? Or you meant it is the most envied state? And when you say that its the most hated state, on whose behalf do you say so, or make such a generalization? Can you support your claim here?
    I’d like to add here that I don’t know what percentage of people of india hate gujarat but I can surely say that its widely respected by people who value progress and development. So much so that they envy the pace at which Gujarat marches ahead of others. And the frustration grows even more when term after term a BJP govt is elected because its just the Modi factor that catches the eye of people. They cannot come to terms with the fact that an allegedly tainted chied minsiter is re-elected to power.
    But little do people care to understand the dynamics of the state. Its not that people re-elect the same govt because of the emotional wave that hit them 6 years ago. And neither do Gujarati people want that the muslims be thrown out of the state. There was a reigning BJP govt before 2002 also. So please dont be confused over “what Gujaratis want”.
    And if you differ on this, then please debate it out.
    It’d be a good idea of you visit the state once or better still stay there for sometime.

  59. Thank you Harvey. I’m done arguing with people carelessly portraying Gujaratis as bigots. Yes, the riots were a horrible thing to have happened. But do you think, if an incident like Sabarmati Express had happened in any other state, the state government there would have swiftly sustained any ensuing retaliations? The Gujarat leadership did not waver in its sympathy to the Sabarmati victims in the face of subsequent carnage by Hindus, and that was enough to draw the ire of our super sensitive media. Its damn easy to say that Narendra Modi ‘let things happen’ – so the original killers, rioters, rapists, both Hindu and Muslims are absolved and Modi comes out looking as the real and only villain. I suppose, if somebody kills Modi there would be no more communal riots in India, at least in Gujarat, right?

  60. Ramrajvi and others,

    The reference was “sarcastic” since what I laid out is the liberal “nightmare”. So please refrain from trying to defend your state—no slur was directed at it.

  61. @ soulinexile, amazing. My sister and her family are Kashmiri pandits (Hak) and they left under extremely difficult circumstances in 1989. They still retain the house in Srinagar, one of the very few Hindu property owners today. Have heard spine chilling accounts from her.

  62. I think referring to Gujarat was satirical. I studied there for four years and feel that it is the best state in the country. Forget Hindus, even the Muslims there have thousand times better economic status than in other parts of the country like UP and Bihar where the CMs leave their bathroom mid-way to appease the Muslims.

  63. Terrific. Absolutely terrific. You totally reflected my thoughts on this.
    I just cannot stand the sight of people who romanticize terrorism as “struggle for independence” and “struggle for rights”. These people including Arundhati Roy should be deported to Pakistan or a Gulf country to learn what real freedom means.

  64. @ Deepti,

    As a non-Gujarati, I can understand your feelings.

    After the train massacre of 60 pilgrims (mostly Hindu women and children) in Godhra, what was the media expecting? Red-carpets and Rose-petals?

    Had the fiery match not been lit at Godhra, there would have been no inferno in Gujarat. Period.

    In hindsight, I am not surprised that the Gujaratis felt that the Godhra train massacre was the last straw on their back. They knew what happened in Kashmir if they did not fight back against their murderous neighbours.

    The Kashmiri Pandits refused to hit back and look what it got them – Massacres..Gangrapes..Mass religious cleansing…Squalid Refugee camps in their own country.

    Ahimsa never pays. Just learn from Bengal’s tragedy.

  65. @ Rishi,

    I consider myself as an ill-informed Fox-news sucking faux conservative, and is generally in favor of extreme measures. But, just think a bit, Kashmir is not the same as any other state, a fact as observed in the special status given to it since inception. Even before the migration of Hindus began with the Islamization of the movement , there were demands of secession that was suppressed by the centre. Yes, its unfortunate that right now the movement is essentially Islamist , but that does not mean that the premise itself is faulty. The only reason I can think of clinging onto Kashmir is on independence it might become the hub for terrorist bases against the rest of the country. But , this very reasoning would support the view that ” Kashmir is a colony of India”, the perceived benefit here being the security of the rest of the country.
    The way out is to have a dialogue with everything on the table. My objection had been is in the way the Indian govt handled the whole issue.
    No peace negotiations can happen when the violence is raging, so they brought the army. The army more or less brought an end to the violence in the valley in the recent years. Now there was the time to have a meaningful dialogue. Instead the govt choose to play it safe and misinterpreted the lack of violence as lack of support for the movement itself.
    Regarding the media, of course I hate their pro-naxal, liberal bias . But, this time they have been successful to make people re-evaluate their uncompromising stand on Kashmir and thats commendable because without the people’s will no govt can dare to take any bold decision on the issue.

  66. The only long-term solution to Kashmir is to do what the Chinese are doing in Tibet & Xinjiang. Let us flood the valley with people from other parts of the country. Let us use the biggest weapon we Indians have – breeding and multiplying.

  67. Dib wrote:
    “I consider myself as an ill-informed Fox-news sucking faux conservative, and is generally in favor of extreme measures.”

    Response:
    Could be Fox or MSNBC or dailycos, but the “faux” part sure is correct.

    Dib wrote:
    “Kashmir is not the same as any other state, a fact as observed in the special status given to it since inception. Even before the migration of Hindus began with the Islamization of the movement , there were demands of secession that was suppressed by the centre.”

    Response:
    The Islamization began in 11th century CE. Its been a tragedy ever since. Do read some history when you get some time.

    Dib wrote:
    “The only reason I can think of, clinging onto Kashmir is on independence it might become the hub for terrorist bases against the rest of the country.”

    Response:
    The only reason I can think of, is that WE dont want to fight another battle of Panipat. That would make it the 4th one in a 1000 years.

    Now go and google the rest of your month off, figuring out why I wrote the above response.

    Empower yourself while you do that.

  68. India has been turned into a soft state by the incompetent spineless and corrupt Congress politicians that ruled the nation for the most part.

    Kashmir issue has been handled wrongly from the day one, by giving it a special status through article 370 of our ( sorry, I am not a citizen of India any more !) constitution.

    The second thing to be done is what Deshpremi has suggested, deal it the China way, as done in Tibet, change the demography by settling people from other parts of India !

  69. Good posting!!!

    I liked the unsaid words for MF.Hussain!!!

    Indian govt needs to be more stronger to take action against these separatist movements!

    If Hindu are been forced out of their own homes in their own country.(where the majority of them are Hindus) What sort of Law & Order does the country has?!!!

  70. Look Rishi, the Islamization of the whole sub-continent happened with the invasion of Ghouri, I think everyone knows that from school. What happened in the past cant be undone, every religion has its dark sides and harping on what happened in 11CE is meaningless. What I actually said is there was demand for a Kashmir as a secular state till the 60s or 70s until the scam elections started and the pro-independence movement got hijacked by the ISlamists. Again, we can start a blame game dating back to the first man, but the current reality is , the citizens of a province ( not the whole state, of course) is dissatisfied with the government of the country, they have no sense of belonging to the mainland and the government is containing them through army. This is obviously an unsustainable solution. You cannot just wish away that the people out there would not like to live a life of their own choice. Yes,if it is like the talibans , then of course I would oppose it on the grounds of being an extremist state.

  71. I was disappointed to see the throw away comment about AFSPA in otherwise a fairly decent write up. As as already been pointed out in very accurate manner by Jayant Bhattacharya above, AFSPA is the “minimum” requirement for presence of Army and its operations in any part of the country. This stand has been very clearly outlined by the various chiefs of Army staff at different points of time.

    Of course CRP and other such Paramilitary forces DO NOT need AFSPA since they are not “Armed forces” — AFSPA exists ONLY when IA needs to work. So if people dont want AFSPA, fine with me, but then even a modicum of common sense suggests that IA should not be there either.

    Time people decided whether they wanted IA to help out or not, they cant have their cake and eat it too.

  72. I agree with most of the points you make. A few of my own, gathered over 20 years.

    1 – Srinagar in 1990 – the most virulent outpouring of hate was towards Farooq Abdullah, not the Indian government. The popular belief was that he took the lion’s share of the money the government pours into the state.

    2 – “Hum naa India chahte hain naa Pakistan, hum apni sarkaar chahtey hain”. Perhaps a naive fantasy in view of the strategic importance of Kashmir.
    Keep in mind, however, that most of the turban shape of Kashmir that we see on Indian maps is actually POK.

    3 – I believe that no attempts at imposing peace through force can restore peace. Development strategies might work, but we have to contend with our friends from over the borders who don’t want peace in Kashmir.

