More On Azaadi And Kashmir

[Long post]

I have always wanted to hear the voices of educated, young rational “Kashmiri”s desirous of “independence”. (Readers will note the quotes around Kashmiri and independence because as I have argued before,  that what is going on in Kashmir is hardly an independence struggle, but more an expression of aggressive Islamic (mostly Sunni) revivalism.)

Sabbah is a Kashmiri woman who does some very worthwhile work in the sphere of education,  and comes across as an erudite young person with a sense of humor. Which is why I read her op-ed in Hindustan Times with much interest, hoping for a even-handed, though passionate, articulation of her stance on the issue, which I knew from reading her blogs, would be “pro-independence”. The piece is worth analyzing because it is a fairly accurate representation of the moderate face of the Kashmiri “independence” struggle and because it , being considered important enough to be published in a newspaper of national importance, has been widely read.

On the first reading, what of course stood out was this part.

And the Kashmiri Pandit exodus — what a shameful tragedy. India and Pakistan played a huge, unforgivable part in this horrific episode as did those Kashmiris (Muslims and Pandits) who supported communalising the movement, either actively or under threat or coercion.

Maybe I totally don’t get it. But what I think is being said is that that the Kashmiri Pandits somehow shared the blame for being murdered and raped and having their houses looted. That somehow leaving the state, leaving behind their life-savings and their establishments, escaping with only the shirts on their backs, was a conspiracy hatched en-masse by them to “communalize” the problem. Or perhaps something that Kashmiri Pandits had done before the ethnic cleansing was somehow “responsible” for the fate that befell them, in the same way that Hindu right-wingers justify the carnage of Muslims at Gujarat as having been “justified” by Godhra. In this case of course, there had never been anything even remotely close to Godhra in Kashmir. Instead what had happened had been purely a one-way traffic of violence.

There had been violence against Hindus before in Kashmir before the “Pandit exodus” including temple desecration, looting and murder most notably in 1986. But in 1989, the violence was made into an organized process, with mosques crying out the names of Hindu family members to be murdered and “freedom fighters” acting promptly. It was then that many Hindus left the Valley never to return. It is sad that many of our “liberal” friends and “freedom fighter sympathizers” still say “So many Hindus remain in Kashmir still. What was the problem of the Kashmiri Pandits who left?”. Of course, if the argument is turned around and recast as “So many Muslims live in Gujarat. So obviously nothing really bad happened in 2002” these same people would not hesitate to term the person who said that as “communal” and “Hindutva”.  In the same vein,the fact that Hindus still live in Bangladesh and Pakistan does not change the fact that there is severe persecution that goes on of minorities there.

To illustrate my point further, let me quote from “Shadow War” written by Arif Jamal [Page 172], a visiting fellow at NYU. He is a Pakistani journalist and so I believe that this will not  be dismissed as Indian/Hindu/Kashmiri Pandit propaganda.

Another significant early act was the murder of Keshav Nath Pandit, who was the first Hindu killed in the violence inaugurated  after July 1988. A follower of the Jamat-i-Islami of Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir, Constable Mohammed Yousuf, was on duty guarding a temple in Vicharnag. After a dispute, he dragged Mahant Keshav Nath Pandit out of the temple on the morning of December 9, 1988 and asked him to convert to Islam. When he refused, Yousuf kileld him by beating him with the butt of his gun.

So the question is: what was Mahant Keshav Nath Pandit’s fault and how can one expect Mr. Pandit’s family to stay in the place after this? If they leave, how can they be party to the charge of having “communalized” the situation or be blamed for being afflicted by irrational “Islamophobia” ? I provide the above quotation for another reason, namely that it re-inforces my central thesis—-the so-called  “freedom” struggle is not about political independence but simply an expression of the worst kind of religious bigotry; note Mohammed Yousuf did not kill Mahant Pandit for being supportive of India but for not converting to Islam. I emphasize this again and again just to show how flimsy the “secular” smokescreen is for the violence in Kashmir considering the violent Islamic rhetoric those on the ground have no problem in articulating. (If you need more proof look at pictures of the green flag of Islam being hoisted with not any “secular” Kashmiriyat-representative symbol being raised anywhere by the “freedom protesters”) At least I would say that is honest, rather than the attempt to spin the truth to make it appear more “exalted” than it actually is.

On a second reading, other parts of the article stood out.

No one respects India’s freedom movement more than Kashmiris. What irks us is that while your Bhagat Singh is a ‘shaheed’ (martyr), while Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a fierce nationalist, Kashmiris are to be typecast as violent troublemakers and written off for the same ideals and aspiration.

The last time I read Indian history books, I do not remember Bhagat Singh or Subhash Chandra Bose raising the flag of any religion. (It’s perhaps ironic that the author took the names of two of the most secular freedom fighters India had). I do not remember them creating an analogue of Hizbul Mujahideen’s slogan during the Pandit ethnic cleansing “Azadi Ka Matlab Kya? La Iilaha Illalah” [Page 155, Shadow War] (which is, I believe, a rather appropriate definition of the Kashmiri concept of Azadi, provided by the freedom fighters themselves). In other words, Azaad Hind Fauj was not Azad Hindu Fauj. Neither did these great men nor those that followed them ever advocate physical violence against innocent Britishers (it never happened that British nuns in Kolkata were attacked during the height of anti-British passion) perhaps because they were genuinely engaged in a fight against an imperial power that was economically and politically exploiting their country, as opposed to a fight to establish a theological state where anyone who did not meet their definition of purity is not welcome.

