The Imperialism Argument

145 Comments

Almost twenty years ago, the democratically-elected and subsequently beatified Prime Minister of Pakistan instigated and covertly supported a process of ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits. So total was Pakistan’s victory that not only was the demographics of the Valley altered forever but the whole act happened silently as the ever-awake Indian intelligentsia looked the other way.

With democracy back in Pakistan and the concomitant pressure to keep the awaam placated, it is no co-incidence that Pakistan’s new political masters have once again decided to up the ante with respect to Kashmir through their minions embedded in Hindustan. With supposedly unprecedented number of Kashmiris having taken to the streets shouting for “azaadi” and more vocally for Pakistani rule, we are being told that the struggle for Kashmiri independence (or accession to Pakistan, which sounds less romantic) has reached a critical stage, one from which there is no return.

And as usually happens, a section of the Indian intelligentsia (and I exclude “God of Bogus Things” Ms. Dhooti from this august group because I have more respect for Rakhi Sawant’s intellectual dabblings than hers—at least Rakhi lacks Dhooti’s single-toned shrillness and can always be counted upon to provide a pleasantly outrageous quote or two whereas Ms. Dhooti’s shock value, like her literary career, has long faded) have started chest-beating (not surprisingly as nothing establishes one’s “intellect” as self-flagellation) in a monotonous chorus, repeating that old chest-nut —- India’s reasons for holding on to Kashmir are the same ones for which the British held onto India and that the Kashmiri struggle is an uprising against Indian imperialism.

The problem with this argument is this. When so-called imperialists hold a piece of land, the citizens of the held land have traditionally less privileges and rights than the so-called imperialists. In the case of Kashmir, their residents have more rights than citizens of the rest of India—-while Kashmiris have all the rights of an Indian citizen, an Indian citizen is severely restricted in his rights on Kashmir. Secondly, what drives imperialism is economics—-the “colonized” state providing financial revenue far in excess of what was invested in it. (This was the reason why the British held on to India). In the case of Kashmir, it is exactly the opposite. While getting almost nothing from Kashmir, the Indian state still has kept on doling out massive amounts of “free money” to Kashmir [Vir Sanghvi gives some stats here] in a misguided endeavor to buy their loyalty, neglecting other less-developed parts of the country wilting under the inequitable distribution of federal wealth.

And this brings us to the other argument, advanced by Vir Sanghvi and many others, that Kashmir needs to be allowed to secede as it is nothing but a source of continued misery for the rest of India, a black hole for tax money and for the lives of our soldiers. Ergo, the country would do better without them. While this is a strong and compelling argument for granting Kashmir independence, it still ignores the effect on the country’s future such a decision might have.

Allowing Kashmir to secede sets the most dangerous precedent possible, that being that any group of Indians, who can engage in sufficient amount of violence over a sustained period of time, can wear down the government and get what they want. If the country can be split on the basis of religion, why cannot it be split on the basis of language, caste and community? What should prevent Marathi chauvinists from throwing out all outsiders? What prevents Bengali from demanding a referendum on whether Marwari businessmen should be allowed to ply their trade in Calcutta? What prevents the Tamils from raising a demand for a Tamil homeland? Nothing really except of course the level of violence they are ready to go through with to show the seriousness of their demands.

The territorial integrity of India is one of the inviolable defining characteristics of our nation along with secularism, pluralism, free speech and democracy. Fooling around with it would lead to challenges on all the other foundations —-which is why right-thinking Indians have to fight to keep these foundations immutable.

Now some of you may say—“So what’s the harm if India degenerates into multiple nations, if that’s what the people want? ” The problem is that with the mixed population of India, this degeneration would lead to multiple genocides and population displacement on a massive scale. (Just the fact that the Kashmiri ethnic cleansing has happened “silently” does not make it any less real and terrifying) with religious, linguistic and caste minorities being at risk everywhere. Now if this violence be the “will of the people” where the “people” is defined by the majority in a geographical unit, does that make it acceptable?

In conclusion, the fight to keep Kashmir inside the Indian Union is not about imperialism simply because the rest of India gets none of the traditional colonization “benefits” from persisting with this battle. Quite the opposite. So what then is this fight for?

Simply so that each of us do not find our small corners of India turned into the theater of a violent generational struggle, a carbon copy of Kashmir.

[Keep discussion civil. No discussion on religion as it has been done many times before. Moderation will be enforced.]

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145 thoughts on “The Imperialism Argument

  1. Could not believe it,,,truly the first comment? I am reading it for at least 10 minutes and no comment till now??

    BTW, regarding your note:”No discussion on religion as it has been done many times before”..is it truly possible to discuss Kashmir in depth without discussing religion?

  2. GB, was looking forward to this post, although I visualized you mentioning the ‘changing of demographics’ again. You did in your Amarnath shrine board post and I have been wondering since “Why Not”? Any clues?

  3. Total agreement as regards holding on to Kashmir – it is part of India, however murky the initial circumstances. I hate to say it, but we need to follow China’s example, with respect to punitive measures AND with respect to integration. When they took over Tibet and those bits off East Kashmir and the North East, their first major act was building roads to go there. And recently the completion of the Lhasa-Beijing Direct Express was announced. We need more highways and more trains going to the Valley. You’d pointed out earlier that Omar Abdullah was railing against the building of roads as a sign of Indian Imperialism or something, seeing as there weren’t roads before – more than hazaar battalions, that will keep Kashmir Indian. Which is what the man fears.

  4. In any nation across the globe which has significant diversity in ethnicity / religion / language etc this is a common phenomenon.

    India is by no means unique … Kashmir of course has a geo-political-historical angle which makes it special. However allowing Kashmir ( or whateve is within Indian “LOC” ) to secede is simply not an option … however much resources we may need to pump into the state.

    Its a “precedent” we just cannot afford to set.

  5. me thinks that the professional protesters like Ms. Dhooti should be packed off to some great paradise like Saudi Arabia where she can feel azaadi all she wants. As for Kashmir, down with Article 370 and have China/Israel like policy of demographic change. Within a few generations, the ‘problem’ will be solved.

  6. Fully agree with you. India as a whole is a sovereign country. We cannot let the people of a state be misguided by certain individuals or groups and ask for their freedom.

  7. well written
    however, most writers write for their limit pains them.
    Or it makes them look intelligent.
    Kashmir does not want independence. A faction of Kashmiris do…
    This faction is inclined towards Pakistan.

    Sanghvi’s assertions are economic.

  8. As for Arundathi Roy’s latest magnum opus, it is better not to feed the rent-an-activist troll. Her writing style is surprisingly incoherent, belaboured and poor for an award winning author and her ignorance is breathtaking for a literate human being. The only thing going for her is the shock value and it will start giving diminishing returns.

    I agree that Kashmir cannot be given away just because it is a drain on the resources or because our brave soldiers sacrificing their lives for a few ungrateful people. It cannot be given, article 370 notwithstanding, because it belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody.

    The only tempting possibility with Vir Sanghvi’s idea is that, if Pakistan gets Kashmir, we would get Kashmir back along with Sindh and Punjab in return in a few days! Pakistan needs Kashmir just like Joker needs Batman.

  9. I totally disagree to my hard-earned money to be spent on worthless people who don’t consider themselves Indians. I agree with Mr. Sanghvi that without India Kashmir won’t be able to survive even 15 minutes. So let them separate and do a Switzerland or Taliban, whatever they want.

    Regarding other parts, I hardly see the echo reverberating in any of the heartland states. Whatever minor conflicts are there, still the process of integration is well set in. Even the North-Eastern states have realized that they have no future without India. They are only fighting for bit of state territorial reorganization and more devolvement of power from center (which anyway most of us support).

    So lets get away with Kashmir. As SS Aiyar mentioned, Kashmir is 20th century problem.

  10. But, but I thought that India is British Empire and Kashmir is India, and Manmohan Singh is Winston Churchill. After all classical liberal can not be wrong.

  11. Allowing Kashmir to secede sets the most dangerous precedent possible, that being that any group of Indians, who can engage in sufficient amount of violence over a sustained period of time, can wear down the government and get what they want.

    Ne’er a truer word was spoken.

    I had a discussion with a German national around six months ago. I was telling him that India and Europe were sort of similar – many different languages and cultures and food and little histories, and even more diverse in that we don’t even have the same script.

    He was a bit shocked and confused… then he asked me: “How is India then more like one country and Europe is more like many countries working together?”

    The only answer I could give him was that we had to fight together for freedom, and that is what gives us one identity, something Europe will never have. They have stuck together for Economic reasons only – even during the height of the Cold War, they were divided.

    The moment we let parts of us break away, we’ll go back to those same ways before 1857 – of a disorganized nation that was conquered with more ease than such a large country ever should have been.

    If we let Kashmir go, ULFA will step it up in Assam. The entire North East will go to hell in a handbasket. Then add to that the Khalistanis, whatever is left of them. As it is by breaking up the country into more and more states (that grand plan of splitting UP into three more states riled me to no end) we’re fracturing ourselves internally. This would be the point of no return.

    I do, though, see less harm in converting the LoC into an international border. Right up to the point when in the future Pakistan self-destructs, then we walk in and squash every terrorist camp there with a lot of firepower.

  12. GB, when you talked about setting a ‘precedent’, a thought came to my mind. I think Pakistan does not want Kashmir to be a part of India is because of what happened in 1971.

  13. I believe the problem with kashmir is essentially the changing opinions of its people over the years. The constant see-saw of allegiance has taken its toll and the centre’s wooly-footed approach has not helped matters any. In India we do not approach problems for the purpose of solving them, but rather with one eye always towards approaching elections. The centre royally bungled the land transfer issue and the local politicians of PDP, NC did not wait to jump in with their propaganda. They are raping the state and its resources while we have to stand back and watch. And hope that the remains can be scraped off when the blood-letting stops.

  14. arnab, im new to your blog (and now a daily reader) but I cannot understand this whole hoopla about the first comment. Damn, jodi jantam ipod deya hochhe tahole ekta roomal ba ek pati choti pete line ta rakhtam.

  15. Methinks Sanghvi kinda got it right – we’ve tried everything, from more autonomy, more cash, dialogue, force, free and fair elections, those as unfair as they’ve always been in Bihar. If a people as a whole are not interested in talking, or recognising which the more progressive, assimilative future is, good riddance. Yeah it might just be the failure of our PR machinery aided by the presence of armed and on the edge troopers trying to do a tough job where nobody wins (and I buy that if there’s constant military presence in civil society, people WILL get pissed off, though their leaders must still be able to see the larger picture for their benefit). However, at the end of it, if you can’t own the people – there’s not much to keeping their land.

    As for setting a precedent – I think it’ll be a good one for India to set. Ensure there’s absolutely zero ties with the Valley (yes, ONLY the valley should go) – economic or otherwise – and make a huge show of how they’re sliding down the path Pakistan and Afghanistan have gone. Trust me – any part of India that has tasted the fruit of the larger, inclusive, progressive society will abandon whatever thoughts they’ve had along the same direction. Just ensure we make an example out of these.

    I do not subscribe to tags – liberal or otherwise. And I think name-calling – and some tend to get into in such arguments – take away from a reasonable debate. You cannot merely denounce and hold something wrong, and assume its gone away. Stand up to it, and include it in the debate. Only then can your point of view be held as being fair, or correct.

    I hear from a lot of folks that only a small section of Kashmir wants azaadi, or whatever. I have a tiny suspicion they’re right! Isn’t that just more reason to go on a PR overdrive, and hold the plebiscite in the valley ? It NOT the UN plebiscite or any promise we need to fulfill since that includes all of Kashmir, and with the PoK, thats not an option. We should do it only because we’re fair, and if my suspicion is indeed correct, this issue will be settled once and for all. Get some neutral observers in, so we have a stamp on it too.

    If I’m wrong, good riddance. We need to move on as a nation. We have a lot of work to do.

  16. Roy is predictable in her “liberal radical” denouncement of “the big, bad state” and I can empathize with most of your distress at her “shrillness”. That said, her recent article on Kashmir at countercurrents (http://www.countercurrents.org/roy230808.htm) is indeed well-written and though her general assertions have a familiar orientation which is irksome to most, I believe some of the points she makes are balanced, critical and worthy of discussion. She acknowledges that the Indian state has not tried to alter the demographics of Kashmir the way China has done in Tibet or Israel in Palestine…in fact the reverse has happened with the Pandits. At the same time it cannot be denied that it is the most heavily militarized region in the world, and a continued extensive military presence is bound to result in considerable human rights violation, a situation which no civilian population anywhere will welcome . The recent political crisis has been allowed to snowball through the most inept political mishandling by the Congress and its non-secessionist allies in J&K and the opportunistic response by the Hindutva brigade and its communal counterparts in the valley. Sadly with the growing hijacking of our national discourse by the saffron brigade we don’t even need the Laskar-e-toibas these days to stir up trouble. I could identify with the Jammu-ites distress at political neglect over the years but that sentiment was quite significantly manipulated by these Hindutvaites, the same as separatist Islamist forces do in the valley. Kashmiri secession is a very complicated question even for the most liberal Indian and Mukul Kesavan articulates this confusion nicely in his Telegraph column. I still oppose it because I believe it compromises the ideals of India’s founding fathers of a secular liberal democracy besides of course looking daft from considerations of realpolitik but at the same time am inclined to ask like Sanghvi, “at what cost?” , both human and economic. I also believe it attracts a lot more attention than it merits no doubt because of the symbolic value it offers of Hindu-Muslim and Hindustan-Pakistan conflicts that most of us in South Asia seem to love, no doubt because of our being brought up on such rhetoric in our national discourse. The human and economic problems are equally intense and the actions of the Indian state equally questionable if not more so in the Northeast. And at the end of the day, even her many critics will admit that Roy is a good advertisement for the Indian state’s democratic culture.

  17. Like GB here, I would hate to think of India’s role in Kashmir as that of an imperialist aggressor, and I would agree with the two reasons that GB has proffered. Only the perception that : “why the hell do they want to separate when they get so many economic freebies from us?” or “how are those poor ungrateful fools going to survive on their own without our economic genius to rely upon” evokes memories of : “we gave them railway lines and modern education…we are on a civilizing mission….why the hell do they want to throw us out?”. In short such thoughts are pretty damnedly colonial, and I would avoid them while trying to argue against secession.

  18. strangely , GB is sounding more precise in his posts since the 4th birthday ! Not much of the trademark humorification of a serious topic ! Is that a new resolution from you GB ?

    Nevertheless , this topic is really very sensitive. The outcome will depend on ,as alwayz – “How long will the story live on the news ?” I am sure the UN aka US is asking our beloved prime minister , the same question , with a little restlessness. After all its very fishy , that all these happened when India is trying to get the world-nod on the NSG. See ?? The “game” is bigger than the people my dear friends.

  19. Interesting take. So you are saying that my allowing Kashmir to secede, the whole of India will subject itself to violence and similar demands? A little far-fetched perhaps?

  20. Giving away Kashmir will solve nothing just like giving away Pakistan and Bangladesh solved nothing…this is a perpetual bloodsport going on since the 12th century. The British just came in and caused a cease fire between the Muslims and Hindu/Sikhs.

    Prior to the Brits the Hindus (Marathas, Sikhs, jats etc ) had taken back large tracts of Indian territory from the Muslims…which is why we ended up with a larger chunk of land when the Poms left..and nom the mossies want some back.

    The trick is to hang on until Pakistan Self destructs, hopefully by 2015. The NWFP & Balochistan part of Pak is virtually independent by now. Just hang on and once Pak is weak resettle hindus in the valley (we have the population) to solve this crisis.

  21. Well, I cant claim to be an expert on any of the issues being discussed here. But I am a little confused…. it seems some of the commentators are of the opinion that we need to hang in and count the days till pakistan degenerates and “Sel-destructs” . But isnt that going to enhance the problems rather than solve it for us? At present, there is a govt which , no matter how much villainous , is still bound by global pressure and is forced to operate against us covertly to save diplomatic blushes. But imagine Pakistan degenerating into a several feuding tribes and hardcore Islamic fundemantalist factions. And the control , whatever is left of it, will be divided within groups of people who neither care for diplomacy , global politics or international laws. Even worse, they might get their hands on the military resources and God forbid, the nuclear armory of an erstwhile pakistan state!!!! How safe is India going to be.. surrounded by the remains of pakistan and an increasingly lawless Bangladesh?
    As i said I am not expert, so I obviusly havde no solutions or suggestions to make– as I cant think of any. But it worries me tono end when i think about it.

  22. Sameer, you said:

    As for setting a precedent – I think it’ll be a good one for India to set. Ensure there’s absolutely zero ties with the Valley (yes, ONLY the valley should go) – economic or otherwise – and make a huge show of how they’re sliding down the path Pakistan and Afghanistan have gone. Trust me – any part of India that has tasted the fruit of the larger, inclusive, progressive society will abandon whatever thoughts they’ve had along the same direction. Just ensure we make an example out of these.

    You’re making the assumption that those people who lust after power care about the economic progress and life of the people who they rule. This argument can be applied to “Azadi” Kashmiris the best – they would be absolutely goddamn STUPID to want to survive on their own or with Pakistan – does that stop hordes of them from wanting to?

    The power is never “with the people”, that is just a romanticised version we’ve been fed. Even if the Valley on its own goes down the clapper, it won’t stop the power-hungry lords of the ULFA and like wanting a piece of their own pie, as they’re financed very well by the Chinese, just like those in the Valley get fed by their Paki “sympathisers”.

    And it would be our fault for having set the precedent that anyone who wants their own chunk of India has to only kill a few people to get it.

  23. The real problem is the double standards Indian establishment has when dealing with kashmir. India is way too soft on Kashmiris. Give them a real taste of what imperialism means. Crush the protests in as brutal a way as possible. The British did that successfully in India, the only reason that Gandhi’s non violence could rally so much support was the fact that the Britishers didn’t leave much room for violence after 1857. The same thing needs to be done in Kashmir; shoot, hang, decapitate the hawks in Hurriyat and then ask the moderates to come to talks. Unless you take out the extremists the moderates can never find their voice. The masses worship heroes not cowards, if the Army is seen to be hiding behind itself and not firing on kashmiris, it would only add to the aura of the likes of geelani.