    4 – Individual Kashmiris may be very wealthy (perhaps by skimming off the cream from funds pumped in). The residents’ objection is that PUBLIC funds are diverted and common amenities are therefore neglected. You have to be very very rich to build your own roads, generate your own power, clean your own town, set up your own water supply.

    5 – There IS abject poverty in the rural areas of Kashmir. I don’t know whether it’s a sufficient argument to say it’s no worse than in other parts of India. We HAVE heard of the Maoists …

    6 – Recent interactions with some Kashmiri youths – Srinagar is the showpiece of insurgency. The (orchestrated?) public protests are for the media (this echoes what a previous commenter said about the “Hurriyat season”). Outside Srinagar, the residents are mostly peaceful. And reportedly, live in fear of both the Indian armed forces and the infiltrators who terrorise them.

    It’s a mess. But it’s not a mess created by just one or two factions. It’s lasted decades now, and it’s getting worse with no solution in sight. Disorder and anarchy provide opportunities for bandits of all colours to dip their hands in the pot. The residents suffer. The exiles suffer. The rest of India suffers.
    And hatred grows.

    J.A.P.

  73. @Jayant Bhattacharya, Sanku:

    I am always amazed at how blithely people defend AFSPA. In 100% of the cases, these people have never lived a day under this act. I have lived and met people who have lived years under AFSPA and I can confidently say that NOT A SINGLE PERSON who has lived under this reprehensible act has a good word for it.

    It is an excuse for excesses by the army because it protects them from any consequences for their actions. If our army has to take extra constitutional actions to “protect” democracy, then they are obviously not a very good army, are they?

    The argument about the IA being synonymous with AFSPA is total semantic bullshit. Yes we frequently will need the army for insurgency ops. But no, we will not let give carte blanche to crush human rights without consequences, just because they can. Is that concept so difficult to understand. It it so impossible to conceive.

    Say what you will about the US and UK, but when human rights violations in Iraq have been uncovered, like the rape and murder of an Iraqi family – the soldiers have been arrested and punished. And this for actions in a foreign land. I wish our army would hold its head up this high in Manipur.

  74. @Wall:

    “Just wondering where India would have been had it been divided into geographical sections instead of language based partitions.”

    That’s a naive statement. Linguistic chauvinism was not created because of state creation. It was always there. It’s just easier to govern a state where most of the people belong to the same linguistic group, and reduce fears of minority oppression.

    Dividing states geographically would have made the problems worse. It would just have ensured that each state had a majority of one language and some minorities of other languages – leading to the inevitable situation where the majority try and subjugate the minority languages, like what is happening in Bombay right now.

    The reason countries like the US can afford to have such nice clean, straight line boundaries between states is the homogeneity of the population. We don;t have that at all.

  75. Dear Shan;

    Perhaps you should direct your anger at the reason why IA is in Manipur caused by the presence of people whose actions who have no oversight at all what so ever.

    Meanwhile you are incorrect on my other counts — AFSPA also does not provide carte blanche as is alleged, only changes the framework of laws in operation.

    Secondly if IA behaved a fraction of what US and UK armies in Iraq and Afganistan do, the problems of insurgences in India would be wholly solved. IAs record is sterling compared to any anti-insurgent force anywhere, either domestic or external.

    Thirdly, I have people from Manipur married into my family, so spare me the drivel about how I dont know Manipuri people, it so happens I know very well.

    Yes AFSPA is hard, but blaming AFSPA is blaming the doctor for taking out your teeth when YOU have not been brushing. :-D

  76. Respected sir,
    Kindly spread my view of Kashmir problem and solution as:-

    Dear Brothers & Sisters,

    Militants, Military and innocent citizens of Kashmir all are our brothers and sisters. The loss of life of any one is loss of our personal soul. A Saitan is behind the violence, who become happy on every death in Kashmir. Why we become a toy ……of the Saitan? The only one solution of Kashmir is to join the Kashmir of both sides, which is possible in “Azad Hind Desh” a united nation of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    Think seriously to rejoin in “Azad Hind Desh”.

    -Ghulam Kundanam,
    Citizen of Azad Hind Desh(India+Pakistan+Bangladesh)

    Email : Ghulam.kundanam@gmail.com

    Blog – http://www.ghulamkundanam.blogspot.com/

    FaceBook:- http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Ghulam-Kundanam/100001040727520

    Twitter :- http://twitter.com/ghulamkundanam

  77. @Dib

    “What I actually said is there was demand for a Kashmir as a secular state till the 60s or 70s until the scam elections started and the pro-independence”

    Response:
    1948 to 1950. Then 1964-65

    Ummah was the reason. And will continue to be so.
    Tactics may change. Yeterday it was Hazratbal, tomorrow it will be Omar’s great grandson.

    India should not stop those that choose the Ummah, over the Indian Union, to leave for Pakistan.

    Will make Kashmir a safer place for everyone else.

  78. @Sanku: Oh please. Not the “Just because the terrorists have no laws governing them, the army should have the same rights” argument again! That just puts them on the same moral plane.

    “Secondly if IA behaved a fraction of what US and UK armies in Iraq and Afganistan do, the problems of insurgences in India would be wholly solved.”

    A rhetorical, pat, mean-nothing statement. And false analogy to boot. My analogy was to show the contrast between their behavior and their checks and balances even in a war zone – not to suggest that we bomb Kashmir or Manipur likewise. Till date there has been hardly any disciplinary action against the AR goons in Manipur. In fact the only time I have any action taken by the IA against its own under AFSPA was for the fake “tomato ketchup” encounters where someone tried to take credit. Even there action was taken out of embarrassment and not any moral or legal repudiation.

    AFSPA is an embarrassment to India and the Indian Armed forces because it immediately signals that India has lost legal and constitutional control over that area, and therefore needs to contravene human rights laws and constitutional protections accorded to other Indian citizens to regain that control.

    Not that they, to their shame, succeed in regaining control. That’s why the AFSPA stays on for decades after being imposed. Is that the fault of not brushing teeth, or because the dentist is a quack?

    Ha!

  79. @Shan:

    I have lived in Dibrugarh, Assam from 1990-93, the worst period of insurgency and President’s rule. I have been traveling to the Northeast almost every year since the last 20 years or so. I am from the northeast.

    As I said, the Army is brought in under special circumstances and dealing with special circumstances need special provisions in the law. The AFSPA is, hence, there for a reason.

    You are fighting insurgency, an asymmetrical war. The Indian Army’s track record has been excellent so far barring some aberrations. The Army has not tolerated its officers and jawans indulging in criminal acts.

    Those Pakistan-backed anti-Indian insurgent Kashmiris must see how Pakistan itself is dealing with insurgency in SWAT. At least, we are not using fighter bombers, tanks and missiles against them.

    Having said the above, I would like to say that the Army is very rude. Officers and jawans speak in very degrading manner to local population. I have seen this in Assam during routine stop-and-search of public and personal vehicles. It is not only intimidating, but quite insulting especially when they don’t care if the passenger is a man or woman.

    There must be orders from the top brass in Delhi to the foot soldier down their in Manipur or Kupwara to behave properly and respectfully.

  80. Today I chanced upon an article in Hindustan Times.

    (http://epaper.hindustantimes.com/PUBLICATIONS/HT/HD/2010/08/13/ArticleHtmls/Ramzan-wont-buy-peace-for-Kashmir-13082010015004.shtml?Mode=1)

    Ramzan Won’t Buy Peace For Kashmir – where Syed Ali Shah Geelani is quoted as saying, “We will continue with protests. Muslims have won many battles in this holy month in the past. The next protest calendar will be issued after taking stock of the ground situation.”

    Well, so it is about Islam and Muslims after all. The Hindus have been driven out and the rest are too insignificant to matter.

    Jagmohan too has a very good op-ed on Kashmir in HT today (couldn’t find the link).

  81. Your argument would be valid if the demand for independence started only after 1990 (i.e. after the Pandits were driven out by the terrorists). But, since that is not the case, and there had been a constant demand for freedom right from 1947, which was both peaceful and secular, I am not sure how we can use the “oh, they have driven out the Hindus, they now want to establish a theocratic state and hence it is not an independence movement” argument. For 40 years, when they were demanding freedom to decide peacefully, we kept postponing that on some pretext or the other. Our own prime minister promised to the UN to conduct a plebiscite, he even stated in the Parliament that the issue will be ultimately decided by “what is in the hearts and minds of Kashmiri people”, but that never happened. And then, 40 years later, a section of the population turned violent and now we are using that as the reason to further postpone granting their choice?

  82. “If day after tomorrow, India’s most-hated state Gujarat decides that it wants to throw out its Muslim minorities and establish a Hindu-theocratic Dhokla-land will the same Indians who post “Stop illegal military occupation of Kashmir by terrorist-state India” on their Facebook feeds also support the rights of Gujarati Hindus to choose how they wish to be governed because that’s what “Gujarati” majority wants?”

    This is unacceptable Arnab. I have followed ur blog a lot and found it to be quite good and witty. This is going too far. I have born and lived in Gujarat for 23 years of my life, I have seen development in the state and also everything else, law and conditions here is definitely much better than a fair few states of India.

    When you say Gujarat is the most hated state, it’s basically few newspapers, a few journalists and a majority of congress people who think just because one anti-muslim riot here, gives them a topic to dance around to gather muslim votebank.

    to all of those, my reply would be the prominent middle-finger salute and a polite “shut up”.

  83. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant post. Another hit on the nail and its head.

    There might be n number of goings on everywhere but atleast some one is defending the idea of India – that is the freedom to be person that you are, with all cultural, linguistic, religious, gender-and what not-trappings. This Idea has gone sour for many people but has been the foundations of all things positive in this country – the bricks of a great nation, something which has been told to me by my grandparents and something which I would tell my children and theirs’.
    Things are not perfect – but they never are. But anyday I’d rather call myself as an Indian, rather base my identity on my religion, my caste, my race, my language, my gender, my color of hair, the clothes I wear, the name of my dog – or any other permutation and combination you can think of. I’d rather be a whole, thank you and not stereotyped into that just one thing that makes me Me.

    When aspects of freedom are suppressed, when basic rights are denied – there is just cause for revolt. But if the cause is pseudo-religious – imagine being forced to wear beards and burqas, conform in your personal life even as salesmen dress in suits in sweltering heat for corporates – or plain political/economic ambition; when you infringe on say my right to life and beliefs – you are a pack of apes, aping one another, with a very crucial component missing for you to be considered Human. If you choose the life of an animal, you will live like one and die like one.

    The Kashmir Issue is serious as it is. Every human being needs basic freedoms and opportunities to develop/express him/herself. This must not be denied. But imposing your way of living on other human beings – sorry. Driving out/killing innocent people – sorry. Profiteering from human life – sorry. Doing nothing about it despite having power to do so – you will rot in hell with a 1000 virgins. 40 year old virgins, as GB dictates.

    P.S.: How can people take Dhokla-land seriously?? I mean, come on – Dhokla-land? Can’t you people get sarcasm??

    GB, I feel for you. I, for one, am more than willing to tolerate your indiscretions – do carry on.

  84. I was born in kashmir and was one of “chosen” ones to be thrown out and although this in no way has made me biased about all muslims in general, but I have to point out one important thing which you missed out..why is India doing in a state where the majority has no love for it? Its water..the water that irrigates punjab and the water that keeps pakistan alive and for any country that is a strategic nightmare to have their water supply under an enemy nation’s control.

    Now point no.2, what the heck is the matter with KSM’s..there are shias there too..but just as Anti-India. The thing is Kashmiri muslims are defined by their religion and not their own identity. Look at the kashmiri administrative services! Full of Kashmiri pandits, Punjabis and sikhs..why is that? Because the kashmiri Muslims love to be victims..they are victims of everything, persecution complex runs deep in them..Ask them who threw out the kashmiri pandits, they say it was Jagmohan or say the kashmiri pandits were all IB/RAW agents or were cowards , they are in utter denial of their own crimes! You give them employment packages, you throw money at them, you do anything, they wont change and they havent changed. Take away ladakh and Jammu from Kashmir..take the strategic resources and give the rest of the place independence..let those bitches starve.

    Point no.3 : One thing which sticks out like a sore thumb is the reaction of the police. MNS burns buses..no activists killed, CPI-M/TMC walk around with weapons..no activists killed. Hindus protesting amarnath yatra agitations in jammu..noone shot. Kashmir you step out to protest..bullet through head. We are partly responsible for them hating us. All KSM’s arent bad but almost everyone has either been stopped at a checkpost, slapped,kicked or abused for just being a kashmiri muslim.

  85. @Shan; The point about US army was amusing, to say the least, their human rights violations make IA “excesses” seem like school boy naughtiness. The behavior of Indian army and even Assam rifles (Which is a MHA force strictly speaking) has been exemplary. You can write tomes on this but just to give you a small hint, compare the number of civilian hurts/deaths by IA action compared to IA’s OWN losses and compare it with any other force anywhere in the world and you will see the order of magnitude difference.

    Also Indian army does punish the guilty (a few that there are) a lot, it is different issue that the media is only interested in Ketchup colonels and not the real nitty gritty of what a fighting force is about.

    Secondly — worrying about AFSPA is like a patient of Luekoderma worrying about loosing hair from chemotherapy. Sure, the chemicals are bad and it hurts, but as it happens, as long as the cancer exists, the treatment is harsh. This may or may not be “nice” but it is so, period.

    Yes AFSPA shows that the “normal” state of affairs has ceased to exist — and guess what that is unfortunately a reality. Trying to appear nice by brushing the AFSPA away is sheer hypocrisy. If the situation is really nice, remove BOTH AFSPA and the IA forces needed. If you cant, worrying about AFSPA is a exercise in futility.

  86. @ Bengal Voice,

    You are joking right??

    “After the train massacre of 60 pilgrims (mostly Hindu women and children) in Godhra, what was the media expecting? Red-carpets and Rose-petals?”

    Is that justification for murder, rape, pillage and destruction of property (both Hindu and Muslim) of people NOT CONNECTED to the train burning?? So we should expect brutality and escalation of violence when something goes wrong because thats justice for you?

    “Had the fiery match not been lit at Godhra, there would have been no inferno in Gujarat. Period.”

    Sure! Lets NOT catch the people who actually burned the train! LETS NOT INVESTIGATE THAT AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE… lets find out what RELIGION they belonged to and then lets travel to Ahmedabad and kill people of the same faith as theirs’… doesn’t matter if our own people die… because… ITS JUSTIFIED… MOMMY MOMMY… THEY BURNT THE TRAIN FIRST! India doesn’t have any laws… so we HAD TO kill others to satisfy our grief!

    “In hindsight, I am not surprised that the Gujaratis felt that the Godhra train massacre was the last straw on their back. They knew what happened in Kashmir if they did not fight back against their murderous neighbours.”

    YES… all Muslims in Gujarat were murderous looking for ways to swiftly and suddenly kill other Gujaratis! They have always been a pain! And then someone belonging to their faith burnt our train! LAST STRAW! LAST STARW! LETS TEACH THEM A LESSON! LETS RIOT! TO HELL WITH LAW AND ORDER!

    “The Kashmiri Pandits refused to hit back and look what it got them – Massacres..Gangrapes..Mass religious cleansing…Squalid Refugee camps in their own country.”

    Oh… yes… we should have had riots in Kashmir as well! CIVIL WAR IS THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING! DON’T SAVE YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FAMILY… FIGHT THE LUNATICS IN HAND TO HAND COMBAT! If they are being stupid and murderous SO SHOULD WE! Because thats the greatest logic in the world!

    “Ahimsa never pays. Just learn from Bengal’s tragedy.”

    Therefore we should all sharpen our blades… first lets go finish off those Kashmiri protestors… then those north-eastern buggers… Naxals red blood shall flow too… and then when they are all dead and gone… then TRUELY INDIA WILL be great!

    Ha!

    There are hawks and there are doves… and there are people who just don’t care… neither is absolutely right and neither can have all the answers! To make sweeping statements and indulge in sensational rhetoric has NEVER in history served any great good! Nor will it in the future.

    If radicalisation of a section of the population is becoming a problem (Islamiat, Hinduvta) then the answer is NOT MORE RADICALISATION!

    Reason based on religion and regionalism… it will never take us anywhere!

  87. @Nikhil: Great points. No-one else has brought up the strategic importance vis a vis the rivers, & why that makes Kashmir unique for both India & Pakistan. That’s the underlying issue without resolving that one way or another everything else is just noise.

    Without Article 370, perhaps Kashmir would receive more private investment from the rest of India & would be less dependent on handouts from a corrupt government. With enough growth there would be less space for Pakistani interference (which is really where all this starts….though Pakistan interferes because of the rivers….& we are back where we started).

  88. Rishi, your views are pro-hate, thats the problem. You claim to fight against extremism with your own extremism. I am not saying you should not use army against millitants to bring an end to widespread violence. But you cannot expect to change the mindset of the people with army.

  89. I don’t want a Jatland based on Khap nonsense – F ‘em. But I do want it.
    My people have shed disproportionate amount of blood serving in the Armed Forces for venal politicians and rest of the fuddu desis.