    “If you want peace, prepare for war.” – Some greek/latin wisdom this.

    And for people who doubt that Indian state cannot bend laws or is impotent and incapable of being harsh, just look at the following examples ……

    Terrorism in Punjab: KPS Gill, the supercop, responsible for crushing the secessionist demands and the same Gandhi family was in power in Delhi then. Even now there are atleast 2000 Punjabi youth reported as “missing’.
    Operation Blue Star: Indian military raided the Golden Temple in Amritsar with tanks and mortar. Some 500 civilian casualties according to Army itself.
    How often do you hear about secessionist demands from Punjab today?

    Remember, Gujjars? Here again like Sikhs you have a community which has distinguished itself over the years with exemplary military service and what happened when they were protesting? 40 dead in police firing within 2 days.

    Remember Bal Thackeray? He was disenfranchised for 6 years for giving a communal speech. Barring from contesting elections is one thing taking away the right to vote, when has that been done before?

    Remember RSS? The organisation has been banned for almost as much time as there has been military rule in Pakistan. Result: Their uber nationalism and anti minority stance is now a joke interspersed between paeans about the virtues of ‘gomutra’. Trust me, if the number of people attending RSS shakas is anything to go by, this organisation already has one foot in the grave. Their occasional spewing of venom is more likely a show of their desperation than any real intent.
    Btw, VHP in Orissa is an altogether different animal from the Nagpur based RSS.

    “An eye for an eye, saves your other eye.”

    And before you start branding me as insane, think about any instance where communal/jehadi/secessionist demands have been successfully handled with kid gloves.

  24. SECESSION cannot be allowed not only because it will challenge the whole notion of INDIA but also after all the Heartache now why give up.

    2ndly the notion that Kashmir will not survive without us is totally flawed, Pakistan will facilitate having CHINA standing right on our head the moment we allow secession of Kashmir, Ladakh will soon become inaccessible following Secession.

    ALSO AT THE RISK OF SHOUTING IN CAPITAL LETTERS, MOST IMPORTANTLY DONT FORGET MAJORITY OF THE RIVERS THAT FEED FERTILE PUNJAB ORIGINATE IN KASHMIR.

    Pakistan / China will ensure secession of Kashmir means river waters go into their control.

    WATER in any case is going to be the most expensive commodity sooner rather than later.

    Best solution for KASHMIR, do away with ARTICLE 370 and over the next 15 years force the population cleansing with ISRAEL like military support inch by inch CONVERT THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF KASHMIR.

    India despite allowing better rights to Kashmiris is in any case blamed being a IMPERIALIST so what the heck you are being damned in any case so GO THE WHOLE HOG show them what is IMPERIALISM.

  25. @ Aditya, but a referendum is NOT amongst the “leadership” alone. Even the ULFA will listen when people speak out in favour of staying on in India. And for those who really don’t, what’s the point ? If they really are able to a better job than India, isn’t it better for them and eventually, us ? I have massive doubts about the viability of Kashmir as an independent state, and its only much worse off in Pak. But let’s prove that

    a) not enough Kahmiris are keen to secede
    b) if they are, that they shouldn’t have been 🙂

    But for option (b), close the doors forever. Sorry, we always wanted to call you Indian (tho how many of us call ourselves that is another debate), but now, we’ve got other stuff to do. Go NWFP yourself.

  26. when people speak out in favour of staying on in India

    But, Sameer, people are stupid. Never underestimate the power of stupidity in large numbers. Remember the Khalistanis? What was there to gain by going independent?

    I don’t *mind* letting those “Azad Kashmiris” go. I have absolutely nothing to do with those who live off our government and yet have the balls to claim that they want to be “free”. It is just that I’m not sure what signals it it will send.

  27. Khalistan never had the larger Sikh support – which was a primary reason the fight against the Sikh insurgency succeeded.
    If the people are stupid, whats a democracy about ? And if its not a democracy, what’s India about ? China could step in tomorrow saying the Arunachal population is stupid too and does not really know what they’re missing out on – and hence the Reds are “liberating” them. Justifiable ?

  28. GB

    Since the other view point of giving up kashmir has been strengthened recently by many influential voices in the press, there is a need for a voice to show why we should not give up Kashmir.And I think you have done an excellent job with it. Being a kashmiri pandit, I have experienced the complete ignorance that a lot of indians have about our ethnic cleansing. And I fear that since we have been inundated with the give-up-Kashmir view in the press, a lot of Indians will tilt towards this view . This article of yours needs to be in a newspaper so that it reaches out to more people and changes wrong perceptions.

  29. Great post as usual greatbong!

    I am no big fan of keeping those ungrateful Kashmiris with India too. But here are few other questions apart from one’s you have already mentioned.

    1] If Kashmir secedes and joins Pakistan (and even if it doesn’t it will still be Pak’s puppet sidekick as a “free” nation), there is a 100% chance of it having a Taliban like regime. Imagine dealing with Taliban just 100 kms from Jammu?

    2] You have already touched upon genocide. The fact of the matter is that a physical partition of land is always accompanied by bloodbath of monstrous proportion. Does India have the stomach for that?

    3] A section of Indian intelligentsia is simply assuming that *all* Muslims of Valley are looking to secede to Pakistan, just because Geelani and company could gather 5000 shouting young men. I am sure if they were around in 1947, they would have felt the same then too. The fact of the matter is, more muslims stayed back in India and in fact some muslims (Like Yusuf Khan a.k.a Dilip Kumar came from Pak to India) This means that we will not only have to deal with enormous Hindu migration from Valley (or whatever remains in Poonch, Anantnag etc) also a huge Muslim migration that will enter Indian states of Punjab, Himachal and NCR. Are we ready for that too?

    4] We are assuming that China does not have a role here. This is naivety. China is observing this silently alright. It will slip in the moment India backs out of Siachen. There are river tributaries that have genesis in the valley. China will be eying those rivers to be redirected towards it’s own lands. It will be using Siachen to browbeat India from North west too.

    5] Lastly this is what is being called as “The Kashmir Fatigue”. We are all fed up basically. But that’s what the difference between a weak and strong nation is. A weak nation just “gives in” and gets intimidated by a 5000 lustily shouting crowd. A strong nation on the other hand, understands the geo-political consequence and deals such things with an Iron hand, such so called rebellion. How India, deals with this could be a key indicator of it’s future course.

  30. A simple solution that I propose. Lets divide the ppl of valley into 3 categories :
    1. those who want freedom from India and join Pakistan – solution is simple. Send these people to Pakistan. Why part with the land.
    2. those who want freedom from India and establish an independent Kashmir – how can they survive without Pakistan or China invading. Valley is important region strategically and economically. Who would want to give it up. So bring these ppl in line. If they dont see India’s kindness (article 370) in 6 decades, no point in pampering them.
    3. those who want to stay with India – they are most welcome.

    Commentators on this thread who suggest we part with Kashmir and harbour hopes of becoming India superpower must be outta minds.
    And I wonder what makes these erudite minds think that no other regional/linguistic/religious group would want a separate state. And if they do think that such thing might happen in Assam, Tamil, Khalistan – what do they propose that we do then.
    And for some who want fair referendum to be held in the valley as per UN – to them I would like to say ‘wake up from the dreamworld friends’

  31. Even I totally agree with Vir Sanghvi, both on the economic angle on the machismo thing. I don’t say that give the Kashmir away but the people of Kashmir do deserve a referendum. If we, Indians tout ourselves as the biggest democracy of the World, we should uphold the democracy.
    And frankly the integrity of Indian borders is also a loose concept. Borders have always been fluid and for every country. In last 62 years itself so many new borders have been drawn, first the partition of India, then the India pakistan war resulting in partition of Kashmir, China controlling some part of India and then the biggest of all, the creation of Bangladesh. So I truly believe that we cannot shy away from something we have been told ‘unthinkable’.
    We don’t live in the world of only two TV channels – PTV and Doordarshan presenting a totally different and biased news. We can actually see what’ happening out there, and what’s happening out there is something to reckon with unless we want more lives to be lost on all the sides of this dispute.

  32. While I do not agree with all this Imperialist talk, I dont believe India has done anything to claim Kashmir as part of her own. We can blame Pakistan and Pakistani political masters all we want, but the current mess in Kashmir is of our own making.

    Well done India for making sure that Kashmir and more importantly Kashmiris will never trust you.

  33. We need a long term solution for Kashmir ;

    1) How are we going to address the demographic change of the valley, unless valley becomes multi religious and multi ethnic people in Kashmir will feel more alienated from rest of India.

    2) If we can have reservation for so many caste and sub caste, why not for Kashmirs in education as well as government jobs ?
    (Positive nudge will be required to get admitted young kashmiris in Indian institutions).

    3) We need to find more leaders in Kashmir who are aligned with Indian stand, cant Shivraj Patil/NDTV/ CNN-IBN find one voice pro India voice in Kashmir(and not pro autonomy) ?

    4) BJP should come out in open and tell us what is thier vision of India, is it a pure hindu state or a secular state ?

    5) Stop demonising Arundhati Roy, she is the symptom and not the cause.

    6) Lets have a honest human rights commission in Kashmir who can be trusted by ordinary kashmiris.

    7) Lets make it clear, anything but secession.

  34. If the very existence of India depends on holding on to Kashmir, then surely, that’s a huge benefit India is deriving. So how can imperialism be ruled out by arguing that India is not gaining anything from occupation of Kashmir? Sure, the gain is not economic, but something far more significant.

    Also, ethnic cleansing of kashmiri pandits, tragic as it is, is a red herring. The slippery-slope/dangerous precedent argument would apply equally even if the entire Kashmiri movement had been as non-violent as Gandhi’s movement was. Which raises the question – what is a group of people supposed to do if they don’t want to be part of a country for whatever reason (especially in the case of Kashmir, where they never had any intention of being part of that country, as it seems)? Whether they demand in a non-violent manner or with violence, they will be told that their demand cannot be met because it will lead to similar demands from other parts, it will lead to large scale bloodshed, no can do.

  35. Its not “ethnic cleansing”, its “religious cleansing”.

    The Kashmiri Muslims are ethnically the same as the Kashmiri Hindus, whom they kicked and killed out.

  36. Did any of you guys watch the “Family Guy” episode, where Peter Griffin decides to make a separate country in his house?

    Most Muslims in Kashmir want to be part of Pakistan.
    They should be allowed the leave and go to Pakistan.

  37. Well If Kashmiris are so hell bent on being a part of pakistan or being independent, they can relocate to Pakistan or ‘Azad Kashmir’ and live happily ever after. We can relocate several other people(who have been displaced for one reason or other in different parts of the country) into the lands left behind by them. we should be happy to open our borders once and let them go out. Anyone coming back should be treated as an infiltrator and dealt accordinly. Not an acre of Kashmiri land under Indian territory ought to be given away.

    I am no right wing fundamentalist – in fact, I have been ridiculed by my friends as a bleeding heart liberal and even had the ignonimity of being lumped in the same group as Arundhati Roy. But I am really pissed off with whats been happening in kashmir – consequently the above suggestion

  38. No such easy answers. Sure we can do a Tibet in Kashmir. But that makes us China, and every other country in the world which thinks that domination of a people is fine. We won’t remain the India we know if we do it once.

    And there will be demands for repeating the same process in other parts of the country soon afterwards. In effect we would be a bully state.

    And we can’t let them go either. After the 50 years of stalemate, too much Indian and Kashmiri blood has flowed for them, or us, to back off.

    One solution perhaps could be an agreed upon cooling off period of say ten years, and then the Kashmiris decide in a referendum. By this, I mean 10 years when Kashmiris on both sides can cross the border easily, and experience life on both sides, and decide at the end of those ten years. If that works, Kashmiris are likely to realise the ground situation in both countries. However — if the wind blows in India’s favour, and the militants and Pak realise that, our cooling off period would evaporate at in a burst of bombings and attacks that India will just have to go back to today’s situation.

    Sorry, but I foresee Kashmir being a nuisance which we can neither let go nor keep.

  39. GB

    Kashmir is a bad investment for India in everything.

    As a state, we are pumping in valuable tax money into a state from which we have no returns. Even the money made from tourism is very less, IF tourism industry in kashmir is opened up, there are some chances of making some money of out it provided the terrorism is controlled.
    Right now, the ROI is very negative.

    Kashmir, from a strategic point is view is very important for India.
    However, the people in kashmir are not very fond of India or Indians.
    The fact that most of our culture/Facilities are open to kashmiris does not help much.
    They are the same people, who use their reservation quota in Engineering colleges all over india and still hate India.
    Bad ROI again.

    I wish, if Indian government could give a free safe passage with some money for all the kashmiris who would like to live in pakistan so that they can let us live in peace.

  40. Kashmir is a part of India solely because of the vote of a Hindu Maharaja.
    I think that is well known. In any case that is unimportant. Right now I think the only valid reason for India not letting Kashmir go – is the economics of the thing. I wonder if letting Kashmir go will really dry up India’s water supply as some one above remarks – although I doubt that.

    Otherwise its really not worth it. Hmm.. About your point on imperialists reaping more than they sow from their colonies. Of course you agree that the British were imperialists. Please listen to Milton Freidman quote that Indias case wasnt so different from Kashmir on

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xeebU8VhmY.

    Assuming that convinces you, what do you think now?

    Also, this ethnic cleansing you talk about. Do you have a credible source?

  41. It was not always that Kashmiris were angry with India.. In 47-48, Sheikh Abdullah was decidedly pro-India and so were the thousands of his followers. The sher-bakri skirmishes in Srinagar that used to happen frequently in those days are a proof of that. However, things that have happened since have continuously decreased the Indian support in Kashmir, especially events such as:

    *the dismissal of a democratically elected govt in 1953 along with massive amendments to the J&K constitution without popular support
    *Indus water treaty. I mean how can you justify the fact that J&K has three major rivers flowing through it but isnt allowed to use waters of even one of them?
    *the massive rigging of the 1987 elections in favour of Congress-NC candidates ( This has been repetedly referred to as the spark that started the militant revolution. The fact that people such as Ali Shah Geelani and S. Yusuf Shah aka Syed Salahuddin took part in them and lost despite massive popular support may give you an idea as to how much the militancy in Kashmir was created as much as by GOI’s stupid decisions as by ISI).
    *the human rights voilations that have been carried out since 1989.

    The argument that India has been pumping large amounts of money into Kashmir is a futile one because money can never win you trust and loyalty. The issues will always remain beneath the surface. What India needs to do to resolve the issue of Kashmir is to take concrete steps, not just eyewashes. Some of the things that should be done are the changing the Indus water treaty to give J&K its fair share, restoration of greater autonomy to pre-1953 status( autonomous regions exist in most of the ‘large’ countries in the world and I see no reason why they canot exist in India), restraint on part of the armed forces to minimize human rights voilations and the creation of newer surface transport links to valley. A lot of people have suggested that if Kashmiris havent seen the economic benifits of remaining with India then damn them. But the fact if that they havent. The valley has witnessed very little economic development in the last 20 years or so. Now I am sure this is true of so many other parts of the country as well and the govt has been overtly trying to solve this problem, but in this case the GOI has to make covert efforts by putting massive pressure on the state govt to improve the dismal governance and the abnormally high levels of corruption prevelant in the govt.
    Its absolutely vital to win the trust of the people. As someone in the above posts asked “We need to find more leaders in Kashmir who are aligned with Indian stand”. But the fact is that there are none who completely agree with GOI’s present policies. You simply cannot trample on the wishes of 5 million people.
    As a Kashmiri I believe that secession will do everyone in the area more harm than good, most of all the region of Kashmir. But unless the people’s trust is won, it may not be too far.

    ~ A Kashmiri

  42. one would like to hear the story from the other side of coin too.. while entire discussion has been from “indian” perspective..it would be interesting to know the exact reasons people like mirwaiz umer farooq and other huriyat leaders still insist on “independence” while still maintaining prpoerties in other parts of india..
    this is entirely from the stand point of someone who’s not yet decided on the right course of action for the kashmir problem…i see the logic of both “letting-kashmir-go” and holding onto kashnir for all the reasons great bong has mentioned……
    i have heard mirwaiz umer farooq…he has the capacity to intellectualize and articulate his position…i don’t think any right thinking indian will buy into the “marginalised , ignored and alienation” theory given by most huriyat leaders.As they say everyone is in minority in india since there is no “quintessential indian”…

  43. I will try and put my views to a few persistent threads in the discussion:

    a) The religious divide in the valley is complete. While till a few years back no one would have spoken for bi/trifurcation of the valley, it is an idea that is not opposed very strongly. The Kashmiri’s have chosen to go down the Islamist path. The flags being waved (other than Pakistani flags) are all green with a star and crescent. There is no place for religious minorities on the flag. It would be naive to expect the three sides to be together in any thing else.

    The political parties of the valley are the dominant parties (with a Muslim face) and they do not have any toe-hold left in Jammu, I would presume. Truly sad. The bifurcation has already happened. This will lead to a situation where the Pandits will never return to a predominantly Muslim valley, not in a 100 years.

    Our inept leaders have managed to create a mini Pakistan within the borders of India.

    b) ‘Join me because I am rich’ is an argument that does not hold. For all those who have been watching live pictures of Bihari’s caught in floods or farmers consuming pesticide should try and put themselves in their shoes. If a secessionist demand had come from Madhepura in Bihar, what economic reason would persuade those people to stay with India. The shiny-happy-people argument does not mean anything to one who has not been touched by it. Hence there is a real fear that ULFA and other such groups might gain a lot more traction than some people here seem to expect (even Vir Sanghvi, for that matter).