  90. Awesome post. I second that throughly.

    Been to Srinagar and the surrounding regions twice. Seen what kinda development is there. Very good initiatives by the govt. Our driver was from Jammu and he always blamed the srinagar people for fuelling all the protests. Didnt understand at that time. Now I understand. His solution was simple, give Kashmir to Pak and then the Kashmiris (so called) would understand. right now, the people of srinagar stay well with the so called tourist money (ofcourse majority indians) and they as well blame the indians. They call POK as Azad Kashmir and this “Hamara Kashmir” to the Indian part of Kashmir. Nowhere comes India in the picture.

    What does CRPF and the army do if there are 1000 people protesting in front of you, throwing stones at you. Had this been Israel or USA or China, all the protesters would have been either shot dead or behind bars.

    @Protesters: Please understand, you can protest only because you are a part of India.

  91. .And your definition of “independence” would ensure that East Timor and Eritrea (for example), had no right to independence…
    ——————————————
    there is a vast difference, for one thing India was not ruled by brutal dictators (Sukarno and Mengistu) and India did not massacre 20% of the population, as happened in east timor. a more comparable situation can be found in northern ireland, but the big difference is that the irish govt di not fund and aid the IRA.

  92. “a more comparable situation can be found in northern ireland, but the big difference is that the irish govt di not fund and aid the IRA.”

    And the Catholics didn’t kill/drive away all the protestants…

  93. For people who are ignorant-
    1. panchayats have been functioning in India for millenniums. All over India. Its not a product of jat minds.

    Its a process of collective decision making, where every person, if s/he so desires, has the opportunity to voice their opinion. The people of the village decides, after open discussions, the best course of action and implements it. There are no dogmatic text they refer to. They decide based on what they consider is appropriate.

    2. Groups of panchayats of an area and other areas nearby form khaps. Groups of many khaps form sarve khap.

    Matters affecting other regions are discussed at such higher levels.

    3. panchayat is headed by few wise people of the village. It is not hereditory.
    Women have been among the heads of panchayat too.

    4. This panchayat system sustaining village level decison making was nullified by british administrators, and muslim rulers, who appointed zamindars as decison makers and tax collectors.

    Thus not only was decison making taken away from villagers, their produce, that were earlier distributed between the villagers themselves or among other nearby villages in times of need, were appropriated by the usurpers. This resulted in many famine deaths.

    5. khap panchayats function based on collective decison making. Not based on any book said to be from some ‘god’ above. Not based on what one ‘prophet’ may have said a millennium ago.

    It is people’s decison.

    6. Those who talk about ‘khapistan’ reveal their ignorance about khap. As if ‘khap’ is some sort of sect or cult. and so, like khalistan or dalitstan or dravidistan, it is appropriate to conjure up a ‘khapistan’ and preen about their ‘wit’.

    These people also lets off those who make wrong decisons, and instead crucify an institution that only offers people platform to voice their opinons and make their decisons in open manner.
    What such people effectively do is to propose silencing of entire peoples and community.

    Such people, indoctrinated by prevalent ‘liberal’ western thought- that considers it appropriate to deny aspirations of mainstream community sentiments and only accord privileged hearing to radical minority voices, and considering theselves ‘modern’, does not realize the seriousness of damage that they do, perhaps, does not care even.
    They may call themselves demented minds. But that is not excuse enough to do this.

    Honor killings and dowry and marriage of minors does not define khap. Why is khaps identified with only these ills ?
    Is it inter-caste marriages or sagotra marriages that author wants blame on khap ?
    Or is it both ? and in the fashion of prevalent illiberal discourse, perhaps every other ill too ? Including global warming, because ‘khaps’ have many cattle that eat up greenery and produce methane gas.

    Why doesn’t this worthy blame ‘modern society’ of which he is a patron, for the ills of destroying environment, of decadence in society, of breaking up of families, of collective amneisa towards community responsibilities, little-better-than-slavery of millions of people in slums, killing hundreds in motor accidents, and suggest deploying Army to destroy such society ?

    Or does he consider these as minor collateral damage to be ignored on way to ‘progress’ for a few such as him ?

    While the worthy takes up cause against ‘most hated Gujarat’ state and ‘khaps’, why isn’t the case of affluent city dwellers and avaricious capitalists displacing villagers not taken up ?

    Does he identify such ills only with the ‘individuals’ who commit them , not with the governance system that facilitates it with its dogmatic texts and dynastic governers ? Yet a separate standard is applied`when it comes to khap panchayat where it is not the individuals that are blamed, but the platform that allows for everyone to voice their opinion and form community decison. Why.

    Oh, yeah, they and their ‘khaps’ are to be silenced, to usher in the Kingdom of God(of Modernity, of which the fellow is a patron). In ‘modern’ lingo, khaps are the ‘heathens’ and believers should do all they can to villify and destroy them without giving a thought.

  94. Indian Pledges

    In his telegram to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said, “I should like to make it clear that the question of aiding Kashmir in this emergency is not designed in any way to influence the state to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is that the question of accession in any disputed territory or state must be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view”. (Telegram 402 Primin-2227 dated 27th October, 1947 to PM of Pakistan repeating telegram addressed to PM of UK).

    In other telegram to the PM of Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir’s accession to India was accepted by us at the request of the Maharaja’s government and the most numerously representative popular organization in the state which is predominantly Muslim. Even then it was accepted on condition that as soon as law and order had been restored, the people of Kashmir would decide the question of accession. It is open to them to accede to either Dominion then”. (Telegram No. 255 dated 31 October, 1947).

    In his broadcast to the nation over All India Radio on 2nd November, 1947, Pandit Nehru said, “We are anxious not to finalise anything in a moment of crisis and without the fullest opportunity to be given to the people of Kashmir to have their say. It is for them ultimately to decide —— And let me make it clear that it has been our policy that where there is a dispute about the accession of a state to either Dominion, the accession must be made by the people of that state. It is in accordance with this policy that we have added a proviso to the Instrument of Accession of Kashmir”.

    In another broadcast to the nation on 3rd November, 1947, Pandit Nehru said, “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people. That pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir and to the world. We will not and cannot back out of it”.

    In his letter No. 368 Primin dated 21 November, 1947 addressed to the PM of Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said, “I have repeatedly stated that as soon as peace and order have been established, Kashmir should decide of accession by Plebiscite or referendum under international auspices such as those of United Nations”.

    In his statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly on 25th November, 1947, Pandit Nehru said, “In order to establish our bonafide, we have suggested that when the people are given the chance to decide their future, this should be done under the supervision of an impartial tribunal such as the United Nations Organisation. The issue in Kashmir is whether violence and naked force should decide the future or the will of the people”.

    In his statement in the Indian Constituent Assembly on 5th March, 1948, Pandit Nehru said, “Even at the moment of accession, we went out of our way to make a unilateral declaration that we would abide by the will of the people of Kashmir as declared in a plebiscite or referendum. We insisted further that the Government of Kashmir must immediately become a popular government. We have adhered to that position throughout and we are prepared to have a Plebiscite with every protection of fair voting and to abide by the decision of the people of Kashmir”.

    In his press-conference in London on 16th January, 1951, as reported by the daily “Statesman” on 18th January, 1951, Pandit Nehru stated, “India has repeatedly offered to work with the United Nations reasonable safeguards to enable the people of Kashmir to express their will and is always ready to do so. We have always right from the beginning accepted the idea of the Kashmir people deciding their fate by referendum or plebiscite. In fact, this was our proposal long before the United Nations came into the picture. Ultimately the final decision of the settlement, which must come, has first of all to be made basically by the people of Kashmir and secondly, as between Pakistan and India directly. Of course it must be remembered that we (India and Pakistan) have reached a great deal of agreement already. What I mean is that many basic features have been thrashed out. We all agreed that it is the people of Kashmir who must decide for themselves about their future externally or internally. It is an obvious fact that even without our agreement no country is going to hold on to Kashmir against the will of the Kashmiris”.

    In his report to All Indian Congress Committee on 6th July, 1951 as published in the Statesman, New Delhi on 9th July, 1951, Pandit Nehru said, “Kashmir has been wrongly looked upon as a prize for India or Pakistan. People seem to forget that Kashmir is not a commodity for sale or to be bartered. It has an individual existence and its people must be the final arbiters of their future. It is here today that a struggle is bearing fruit, not in the battlefield but in the minds of men”.