    In any case if ‘join me because I am rich’ argument had any merit then I would vote to merge my city/state/country with USA 🙂 As such too many of us are voting with our feet in migrating for work and desperately trying to hold on. Why not settle it once and for all :))

    c) We give too much importance to Ms Roy. Far more than what she deserves. Sometimes I wonder where does a mobile republic recharge its batteries?

    d) Azadi is ruled out. Whatever the cost. Though the logic in favour is strong (the economic logic – sp. by Vir Sanghvi) the idea itself is self destructive. Tibet and Kashmir are different. The Chinese moved into Tibet and captured the territory. Kashmir joined India. The rulesrs had been given a choice and the Maharaja of Kashmir exercised his choice (under duress, of course). But at the same time the tribesmen backed by Pak army had moved into Kashmir. Who is balmeless in this game?

    e) The most important factor and I do not wish to believe this, but it may just be true:
    In the early ’90’s a Kashmiri Pandit friend told me once that terrorism died down in Punjab because the Sikhs had traditionally been faithful to the idea of India and were co-victims in the bloodshed following the partition. They had a positive history to fall back on once the movement died down/ was crushed and the issues settled. In any case far too many Sikh leaders at all times were against the movement – even at its peak.

    The Kashmiri on the other hand has no such history to fall back on.

  44. Thanks Gb, I was waiting for this post.

    Well written and balanced post I must say…..

    Well the only thing right now we can hope for is a strong leadership at center and in state of J&K….. I think it is more of political agenda thn anything else in this demand for azaadi. If we go n ask about any plans they have after independence there will be no clear view….

    This is all political…..

    But common kashmiris dont understand that he is the one who is loosing most in this fight……..hope they get a little brain……..

  45. GB,

    Would only like to highlight the recent interview of Ms. _ufti [senior Kashmiri leader, for whose release, India had to free certain ‘Kashmiri Freedom Fighters’].
    She was on air saying that Kashmir gives more to India than India to Kashmir. She was asking for the royalty on the water sharing treaty that India has with its neighbours for rivers that emanate from Kashmir.

    I am no expert on this… but would like to know on this logic.
    NOTE: I do not support Ms. _ufti. I just want to know the economics behind this.

  46. Hi,

    My wife is a kashmiri pandit. Now that this whole thing has erupted out there is not a day of anger, sadness and helplessness expressed by her parents (incidentally here these days in Bangalore)

    It’s a fine analysis GB. Sometimes one feels that the stupid fools who can’t understand that being in India is better for them should be kicked out of the union but for the exact same points made by you, secession can’t be allowed. We have a tiger by the tail it appears….sigh..

    No question that sourasis has made an extremely valid point.

    The saddest thing, however, is that kashmiri pandits inspite of losing everything haven’t had the sense to rally behind a single leader or movement. Most of them hope against hope that the muslims of the valley will welcome them back and all will be bhaichaara as it was supposed to have been in the yonder days! The others are sipping kahwa in their cozy leifs, relishing their UN jobs or IT boom related perks!! Real sad

    Care
    Venky

  47. GB,

    firstly, i would like to express my immense pleasure & quiet satisfaction at your effort to touch upon such a sensitive political issue which has been haunting India since her freedom 61 years ago.
    Yours is probably most read blog in India (& i m sure among Indians all over too) & i felt good because you used this power to write something sensible. I mean, you are undisputed king of scathing, sarcastic wit but to have thoughts about this was a pleasant surprise. I agree with all of your views written above; its sad that the promise shown by an intelligent writer has been overtaken by her blackened, abjectly irrational fury of protests against every thing truly Indian.

    Keep up the Good Work!

  48. I am so happy to see Haseena Atom bomb on your title, i cannot even tell you. It just goes to show that if you are larger than life (literally) people in other parts of the world would know you as well.

  49. Oh great GB.
    Cant help not siding with Vir Sanghvi and Dhooti on this issue.

    There is this notion that the map of the world will not change between 2000 and 20000 A.D. A notion that “India” is a special place under the sun which must stay intact even if it implodes, stagnates or wins 1 gold medal per billion people.

    The right of self-determination depends on the “dum” in the backside of a community. Compare the Marathi communalism with the likes of Aamra Bangali. If a people can sacrfice 2 to 3 generations for the right to self-identity , then I believe they have earned it. That applies to Kashmiris, Palestinians , Jews or any one else. ( We bongs gave up after 1 dosage from Siddharta Shankar)

    Kashmir is a big economic drain of our country. Its a distraction to following the capitalist ride for the millions. We lost it the moment we became Hindus and Muslims .
    If giving Kashmir sets a precedent of secessionist movement then so be it , it also sets the standard for a community to seek identity i.e : “Get screwed around for 50 yrs and u can have ur own nation”.

    Now if Mamata has that bottle, we shall be happy to one day crown her grandson ( with or without IVF ) as President of Singur. If she doesnt , then we shall have got rid of a headache and focus on “generating wealth” for the rest of India.

    Taking any other stand means we shall be condemned to repeat history for ever. ad infinitum..

  50. Reads like a nightmare! And the division will not be just one time partition kind of slaughter, but we will be exactly where we were before East India Company took us over so easily. There will be war lords, and MNS/BAJRANG/SHIV/RANBEER/and countless other sena(s), each leader like a little king. But before all this if Kashmir is ever seceded, we will have no peace on Jammu and Kashmir borders.The same violence will continue, only the location will come a little to the South.

  51. Strange that Mahesh Bhatt has yet not announced a movie on the Amarnath issue.

    BTW Ekta Kapoor is making an autobiographical movie – predictably called … KKKutiya..

  52. Retaining Kashmir with India is a strategic need even though Kashmir is a white elephant. Even if we let go of Kashmir, ten years from now, we still will be seeing the same problems that we see today. i.e.: of Kashmiris complaining of the Jammu that they are creating “economic blockades”. There will be river disputes, or helping terrorists to enter India through the porous borders between India and Kashmir. All these problems will be engineered with plenty of help from China and Pakistan even if India tries to remain a good neighbour to Kashmir.
    Pakistan for instance will not forego their agenda of destroying India by a thousand cuts just because their so called brothers have got the freedom that they wanted. For them Liberation of Kashmir is just one cut to India. Hence there will be many more cuts and more bleeding which will never end. The same disarray that can be currently observed in the Indian establishment such as some weak-kneed dhootis advocating total surrender, some of them criticizing the Indian Government etc was present in Nehru’s time and will still be there in the future. This disorientation and chaos was what that led to those monumental folly in 1950.
    The new generation in Kashmir will not see what has happened today, but will learn a contorted history of lot of their parents, grand-parents etc being murdered during the Indo-Kashmir partition. They will be blindly waving the same green flag that they are waving today and single mindedly repeating things such as below without even thinking that there could have been a multitude of factors, agendas, interests, strategies and opinions that could have led to the Article 370 and it is nearly impossible to visualize this distorted and mangled ball of History in it’s logical perspective. Instead what they will be blabbering will be as below:

    1) I am a Kashmiri, so I know what actually happened. I have seen the memorandum and hence I know that it’s a fact that Indians have colonized Kashmir. You guys sitting in some part of India and reading fake articles know more than someone who was born and brought up here?

    2) Hindus left Kashmir of their own will. In fact we were all supporting them and begging them not to leave. (Behind the scenes enjoying the privileges given to them by article 370 and silently supporting militancy). In fact they were cowards and compromised when they were lured with a good lifestyle elsewhere unlike the valiant Sikhs who were united and fought back).

    3) There is no development in Kashmir (All the while forgetting that their leader Geelani is depositing all that allocated development money in swiss bank accounts, also forgetting that Tatas, Birlas, Infosys are not allowed to start Industries in Kashmir,not mature enough to understand that the article 370 itself is doing little to promote grassroots governance, or Omar Abdullah is opposing the construction of highways throughout the state citing Indians are taking away their lands knowing fully well that roads means development and development means no more ignorant supporters for him).

    4) Why is Army here? They should have left once they helped the Maharaja of Kashmir and liberated Kashmir. (Forgetting that Article 370 was a prize that was extracted out of India in 1950 by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah for acceding Kashmir with India, after lengthy negotiations with Indian leaders. They forget that this Article had specified that except for Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications, the Indian Parliament needed the State Government’s concurrence for applying such laws to Jammu and Kashmir as did not fall under the heads of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications. So for Defence of India’s own state the Army needs to guard it’s borders against Pakistan and specifically Kashmir since it’s in a strategic location and is considered as a gateway to India).

    5) The Article was temporary in nature and once it’s validity was over, we should have been granted Independence. (Not knowing that the “Temporary” here meant that this arrangement is only for a few years until the Kashmiris get comfortable with India and then the President has all rights to abrogate the Article 370 which means Kashmir will be just like any other Indian state).

    The only solution I think is to never give up Kashmir at all costs, abrogate Article 370, bring development to the state, and systematically and shrewdly eliminating all those traitors who are hell bent on bleeding India.

  53. YES YES
    DOWN WITH THIS HERE 370

    and then quietly alter the demographics of the valley. learn from israel.

    the only thing to suffer will be the wazwan style of cooking.

  54. Kashmiri leaders-esp. Separatists- have perfected art of wresting concessions from India because Indians loath the idea of Kashmir ceding from Indian state. We are paying Rs.15000 crore/yr for these insults and Burning of Tricolor. Lets call their BLUFF. Lets have Plebiscite. They can have Azadi/Join Pakistan/Join India with Rights and Privileges like any other State in India. You will be surprised at the outcome. Read my post http://throughtheprism.blogspot.com/2008/08/kashmir-crisis.html. Today Kashmir leaders have Blinked. You know the ‘Paw in Bottle’ story of how Baboons are caught in Africa? Lets not fall into this ‘India will disintegrate’ trap. Today India is together because we choose to be together.We willingly accept reservation for SC,ST,OBC. We accept that Minorities have equal rights.We have given Equal importance to all the Languages by choice. We have accepted Rule of Law and Our Constitution willingly.So we exist as a Nation by choice. Ceding of Kashmir will not change this.—PK

  55. @ Sourav

    “If a people can sacrfice 2 to 3 generations for the right to self-identity , then I believe they have earned it.”

    Dear Saurav,
    The person who sold you this logic is retarded. [edited]

    PS. Kashmiris ‘have’ ‘sacrificed’ 2 or 3 generations. But not their own. They have massacred generations of Hindus. While admittedly the ability to brutalise and massacre defenceless people has been the hallmark of Islamic development for 1,400 years, at least political development, it does not mean any human being with a shred of dignity and integrity left in him will have to orgasmically endorse this.

  56. @ Bom Bom

    That logic was mine. Pure original. Though I dont know what I can make of someone stalking my sister for 2 or 3 generations. Dev Anand?

    Its interesting to note that the only thing that bugs u about Kashmir is the massacre of Hindus. I have always been curious of this “stereotype” and “hallmark” of religions. Whatever I have seen of it in all the religions of the world with my retarded mind , I will settle for Osho anyday .

    BTW , your rushed choice of words. Something about it….. Do u find difficulty in holding it up long enough? Do u feel obliged to unload asap? maximise impact ? Do u wipe as fast and ineffectively as well?

  57. @ Saurav “Do u find difficulty in holding it up long enough? Do u feel obliged to unload asap? maximise impact ? Do u wipe as fast and ineffectively as well?”

    Are you talking about my manhood? Tut, tut. Whether I unzip files and download data speed depends upon whether I am downloading from a floppy or hard drive at the time. And how many MBs I am downloading.

    Why are you interested in my floppy and hard drives? Are you planning to reformat them? To enable you to enlarge your own drive capacity? By defragging? By defragging?

    Oooh. Don’t you dare come near me, you perv.

  58. I often wonder about ‘the rigging of the 1987 elections’ being the cause that finally ‘woke-up’ the Kashmiri’s into action for independence (accession to pakistan) whatever.

    This to my mind appears to suggest that the Kashmiri is a greater believer in democratic traditions than the rest of india. Because rigging has happened (and still happens) in WB, Bihar, Jharkhand though none of it has really translated into a demand for secession. Second, it is curious that the 1989 uprising co-incided with the USSR retreat from Afghanistan and the mujahadeens finding themselves at a loose end (Incidentally Amanullah Khan of the JKLF has admitted as such).

    Finally, it is still not clear – why did this ‘disgruntled kashmiri’ choose to first cleanse the Pandit population in the valley? (Have tibetans driven out non-tibetan’s from their land)

    The ‘problems’ which Punter suggests leading to this ‘groundswell for Azaadi’ should have been applicable to the entire population of kashmir – muslim and non-muslim. So why is it that only the muslims are complaining about denial of opportunities?

    Finally, ‘economic opportunities’ have to be created from bottom up. The GOI can only act as a facilitator. It can create dams to provide power in the State, it can give funds to the people for creating the infrastructure for sustaining development – but in the end, it is for the resident population of the State to use these opportunnities. If they are sold to the opium of religion and Azadi through Jihad, then they would come to this sorry state .
    Industries prefer stability and clear political vision. Which is why Gujarat, despite occassional aberrations of Godhra, riots and bomb-blasts, keeps growing. OTOH, pussy footing by the kashmiri politicians trying to justify a purely religious movement through ‘secular’ reasons of ‘self-determination, lack of development and injustice’, fools nobody (sorry ammend that based on the forum response – fools a few) but helps nobody except the venal kashmiri politicians.

    To paraphrase Rhett Butler put fromGone With The Wind – ‘There is money to be made, both in the creation and destruction of a civilisation.’ The islamic population of Kashmir should make up its mind about what it wants.

  59. LETS TRY AND UNDERSTAND THAT KASHMIR IS A POLITICAL “AGENDA” FOR ALL INVOLVED. THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT WOULD NEVER GIVE KASHMIR UP—-NOT FOR PATRIOTIC BUT POLITICAL REASONS. WHO WOULD RE-ELECT A GOVERNMENT WHO GAVE UP A PART OF THE COUNTRY?

    ALL MUSLIMS IN INDIA FEEL INSECURE ABOUT LIVING IN THIS COUNTRY AND ALL HINDUS FEEL THAT THEY ARE BEING NEGLECTED TO APPEASE THE MINORITY. THIS FINE BALANCE WINS ELECTIONS .

    AS FAR AS GIVING KASHMIR UP IS CONCERNED–NEVER. KASMIRIS WHO FEEL NEGLECTED WHILE EATING MY HARD EARNED MONEY ARE MOST WELCOME TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY. LETS SEE THE KIND OF DEAL THEY GET FROM PAKISTAN. FOR ALL THE CRYING NO KASHMIRI MUSLIM WILL LIKE TO GO LIVE IN PAKISTAN. THEY KNOW THIS ALL TOO WELL. SUCKING ME DRY SEEMS A GOOD OPTION.

    KASHMIRIS CAN LEAVE, BUT KASHMIR STAYS.

  60. Well the good news is that the Hindus of Kashmir found a semblance of respite, with the latest Amarnath land deal.

    After their initial mess-up, the GOI is making up lost ground in dealing with the Islamists. Thankfully, both the US and China dont want to see another Islamic state in this part of the world (And hence their studied silence, which of course, has long term positive implications for India).

    Pakistan (and by extension ISI), for its part, is too mired in its own Jihad against itself.

    For the rest of the Nizam-e-Mustafa-mongers, this party might be over soon. Geelani and his motley crew (of separatists) will deposit a few million more of Hi-bah money in Swiss bank accounts.

    At the end of the day, a few more fellow countrymen/women of ours, both Hindus and Muslims, lie dead, at the alter of Islamic exclusivism.

  61. Well balanced article, Arnab, as usual, might I add. That said, I support your points in three ways. First, I want to show the stake involved.
    1. Precisely because so much blood and treasure has been spent on this province that giving it away shows the weakness and lack of political will of the Indian government. This will act as a precedent to every known and unknown insurgency in the North East.

    2. The valley of Kashmir is extremely vital because there are two roads that lead to Ladakh. If the valley is in hostile hands, India has only the longer route, along a chicken’s neck, to reach Ladakh. Any coordinated movement between the Chinese and Pakistani forces or by the ‘Mujahideen’ with a holding action by the Chinese will deprive India of the whole of northern Kashmir. Any control over the northern part of Kashmir will give control over the water-shed that leads in Pakistan. This has always been India’s secret weapon: an implicit threat that it can make Pakistan starve by depriving the Punjab of water. These are the stakes.

    Solutions:

    1. Kashmir is as much the ‘valley’, as it is Jammu and Ladakh. Any referendum on freedom must take into consideration the whole area of the erstwhile Princely state of Kashmir. This will include the voices of the majority who have been silenced by the machiniations of armed groups ostensibly representing one community. Indian Kashmir has long been equated to the British occupied Ireland, when in reality it is akin to Northern Ireland where loyal unionists for the first time reacted against the capturing of the political space by the interests of one segment of the population. These new voices must be taken into consideration in all future political decision making processes.

    2. We really have to lift the special provisions for Kashmir, in order to give the inhabitants a fairer chance. Let me tell you how the land-buying restrictions affect the whole Kashmiri economy. As Indians outside of the province cannot buy land or undertake investments without severe (formal and informal) restrictions, the land prices in the state are artificially low, while businesses face massive entry costs even if the security situation were to be improved. Therefore, the removal of these artificial restrictions will add to prosperity and give Kashmiris the chance to migrate to other parts of India. This, of course, will reduce the terror and vote bank politics that the mainstream political forces in Kashmir seem to thrive on.

    All of the above said, Vir Sanghvi’s ilk have raised an important alternative solution. In terms of sheer economics, indeed, Kashmir is and has always been a drain. But, if that be the case, I argue that my solution (3) should be applicable for a better future. Look, we have the bomb, and despite the existence of the debating society we call the UN, or the ineffectual Commonwealth, or the firmly business minded IMF and World Bank, we can integrate Kashmir further. China does not respect the rights of Tibetians, the Russians are in another sphere of thought, and they get away with murder.

  62. Good post Greatbong.

    Emphasizes on both sides of the story with lot of clarity. Allowing Kashmir autonomy might pave the way for further revolutions .

    What seems more frightening , however, is the exodus and transport of people, and if anything like this happens, a small spark might be enough to trigger riots/communal killings etc.

  63. @ Vasabjit

    Very well argued. I found the point about allowing other Indians to buy Kashmiri land quite illuminating.

    But while it might be an excellent proposal on paper, I really dont think it’s practically implementable. Just look at the brouhaha caused by 40 acres of land. Even if this would help Kashmir would the Kashmirirs acquiesce to it?

    As some, no doubt wise, chap said : Vinaash kaale viparit buddhi.