    In a letter dated 11th September, 1951, to the U.N. representative, Pandit Nehru wrote, “The Government of India not only reaffirms its acceptance of the principle that the question of the continuing accession of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to India shall be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations but is anxious that the conditions necessary for such a plebiscite should be created as quickly as possible”.

    As reported by Amrita Bazar Patrika Calcutta, on 2nd January, 1952, while replying to Dr. Mookerji’s question in the Indian Legislature as to what the Congress Government going to do about one third of territory still held by Pakistan, Pandit Nehru said, ” is not the property of either India or Pakistan. It belongs to the Kashmiri people. When Kashmir acceded to India, we made it clear to the leaders of the Kashmiri people that we would ultimately abide by the verdict of their Plebiscite. If they tell us to walk out, I would have no hesitation in quitting. We have taken the issue to United Nations and given our word of honour for a peaceful solution. As a great nation we cannot go back on it. We have left the question for final solution to the people of Kashmir and we are determined to abide by their decision”.

    In his statement in the Indian Parliament on 7th August, 1952, Pandit Nehru said, “Let me say clearly that we accept the basic proposition that the future of Kashmir is going to be decided finally by the goodwill and pleasure of her people. The goodwill and pleasure of this Parliament is of no importance in this matter, not because this Parliament does not have the strength to decide the question of Kashmir but because any kind of imposition would be against the principles that this Parliament holds. Kashmir is very close to our minds and hearts and if by some decree or adverse fortune, ceases to be a part of India, it will be a wrench and a pain and torment for us. If, however, the people of Kashmir do not wish to remain with us, let them go by all means. We will not keep them against their will, however painful it may be to us. I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir. It is not that we have merely said that to the United Nations and to the people of Kashmir, it is our conviction and one that is borne out by the policy that we have pursued, not only in Kashmir but everywhere. Though these five years have meant a lot of trouble and expense and in spite of all we have done, we would willingly leave if it was made clear to us that the people of Kashmir wanted us to go. However sad we may feel about leaving we are not going to stay against the wishes of the people. We are not going to impose ourselves on them on the point of the bayonet”.

    In his statement in the Lok Sabha on 31st March, 1955 as published in Hindustan Times New Delhi on Ist April, 1955, Pandit Nehru said, ” Kashmir is perhaps the most difficult of all these problems between India and Pakistan. We should also remember that Kashmir is not a thing to be bandied between India and Pakistan but it has a soul of its own and an individuality of its own. Nothing can be done without the goodwill and consent of the people of Kashmir”.

    In his statement in the Security Council while taking part in debate on Kashmir in the 765th meeting of the Security Council on 24th January, 1957, the Indian representative Mr. Krishna Menon said, “So far as we are concerned, there is not one word in the statements that I have made in this council which can be interpreted to mean that we will not honour international obligations. I want to say for the purpose of the record that there is nothing that has been said on behalf of the Government of India which in the slightest degree indicates that the Government of India or the Union of India will dishonour any international obligations it has undertaken”.

  95. Cults are viral memetic infection.

    Eg. Moonies,etc,etc.

    Neuroscientists are trying to find ways to battle extremist mentalities.Cult followers have to be deprogrammed. May be a mass electroshock therapy will become the cure.

    Watch these videos by reseach scientists at TED..

    Diane Benscoter on how cults rewire the brain

    Rebecca Saxe: How we read each other’s minds.

  96. The main problem with your writing is that you often lack empathy. While I do not disagree with some of your opinions I would like to say that if you put yourself in the place of the ordinary Kashmiri muslim youth who have to conduct their lives under the watchful gaze of the Indian army then you too might feel that you were under siege and fighting for your independence. Judging by the overwhelmingly positive reaction from the majority of your commentators, I feel that you are pandering to a certain narrow minded strain of the Indian population who are the stuff of my nightmares!A solution is not going to arise from such posts or dialogue. Sigh,it is indeed depressing reading your comments section…

  97. @ Anya
    Empathy is a 2-way traffic.

    I am sure the Sunni Islamic Pakistani Army would have less empathy for the Kashmiri Jihadis (BOTH the stone throwing ones or the granade throwing ones), had they been on the line of fire.
    You may well gauge their behavior, from the atrocities commited by Islamists in the Pakistani frontier agencies; by both the Tehreek e Taliban and the Paksitani Army.

    Empathy is a state of mind that is heavily effected by ‘belief systems”.
    The Indian Army, which was loving called the “tame elephants” by the Muslims of Somalia, during their deployment there in the 90s, has a much higher sense of empathy than most armies.

  98. bit too far to the dangerous truth for u was it???

    anywayz everyones thinking the same about this (islam) being a global problem which has to be resolved globally…all these problems at the local level will resolve gradually when the western countries take pre-emptive measures…
    i reckon be 2015 we shud have clear direction

  99. Mr. GreatBong, get your A.. back in India, and join politics or something. Wish someone higher up here could think like you and act on it.

  100. “Kashmiri Sunni Muslims” is a misrepresentation too. In reality we are talking about ” Kashmir valley sunni muslim youth who reside in districts bordering the LoC and who suffer from severe cell phone camera addiction”. Or “Willing victims of Kashmir” for short.

  101. @tanya

    I wasn’t talking about the lack of empathy shown by the Indian army (although the Kashmiris could give you many examples of their lack of empathy )- they have a difficult task at hand and I appreciate that. The problem is with perception and an army man with a gun in his hand is always a daunting prospect. The problem is with governance, the valley needs to be demilitarised ultimately for the situation to change.

  102. Great job by Arnab. His serious blogs are always top class – much better than his funny ones. But he will never be given the spot of a columnist in the mainstream Indian media because he is out and out pro-India.

  103. Great article. Hit the nail on the head with clinical precision.

    It would be an irony indeed if people like Hilal Mir didn’t realize the extent of their independence and privileges that allow them to get away with pelting stones at the Indian military forces *and* shouting from the rooftops about it, while demanding ‘azaadi’ in their all-consuming and pompously self-righteous rage.

    But that’s not it. The fact of the matter is, people like Hilal Mir are perfectly and acutely aware of their privileges, and are very good at exploiting these privileges to whip up sentiments in service of their agendas. And that’s the scary part.

  104. Good words sir. Absolute Spot on.

    Wish, we as a country dive little dipper in to the things happening than just remain on the surface with half-baked understanding.

  105. THE REASON SRINAGAR VALLEY IS SO IMPORTANT FOR PAK IS BECAUSE IF IT STAYS WITH INDIA IT SHOWS AS A LIE THE VERY REASON FOR THE CREATION OF PAK.

    Look at the geography of J&K – Jammu is hindu, Ladakh Leh side is Buddhist. Ladakh Kargil side is Shia muslim, all want to be with India. Only the Srinagar valley area – the Sunni muslims as GB has pointed out – want to be with Pak (or notionally independent). That would be like a dagger into the India, would mean a loss of Ladakh, and a Pak China linkup that would threaten whole of North India. The whole Siachen issue isto prevent the Pak China linkup along the Karokoram highway.

    As for plebicite, it was to be for the whole of Kashmir state (including Pak Occupied Kashmir). Paks position is – what is ours is ours, lets have plebicite only for the Indian controlled area. Since the pree-conditions of plebicite have not been, and will never be met, talking of plebicite is useless.

  106. It is amply clear that the fate of Kashmir cannot be compared with the fate of Khapland or Gujju land or whatever other parallels, due to the simple logic that the origins of the inclusion of J & K into our country are as yet, unclear and debatable, whereas the others are part of this country, no questions asked. If India truly believes that Kashmir is an integral part of the country, then it should forget appeasement and vote bank politics and quell all protests with an iron fist and tell the protesters to go the M.F. Husain way. However, if there is still a doubt that J & K was ever a part of India, bring in the UN, do a plebiscite and figure out what the people want. Once that is decided, make sure that whatever parts want to join our sovereign states are completely unified with us AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, SEAL THE BORDER. And after that, if protesters remain in our sovereign state, and if there is any attack on the Indian Army, treat that as an act of war and deal with it in the same manner. The loss of whatever part of J & K that decides to remain a separate state or join Pakistan should not be treated as loss of face (which is the prime reason for problems on both sides), but should be accepted as the path of least resistance. But once, the people have spoken, protect whoever decides to join us, with the ferocity required!

  107. @Krishna — One of things that there is no doubt about (MMS’s sniveling notwithstanding) is that ALL of J&K is integral part of India. There is a Parliamentary resolution to that effect which will take 3/4 majority in the joint houses to undo.

    That is clear — anyone who talks anything else (including MMS) is going against the letter and spirit of India and Indian parliament.

    So one part of your question is quite clearly answered — so logically only the other path remains.