    Come to think of it this perfectly describes Mamata too. 😛

  64. @ HHBB

    I know this is not worth it but I think that I will call your bluff . I have been following GB’s blog for sometime and I must say I am tired of your ranting, your malicious lies and your gimmicks of painting every incident with communal color.

    First things first, you have been consistently highlighting the “made up” figure of 1400 years of exploitation of India by Islam. Few small facts, that I am quite certain you knew but choose to ignore, that will show that you are nothing but a glorified hate monger:

    1. Islam came to South Asia long before the Muslim invasions of India. Islamic influence first came to be felt in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders. The first ship bearing Muslim travelers was seen on the Indian coast as early as 630 AD. Arab Muslims settled on the Indian coast in the last part of the 7th century AD. This fact is corroborated, by J. Sturrock in his South Kanara and Madras Districts Manuals, and also by Haridas Bhattacharya in Cultural Heritage of India Vol. IV. The first Indian mosque was built in 612 A.D in Kodungallur by Malik Bin Deenar.

    2. In the first half of the 10th century, Mahmud of Ghazni added the Punjab, which is currently in Pakistan, to the Ghaznavid Empire. A more successful invasion came at the end of the 12th century by Muhammad of Ghor which eventually led to the formation of the Delhi Sultanate.

    3. After the Mutiny of 1857,the Muslims were targeted by the Britishers the most, as under their leadership the war was mostly fought in and around Delhi. Thousands of kith and kins were shot or hanged near the gate of Red Fort, Delhi, which is now known as ‘Khooni Darwaza'(the bloody gate). The Muslim power in India never recovered after this incident.

    So even if we make the most conservative computation Muslims were a organized military force to reckon with for about 8 centuries and not for the “popularized” figure of 14 centuries.

    (As per your usual response to genuine/ verifiable facts and logic, I am bracing for either a very-very long post, with key points tactfully skipped, or some sought of cheap insult)

  65. No one seems to have mentioned it, but it seems obvious that our template is the USA. And our guiding light is Abraham Lincoln.

    Lincoln fought an incredibly bloody civil war, with no great
    pleasure or malice but quiet determination, not to free the
    slaves (although he very much sympathised) but to preserve the
    Union. A Union, which at the time was around eighty years old — pretty close to where we stand today.

    Like the USA then, in India today, fissures appear to be surfacing, radical views are being propagated, and we are forgetting, all too soon, the founding principles of the nation. In the USA, it was Lincoln who provided clarity at a crucial time.

    Like the USA, we are a nation created recently, in 1947, and bound by a Constitution. Respect for that Constitution is what has prevented
    us from becoming a banana republic like Pakistan or Bangadesh.

    There is no clause allowing secession in that Constitution, and
    therefore secession cannot be allowed or encouraged in any way
    whatsoever.

    It really is as simple as that.

    Equally, I would have to say, debating what India was or was not,
    or who oppressed whom before 1947, is just as detrimental. Just as
    there can be no debate or discussion regarding territory, there
    cannot be any raising of such issues, or raking up of historical grievances. What matters is how we behave or have behaved as citizens of modern, democratic India. We are all equal in the eyes of the Constitution, and what our grandfathers did to each other is of no consequence. This also makes Article 370 a travesty, as a matter of fact.

    Americans never discuss who’s grandfather was Pro British, and who’s was not, or who oppressed whom. Once they were Americans, they were Americans.

    Our history as a modern nation started in 1947, just as for the US
    it did in 1776. It’s interesting to see how Americans pretend that
    there was pretty much no history prior to 1776. There’s no harm in discussing it — but it is not considered to be American history.

    If we accept this strong, simple principle, a lot of things become
    a lot clearer. On the Kashmir issue, there is no question that any
    secessionist tendencies must be crushed with the utmost force.

    Lincoln was happy to discuss any and every problem with every citizen, and make practically any compromise, — so long as they accepted that they were part of the Union. We should be guided by the same principle. As for those who do not think they are part of the Union, there is a simple word for their behaviour. That word is treason. In the old world, the penalty for treason was death. In the new world, they can simply cease to be citizens (in which case, their positions are no longer treasonous) and leave the country. They should be given this option — once.

    I had till recently held the same view as Vir Sanghvi, so I can understand where he comes from. But then I read a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and somehow, although it was years ago and miles away, things became much clearer.

  66. RadicalBong,

    Thanks. That’s a much better and principled stand than to say that “oh, what we are doing is not really imperialism because we are not gaining anything from it” or “we can’t grant independence to them because everyone else will also ask for it”, etc. We can’t grant independence because the constitution doesn’t allow for it. As simple as that.

  67. Sorry GB,
    that previous reply to neeladri was impossible to resist,
    though it is against the spirit of your blog rules. But technically I guess I was just helping a fellow fan of yours!
    Care

  68. @ Jedi Master

    HHBB doesnt even need to reply to you.

    Mohammad bin Qasim (695 CE) attacked Sindh (which was very very much a part of).

    And open your newspaper everyday, if you want to see how the Islamic invasion is still continuing.

    That makes it 1300 years right there.

    Rest in peace. As GB mentioned, this post is not about the larger Islamic threat. That has already been discussed a lot before.

  69. The problem is flip-flop policies of Government and opportunism of politicians.

    People like Mahbuba Mufti are so wicked and corrupt that they will put Kashmir on fire for their gains. No wonder J&K features in Top5 ‘Alarmingly Corrupt States’ in India!

  70. @RadicalBong

    While I agree with some of the points u have made there, calling 370 a traversity is grossly unfair. Its a promise that was made by GOI to Kashmir and hence cannot be brushed aside or unilaterally revoked. Whatever solution Kashmir is going to have is going to be by upholding and strengthening article 370 rather than weakening it.
    And using excessive force is not an answer to this problem. I mean, how can people expect Kashmiris to counsider themselves Indians when things like this are a common occurence :

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lVBNdDP4ktQ

    The solution lies in winning the trust of people. Rather unsurprisingly, noone here had anything to say about what I said about the Indus Water treaty. This ‘brushing under the carpet’ is exactly the attitude of GOI also. But it has to come out of this syndrome if a solution which both sides are happy with has to be achieved.

  71. @ punter

    The ‘fact’ that J&K is not allowed to use waters of the Western rivers is a lie. Please have a look at Annexure C of the IWT. That said, I believe that the IWT was unfair to India. However, water issues between upper and lower riparian states are a reality. Please have a look at the recent Godavari river dispute between Karnataka and TN. As far as I recall, no one there has been advocating ‘Azadi’ (or accession to Pakistan) due to this.

    http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTSOUTHASIA/Resources/223497-1105737253588/AnnexureC.pdf

    Second, Please read the following and assign blame to the right source. Why blame India (and Indians) if

    http://www.hindu.com/op/2007/04/08/stories/2007040800032000.htm
    A redundant treaty
    M.S. MENON

    Third, this is the SWOT analysis of J&K agriculture. Says 90% of the available water is unutilised and the disadvantages of agriculture in J&K.

    http://diragrijmu.nic.in/swot.html

    Only 42% area is under irrigation. Around 90% of available ground water is unutilized.

    Disadvantages

    Hilly terrain, limiting mechanical farming and transportation of products especially horticulture produce.
    Hilly terrain also limits irrigability of cultivated land
    Fragile soil in hilly areas susceptible to soil erosion
    Single Cropping season in temperate / high altitude areas
    Distant markets for export outside the State

  72. @ Punter

    In the interest of intellectual honesty, could you also provide a reasoning behind why this ‘kashmiri’ demand for azadi, appears to exclude the non-islamic kashmiris (or don’t they count?)?
    After all, all your reasonings – Indus Water, Development, vote rigging is applicable to the entire population.
    Or should we be ‘unsurprised’ as well, of the ‘brushing under the carpet’ of such obvious contradictions 🙂

  73. @punter

    Think the GoI is “winning the trust” in Bihar, or Singur, or all the Naxalite infested areas, or a zillion other places ?
    They do what they do, and there’s a healthy tension maintained by the press, the judiciary, the Human Rights folks, NGOs, this blog, and so do numerous other voices that the framework of India allows and encourages. We have hazaar more issues with the GoI than you might. I totally empathise with how extended army presence causes major problems for the civilian population – and thats something we need to resolve.

    Thats the big diff – every little issue does not lead to talk of a divorce in the family. We’re grown up, and despite the skirmishes, differences, and multiple points of view, work at resolving them. Sulking and breaking away will merely prolong/postpone the issue. Once you have your own government – and you’ve had that in the past – you’ll have similar issues with them again. What then ? Will you locality or family or house raise the flag for azaadi ?

    If its not gonna work in a large, democratic, assimilative (overall – sure there are glitches here and there) framework – one which has been ready to concede special privileges and assistance (many say those have actually caused alienation), then fat chance you’ll get a better deal with Pak, or with your own independent government.

    Do you, for instance, see the number of balanced voices from India who take up your cause from various points of view ? You have to believe, as a starting point, that there are lots of “Indians” not completely working against you, and in fact would be keen on befriending the valley. Trust is a second level emotion that can be built over that – till you are totally convinced – with or without reason – of the contrary – there’s not much to it.

    And honestly, if you’d rather give up on the faith, then sooner or later, we’ll all tire too. There’s work to be done, you know. Can’t stay caught up with this whining all our lives, can we. Gotta look and move ahead.

  74. @ Arnie
    India has rights for ‘exclusive’ usage of the waters of 3 rivers. All three of them are in Punjab. Coincidence?? What J&K gets from these rivers is peanuts. As is clearly mentioned in Article III of the treaty, “India shall not store any water of, or construct any storage works on, the Western Rivers.”
    What you have written about agriculture in J&K is true for most parts. There are areas such as Akhnur ans RS Pura in Jammu and the valley of Kashmir which are located on flat rolling plains. These certainly depend heavily on agriculture. But in most areas, the irrigation methods are the same that may have been used a century ago and produce is low. What I am saying is that if the waters of even one of the western rivers were to be used exclusively by India, it would revolutionize the economy of J&K.
    And your point about distant markets outside state would be adressed if more surface transport links to the valley are opened, even sparing GOI the kind of blushes which happened last month on account of the blockade.
    As regards ur other question, someone has already said in these threads that what makes the Kashmir problem more complex is that Kashmir neither has a shared history nor a shared culture with the rest of India.

    @Sameeer
    I have never said that Pakistan is a good option. Infact, out of the alternatives to Kashmir problem, it is the worst one for Kashmiris themselves. But GOI has to address the issues in Kashmir, just as it has to address the root cause of Naxalites or any other disgruntled group.

    @abida Kazi
    Not sure whether we are allowed to give our email ids here. U can mail GB asking for my email-id. Agar te heki ne sabdith, teli sochaw bei kyenh.

  75. @ Punter

    Look, the fact that IWT was not a good outcome for India is accepted. Though I do not understand what you are trying to hint by the ‘co-incidence’ claim? Are you suggesting India somehow deliberately gave the ‘western rivers’ to Pakistan instead of the ‘Eastern rivers’?

    After due to the partition 21 million acres of irrigated area through the Indus system went to Pakistan and only 5 million acres came to India. Why did the people of India not object to this ‘infamy’ and start a genocide of the muslim population left behind in India? Finally, why does the ‘kashmiri’ why not blame the Pak govt for violating their end of the bargain, instead of waving their flag?

    *****

    “It was on 4 May 1948 that an agreement was reached after a meeting at Nehru’s instance between the Indian Prime Minister and Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Ghulam Mohd. By the Delhi Agreement of 4 May 1948, East Punjab agreed not to withhold water from West Punjab without giving the latter time to tap alternative sources. On its part West Punjab recognized “the natural anxiety of the East Punjab.”14 As regards the payment of seigniorage charges to East Punjab, the West Punjab government agreed to deposit immediately in the Reserve Bank of India.”15 It may be pointed out that the British Province of Punjab recovered, before partition, from Bikaner State seigniorage charges for the supply of water to the State in addition to proportionate maintenance costs etc. of the Ferozepore headworks and of the feeder canal.16 East Punjab now wanted to recover a similar charge for water supplied to West Punjab.

    Though this agreement was not final, it did provide some basis for dealing with the vexed problem. But soon it was found that Pakistan was unwilling to stick to the agreement, as it was seeking to use the Indus water dispute as a political tool in the battle over Kashmir being fought at the United Nations. Pakistan also sought to create anti-India hysteria in Pakistan over this issue. As such Pakistan unilaterally abrogated the May 1948 Agreement saying that it was signed “under duress”.”

    ****

    The suggestion for the IWT came through the World Bank and despite serious shortcomings, given India’s economic and political realities at the time – it was accepted. We should have learnt then – bribing an enemy does not work 🙂

    Second, the ‘revolutionising of J&K economy’ could still have happened. 90% of ground water in Kashmir is unutilised. Israel created gardens in desert as have UAE. The water that J&K can use from the western rivers is around 0.75 MAF (million acre feet) – roughly translating into a billion cubic metres. Not to be sneered at. Besides, NHPC is /will provide(ing) royalty to J&K for the power from the hydro-power stations being constructed on the rivers. Where is all this money going? Why aren’t the local politicians being held accountable?

    The whole point is that people of J&K have to be more proactive in deciding what future they want. Simply hitching a free ride on islamic terrorism and claiming that the ‘actual demands’ have more to do with development and corruption just doesn’t cut it.

    The fact is this – there are a lot of people in India doing far worse than the average kashmiri and yet not resorting to terrorism, hence the lack of sympathy.

  76. Hello Punter,

    You said –

    “While I agree with some of the points u have made there, calling 370 a traversity is grossly unfair. Its a promise that was made by GOI to Kashmir and hence cannot be brushed aside or unilaterally revoked”

    My Response – If article 370 is a “promise” that is immutable, would you not apply the same logic to the instrument of accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh? Why is it then that the valley erupts in a frenzy of Green Flags and Nizam e Mustafa chants at the drop of a hat? Why dont we hear you and others of your ilk telling the Geelanis, the Lones, the Muftis, the Yasin Maliks about the sanctity of the instrument of accession everytime “azadi fever” hits the valley???

    Regards

    Sunil.

  77. @ Punter

    The Youtube clip makes for highly unpleasant viewing, and it is only natural for you to be angry. But the thing is, what you showed me is in no way unique to Kashmir. The police in India are relentlessly brutal to the poor and the weak everywhere in the country. They continue to be a colonial force, governed by a colonial mindset. It’s no different in Bihar, or Punjab, or UP, or anywhere else — indeed often it’s worse (Nandigram, anyone?). Obviously, I’m not defending this. Just saying it’s a national problem, not a Kashmiri problem. If it’s happening more often in Kashmir, it’s probably because a lot more shit is flying around in Kashmir right now, and the police always respond to such things with brute force — anywhere in the country.

    You also say “The solution lies in winning the trust of people.”

    I have a question.
    It can’t possibly be anyone’s contention that loads of Kashmiris suddenly want independence because of a few acres of land next to some holy spot. That would be truly absurd.

    So OK, it’s a sign of something deeper. Let’s say a lot of people are unhappy with their lives — their lack of opportunities, or jobs, or general growth and prosperity. Who’s fault is that? Who runs Kashmir?

    If you look at POK, which many Kashmiris want to join, apparently, there is not a single Kashmiri in any position of power, no one who holds real authority. I haven’t done a PhD on the subject, but I know that this is fundamentally the case. Please do correct me if I am wrong.

    In Kashmir, all the mechanisms of the state goverment are controlled by Kashmiris. And have been for quite some time. They’re the ones who get the funding (huge amounts of it) and control it. So if Kashmir is not seeing development, who’s fault is it? Where on earth does all the money go? If Kashmir is in the state it is, it’s because you are represented by rich, spoilt showboats like Omar Abdullah, and unprincipled somersaulters like Mehbooba Mufti. How is that the fault of the Indian state? Why blame Manmohan, or me, or the rest of India? You’re the people who voted for them. Once again, this is not a situation unique to Kashmir, and hardly the grounds for secession. When Biharis got fed up of Laloo, they didn’t agitate to join Pakistan — they voted in Nitish Kumar instead.

    What happens is, your local leaders are unusually venal and corrupt, and when the heat is on, they conveniently start playing the ‘us’ Vs ‘them’ card. They use history, Kashmiriyat, Muslim identity, and a variety of other tricks to confuse the simple fact that they’re a bunch of bums.

    Instead of fighting for freedom, why not fight for elections? And throw the bums out.

    So honestly, where does winning trust come in to it? The state government runs the state, and like many other state governments, they’re a bunch of assholes. You have the right and the ability to get rid of them. That makes India a better choice, surely? Democracy is an imperfect system, but like Winston Churchill said — there isn’t anything much better.

  78. @ Punter

    Theek chhu.
    Shukriya.
    me chhi umaid ki tuhi ta tuhi hiven insaanan sati rozi asi kath bath chulwin.

    Regards
    Abida

  79. Very Well Written,

    At one point i thought that major part of Kashmir is going to go. But fortunately Singh is Kingg again (Manmohan Singh). I think our politicians believe in wait and watch politics, which sometimes is very helpful.

    Anyways, nice website would you like to add me in your blogorama, i will add you in mine blog. I am trying to improve my blog, do leave a comment and let me know how i am doing.

    Sandesh Kumar

  80. On the contrary I am quite enjoying this exchange in Kashmiri…quite a distinctive language actually. Does it have a lot of Persian influence? What is the problem in using Kashmiri or any other language….I didn’t see anyone complain about Bong posts.

  81. @RadicalBong

    “They use history, Kashmiriyat, Muslim identity, and a variety of other tricks to confuse the simple fact that they’re a bunch of bums.”

    Best-articulated-argument-ever 🙂

    Of course, happens all over the country, with varying degrees of success. Raj Thackeray being a recent example. Lets see how much wool the Valley lets bums like these pull over their eyes.

  82. @ RadicalBong and Punter

    Since you are looking at youtube – might want to do a search on ‘And the World Remained Silent’. See both parts.