  108. “..the only thing that saved him was the “Hindustan” times card with the emphasis being on the sub-string Hindu.”

    I think you didn’t read the linked article correctly,

    The reporter says that it was the word “Hindustan” not “Hindu”.
    There is a whole lot of difference between them.

  109. GB,

    I may agree to most of the part.
    What I think is that valley has already gone out of our hands. It is not acceptable that a democratic government has to employ army to occupy a piece of land. And we all know what would happen if Army is taken out. Now it would be either Barry Obama or our beloved “familia” heading the clan of Gandhidas who would decide when to accept the truth formally. The “independence struggle” that we are made to watch is the struggle of the loyal media to prepare or condition the “aam admi” so that when our collective mother will be mutilated, we do not say “aahhh” in pain, we would say “OK, finally!!” and try to speculate who will win next Indian Idol. A mother who gives birth to so many indifferent and coward sons or daughters has to have higher pain threshold. Oh silly me, I forgot. It is politically incorrect to use the “pain” word, it is just cool to call it “tolerance”.
    Now that believers in secular, open and democratic society has learnt that there is no mileage to be drawn from supporting the Hindu cause, the important task of thinking what happens to Kashmiri Hindus post-second-partition has to be handled by those who were not smart enough to sell their soul to secular-liberal ideologies. The big question is if Valley is to be gifted to Sunnis because of noble cause of ending America’s war or even nobler cause of profit of “the the familia”, what is the fate of Jammu? Jammu is not populated with Pandits, ideologically and historically they are more aligned with Vivekananda than Gandhi and they have driven this point home a few years back when they created blockade to punish the valley. If this area is given to Sunnis, the humanitarian crisis of 1989 would follow.

  110. Has anybody seen the movie “The Stoning of Soraya M”, a chilling true story about a woman in tribal Iran falsely accused of adultery and hence stone to death by his husband and religious leaders under Sharia law
    hmmm..makes me wonder if such stories will come out of “Independent” Kashmir, having already kicked Indian dogs out long ago, say down the road in 20 years!!

  111. I never understood, why India wants to put in all my hard earned money that I pay as tax into one particular state. I regretfully say this as a Kashmiri Muslim, this special treatment has only made those that receive benefits, lazy and those who don’t wild… the article 370 should go… my family left the valley, because we were being influenced everyday by those that call themselves chaste, to stop improving and take up arms… they never had a logical argument to why?!!

    I would appreciate if my email id is not published…

  112. Wow judging by the posts here may be we are as jingoistic about Kashmir as Pakistan is. Weather its a small minority, weather its bcoz of religion the bottom line is we have this problem for 50 years that we havent been able to solve. So I guess we should now hold the plebiscite and if the ppl wanting to leave India is small it will show up as such in polls and thus we will be left with truly secular patriotic Indians who r proud to be Indians and who want to be with India.

    To all those ppl who jump up at any mention of Gujarat to defend “Gujarati Ashmita” again and agian, stop, you are embarrassing us real gujaratis. Stop defending the Gujarat riots. Yes ppl should have come out on streets after the burning of the train but to protest and put pressure on the police to make sure the perpetrators are arrested not to kill and rape ur innocent neighbors. That is how civilized countries deal with it.

  113. Russie,
    In a civilized country a train is not burnt by a mob and it does not get hushed up by the media either. Upholding civilized values is not the responsibility of one man or one community, it is the responsibility of every part of the society and helping maintain the law and order is the responsibility of every pillar of democracy including the fourth one i.e. media. When every other branch fails and people has no trust in government/media, what would you expect? A new non-co-operation movement?

  114. Rushie ji and those who bring up Nehruvian plebiscite promises,

    If you want to bring up the “historicity” of things of those days. Let us start by ensuring

    1. the return of “Pakistan occupied Kashmir” to the India.
    2. The re-integration and return of Gilgit, Baltistan to Kashmir and the Indian Union.

    Then once the dust settles, as Nehruji promised, we can talk about a plebiscite.

  115. Mr. Arnab you say in this article that, “In the case of Kashmir, none of this is true. India does not “economically exploit” Kashmir. On the contrary it spends a massive amount on the state trying to buy the loyalty of the population”
    Mr. Arnab, you should understand that one cannot buy loyalty of the people while killing the men, women, children, and raping there women. We don’t want India’s money, jobs, infrastructure…
    You say, “India does not “economically exploit” Kashmir. Well, I think you are totally mistaken sir!

    Here are some hard facts about Kashmir just for you:

    The estimated hydel power potential in J&K is more than 20000 MW (Million Watt’s), of which projects for 16200 MW have already been identified. India has a current annual hydel capacity of approximately 36877.76 MW. Over here we can clearly see that Kashmir can produce about 54% of the total current hydel power potential of India. This is not a small number! I have lived in Kashmir and I know how India directed all the power to its states leaving Kashmiris in cold and darkness in the winters!

    We should also not forget the tourism industry of Kashmir. Kashmir is a paradise on the earth and who does not want to go to the paradise! From now on Kashmir earns about US$1.5 Million from the tourism industry annually in the presence of militancy. We should also consider that Kashmir is a black listed country due to the violence here. You can yourself estimate the earnings after Kashmir is removed from the black list and becomes independent. India has done nothing to remove Kashmir from that black list. They encourage tourists to visit all the places in India from Delhi to Kanyakumari, by displaying ads of Incredible India which rarely includes Kashmir!

    More ever the horticulture industry in Kashmir has become the wall of defense of rural economy of the state. Earning an annual revenue of over US$ 10.3 million (census 2001), this industry provided job facilities to the thousands of people directly and indirectly. To stop this India did not allow the produce of Kashmiris to go beyond Azadpur Mandi in Delhi!

    There are countless things to add to this list. India wants Kashmir only for its abundance of natural resources to feed its growing economy, they don’t care for the people of Kashmir at all.

  116. I have lived in Kashmir and I know how India directed all the power to its states leaving Kashmiris in cold and darkness in the winters!

    So according to you all those powers are generated and then Indian government left Kashmiris in the cold and darkness? Then, how would you adjust yourself to the statement:
    Over here we can clearly see that Kashmir can produce about 54% of the total current hydel power potential of India. ? So it can produce but has not done so yet, right?

    Kashmir is a paradise on the earth and who does not want to go to the paradise! – Let us ask some Pandits who were given two options in “Paradise” in 1986-89: convert or run after leaving your women.

    We should also consider that Kashmir is a black listed country due to the violence here. – So Kashmir is a country, hmmm, interesting.

    You can yourself estimate the earnings after Kashmir is removed from the black list and becomes independent. India has done nothing to remove Kashmir from that black list. They encourage tourists to visit all the places in India from Delhi to Kanyakumari, by displaying ads of Incredible India which rarely includes Kashmir! – So Indian government will advise people to explore a hostile territory where it’s own army can not move freely and it’s own flag gets burnt almost daily.

    To stop this India did not allow the produce of Kashmiris to go beyond Azadpur Mandi in Delhi! – Please cite us the official policies that say so.

    There are countless things to add to this list. India wants Kashmir only for its abundance of natural resources to feed its growing economy, they don’t care for the people of Kashmir at all. – What in your opinion stops people of Kashmir to establish new business or new industry? Cite us the Indian government policies that stops you from doing so. Face it, you are so used to enjoy the special privileges funded on our tax money that you think that government should come at your door step begging you to take their jobs, do you not?
    Free Kashmir? During the months of Winter, if India does not provide for you, you do not produce enough food to feed your own population. Learn to stand up on your own capacity and then talk about freedom.
    May be your brothers in Ummah should do better job in teaching you about writing propaganda. A ninth standard boy can argue better than this assuming that he does not study in one of those Kashmiri Madrasas.

  117. @Siddhartha
    Please don’t argue with a person whose aim is to spread false propaganda and not arguing. To promote tourism in J&K govt of India has relaxed a 1988 order and offered special provision of Air travel for its employees in 2003. Here is the link—

    http://90paisa.blogspot.com/2010/06/government-to-permit-government.html

    @ Kashmir Freedom
    Why don’t you guys have the guts to say the truth that you want an independent Muslim theocratic country. Leave Jammu and Ladakh to India and join rest of your brothers in POK. Please don’t say about kashmiriat or anything like that. You guys have destroyed it yourself back in 1989. Elections are rigged in many other parts of India. People don’t take arms in their hands for that. Wasn’t that the reason for for first armed struggle?