    Of course Punter might claim that we would never understand because ‘kashmiri Kulture’ is different 🙂

  83. @ RadicalBong

    The reason I said the thing about winning trust is that unlike the people in other parts of India, the people of Kashmir have developed a belief that GOI is out to screw them. events that have happened since 1947 have developed this belief. Hence the normal generalizations (it happens all over India) dont fit this case.
    In any case, since you are so convinced that Kashmiris are themselves responsible for the current imbroglio, why not give them the autonomy they demand. Even when the ‘democratically elected’ NC govt raised this demand in 2000, why did the centre dismiss it without even debate?
    As I have said, just throwing money around is not the solution.

    Have a look at this article which was in yesterday’s TOI and make your own conclusions:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Interviews/Restore_autonomy_originally_enjoyed_by_JK/articleshow/3438049.cms

    @Mamoo ..

    Common, you can give me better grains of sand than that one to weave my pearls around.
    I mean, Sheikh Abdullah as a British agent [:D]. What next, Ali Shah Geelani on the payroll of CIA?

    @Arnie

    I suggest you talk to a Kashmiri Pandit, preferably an elder, to get an idea of this cultural difference. Ask them the difference between Pandits and Hindus. Why they consider to be two different entities. Or, atleast till a few years ago, why they abhored the idea of a Pandit marrying a hindu. Maybe you will get your answers.

  84. The other day, I was discussing if any state decides to secede from USA which one that be?
    In my opinion, California shows attitude and remarkably different political opinion and ample economic resources that can enable this state to Secede if it wants to.
    However, as per US constitution if any state out of 50 states tries to secede, it will be “Forced back into Union by using military action”… the execption is Texas, it can secede if it wants to as it was sovereign country before it entered union

    Every Country should do everything possible to preserve teritorial integrity, otherwise, no nation can stand together because individual territories (like individual human being) will always try to act in their best interest, ignoring the greater good of all people in given nation.
    So, in my opinion, only because we get nothing from Kashmir in comparison towhat we put it does not justify allowing it to secede.
    Thanks,
    Ankur Kolhatkar

  85. @Punter

    Thats like saying – I choose to not like you – so its purely your headache to try and make me like you – but hey, I’m pretty sure I want to continue to not like you. But try anyway.

    Huh ?

    Why have the Kashmiris decided to have this outlook when the rest of the country does not, while often being equally screwed, is something Kashmiris need to fix and answer. You can whine, and become part of the problem, or you can approach it constructively and try to solve it.

    Honestly, I think *we* should give up. The valley will have learned a valuable lesson in constructive politics by the end of it, and no, we should not “build bridges again” or any of that. You want out, you get out and you stay out.

    Of course, I’m still not sure ALL of the valley’s keen on not being part of India. The louder part of it sure is.

  86. @ Punter

    I placed certain logical facts before you — basically, that Kashmiris have been voting their leaders in and that those leaders should logically bear a large part of the responsibility for the current condition of Kashmir. Your response is “the people of Kashmir have developed a belief that GOI is out to screw them..”.

    Yep, that makes sense. I stand corrected.

    You mention that ‘throwing money is not a solution’. Actually most governments are run with money, since fresh air doesn’t help build roads. Your problem would be that Farooq Abdullah spent most of it at Wimbledon.

    Read your article by Ajit-babu, published in TOI. An 80 year old biographer of Sheikh Abdullah who mourns the passing of Musharraf — exactly the kind of objective source that I would go to, to understand the truth. Incidentally, he mentions that a year ago things were wonderful, and one year later, there is no longer any hope. Yes, this is a man who’s measured viewpoint must not be ignored.

    If I’ve understood your position correctly — everything that’s wrong with Kashmir is the fault of GOI (or the Kashmiris ‘believe’ so, which is enough), you deserve special treatment and extra privileges because you did us all the enormous favour of joining India, and Kashmiris themselves are in no way responsible, not even slightly, for the condition of their state.

    I honestly thought it would be possible to have an exchange of ideas on the subject, and perhaps some self-examination. But no, everything is someone else’s fault, and once you’ve started ‘believing’ certain things, there’s no need to even examine them to see whether they are correct or not. And your sense of entitlement, based on certain things that happened over 60 years ago, is of course, permanent.

    With an attitude like that, it’s no wonder the rest of India is rapidly losing patience with the people of Kashmir. I certainly just did.

  87. @ RadicalBong – don’t give up yet. There’s hopefully a quieter but larger voice in the valley which does not think along the same lines. In any case, a referendum should clear things up. If there is no such voice, then, as I’ve held for a few days now, good riddance.

  88. @RadicalBong

    Wow, exchange of ideas. The “I will listen to your opinion as long as it does not differ from my beliefs” arrroach to debate. Very democratic, very intellectual.

    Listen dude, you talk about elections and elected governments, the same ones which even Vajpayee excepted were rigged. Read this:

    http://home.comcast.net/~raman_akhila/kashmir/elect.htm

    I hope I dont have to establish the credibility of BK Nehru and Prem Nath Bazaz.

    I am very sorry we Kashmiris dont accept the blame for the actions of these remote controlled governments. How uncultured of us!

    And what exactly is wrong with Mr Ajit here? The fact that he is 80 years old or that he is Sheikh abdullah’s biographer or that he said that Musharaff was India’s best hope for resolving Kashmir (FYI, Musharaff, unlike politicians from both sides who cannot look beyond the ‘Kashmir Hamara Hai’ line, was willing to look at some out of the box approaches).

    Just read the article for the points it raises. Why should people who willingly joined India 60 years back be so much against it? I guess it is also the Kashmiris’ fault that they dont like GOI when GOI has given them candy from one hand and beaten them blue with the other.

    By all means, hold Kashmiris responsible for their actions. But AFTER allowing them to have their govt. Give Kashmiris the autonomy they had been promised. India still retains defence and ext affairs, remember. Dont give them any free money or special priveledges. If you think that they cant survive, that should be their fucking problem.

  89. RadicalBong

    I like your writing style and straightforward approach. Especially the Lincoln logic. Do you also write on a blog somewhere, would be good to read more of you.

    If not, perhaps you can collaborate with your bong brother and write jointly here 🙂

  90. @Punter
    “Dont give them any free money or special priveledges. If you think that they cant survive, that should be their fucking problem.”

    I completely buy this part. Why just “autonomy” ? Get a referendum, and if they’re not going to be Indians whole heartedly, sayonara – the army, and all that. (just the valley – Ladakh is very much Indian, and so is Jammu).

    And then, no ties at all. Ever. That only makes sense, right ? Since you hate us this much and cannot make things work with us, so we can hardly expect you to be able to do trade with us, or have any other interaction. Thats not unfair, is it ?

    And now, if you excuse us, we’ve got a GDP to nurture. Singur, Mamata-di, and assorted other stuff needs solving, and we need to do even better for ourselves and ALL *our* people (whom you now choose to not be part of). All the best to you with the Pak govt, the Afghans, the Taliban (who may have an imp role to play in your future) and your capable rulers who’ll take you to far greater heights than India would’ve let you get to. And we want none of that. Ciao.

  91. Firstly, nice analysis. The Kashmir issue is really not a simple issue, and the reason for sustained conflict in the region is possibly due to the troubled and quite controversial accession of the territory into India.

    Hari Singh had wanted his state to be Switzerland here and one may well argue that the Instrument of Accession was signed by him not entirely out of volition but because of the gravity of the situation facing him at that time (tribal attack). Article 370 today really represents India’s treaty obligation, and removing it is not easy.

    We can’t claim to have clean hands at all times in relation to the Kashmir issue, we took it to the UN and then refused the referendum that the UN had asked for.

    Perhaps the best solution is to let go, Vir Sanghvi is quite right in pointing out the economic drain and loss of lives. The solution may be to have Kashmir as independent nation supported by both India and Pakistan and protected by the UN through a treaty (yes I have heard of the Srebrenica massacre, but we can always be hopeful). If one succeeds in making Kashmir a buffer state, it will ultimately benefit India.

    Let there be peace, its a beautiful place and deserves better than the bloodshed that it has seen for so long…

  92. @Veerendra
    Thanks for the kind words, boss. No, I don’t have a blog. In fact I’m pretty new to this whose discussion forum type thing. I must say that through the power of his demented mind, Greatbong has gathered a collection of interesting and passionate people — my good buddy Punter included. I’ll be happy to keep responding here, so long as I can find the time. Right now, I seem to be amazingly idle!

    @Punter
    You’re getting pretty upset, and perhaps I was out of line in my last post. For that I apologise. But I’ve got to tell you that I got pretty exasperated, and believe me, a lot of people are beginning to feel that way on this issue. Unless you truly believe that everyone else is an idiot, this ought to give you pause to think.

    Thanks to you, I’m getting exposed to a lot of viewpoints, and I appreciate that. Regarding your specific points and references, I think the issue is source credibiity.

    Regarding Ajit-babu, for example. Yes, I think anyone who believes in the sincerity of anything that Musharraf says or does needs their head examined. You’ll probably find this a point on which, for once, most Indians and Pakistanis would agree! Therefore,anything emerging from such a source needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    The fact that Kashmiris fought against Pakistan 60 years ago, and now many (how many, I wonder) want to join them is certainly thought provoking, but it’s a complex issue, and a few paragraphs in a newspaper interview can hardly claim to explain it.

    The issue with Akhila Raman’s analysis of elections in Kashmir is the same. Source credibility. If I wanted to objectively evaluate the state of Islamic militancy, for example, I’m hardly going to base my conclusions on articles at the Al Qaeda website, am I?

    In a funny way, though, her article, full though it is of completely unsupported allegations, actually reinforces my view. All the leaders mentioned were Kashmiri leaders, weren’t they? To dismiss all of them as stooges of New Delhi is a bit simplistic. The Abdullahs, bless teir little hearts, seem to have played an active role in Kashmiri politics for long periods of time. They have merrily participated in all kinds of rigging and skullduggery. Raman’s argument that Kashmiris only supported Abdullahs because of their stance on autonomy, but rejected everything else they did — that’s stretching things, I’d say.

    Leaving that aside, can we accept that BBC is reasonably unbiased, with no axe to grind? Articles from the BBC website clearly state that the 1977 elections were fair, but the 1987 elections were a joke, and alienated many. Point taken. Matter of shame. But they also state that the 1996 and 2002 elections were both reasonably fair. The problem was poor turnout.

    Why was there poor turnout? Because some of the key parties decided to boycott. And because their terrorist contemporaries, whom they sympathise with, if not actively support, scared people away from the polling booths. Somewhat bizarrely, the Army tried to drag people to the polling booths — not I might add, to tell them who to vote for, but to get them to simply vote. A truly strange situation.

    So, if we use evidence from BBC (which I think is a fair thing to do) the fact is that the vast majority of the Kashmiri public and leaders have simply chosen not to participate in the electoral process, ever, in the last couple of decades.

    “By all means, hold Kashmiris responsible for their actions” you say, “But AFTER allowing them to have their government”

    If you choose not to participate, how can you?

    The closest analogy I can think of is Iraq, where the Sunnis chose not to participate in the initial elections. Then they realised they were getting left out. So they have now started, slowly but surely to integrate themselves back into mainstream Iraqi life. Strange to think of Iraq as being a role model in anything, but there it is.

    You could argue, basis Ajit-babus article, if you give him the benefit of the doubt, that he has a point here. Kashmir was at it’s most peaceful in the last two decades just last year. Had the elections been held at the end of this year, there might have been a good result. Why is that now practically impossible? Three reasons, I’d suggest :

    1) Hindu nationalists pretty much set fire to Jammu, in order to reinforce their credentials, mostly for the benefit of the rest of the country. General elections coming up. SOP.
    2) Kashmiri leaders like Geelani, who have never had any intention of letting Kashmir settle peacefully in the Republic of India, instantly raised cries of ‘Pakistan Chalo’
    3) And even if this had not happened, the Kashmiri parties who boycotted the last 2 elections would have boycotted this one too, and threatened others to stay home.

    Look, as someone said here, no one’s hands are really clean on this issue. But basis these facts, it woud seem to me that one of the main reason Kashmiris don’t have a representative government is because of other Kashmiris. And that’s been the case for over ten years now.

    This minority of select leaders is using rhetoric to inflame people, and a tacit understand with terrorists to suppress democracy. Their single point agenda is to get Kashmir into Pakistan — Kashmiri lives, or peace, or prosperity mean nothing to them.

    They’re the real villains, boss. Surely you see some merit in this argument?

  93. Mr. Punter,

    Your history begins only with Sheikh Abdullah, is it? You skipped the previous chapters, eh?

    Conveniently side-stepped the undeniable reality of 5000-years of shared Hindu history and Hindu culture of Kashmir with India, didn’t we?

    And you would rather choose to imagine that Kashmir, its culture and heritage did not exist until the Islamic occupation, correct?

    Ever heard of the “Stockholm Syndrome”, brother?

    Ahem… and one more thing about your Taqiyya pontifications to Arnie !

    Kashmiri Pandits marrying Kashmiri Pandits, poses a problem for you?

  94. I was born in a northeastern state and I spent 15 years trying to call the place home. I was treated as an outsider – a ‘DHKAR’ in local lingo, a non-tribal who could never call the place his own. Soon I was forced to migrate to a neighbouring state, where again I was identified as a ‘Bangladeshi’. My birth certificate had no value in the eyes of the ‘sons of the soil’. I had to move again. This time I thought I had arrived in my home state, a land where no language could define me being a foreigner. I was soon dubbed a ‘Bangal’. It was as if something unwanted had crossed over into the ‘bhadralok’ state, when it was best left on the other side. I now live in a southern state. Like an alien nation, I do not understand the local language nor can I interact with most. But I feel at peace, because no one till date has looked down upon me, called me an outsider, served an ultimatum to leave or judged me on the basis of my origins. When people who have never suffered in their life talk about allowing Kashmir to secede from India, they open floodgates for others to demand the same. And millions like me who have no place to call home have no options, but to allow this to happen over our dead bodies.

  95. @ Punter

    Woww Punter! Nice Taqqya tactics.

    For 5000 years Kashmir has been the cradle of Hindu Shaivism. Your Hindu forefathers are the same as those of the Kashmiri Pundits.

    And you are telling us that Kashmiri Pandits are different from Hindus????

    Dude…get real. Yours is not Kashmiriyat…. its Islamiyat…and there is a big difference.

    And yes, I did ask a elderly Kashmiri Pandit. He laments your predicament as much as I do.

  96. @ The other Indians

    I see so many ignorant (and foolish) people in India, talk of plebescite in Kashmir as agreed in 1948 under the aegis of the UN.

    The UN plebiscite proposal for Jammu & Kashmir became NULL AND VOID on March 3,1963 when Pakistan illegally ceded the Shaksgam Valley to the People’s Republic of China.

    This Shaksgam Valley is a large Trans-Karakoram Tract with an area of nearly 5,800 square kilometers (that was part of Baltistan in Pakistani-Occupied Northern Areas).

    China went on to build the Karakoram Highway (KKH) on this illegally occupied and ceded territory.

    For the UN plebiscite proposal to be implemented, China will have to be first evicted from the Shaksgam Valley (and Aksai Chin) and simultaneously, Pakistan will have to vacate their occupied regions of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and Northern Areas.

    The indigenous Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist populations (numbering in the millions), driven away from Mirpur/Muzaffarabad (and the rest of POK and Northern Areas of Gilgit, Baltistan) starting from 1947 will have to be first resettled in their respective hometowns, for the plebiscite to be considered.

    I request Punter and other Kashmiri seccesionists to launch immediate initiatives to fulfil the pre-conditions as agreed by all parties at the UN, before they even up bring the question of referendum.

  97. @ Punter

    Ah – good now that the red herrings of ‘economic development’ have been abandoned, we can talk about ‘kashmiri feelings’. Incidentally, a little knowledge is dangerous. Article III in IWT does mention ‘exclusive use’ for western rivers, the devil, as we saw, lies in the details.
    Second, if the best reasoning of ‘alien kashmiri kulture’ that you can provide is that pandits did not want to marry hindus, you must be really clutching at straws. Other posters here have provided detailed association between Indian and ‘Kashmiri’ culture, so no real need to revisit that 🙂 But I’ll just say one thing – many sects / sub-sects in India abhor the idea of marrying anyone but their own. Doesn’t make their ‘culture’ any less alien.
    Third, I notice you are quite enamoured by paki military leaders. Your ‘peanuts’ comment (with respect to IWT) was also used by Zia to show his contempt for the aid promised by US. The ‘out-of-box’ thinking of Musharraf (I agree with Radicalbong here that anyone believing anything that Mushy says ought to have their head examined) was nothing new. It was a rehashed version of the ‘Jhelum’ plan for splitting Kashmir such that the muslim majority areas went to pak and India kept the rest. In real terms, it meant – India parted with the Valley. It was left for the Indian leadership to point it out to him that ‘you can’t win on the negotiating table, what you couldn’t win on the battle field.’
    Fourth, In our n’th iteration of this ‘autonomy’ demand which every ‘kashmiri’ secessionist seems to parrot, a quick query – have you though through as to what additional ‘autonomy’ you desire? Or is this going to be as superficial as your reading of the IWT ?

  98. @rishi_khujur
    Points accepted (in fact thats one of the arguments I’ve put forth, while supporting a referendum in the valley alone for other reasons), but can be made without the name-calling. Other people are entitled to their points of view, sir, and they might have perfectly valid (to them) reasons for them. Arguments that descend into the “you ignorant lot” level of reasoning are not merely pointless, but irritating, and counter-productive. So unless the idea to do that, avoid.

  99. @sameer
    The reason why the use of the word “ignorant” applies in many cases, is because, most of the people who talk about the referendum issue, often do not know about POK, Gilgit/Baltistan issue. That has been my experience.

    In any case, I absolutely did not think of you, while mentioning that.

    But your point, taken. I sure am not the one who can judge if a person is ignorant about a issue or not.