  118. You people here talk about suffering but do you even know what suffering is. Sitting in your air condition rooms sipping cold drinks you people talk about an issue you have no knowledge of.
    Firstly, what India doesnt economically exploit us? India drains about 20000 crores of money annually from Kashmir. Sources – Tourism, our fruit exports(mostly Jammu is benifitted), electricity, wood being stolen from our forest, aid of Islamic countries that never reaches us, the list is long.
    Now the second thing. killing of kashmiri pandits. Btw do you people even know how many were killed. A mere 100 plus. This figure is nothing compared to 2 lakh+ jammu muslims killed by Jats, Dogras and Sikhs in 1947.
    And who drove them out. It was again your government who tried to divide us Kashmiris communally.
    This oppression in Kashmir isnt new. We have been suffering for about 600 yrs now. First under mughals, then afghans, then siks, then dogras and now a nation which calls itself a democracy. But Godwill listen to us one day.
    Now here a question to all you disillusioned people out here. In Aligarh recently it was after a police station was burned down and officers head cut off, that firing took place. The involved were suspended. Now yesterday police and crpf entered and firing without provocation. A teenage girl, and here parents were shot at. What was their fault. There werent even protesting nor were there any protests in the area. The Aligarh incident got publicity. But this one none. No 1 even talked about culprits being punished. Then how can you people talk about Kashmir being an integral part of India.
    Its not us who started this freedom struggle. Its was you who oppressed us, alienated us and made us feel occupied.
    What would you people do when you little brother is beaten to death by forces, your land is being exploited, the government being chosen for you instead of you choosing it, your sisters being raped, and you not even being allowed to even protest peacefully. What would you do ratherwhat did you do? Asked for independence. We are doing the same thing. Its big time for you people to support our cause so that your nation and you nation lives peacefully.
    And remember what your leader Nehru had promised the kashmiris about 20-25 times a plebiscite which never occurred. So didn’t you people betray us Kashmiris.
    READ ALL OF THIS CAREFULLY AND WITH A PURE HEART.

  119. @FaislS
    O Boo hoo..
    “We were occupied mughals, then afghans, then siks, then dogras” thak god you did not blame the jews for this.

    You defy the local hurriyat election ban go to vote and choose omar abdullah… I mean, it would have been better if you had spent time watching saas bahu serials instead.

    Omar Abdullah, what a joke… some times he is with NDA, then he get a call/sms/tweet from his conscience, then aligns with congress, in a few days he will get a poke from his conscience again and will align with anyone to stay in power.

    Omar Abdullah.
    You go out and choose incompetent leader…who is to blame for that.., GOI, me, Great bong??? No my love its you….!!!!

  120. We didnt chose him to solve the political problem but nly domestic one. If you are aware it was repeated again and again by Kashmiris who went ous to vote.
    Secondly even if some people voted for India. But what did India have in return. More oppression more killings, more rapes. Its India who is responsible for current situation. Neither your government nor your people have ever accepted Kashmiris. You nly want our so called beautiful land. In any other part of India tell me are people treated like this. When somebody gets murdered by a police officer and same gets media attention, there is a huge punishment given to the culprits. Whereas in our case ever Fir isnt registered and when we protest we are also killed.
    Then how come can you call Kashmir INTEGRAL part of India. And in return of this alienation what do you expect from us. If Kashmiris are today asking for independence its all due to your actions.
    And finally your comment about Jews shows you are historically unaware. Go read more about Kashmir issue and dnt write funny comments.

  121. I am happy to note that that there are left wing journalists in this country ( however much you hate them great bong, you need them atleast to start a debate) In fact, just as non believers are necessary for every relegion to introspect, every democracy needs its left and right wing arguments. I am glad that this issue is being discussed nationwide. The worst thing india could do is to leave this problem unsolved hoping that it will solve itself. It is a national security problem. It needs more decision making power and statesmanship than what we have in the whole delhi put together. If we dont do something about the demonstations (if you think that kashmiris are spoilt, let the govt make a decision not to spoil them and if you think you have the stomach to do another tibet on them, do it and stop dithering) we will have two generations of angry young men and women. do you think the present govt is capable of this? They are not even able to conduct the commonwealth games correctly. When Pakistan can keep out of trouble by simply declaring kashmir azad ( is it really azad?) and propping up some namesake leadership and ignoring but occupying gilgit baltistan and using all its water ( whole population of which is illeterate) why did we have talk about high funda stuff like special status, UN resolutions etc?
    The future of Kashmir is frightening.

  122. Excellent post. The only sad part in presence of army in kashmir is the collateral damage, Innocents do get killed.
    There is no effective solution, cant get the army out because of militancy, and cant eliminate militancy without the army. The Ying Yang of extremism.

  123. Greatbong – Loved ur clarity of thought in defining “independence” and “kashmiri” for all to read. Wish mainstream Indian media would learn something from you! Absolutely fun keywords – “Khapland” & “Dhoklaland” :)

    FaisIS – please dont bring up useless pre-1947 arguments like Mughals in to this discussion. lets face it you weren’t born then so u didn’t really suffer due to their invasions. and u think all of your problems are going to be solved by having your own country or by joining Pakistan? have u ever read news about Pakistan? think about your security, economy and human rights before u think u will be better than what you are now – an Indian who has freedom of speech!

    i’m a kahsmiri pandit and as much u want my Kashmir to be Azad Kashmir or Pakistan’s Kashmir u know what:
    – Our voice also counts and so India is not going to give up Kashmir
    – If ur forefathers had to bear the brunt of Mughal and Afghan invaders so did mine; so my suffering is as much as your. Should I also ask for a Hindu Azad Kashmir?

    All my points above were for the sake of argument, please dont take offence. I agree that GOI has failed the state of J&K by not doing enough for economic development. I have many Kashmiri Muslims friends who work hard as tax-paying citizens of India and I completely respect them as much as I respect a tour guide at Dal lake, Srinagar. All that Kashmiri Muslim tour guide wants is peace so tourists visit more and so he can earn more money. This violence is going to get us nowhere so please stop throwing stones…..

  124. You should read a recent article in “The Hindu” which throws light on the planning done by extremist since last two years for the recent agitations – few interesting facts.

  125. So let me get this straight,

    1.You did not go out to vote (who did?)

    2.You did not participate in the stone throwing ( I think this should be made a olympic sport, kashmiri’s are good at it) and not a part of hurriyat.

    3.India is responsible for the current event? I wonder how?

    I don’t know what news paper of india you have been reading, but cops sometimes get away with crimes……they do..they just do.

    The govt of delhi was conducting the commonwealth games not the GOI. now however it seems GOI has taken over as the congress govt at the state has failed miserably. But hey that is how we roll in India. we wait till the last min and some how make it.:D

    So if the commonweath games are sucessfully conducted will you join india peacefully?

    When was the last time you had forigner come to kashmir for tourism??
    Exclude leh from it…
    Who is to be blamed for this? the jews, the zermans or the hurriyat

    What are you crying about???

    You must realise you are being manupilated. And hey you are not the only state with the Armed forces special powers act. there is manipur, mizoram and Nagaland … I am not too sure but yes there are.

    The only thing you have and no one else has is Article 370.

    BJP was talking about scrapping that once its comes to power and I pray to god they come to power.Insha allah

    And well my very well educated chip “Zaid Hamid” blames jews for every thing wrong with the world, global warming, solar flares,metorite on earths path, blackholes. So I wanted to bring it up, just to make a point.

    Protest by throwing stones …. really, you expect the cops to just stand there as a practice targets?

  126. Kashmir is a very complex issue. In my opinion. Indian Kashmir as well as Pakistani Kashmir be given semi autonomous status. With both India and Pakistan having turns in nominating there president of choice for a four year term each. Kashmirs having full access to both countries. Pakistan and India should accept they should be in peace each other. I would even go as further they should have a European style of alliance. Free trade and movement of people between two countries. This could set off a golden age for both nations not seen since for centuries. Then again have I stretched my imagination too far. Could this be nirvana.

  127. Major Gautam is a serving officer in Indian Army posted in Kashmir and also blogs at

    http://gautamrajrishi.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-post.html

    while the so called intellectuals are sympathetic to stone throwing property burning protestors, has anyone given a thought to the battered Indian soldiers hurt by rain of stones and abuses. They are strictly prohibited to strike back even in face of provocation by mobs. Shame on media and govt.