  100. @ Arnie

    You sir, are free to draw your own conclusions from what I have written. However, I maintain that ‘economic development’ or rather the lack of it is the real reason for the alienation of Kashmiris. Bhakra Nangal Project is one of the major causes of the agricultural success in North India. J&K cannot have such a project. I guess it is also Kashmiris’ fault that they are not happy with the peanuts thrown at them. J&K has hydroelectric potential of 15000-20000 MW but even a fraction of it isnt utilizable. No prizes for guessing one of the major obstacles for the same.
    As for the culture thing, just because pandits and other hindus have a common religion does that mean they have the same culture? Surely not, just as me being a muslim does not mean that i will have the same culture as an arab or a farsi. Sure there will be similarities, but it is the differences that make human beings unique.
    Peanuts is a general phrase used commonly throughout the world. I guess everyone using it must be smitten by Zia’s love. And since you have reffered to Musharaff as Mushy, surely there must be a secret relation there;) Dude, we are free to make the conclusions we want. But atleast justify them rationally while using in an argument.

    @Mamoo..
    At what point exactly did you get the idea that I am denying my history? I am aware of the history of Kashmir and very proud of it. But there is a difference between being proud of history and living in it, hai na mamooji?

    @RadicalBong

    Ok sir, now that the misgivings have been cleared, lets get to the elected govts. In both 1996 and 2002, the voter turnout was pathetically low in Kashmir (as low as 1-2% in Srinagar). The reason was not just the Hurriyet boycott but also a case of Kashmiris being once bitten and twice shy. Thats why I have been saying that the trust of people has to be won. Just holding elections and proclaiming them as fair is not the solution to the problem because the people on the ground refuse to respect them.
    One of the main reasons why 1987 elections were so heavily rigged was not because GOI wanted to someone particular to win (which is generally the case in rigging). Rather, the objective at that time was just to prevent the main opposition of the time, the MUF from coming to power because it had promised to raise issues that GOI was not comfortable with. The ground opinion still exists that GOI will not allow this to happen because it has repeatedly rejected requests for elections held under UN supervision. Hence the futility of believing that elections in the present form are the solution.
    and yes, both sides have their hands dirty in this. This is politics afterall. But saying that the single point agenda is of seperatists is to get Kashmir into Pakistan is over-simplifying things. They may just be bargaining hard!

  101. @Punter, a tasty kahani! Adding garam pani

    1) This ‘bargaining hard’ has been tried before by a person called Mr Jinnah. However, when the bargain was fruitful no body knew what to do with it! Brace yourself…

    2) 60 years back ‘the people’ wanted to be with India is false claim. The Maharajas wanted to be with India. Some people who wanted to be with India have now left the valley.

    Now just carry on Jani…

  102. @Punter
    I think we’ve had a good discussion.
    I started out thinking basically that Kashmiris vote for Kashmiris and the leaders have screwed things up.
    You started out saying all elections were complete shams.

    We’ve achieved a middle ground here, where to some extent, it boils down to 1996 and 2002.

    After reading and listening to views, including yours, I think there is massive failure on the PR front so far as GOI is concerned. By PR, I don’t mean spin, I mean adequate communication of genuine positives.

    You say there’s no point in ‘proclaiming free elections’ and the key issue is trust.

    Let’s examine the issue of trust. The mistrust came from a blatantly rigged election in 1987. What could have been done to reduce it? Exactly what was done — by holding reasonably fair elections in 1996 and 2002 (according to, as I said, a neutral source like BBC). What more could you expect than this — an opportunity for any Kashmiri who wished to stand, and for the public to choose whomsoever they wish. Would you not count this as progress?

    I guess the PR failure was that a) adequate regret was never expressed for 1987 b) the fact that the sanctity of the election process was re-established does not seem to have come across clearly. I hope you’ll also accept that there are strong voices in Kashmir which will, in their own interests, ‘proclaim’ that all elections are pointless, making it harder for democracy to take root.

    It’s a fact that when the cry on one side is ‘Islam is in danger’, and ‘Look, you can vote now’ on the other, the latter doesn’t have quite the same resonance. That’s true of any religious appeal, where logic often takes a back seat.

    My only point really is, shouldn’t at least some educated, thoughtful people (like yourself) consider both sides of the argument and give it a fair chance? I don’t seem to be hearing that voice from Kashmir at all, and that’s sad.

    As a citizen, I would have to take the position that secession is not an option allowed by our constitution. But rather than brutally enforce this, I would much prefer that we achieve a consensus through dialogue and discussion — but that’s a two way street. How can you expect GOI to have any discussion with parties who’s street cry is ‘Chalo Pakistan’? Do you know of any other country where people can actually do that? Even the Dalai Lama constantly maintains that Tibet is a part of China, and yet he cannot set foot inside China, and he is constantly abused in the most monstrous terms.

    Right now, a lot of people in India have distilled their position on Kashmir down to two simple options — “Ditch ’em”, or “Crush ’em”

    I very much believe there is a third option. But at least some members of the Kashmiri intelligentsia have to be willing to consider that, don’t they? Otherwise there are leaders who are relentlessly marching on, with little logic and no scope for discussion, towards a future where a vast amount of bloodshed is inevitable.

  103. @ Punter

    Dude this is getting comical now. Now you have changed your tack from ‘using western rivers for agricultural purpose’ to the non-realisation of hydro-electric potential 🙂
    Again, it is useful to do a bit of reading before commenting. IWT relates to storage of water and not power generation. India is generating power (and plans to set up more dams on the western rivers) through dams which generate electricity but do not store water. Pakis (bless their little hearts) object to this – The World Bank appointed a neutral expert to deal on these objections with respect to the Kishenganga project. India’s stand was vindicated. Pakis now object to Balighar dam and the Wullar Barrage project. So please, as I said get the objects of your ire correct. Look west 🙂

    Second, about not getting a MULTI-PURPOSE project like Bhakra Nangal in Kashmir is neither here nor there. You would never get a ship yard to build ships in Kashmir either!! Now go – start an agitation for denial of development. Most of us usually learn by the age of 6 about what we can whine about and what we can realistically get are two different things 🙂

    It has been proved here that you have enough water for irrigation (despite IWT) and getting hydro-electricity through those western rivers is not an issue. You got to stop listening to the clap-trap fed to you by your leaders and start researching a bit youeself. Otherwise please repeat this nonsense to your fellow islamists, though why preach to the converted, I wonder 🙂

  104. COMMENT 1 – Response to JediMaster : ARAB CONQUEST OF SINDH
    ============================================================

    Hi JediMaster,

    I ignored your comment in amusement first, but I’ve decided to respond to them as it gives me a good opportunity to present the Hindu history of Sindh. Sindh has strong parallels with Kashmir, as it too was once a highly prosperous Hindu province, renowned for its knowledge and intellect. Its historical development has useful lessons for the prognosis of Kashmir, and hence its relevance in this comment thread.

    Some of your personal accusations were quite colourful, so I’ll answer some of them as well, but in brief. I present 3 items in this session :

    Comment 1 : [This one]. Introduction, plus an INDEX on ‘Hindu history of Sindh’.

    Comment 2 : Response to your accusations, & why I maintain Islam ‘has’ attacked Hinduism for 1,400 years. Not 800.

    Comment 3 : Hindu history of Sindh

    My main purpose is to present the Hindu period of Sindh’s history, a period so carefully and purposefully ignored by powers that be. As this history is extensive and dramatic, I have divided it in to sections :

    3A Sindh in the past : Hindu Sindh – Ancient period to the first attacks

    3B Arab attacks commence – Hindus valiantly repulse a century of onslaughts

    3C: Before the final attack : The Hindu and Arab camps

    3D: The final attack, and the fall of Sindh

    3E: Sindh rises from the ashes

    3F: Epilogue of the conquests

    3G: Hindu-Sindhi achievements in the Islamic world

    3H : Conclusion : Arab influence and the paradox of Sindh

    There are quite a few sections, but if are patient & read them, I hope you’ll find them enjoyable and informative. I especially recommend Sec-3G, “Hindu-Sindhi achievements in the Islamic world”, as it demonstrates how Hindu achievements were extolled in the Arab world far more than we appreciate.

  105. COMMENT 2 –RESPONSE TO JM’s ACCUSATIONS, & WHY I MAINTAIN ISLAM ‘HAS’ ATTACKED HINDUs FOR 1,400 YRS.
    =========================================================

    Your colourful comment against me includes, inter alia (!!) allegations of ranting, lying, painting everything communally, insulting cheaply, posting long posts and evading facts.

    Gosh. Quite a list!! 🙂 As my response in Comment 2 is a brief one, I can cover only some of them. Your main example of me ‘lying’ is the claim that Islam did not attack Hindus for 1,400 years, but at ‘worst’ 800 years. I provide proof below, in this very comment, of why I am right and you are wrong. It is 1,400, not 800.

    Wrt ‘communal colouring’ claims, please note that I do NOT consider “everything in Islam to be bad”, and “all Muslims to be evil”. Islam has made many positive & vital contributions to the world, and there are aspects of Islam I hold far dearer than equivalent precepts in Hinduism (e.g religious conviction and dynamism).

    However, this cannot blind us from the fact that elements within Islam ‘have’, and more importantly, ‘continues to’, perpetrate immense misery on their innumerable hapless victims. And while Islam’s vibrant and fantastic contributions ceased 750 years ago, their infliction of pain has only multiplied.

    You may say this is for the actions of ‘a few’ Muslims, and not the community at large. Even if I accept the ‘few’ hypothesis (I don’t, from what I see and read, it is quiote substantial), it is the actions of these loud and important ‘few’ that define the inter-religious interface.

    And when the actions of the ‘few’ is the relevant factor, determining the population swamping of other cultures, terrorism and global jehad (from Philippines, India, Sudan to New York), while the ‘so called “many”’ liberal, peace-loving Muslims remain mum, we have the right to ask answers from the community at large.

    The items I accuse Islam of , or if you like ‘the extremist section of Islam’, include 1,400 years of attacks, massacre of millions of Hs in 1971, partition misery, burning alive of 50 Hindu women and children in Godhra, relentless terrorism (e.g. Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Bangalore blasts) & demographic swamping of India. If this is not due to an exclusively ‘communal’ raison d’etre, pray tell me what other causes to attribute it to? If I brand a million patently communal incidents as ‘communal’, the flaw lies not in my definition, but in the people directly behind the million cruel incidents. Do you see?

    You also cannot hide behind the excuse of your allegation of long posts and evasion. Any long comment I post is presented in nice, user-friendly sections, so people can read only the sections they want to. And my posts introduce new insights (e.g. how the Crimean conflict impacted the 1857 revolution) which many readers found enjoyable.

    I am surprised by your accusation of evasiveness; I try answering all key questions. If a point is obviously spurious, I don’t take pains to refute it, as all readers will do that automatically. Like your comment on Muslim power in India waning after 1857. Lol. Islam ceased to be major force in India after 1707 with Aurangzeb’s death; arguably before then. Even Abdali’s depradations did not have any appreciable long term consequence.

    Finally, Islamic attacks on India: 800 years, or 1,400 years?
    ————————————————-
    When did the first Islamic attack on India begin? 1191 with Ghauri? Wrong. Late 900s with Alp-Tagin? Wrong. They began in 638 AD, with the first Arabic attack on Sindh. This is described in 3B below.

    638 AD to 2008 AD = 1,370 years, which is close to 1,400 years.

    Is there any error in my calculation here? Is there any flaw in my judgement here? I have seen weak refutation attempts.
    – Of how Sindh was never a proper Indian province.
    – Of how Sindh was Buddhist & not Hindu.
    – Of how Islam came as a liberating force to Sindh to free them from Brahmanical tyranny.

    While these ‘points’ do find pride of place in Pakistani seminaries, the fact is, these are incorrect. Sindh was the first Hindu / Indian province to be attacked in what has become a 1,400 year sustained religious campaign.

    Further, note that 638 AD is 8, just 8 years after the first Muslims started arriving in sizeable numbers (per your comment). Just 30 years after the very first mosque was built in India (per your comment). Just 30 years. Do you see why I advocate desperate caution?

    Anyway, I hope you enjoy the Hindu history of Sindh below.

  106. COMMENT 3A : HINDU SINDH – ANCIENT PERIOD TO THE FIRST ATTACKS
    =============================================================
    The comments 3A to 3H below are not intended to portray a detailed history, but to capture some nice moments in Sindh’s Hindu history. They are drawn from my personal notes, and the sites India_resource.tripod.com and MuktoMona (a yahoo-group site).

    THE PAST OF SINDH
    ==================
    We all know about the most glorious phase of Sindh’s civilization, the Indus Valley civilization. The epic age records the brother in law of the Mahabharat Kauravas, Jayadratha, ruling a highly prosperous and urban kingdom.

    Even after removing the shroud of pre-history and myth-mixed history, a grand picture of ancient Sindh is still evinced. Greek historians highly praised Sindh as a flourishing state (Alexander’s forces retreated through near here). Roman references extolled Sindh in glowing terms, calling Patala in lower Sindh as a trade emporium.

    SINDH IN ARAB EYES – BEFORE THE ATTACK
    =======================================
    Sindh and India were highly esteemed even in Arab eyes. Mohammed’s 6th (?) wife was named Hind. A (questionable) source states that Imam Bukhari mentions numerous Jats in Arabia, with one of them curing Mohammed’s youngest wife Ayesha of a witch’s curse.

    Many scholars believe that Ali had employed Jats to safeguard his Treasury before the battle of Jamal (aka Bassorah).

    In fact, the pointed Jat sandals which became popular in Arabia may have been the inspiration behind ‘Jutti’, which we today call as ‘Joote’, or shoes. I am not sure of this, but wouldn’t it be nice if true.

    Arab traders had long held that the land of Hind holds pearl-like rivers, ruby-red mountains and perfumed trees. According to Arab belief, Adam and Eve lived in India, which was heaven.

    All this was to change with the inevitable Islamic expansionism.

  107. 3B – ARAB ATTACKS COMMENCE, HOW HINDUS REPULSED A CENTURY OF 14 ATTACKs
    ============================================================

    Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad (in Humanity at Death’s Door) and Maulana Nadvi (in Indo-Arab Relations), write that the first attack was launched in 638 AD.

    Chachnama, the most authentic and near contemporary account of Arab invasions of Sindh, reports that Caliph Umar sent Mughairah on a naval expedition against Sindh. This is the first attack. The one 638 AD attack. It fared a sorry fate. It was comprehensively repulsed by the valiant Indians who displayed extreme bravery and sacrifice.

    The two sources by Muslim intellectuals above mention 15 land and sea attacks by Arabs between 638 AD and 711 AD. The Chachnama highlights 6 of the major ones, led by Hakam, Abdullah, Rashid, Munzir, Sinan, and Bazil. Not only did the the Hindus repulse them, the very Arab commanders lost their lives.

    Caliph Usman was driven to utmost despair at the continuous stream of Arab defeats at the hand so of the Indians, forbidding any more futile attempts on Sindh.

    Caliph Ali’s expedition was a miserable failure as the disheartened army returned on the commander (Ali’s) death. The next Caliph, Muawiyah, sent a vast land army, but they were routed by the valiant Sindhis. The commander Abdullah tried rallying his forces with the war cry “Sons of the Prophet’s companions, do not flee from kaffirs, so that your faith stays pure and you acquire heaven”. As soon as his rousing speech ended, he was cut down. His forces fled.

    The next major invasion was led by “Sinan, son of Salmah”, who had dreamt of Muhammed blessing his invasion in a vision. Dream or no dream, the Sindhis felled him at Budhiya.

    Munzir, son of Harud was then appointed as commander in 680 in A.D. to conquer Sindh. As he got up in court, his robe got caught ina wood- chip and tore. The governor of Iraq considered this a bad omen. “Munzir will never return from this journey” he augured. And he never did.

    Pause, and consider the bravery of these valiant Hindu Sindhi forces. They have santified the hallowed grounds of India with their sacrifice of rivers of blood. Where Persia, Byzantium, Egypt and Central Asia all collapsed in front of a unstoppable Islamic Juggernaut, they held their ground like lions.

  108. 3C – HINDU SINDH – BEFORE THE FINAL ATTACK – THE HINDU & ARAB CAMPS
    ============================================================

    THE HINDU CAMP
    ===============
    Contemporary Sindh was ruled by Rai Sahasi, a brother of the king of Chittor. He was childless, and his wife Suhandi secretly admired his Brahmin minister, Chach. On Sahasi’s death, she married him.

    Chach was a highly successful ruler, annexing Multan, and according to chronicles (possibly confabulated), he set his border with Kashmir as well as Iran. Apparently he marked this by planting their native trees and letting them intertwine with the deodar of Sindh, the poplar of Kashmir and palm tree of Iran. Contrast this beautiful gesture with the Indo-Pak border today. Thanks Pakistan.

    Chach and Suhandi had two sons, Dahir and Daharsiah, who respectively ruled over upper Sindh (from Alor) & lower Sind (from Brahmanabad, modern Nawabshah).

    There is a curious tale here. Chach had a daughter named Bai by another wife. When she came of age, the court astrologer predicted that only her husband would rule Sindh. Dahirs’ minister Budhiman (sic), whose name means ‘the wise one’, persuaded Dahir to marry his half-sister.

    Dahir was already married and horrified, but was finally persuaded to enter in to a symbolic marriage. It was never to ever vaguely resemble a proper marriage, far less consummated. Dahir married her by handing her a ring, laying his sword on her lap and covering her head with a scarf.

    Though symbolic, Dahir’s subjects were shocked and scandalized him, and h forfeited a huge amount of popular support, just as the Senas of Bengal did when Ballal Sen married a tribal on the eve of the Muslim invasion.

    The Arabs noticed these developments with rapt attention. And then they struck.

    THE ARAB CAMP
    ==============
    When Hajjaj was appointed governor of Iraq, he proclaimed it was his sacred duty to destroy Sindh. Caliph Walid was in no mood for another futile attack, and strongly cautioned Hajjaj against it. It was at this time, that an Arab leader (Alafi) defected to India with 500 soldiers.

    Hajjaj warned the Caliph about the risk of a break up of the empire if such defections went unchecked, and persuaded the Caliph in allowing another attack. A vast army was dispatched under the command of Bazil. The army was routed, and Bazil was slain by Jaisiah, the son of Dahir.

    Hajjaj was livid, screaming “to destroy every kaffir up to China”. But the Caliph was adamant not to persist. It was at this time that the famous tale was floated. The tale of Dahir giving patronage to Sindhi pirates (who had robbed Ceylonese ships laden with gifts for Arabia).

    The story seems highly fanciful, and yet it electrified the Arab world in to action. This was an insult that no self-respecting nation would ever swallow. After all, this was not 20th century India, when the first action by pseudo-seculars after 50 Hindu women and children are burnt alive in Godhra, is to use a information from a terrorist website to claim that the BJP had killed them !!!!

    Hajjaj consulted astrologers, and placed his nephew–cum-son in law (….. smirk) Mohammed Bin Qasim in command. Hajjaj seethed that the entire wealth of Iraq would be extinguished if necessary; Bazil would be avenged.

  109. 3D – HINDU SINDH – THE FINAL ATTACK, AND HOW THE ARABS WON
    ==========================================================

    On an propitious day predicted by astrologers, bin Qasim embarked at the head of a vast Iraqi, Syrian, and Arab mercenary army. This was a force extremely well prepared and armed to the teeth. Even horses and camels were protected by mail-coats.

    And the Hindu side? They forgot their might of the past, and degenerated in to their 20th century Congress / CPM descendants. A sad tale of ineptitude, cowardice, treachery and greed ensues. Their time had come. Their sun had set. Read on and weep :

    When Deval (‘Devalaya’ – abode of God) was besieged by the Arabs, the heroic defenders valiantly repelled them for 10 days. And then a petrified Brahmin, in exchange for his life, crept out and told the Arabs to topple the huge red flag to demoralise defenders. This transpired, and noting the evaporation of morale, the dispirited Deval commander, Jahin Budh, surrendered. Carnage followed. The temple was converted to a prison.

    At Nerunkot, the commander Bhandarlan Samani capitulated, not realizing that the Arabs were desperately short of food and fodder. The Arabs replenished their supplies with his provisions!!

    The terrified Buddhists adopted the line “they were men of peace,” proving keen to save their hides by zealously demonstrating neutrality. Many say that they forced the governor of Sehwan to abandon defence after one week.

    All the pieces were falling in to place.

    And then came the mighty Sindhu river, a formidable barrier, in whose effectiveness Dahir Dahir reposed immense confidence. Alas, a Lalloo-cum-Jyoti Bosu combine now stpped in, in the form of one Mokah, son of Besayeh, a princeling, who gave boats and provisions to the Arabs in return for promises of crown, estate and vast wealth.

    Many Muslims now changed sides with suspiciously unwarranted rapidity coat. Though Dahir had given Alafi and his forces refuge, Ubaid, Alafi’s key lieutenant, promptly defected to the Arabs and divulged Dahir’s entire defence plans.

    According to the Chachnama, even then, with their plans betrayed, the Sindhis fought tooth and claw. But their morale collapsed when they saw one of their own, the infamous Mokah above, join Arab ranks with his huge retinue.

    Thir spirit broke. To rally his forces, Dahir cried “Nisi, nis. I am here, I am here” . The Arabs heard him, and shot a burning arrows at his howdah. An arrow pierced his heart, and it was all over.

    Dahir’s half-sister wife committed jauhar. According to some sources Dahir’s, decapitated head was presented to Hajjaj.

    It was all over.

  110. 3E – HINDU SINDH – SINDH RISES FROM THE ASHES
    ===============================================

    Yet amazingly Sindh refused to die. Phoenix-like, it arose from the ashes.

    Within two years of the Arab invasion, Arab influence dwindled to Deval and the coast. Dahir’s son (Jaisiah) converted to Islam for convenience, but reconverted to Hinduism at the first opportunity.

    The Arabs thereupon sent a huge army a quarter century later under Salim, who was crushed on the Sindh-Rajasthan border by Jaisiah, his mother Ladi (Dahir’s first wife), and the mighty Bappa Rawal of Chittor (A.D. 739-753). Salim surrendered all equipment, gave his daughter Maiya in marriage to Bappa Rawal, and vowed that the Arabs would never again attack India.

    They never did.

  111. 3F – HINDU SINDH – EPILOGUE OF THE CONQUESTS
    ============================================

    The true motive behind the Islamic attacks on Sindh can be evinced from the Chachnama, or more particularly, its 13th century Persian translation by Mohammed Ali bin Hamid bin Abu Bakr, the Tarikh I Hind was Sind. That paints a devastating picture of attacks, in which vast hordes of gold, silver and jewellery were plundered, and huge populations enslaved.

    One strategy employed by bin-Qasim was the salinization of aqueducts to starve local populations of water, leaving them no option but surrender. Effective? Yes. But hardly a ‘noble and manly’ form of warfare that jehadists brag about. More a crafty, devious and cruel method. Like the bombing of hospitals in Ahmedabad or burning of Hindu children in Godhra.

    These are from records composed in the 9th century, just 180 years after the attacks, including Ahmad bin Yahya bin jabir’s “Futuhu-I-Buldan”.

    The touted view is that Islam came as a liberating force to Sindh. That the Brahmin Dahir’s misrule was so resented by his Buddhist and low-caste subjects, that they sided with Arab attacks and voluntarily converted to Islam. This fact is not only popular in Pakistani seminaries, it is view often expressed by those well-known homegrown patriots of ours, starry-eyed JNU historians.

    This view is riddled with loopholes. Dahir was only the second in a generation of Brahmin rulers; their predecessors were Rajput princes who favoured Buddhism. Without any proof of any specific anti-Buddhist or anti-citizen measure, like razing of stupas or extorting tax, it is very unlikely that the public would grow so tired of the incumbent so as to oust the dynasty just after 2 rulers. If there were any such activities, Arab chronicles would have eagerly recorded and narrated them for posterity. No such Arab claim is attested.

    Further, Sindh is juxtaposed against Rajasthan, and in proximity to Gujarat and Punjab. If Islamic rule was so beneficial to Sindh, why were there no appreciable movements, or even acknowledgement in the latter states.

    In fact, GM Syed, a renowned and outspoken Sindhi historian (who was imprisoned in Pakistan in 1964 for refusing to tow the Pakistani version of Sindh’s history) contends that Dahir was in fact a tolerant and liberal ruler, under whose aegis Hindus, Parsees, Buddhists and Arab settlers (who had mosques on the Sindh coastline) co-existed in harmony. I believe him, as there was a huge exodus of Parsees from Iran to Sindh after it had been overrun by Arabs. Would they stay if Dahir was a theocratic extremist?

    Syed also states that the main reason for the huge Arab invasion of Sindh was revenge against Dahir for sheltering fleeing Parsees who had requested asylum in Sindh. GM Syed notes that after Sindh fell, the vast majority of the Parsee population fled headlong to Gujarat. This adds credence to Syed’s theory.

    The act of aggression against Sindh, and the many massacres of its defendants, was a savage act. It was not motivated by liberation or nobleness. It was born out of the greed of conquest, and religious lust. Nothing else.

  112. COMMENT 3G : HINDU SINDH : HINDU-SINDHI ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD
    =========================================================

    After their conquest, as well as reversion to Hinduism, Sindhi achievements were recognized in the Arab universe.

    Vast numbers of Sindhis were enslaved after 711 AD, and many of them ended up in various roles in the Islamic world, bringing with them their scientific prowess and culture. The Sindhis helped the spread of Arab civilization in a manner akin to (but of course less pronounced than) the Greek influence on Rome, where Greek domestic slaves ended up as tutors to the children of their illiterate Roman masters.

    Syed Sulaiman Nadvi in his Arab-o-Hind ke Tallukat, states that Sindhi mathematicians and philosophers made immense contributions to promoting learning amongst Arabs. Other historians have observed this.

    Famous physicians were recruited from Sindh for treating no less a personage that Caliph. These included Ganga and Manka, physicians to Haroon-al-Rashid no less.

    Even after conversion to Islam, the names of famous Sindhis still attest to their culture. These include Bhalla, the famous Sindhi doctor (converted to Saleh bin Bhahla). Famous Arab writers and poets host a galaxy of Sindhi neo-convert luminaries like Abul Ata Sindhi, Haroon bin Abdulla Multani, Abu Mohammad Mansuri, Mansoor Hindi, Musa bin Yakub, Saqafi, Abu Zila Sindhi and Kashajam-bin-Sindhi-bin-Shahak.

    Sindhi intellectuals and physicians played a pivotal role in apprising Baghdad of numerous Sanskrit texts on mathematics, astronomy, medicine and literature and translating them. These played a critical role in the development and flourishing of the great Arab civilization.

    Many Arab scholars relied on Indian scientific texts, like Al-Fazari (8th century) and Yakub ibn Tarik, who relied upon the astronomical texts (Siddhanthas). Al-Kindi of Basra (early 9th century) wrote four mathematical texts describing the use of Indian numerals. Al-Khwarizmi (Khiva, mid 9th century) synthesized the knowledge of the Greeks and the Hindus in mathematics, astronomy and geography during al-Mamun’s reign (813 – 833).

    Sindhi accountants were extremely popular, and according to Jahez (late 9th century) all moneylenders in Iraq (Sarrafs) hailed from Sindh.

    In addition, Sindh continued to leverage its time-old economic strength by exporting agricultural produce and cash crops.

    We can conclude that Sindh had a profound influence on Arab development.

  113. COMMENT 3H : ARAB INFLUENCE & THE PARADOX OF SINDH
    ===================================================
    On reflection, Arab influence on Sindh has been minimal. If anything, it has been highly detrimental, destroying a prosperous and thriving civilization.

    Findings of post-Indus Sindhi architecture, both ancient and early medieval, is characterized by extremely paltry remains of its Hindu past, and practically none of its Arab one. This is strange, as there are historical observations of Sindh’s prosperity in Mauryan and post Mauryan periods, suggesting a rich architecture must have existed.

    This means :
    – the Arabs & their co-religionist successors are likely to have razed and wiped out Sindh’s pre-Islamic past.
    – The Arabs did practically nothing for Sindh inside Sindh.

    Any major Islamic monument dates from the Soomra Rajputs in the 11th century. The Soomras were only nominally Muslim, and did not pay any tribute to the khilafate.

    Further, Al-Biruni studies texts in Punjab and UP to understand Indian culture, not texts from Sindh. This means exploitation of Sindh had been so absolute, that in 300 years, no noteworthy textual accomplishment was achieved there.
    A great paradox develops here.

    While it is indisputable that Sindh had a profound influence on Arab development, we find that within 300 years of its Muslim conquest, this great civilisaiton became a pale reflection of its former glory.

    Why is this so? We know that the Hindus recovered the land. But the seeds of destruction had been sown. When succeeding attacks by mainland Turks from India occurred in Sindh, the state had a huge Muslim population. What happened? Why had a Hindu state become Muslim in spite of repelling the Arabs?

    History is silent, and conjecture must fill the gap. For history abhors a gap. Perhaps the massive population growth of the remaining Muslims in Sindh dwarfed their Hindu counterparts. Perhaps the endless warfare had drained Sindh of its will, prowess and energy. Perhaps climatic changes intervened. Perhaps it is none of these. Perhaps it is all.

    But the sealed fate of Sindh in 711 AD may have well been summarized in the words of Al-Beruni’s observatrions of Mahmud of Ghazni’s terrifying holocaust of India 3 centuries later. He wrote: “Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country and performed those wonderful exploits by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all directions…their scattered remains cherish, of course, the most inveterate aversion towards all Muslims. This is the reason too why Hindu sciences have retired far away from parts of the country conquered by us and have fled to places, which our hand cannot yet reach, to Kashmir, Benaras and other places.”

    Ultimately Islam reached Kashmir and Benaras. And you know the rest.

    THE END

  114. @HHBB
    Did that fellow “Jedi Master” just commit suicide after reading your detailed report on the Islamic slaughters of Sindh?

    I wonder why these pseudo-secularists keep coming up with their crap. Their ignorance just helps spread more knowledge.

  115. @ Punter

    Now that we have got the hydro electric nonsense out of the way, let us talk about ‘culture’.

    You initiated this talk about how kashmiri culture is alien to rest of India and as ‘proof’ you offered a gem – see how many pundits want to marry their daughters to hindus (which sort of betrays the mentality of your ilk – one can give a computer to an islamo-fascist, but one can’t make him think). So my comment was in context of this ‘proof’. India is home to many cultures, many identities, yet it need not come in the way of nationhood, if people develop a modern and secular outlook (the real variety and not passes off for being secular in India). Good old Winston Churchill commented that ‘India is as much a country as the equator’. We proved that SOB wrong 🙂

    Second, the ‘peanuts’ comment was not about your admiration of Zia – it was about a shared metality. One which wants to grab without giving anything in return.

    Third, re Mushy, strange though it may seem, I am quite fond of that idiot. He is the best thing to have happened to pakistan… for India 🙂 Now we get a nuke deal from the NSG and they get Mr. ‘ten percent’ for President. Thank You Mushy sir 🙂

  116. Great Bong,
    What I cannot fathom is how some people can cite moral and liberal principles when demanding freedom for Kashmir’s Sunni Muslims.

    How can it be moral to reward a people who not too long ago [less than twenty years], forced Kashmir’s largest minority to flee their homeland, where their ancestors had been living for more than three thousand years?
    Yes, even before the Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] was sent by Allah unto this planet.

    The Kashmiri Pandit culture will not survive more than two generations outside Kashmir. Their language, their customs, the very essence of their being is tied to the valley of Kashmir.
    And the Indian intellectual could care less. Had the Kashmiri Pandits been an endangered deer instead of human beings, the outrage would have been deafening.

  117. Btw, many thanks for starting your post with a reminder of what happened to Kashmiri Hindus in their own nation.
    I do not believe in God, but if I did, I would wish for God to bless you.

    And if God were not in the mood for a blessing, I would wish for God to at least make you funny 🙂

    p.s. i kid you…

  118. (Joke) India vs. Pakistan at the UN.

    A bit of inside humour regarding the “disputed” region to which Pakistan lays claim.

    An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly that made the world community smile.

    A representative from India began: ‘Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Rishi Kashyap of Kashmir, after whom Kashmir is named.

    When he struck a rock and it brought forth water, he thought, ‘What a good opportunity to have a bath.’

    He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water.

    When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Pakistani had stolen them.’

    The Pakistani representative jumped up furiously and shouted, ‘What are you talking about? The Pakistanis weren’t there then.’

    The Indian representative smiled and said, ‘And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech’ 🙂

  119. Kya Hajur bhai, aadhi hi kahani sunayi? Selective amnesia is curable these days, you know that na?

    Anyway, continuing the joke..

    After the Indian Representative had made his point, the US representative (but ofcourse) interjected, “Hey wait a minute! If the Paki didnt exist then, who stole the clothes?”

    After a poignant silence in the hall, the guy in the corner whom no one had paid much attention to till now, said, “It was, my dear friends, the Indian who stole the Kashmiris clothes”
    (/Joke)

  120. @ Punter

    err..as per the story – Rishi Kashyap’s clothes were stolen. After strenuously denying that kashmir has a shared culture, you agree to the view that an Indian has stolen from another Indian 🙂 So what next – kashyap turned into kashyapuddin and started agitating for freedom 🙂

  121. Arnie,

    No clothes were stolen in the first place. Kashyap had merely mislaid them under the wrong rock.

    But he enjoyed being au natural so much, that he got rid of the clothes forthwith and started basking in the sun.

  122. Punter,

    Selective amnesia is indeed curable. Hence my advise to you to get yourself some help. Forgetting 5000 years of Kashmir’s Hindu civilisation and denying your Hindu forefathers’ genocide is not easy, is it?

    Is it hard trying to brush under the carpet the wanton slaughters & forcible conversions of one’s noble forefathers and erasing of the refined Kashmiri identity during Islamic occupation?

    Are you in denial? Are you ashamed and would rather not speak about it?

    Or do you somehow justify their genocide by the invaders (as some Pakistanis do, by cheering Ghaznavi and Aurangzeb as their heroes) by convincing yourself that your ancestors were all living in Jahiliyah and hence, they definitely deserved what they got?

    Tsk…Tsk…seems like you need to see a shrink for your Stockholm Syndrome, as well.

  123. EMC3 @: “Hindus left Kashmir of their own will. In fact we were all supporting them and begging them not to leave. (Behind the scenes enjoying the privileges given to them by article 370 and silently supporting militancy). In fact they were cowards and compromised when they were lured with a good lifestyle elsewhere”

    EMC3 Mian,

    Listen up. If we needed Islamist propaganda, we would all watch QTV. 🙂

    I have to hand it to you. You are very consistent with the rest of your ilk when it comes to brazen Taqiyya propaganda.

    Lets examine your Taqiyya carefully:

    1) “Hindus left Kashmir of their own will.”

    How true. Only those that resisted the forced exodus were subjected to some very subtle, persuasive hints from their “freedom-fighting” brethren:

    – Being gangraped and sliced in half with a saw-mill (Ms. Girija Kumari Ticku)
    – Being tied to a cot, doused with kerosene and burnt alive (Mrs. Soni)
    – Having their tongue chopped off, a hole drilled in the head with a power drill (Mr. Durga Nath Rafiz)
    – Skinned alive (Mr. Pushker Nath Koul)
    – Skin peeled off, mouth stitched with a needle and thread (to prevent him from screaming) and finally strangled with a rope (Mr. Brij Nath Shah)
    – Strangled with steel wires (Mr. Zinda Lal Pandita and Mr. Jagar Nath Pandita)
    – Ashok Kumar Qazi was surrounded by a pack of Muslim hounds when he was found in the local market doing some shopping. He was shot in his knees, fell down in utter agonising state and started screaming for help from all present on the scene. He was thoroughly known to all the Muslim shopkeepers who never felt kindly to intervene with a view to saving him from the Muslim butchers. They tenaciously held that his killers were fighting for Islam which meant death for the Kafirs. The Muslim killers led by Bitta Karate drew pathological pleasure from Qazi’s agonies and in sheer glee started singing and dancing. They plucked out his hair, slapped him incessantly in the face and spat at him out of absolute contempt. One of the Muslim brutes opened his trousers, flaunted his genitals and pissed over him. Meanwhile the siren of a police jeep could be heard from a distance and the killers pierced him with a barrage of bullets. They melted away as victors in the Muslim dominated locality and Qazi’s bullet-riddled body was lying for hours together on the road covered with blood-stained snow. (Mr. Ashok Kumar Qazi)
    – Cheeks cut off with knives, face smashed with rods, tortured for days, chopped into pieces (Mr.Shyam Lal Shalla)
    – Tortured for 4 days, eye-balls gouged out, tongue hacked off, legs chopped off below the knee, hair pulled off, skin burnt and finally beheaded (Mr. Jia Lal Kaw, his wife, 2 daughters and 1 son)
    – Nailed through the forehead (where he had applied the Tilak mark), burnt by lighted cigarettes, limbs broken, eye-balls gouged out with knives and finally hanged from a tree (Respected Scholar and Poet Mr. Sarwanand Koul “Premi” and his son Virendra Koul)

    If I may request you to look into the eyes of these dead Hindu cowards and others (from the photographs in the online book below) and brazenly repeat your Taqiyya again:

    http://www.kashmir-information.com/WailValley/B2chap8b.html

    2) “In fact we were all supporting them and begging them not to leave.”