  128. Kashmiris not only the stone pelters,but the ex,retired ,jailed,surrendered,surrendered but returned,in power,in opposition,hunger strikers,short fame on the idiot box Wallas,bi-partite talkers, tripartite space talk soloution wallas,”out of the box soloution wallas” and of course “make money while the trouble shines wallas” all are mainly a particular community wallas.This is a sweet coated jehadi struggle

  129. Mate… nice article in terms of analogy and presentation but doesn’t really answer the real issue.

    The real issue is these so called separatists bastards don’t have anything to do whole day, sit on their lazy asses and talk of nonsense, because their life is well funded. Its not really rocket science, if you keep paying someone’s bill for a long time, they become useless and start doing stupid things like demand for a separate homeland. They need to do something, be economical, be productive, and build their society just like any other in the rest of the country or the world.

    Kasmniri’s and Kashmir should be more hetrogenous. They should be encouraged to integrate with the rest of the country, and similarly the rest of the country should integrate with them. Market forces should be allowed to play freely in that region. I don’t think they’ve ever got the taste of how normal people live their lives… where families have to work, their kids go to school, they have to manage their expenses, maintain a lifestyle, mingle with family and friends… and juggle all these aspects of life on a daily basis. Let them do this for couple of years, and then ask them if they still wanna protest and ask for freedom.

    Next time there is protest, collect some of these stone throwing youths, and take them to Bangalore and show how the IT industry works there. Take them to Jamnagar on a tour of the oil refinery, or BPO’s in Mumbai and Delhi, the airline industry, the hospitality and services sector, the technology sectory, the universities and colleges, the private businesses. Then ask them… “Guys, you’ve seen all this, and now you gotta decide. You CAN go back and throw stones, or you become incharge of your own life and do any of these that you fancy…. both can be arranged”.

    Let’s see what they decide….

  130. Thanks GB for this post …
    I was just 7 when as a Kashmiri pandit , I was driven out of my beloved state..What I saw in those turbulent months I dont even want to describe ..but it was enough to plant a permanent hatred for muslims in my mind
    It was only after living in mainland India for years together that I was able to absolve myself of this hatred
    What GB has written here makes a lot of sense , but alas the pseudo-secularists, that are fed on media lies , would never be able to understand it

  131. Awesome! Great post Great Bong. They are trying to have an Islamic state. They should say that. They are trying to have a state where the ppl who vote (if they are ever allowed to in case they have their so called freedom) would be only Kashmiri Sunni Muslims. Then they should say that.

  132. Arnab,

    One of the best examples of Government pampering can be had if you simply go to the Park Street showroom of HMT in Calcutta and ask them for the Pilot model (I am a fan of old HMTs). They will sincerely look for this watch, much like the bewildered Roman bureaucrats in a certain Asterix comic. Then they will tell you, after ringing up someone in Delhi (yes, this has happened) that the Srinagar factory that makes this particular model is not functioning. It is not on strike, it does not have a lock out, it is simply non-functional. This means that the workers get paid for doing nothing…perhaps go to Azaadi shows and pelt stones at the Army.

    As about the Sunni Muslim angle: obviously yes! Yet, there is something more to it, I believe that there are powers in Delhi who are playing a soft communal card vis-a-vis connecting the Kashmiri Muslim status with general elections in India. This may not exactly be a conspiracy theory, as such a ploy comes up frequently in discussions on the Maoist insurgencies. It is basically this: the present government can unleash the Army, but also keeps folks like Miss Roy (who has amply institutional support in Delhi) to placate the tribals (sometimes of a certain religious predeliction), in order to garner votes. This is the real reason why the Army refuses to enter anti-Maoist operations. The soft communal card is an old trick by the present ruling party, which has often been used in the past.

    We should simply take down all the laws giving Kashmiris special rights. Imagine what a precedent this law sets: now, everyone from Gurkhas, to folks from Telengana, not to mention our friendly Nagas, and Bodos would all want these rights, as they have from time to time. Take down these rights, and let us Indians, of all races, castes and creeds settle down, do commerce, and visit what so many of our soldiers have died for and so much of our taxes have gone into retaining. Yes, we have never made Kashmir a part of the fabric of India because we have never been given the chance to. I say: world opinion be damned! What has the world done for Tibet and for Chechnya? The EU and US only dismember countries that are (a) small and weak and (b) non-nuclear. The US, Russia, and China cannot even tackle North Korea because it has a few paltry nukes. We are not exactly Serbia that a few bombs will take care of our territorial integrity.

    Finally, the plebiscite is a joke. Pakistan has given a chunk of Kashmir to China (Aksai Chin). It has detached large parts of the original area of Kashmir to forcefully settle it with ex-Army men, in order to change the demographics, and makes all ‘ Azad Kashmir’ legislators sign a special document agreeing to the ultimate destiny of Kashmir as a part of Pakistan. So, yes, let them fix the population and India will help conduct a plebiscite; though even then the entire thing sounds more like the Austro-German Anschluss when one considers the Pakistani Army’s peaceful designs in the sub-continent.

    No plebiscite, no special treatment, India for Indians,

    Vasabjit Banerjee

  133. @ Vasabjit
    Despite being a nation the size of Delhi, Serbia showed more balls than our billion, myself included. It is no mean acheivement to take on the Ummah and come out victorious (but for US bombing).

    The US leaned towards the Ummah to turn the tide against Serbia. A mistake of that everyone will come to repend as the years pass by.

  134. @Kashmir freedom

    Typical Lies and propoganda by KSM

    Hydroelectric potential of Indus basin (Include Himachal pradesh) is 33.8MW. Brahmaputra basin is 66 MW. Twice of yours!
    In Indus basin capacity that is being developed is 8162MW – 4828 in JnK and 3334 in Himachal (60% JnK and 40% HP). Total identified capacity for India is 38243. JnK represent mere 12%

    Source : http://www.ecoworld.com/waters/indias-hydro-power.html

    Total revenue from torism in 2008 was $11.75 billion. JnK didn’t even come in top 10 states in number of foreign tourist visits in 2008(They take 90% share).Even if i take your figure $1.5Million, its share in india’s income is miniscule 0.01%

    Source : http://incredibleindia.org/Tourism_Stastics2008.pdf

    Moreover what is offered in JnK is not much different that is offered in Himachal and UK. If you ask me Kerela is the state which is jewel in the crown of Indian tourism.

    Jnk Contributed $5351 Million to Indian GDP of $835920 Million in 2006. (Mere 0.64%).Tax revenue from JnK was $7.52 billion while india’s was $658.18 billion(1.14% of Total).
    The state is one of the largest recipients of grants from New Delhi, totaling $ 812 million per year. It also has a mere 4% incidence of poverty, one of the lowest in the country.

    Source : Wiki and http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/18/world/border-tension-a-growth-industry-for-kashmir.html

  135. Pingback: More On Azaadi And Kashmir | Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind

  136. What a fake article…….how one could relate the hussain event with the prophet mohammed……In a country where we have lot of god n goddess in nude form in temples like ellora caves that depicts nudity and the country which stands on freedom of expression and Art is the most basic freedom of expression which Mr. hussain has portrayed in his painting, for his works are recognised in globe, one can’t explain the reaction towards Mr. hussain’s work…………Kahmiris were earlier tormented when they blazed guns and now they are killed for stoning and in future they will be hanged for silenced…..the progressive steps by kashmiris are met by regressive steps of Indian govt..A heart rending irony

  137. @Shadab:

    “country which stands on freedom of expression”

    You revere the nation’s “freedom of expression” but should a person express his views freely on your prophet (:cough:T J Joseph:cough:), suddenly that stream of thought dries up? It’s evident from the blasphemy laws instituted against individuals who question your prophet or his 4 companions, isn’t it? So, hear thus: Those who follow or worship symbols of intolerance and castigators of free-speech, ought to be the last one espousing such virtues. Comprende, Millat-Facebook?

    “art is the most basic freedom of expression”

    Did thou participate in “Draw Muhammad Day”? I am guessing not.

    “Kahmiris were earlier tormented when they blazed guns”

    Huh? I guess they ought to awarded with a glass of warm milk, a plate of biryani, and a pat on the back? I’d add “full frontal lobotomy” (Simpsons reference ;) )to that list, but from the looks of it, they’re already brain-dead idiots. A waste of money, IMO.

    “and now they are killed for stoning”

    Read above!

    “and in future they will be hanged for silence”

    And Spaghetti Monster and the prevailing winds of flatulence across the Arabic plains-willing, I hope that happens. I’d pay to see that shit on PPV.

    “the progressive steps by kashmiris are met by regressive steps of Indian govt..A heart rending irony”

    More like “mind-numbingly retarded” use of the word “Irony” when there’s absolutely ZERO evidence supporting any such progressiveness. Blazing guns and throwing stones are progressive acts? Dang! How can one argue against such Madrassa-influenced logic?

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