    I am sure you were. I am also sure you were not among the tens of thousands of our neighbours, classmates and friends who flocked night-after-night to midnight marches (juloos) to intimidate the Kashmiri Hindus into . In these rallies, my “brethren” held mashaals (flaming torches) and cheered masked “freedom fighters” firing from Kalashnikovs, as they snaked their way through various Kashmiri towns and villages, banging on the doors of Hindu homes and screaming in unison to the cowering, terrified Pandits inside

    Where were you then?

    3) The Kashmiri Muslims threatened Kashmiri Pandits with death and destruction, allowing them no lee-way, frightening them to quit and buzz off, stressing the establishment of the Prophet’s governance and exposing low levels of cultural achievements. The threatening slogans:

    · Kashmir main rahna hai, Allah-ho-Akbar Kahna hai.
    (If you choose to live in Kashmir, you will have to say Allah-o- Akbar).

    · Asi gachi Pakistan, Bata ros ta batanev san.
    (We want Pakistan along with Kashmiri Hindu women, but without their men-folk).

    · Allah-o-Akbar, Musalmano jago Kafiro bhago, jehad aa raha hai.
    (Allah-o-Akbar, arise and awake Muslims, buzz off infidels, jehad is approaching.)

    · Kashmir kya banega – Pakistan
    (What will Kashmir be – Pakistan)

    · Zalimo O, Kafiro, Kashmir hamara chhod do
    (Ye cruel Kafirs (infidels) vacate our Kashmir)

    · Yahan kya chalega, Nizam – e – Mustafa
    (What will have sway here – Prophet’s governance)

    · Arise ye, fearless Momins,
    For Russia has lost the race,
    Now the sword hangs on India’s neck
    Now it is Kashmir’s turn.

    · Islam hamara maksad hai
    Kuran hamara dastur hai
    Jehad hamara rasta hai.
    (Islam is our destination
    Koran is our constitution
    Jehad is our way.)

    · Hamein kya chahye, Nizame Mustafa
    Kashmere main kya chalaiga, Nizame Mustafa
    Hindustan mein kya chalaiga, Nizame Mustafa
    (What do we need – Prophet’s governance. What will
    have sway in Kashmir – Prophet’s governance.
    What will have sway in India – Prophet’s governance.

    · Ganga-Jamuna mein aag lagayenge
    (We will destroy Ganga and Yamuna)

    4) Just a recap of the tragedy of the Kashmiri Hindus:

    Aftab, a local Urdu newspaper, publishes a Press release issued by Hizb-ul Mujahideen, set up by the Jamaat-e-Islami in 1989 to wage jihad for Jammu & Kashmir’s secession from India and accession to Pakistan, asking all Hindus to pack up and leave. Another local paper, Al Safa, repeats this expulsion order. In the following days, there is near chaos in the Kashmir Valley with then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and his National Conference Government abdicating all responsibilities. Masked men run amok, waving Kalashnikovs, shooting to kill and shouting anti-India slogans. Reports of killing of Hindus, invariably Kashmiri Pandits, begin to trickle in; there are explosions; inflammatory speeches are made from the pulpits of mosques, using public address systems meant for calling the faithful to prayers. A terrifying fear psychosis begins to take grip of Kashmiri Pandits.

    Srinagar, January 19, 1990. Mr Jagmohan arrives to take charge as Governor. Mr Farooq Abdullah, whose pathetic, whimpering, snivelling Government has all but ceased to exist, resigns and goes into a sulk. Curfew is imposed as a first measure to restore some semblance of law and order. But it fails to have a deterrent effect. Throughout the day, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Hizb-ul Mujahideen terrorists use public address systems at mosques to exhort people to defy curfew and take to the streets. Masked men, firing from their Kalashnikovs, march up and down, terrorising Pandits. As evening falls, the exhortations become louder and shriller. Three taped slogans are repeatedly played the whole night from mosques: “Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-hu-Akbar kehna hai” (If you want to stay in Kashmir, you have to say Allah-hu-Akbar); “Yahan kya chalega, Nizam-e-Mustafa” (What do we want here? Rule of shari’ah); “Asi gachchi Pakistan, batao roas te batanev san” (We want Pakistan along with Hindu women but without their men). As the night of January 19, 1990, wears itself out, despondency gives way to desperation. And hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits across the Valley take a painful decision: To flee their homeland to save their lives. Thus takes place a 20th century Exodus.

    Those who refused to leave were massacred, raped and tortured. It goes to the credit of the Kashmiri Hindus that we did not raise a finger in retaliation against the Muslims who wiped them out from our homeland. We practised Gandhi-giri and look what happened to us.

    You have the gall to label the Kafir victims as ‘cowards’ after doing what your ‘valiant’ Ghazis historically do best. Why am I not surprised?

  124. TO JEDI-MASTER : 1 OF 3 :

    JediMaster commented (in the TERROR OF HYPOCRISY) about the posting on Sindh. He thought it was full of lies !! This is to prove contrarywise.

    GIST OF JEDIMASTER’S COMMENTS : (edited by me) “HINDUTVAVADIS SKEW HISTORY, THEIR MOST IMPORTANT TACTIC. ONE SIMPLE E.G., HHBB POSTED (IN POST: IMPERIALISM ARGUMENT) A VERY DETAILED AND ESPECIALLY SELECTIVE HISTORY OF SINDH. ALL ONE NEEDED TO DO WAS A SIMPLE GOOGLE SEARCH TO SEE HOW FULL OF “LIES” IT WAS. I DID TRY TO COMMENT ON THIS BUT IT DIDN’T SHOW UP ON THE BLOG SITE).”

    Since I, HHBB, posted that history, you are welcome to direct your comments at me.

    I am very surprised at your claim, as I did not hear from you after I presented that post on Sindh to you. If you tried to post a rebuttal and it did not appear :
    1. did you try posting it again?
    2. did you contact GB asking if there was a technical hitch?

    This would have helped in getting it posted.

    About ‘my lies’, please point out where my ‘lies’ are, and I will indeed consider if my facts need updating or changing. If you cannot come up with any valid ones, you should retract your allegation.

    Let’s start with your point about sati below.

  125. TO JEDI-MATER : 2 OF 3

    JEDIMASTER : [edited by me] “HHBB MENTIONED THAT WHEN MUSLIM ARMY WAS ABOUT TO ENTER THE CAPITAL OF SINDH, THE QUEEN OF “TO SAVE HER HONOR” COMMITTED JAUHAR. GOOGLING REVEALED THE QUEEN DIDN’T COMMIT JAUHAR BUT SATI AS HER HUSBAND HAD RECENTLY DIED IN BATTLE. SHE DIED AN UNNATURAL DEATH (PROBABLY UNDER PRESSURE) BY IMMOLATING HERSELF, BUT IF WE LOOK AT THE HINDUTVA VERSIONS SHE DIED TO SAVE HERSELF FROM “RAPING” AND “PILLAGING” MUSLIMS, WHEREAS WHAT HAPPENED WAS THAT SHE FELL VICTIM TO ONE OF THE MOST CRUEL AND INHUMAN MALPRACTICE OF HINDU RELIGION”.

    You are incorrect, my friend on many, many levels. Let’s take a look at the facts, one by one.

    “JM SAYS : HHBB LIES WHEN HE SAYS QUEEN KILLED HERSELF TO SAVE HONOUR”

    You allege that my post states “when Muslim army was about to enter the capital of Sindh, the queen of “to save her honor” committed Jauhar”.

    Go and read my post, it says nothing of the sort. All it says is “Dahir’s half-sister wife committed jauhar”. Nothing more, nothing less. Show me where that post remotely says “to save her honour”, or “when the Muslim army was about to enter the capital of Sindh”. It never says this.

    You are reading things which don’t exist. Am I the liar here, or you?

    JM SAYS “HHBB LIES WHEN HE SAYS QUEEN COMMITTED JAUHAR. IT WAS SATI”

    Your second point was that “the queen” (sic)’ committed Sati, not Jauhar. You claimed that some elemental googling was enough to expose this canard. Hmm. Bote.

    Sati is an individual action. It is collectively practiced only when wives of the same husband undergo the ritual (death of Krishna or Ranjit Singh). When disparate and unconnected womenfolk immolate themselves, especially when fearing attacks, it is Jauhar.

    In many places, the terms have been used interchangeably, as the action is the same, self-immolation. If so, it is the context that will reveal whether it is sati or jauhar. Let us see the context here.

    Hugh Kennedy (“The Great Arab conquests”) quotes from the Chachnama that “Many of Dahir’s women committed suicide, burning themselves, their ATTENDANTS and ALL THEIR POSSESSIONS RATHER THAN BE CAPTURED. The Chachnama puts a little speech in to the mouth of the dead king’s sister (queen) “Our glory has gone and the term of our life has come to a close. AS THERE IS NO HOPE OF SAFETY AND LIBERTY, let US collect firewood and cotton and oil. The best thing for US, I think, is to burn ourselves to ashes so quickly we meet our husbands in the other world. THEY all entered a house, set fire to it, and were burnt alive.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=oLyZhTuIczMC&pg=PA299&lpg=PA299&dq=dahir sind&source=web&ots=UUkQEyumyb&sig=DKtSC9PcU3PZc9UiZ0vhL0FLVZQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA302,M1

    This is also available in the website http://pachome1.pacific.net.sg/~makhdoom/chach.html
    which says “ Kasim disposed his army, and ordered the miners to dig and undermine the walls….thus the bastions were thrown down. Bai (Maai), the sister of Dahir, assembled all her women, and said, “Jaisiya is separated from us, and Kasim is come. God forbid that we should owe our liberty to these outcast cow-eaters! Our honor would be lost! Our respite is at an end, and there is nowhere any hope of escape; let us collect wood, cotton and oil, for I think we should burn ourselves and go to meet our husbands. If any wish to save herself, she may.”

    Does this seem like an individual act of Sati, or a collective act of Jauhar? What about the willingness of the attendants to self-immolate themselves as well, a la the companions of Padmini of Chittor? How many Satis do you know where the sacrificer burns all her possessions with her? Why does Bai say “AS THERE IS NO HOPE OF SAFETY AND LIBERTY”? Why does the Chachnama, per the website above, make mention of the act immediately following “after the bastions were thrown down?

    Do you think this could this be jauhar after all?

    SURELY BAI’S FEARS WERE UNFOUNDED? THE DEFEATED WOMEN WERE TREATED WITH RESPECT?
    And were the queen’s fears unfounded? What fate awaited the surrendered surviving womenfolk? We know what the JediMaster fervently believes. But what about the real world? What did the Chachnama say? What did Baladuri say?

    “When the fort was captured, all the treasures, property and arms fell into the hands of the victors. When the number OF PRISONERS WAS CALCULATED, IT WAS FOUND TO AMOUNT TO THIRTY THOUSAND PERSONS, AMONGST WHOM THIRTY WERE DAUGHTERS OF CHIEFS, AND ONE OF THEM WAS RAI DAHIR’S SISTER’S DAUGHTER, whose name was Jaisiya [another manuscript uses Hasna]. They were sent to Hajaj (Governor in Baghdad).

    The HEAD of Dahir and the fifth part of the prisoners were forwarded When the head of Dahir, the women, and the property all reached Hajja’j, he prostrated himself before God. Hajjaj then forwarded the head, the wealth and the prisoners to the Khalifa.

    When the Khalifa read the letter, he praised Allah. HE SOLD SOME OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CHIEFS, AND SOME HE GRANTED AS REWARDS. When he saw the daughter of Rai Dahir’s sister, he was much struck by her beauty and charms.

    http://pachome1.pacific.net.sg/~makhdoom/chach.html

    When Dahir’s severed head was presented to Hajjaj, a courtier sang: “we have conquered Sindh …. Rejoice, the evil doers are disgraced. Their wealth has been brought away . . . They are now solitary and brittle as eggs AND THEIR WOMEN, FAIR AND FRAGRANT AS MUSK-DEER, ARE NOW ASLEEP IN OUR HAREMS.”

    http://sindhjagarta.blogspot.com/2007/12/raja-dahir.html
    http://yangtze.cs.uiuc.edu/~jamali/sindh/story/node8.html

    Of course, this was a far better fate than the temple priests of Deval . “The governor of Dewal fled, and the priests of the temple were massacred.”

    http://www.geocities.com/a_habib/Dada/qasim.html

    JM SAYS : “THE QUEEN” DID NOT COMMIT JAUHAR. SHE COMMITTED SATI, PROBABLY UNDER PRESSURE”.

    I’ve proved Mai committed Jauhar, not Sati. Also, note above that she was who proposed the Jauhar, she was not persuaded to accept. She also permitted any unwilling woman to retire. So you see, it was not sati, and neither was it “probably under pressure”.

    JM SAYS “HHBB QUOTES SELECTIVELY”

    Please highlight which quotes you would like me to say. There are reports suggesting Qasim was not a mindless fanatic. After his blutlust abated, he performed commendable tasks of maintaining harmony among all his subjects, both Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim.

    There are further reports (albeit very dubious) that Hajjaj himself instructed Qasim not to harm his Hindu subjects and allow them to perform their rites and rituals, provided they paid their extortionate jizzya, and the huge annual revenue to Baghdad was maintained.

    Qasim even may have permitted the rebuilding of the Debal temple. His wazir was Sisakar, the ex-minister of Raja Dahir, while his treasurer was a relative of Dahir, Kaksa.
    All this is from the Chachnama and Baladuri.

    However, remember that both (Chanchnama’s & Baladuri’s account) are Muslim documents, and are highly likely to, consciously or unconsciously, extol their invader’s deeds, curtail his brutality, and denigrate the enemy.

    Though the Chachnama is refreshingly candid, it is not completely free from bias. While extolling Chach and Dahir for their bravery, it nevertheless firmly claims these heathens went to hell !! Further, there is no proof at all that the Deval temple was rebuilt during his reign, even though the Chachnama claims so.

    And how does this stack up with the bloodthirsty image of Qasim that even the Chachnama has to admit :
    “The Musalmans entered the town … protection was given to the artificers, merchants and common people … but he sat on the seat of cruelty and put all those who had fought to the sword. It is said that about six thousand fighting men were slain, but according to others sixteen thousand were killed.”

    After Multan held out for over two months, Qasim captured it by employing treachery. Six thousand defeated warriors were put to death, and all their relations and dependents were taken as slaves. Qasim allowed his army to have the whole of the spoils.

    Excerpts from “The Arab Conquest of Sind” by Mohammad Habib
    http://www.geocities.com/a_habib/Dada/qasim.html

    As such, I don’t ‘quote selectively’. Claiming ‘calling Hitler a monster without balancing it by mentioning he was vegetarian and kind to animals’ is stupid. I don’t do that.

    I quote ‘relevant facts’. Hitler was a monster. Full stop. As are all belief systems mirroring his.

  126. TO JEDI-MASTER : 3 OF 3 : CONCLUSIONS
    =====================================
    JM, for all your pompous assertions and hollow allegations above, it seems your knowledge of Sindh is abysmally poor. I cite a few good sources for you to refer to.

    A brief account of the Arab invasion is found in many Arab chronicles of the early years of Islam. A very good account is available from the Futuhul-Buldan of Ahmad ibn Yahya ibn Jabir Al Baladuri, an extract from which appears in “History of India” by Elliott & Dowson.

    By far the most detailed and reliable history appears in Tarikh-i-Hind wa Sind, known as the Chach Nama. It is a translation from an Arabic original, now lost, by Muhammad ‘Ali bin hamid bin Abu Bakar Kufi, who lived in reign of Sultan Nasir-ud-din Qubacha. The internal evidence of the Persian text is quite strong, and proves beyond doubt that though the translator added to it here and there, the original Arabic history was written at the time of the invasion, by a person who was well informed of the facts (possibly the Qazi appointed by Qasim at Alor).

    SOURCES AVILABLE ON THE INTERNET

    John Keay “A History of India”
    http://books.google.com/books?id=ibLUu6RlvqwC&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=dahir sind&source=web&ots=X_KC_COFWD&sig=eoorTPxeR_8vXsGdca7MRD2EV_Q&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA183,M1

    Hugh Kennedy “The Great Arab conquests”
    http://books.google.com/books?id=oLyZhTuIczMC&pg=PA299&lpg=PA299&dq=dahir sind&source=web&ots=UUkQEyumyb&sig=DKtSC9PcU3PZc9UiZ0vhL0FLVZQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=5&ct=result#PPA302,M1

    http://pachome1.pacific.net.sg/~makhdoom/sindh.html
    http://pachome1.pacific.net.sg/~makhdoom/sindstor.html
    http://www.experiencefestival.com/dahir
    http://india_resource.tripod.com/sindh.html

    I am sure you can read internet excerpts from the John Keay & Hugh Kennedy books if you google properly.

    As a conclusion, I advise you to be far more certain of your facts before cavaliarly and carelessly banding around the term “liar” to people who dissent with you. You must know by now, that many of these dissenters know the facts in far more depth and breadth than you imagined, and terms like “liar” may boomerang back on you !! 🙂

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