So NO, Netaji and Bhagat Singh did not have “the same ideals and aspirations” as the Hijbul Mujahideen, Jamaat-i-Islami, Al-Badr, Allah Tigers, Tehreek-i-Jihad  and the rest, each of whose commitment to secularism and “liberty for all” is quite evident from the names they have assumed for themselves and the actions they have engaged in through the decades.

Then there was this.

No one in Kashmir drills their children with ‘Azaadi’ mantras and anti-establishment behavior. Somewhere between infancy and childhood, I had picked up unwittingly on what most of my family and people felt. Just like that it was part of me.

Not that the author meant it like that, but this sentence above reveals all that is disappointing with the Kashmiri independence struggle.The people who are throwing stones and calling Indians dogs are not doing it because they thought over the issues considered, read history books and came to a considered decision as to why they consider Indians to be outsiders. In contrast to say Bhagat Singh whose resistance to the British came after years spent reading and understanding (and no, it was not as depicted in “Rang De Basanti” a “let’s take revenge” decision). As the author says, her “desire for independence” and “feeling of being an outsider” was imbibed through the environment.  This explains why small kids, not even ten years old and too young to understand anything about who is right and who is wrong, are in the front lines throwing stones. Given this, there is really nothing an Indian can do to mend bridges  (not that India does not have an obligation to curb Army excesses—-that it definitely has to) since the suspicion is programmed-in and thus felt too viscerally to be discussed or negotiated upon. I mention this because people frequently say “If only India had done this” or if “India had done that”, things would have been different. But how? If children “unwittingly” pick up what their family feels and it becomes a part of them and they use that very fact to justify the unquestioned existence of the negativity, what effect can any action of anyone ever have?

Let it be understood that Kashmir’s anti-India stance is not an automatic alignment with Pakistan. Please don’t broadside the Kashmiri movement by throwing the accusation, “Pakistani!” in our faces. We do not accept it. A few might, but a few don’t matter. And majority wins. This is where a referendum comes in. Give us our plebiscite, the one we were promised under the ruling of the United Nations. It’s got something to do with the idea of ‘democracy’, an idea Indians are very proud of. Self-determination is what we want. Then let the chips fall where they may.

First the day the Kashmiris threw out their minorities and changed their “voting distribution” the objective assumptions under which a plebiscite was promised has been changed irrevocably. Now the principle of self-determination. If Kashmiris be allowed to vote on which country they want to belong to, then Gujaratis should also be given the right and so should Bengalis. And why should the rights be given only to states? Why not let religions also decide which country they want to be part of?  And why stay limited to states or religions? Why not let families decide which country they want to go to?  The deal is simple. If on principle, you give one citizen, just one, the right to “self-determine” you must give it to all.

This is of course where Article 370 is such a mistake because it is a tacit nod to the super-citizen status of Kashmiris, a constitutional guarantee originally made to appease Kashmiris in the hope that this will help them assimilate, has since become an albatross around the nation’s neck.

In these years I also saw the havoc wreaked by violent militants, mostly non-Kashmiris, whose scare tactics terrified naïve villagers (already bullied by troops) across the region. My house was burned down, relatives killed by these bearded mercenaries desecrating Islam and undermining the Kashmiri struggle in one blow.

Finally, there remains the larger point of the author’s article. That namely the Kashmiri struggle for independence is secular and that atrocities are committed not by Kashmiris but by “non-Kashmiris”, who presumably materialize using Transporter machines, commit their acts and are beamed up to ISI Enterprise. Of course this ignores small facts like Mohammed Yousuf was not a non-Kashmiri and neither was Bitta Karate. True Pakistan provided the logistics, the training and yes even armed personnel but many of the atrocities were committed by native “Kashmiris”.

Unlike the previous generation which took to guns, which fell for the easiest trick in the book — religious divide — this generation is different. We are educated, we have seen more, read more and certainly learnt from the blunders of the past.

Whether the new generation is more “educated” and have “read more” is a matter of debate (looking at Rediff comment threads and the hatred towards different religions and states expressed there in the most matter-of-fact manner I seriously doubt it) but the more important point is whether the “Kashmiri” “independence” can ever become a non-revivalist movement based on inclusion? Well the original idea of Kashmiri nationalism, as articulated by Sheikh Abdullah, was secular and inclusive . However the backbone of Kashmiri struggle has always been strongly Islamic and soon he had to play the religion card to get support, though as a person there were few as secular as Sheikh Abdullah. But then again there were few people as personally secular, to the point of being irreligious, as Mohammed Ali Jinnah and we know what his legacy is. However the forces of Islamic fundamentalism proved too strong and the movement over the decades has irrevocably become a Jamaati endeavor. So much so, that should Kashmir manage to secede,  whether it stays independent or merges with Pakistan would become a point of academic interest, since both the states having been founded on identical philosophies would be, for all intents and purposes, indistinguishable from each other (except that Pakistan would most probably have the better cricket team).

If further proof as to how derailed everything is, a crazy nutjob threatens to burn the Koran in the US and Kashmiris, presumably many of them belonging to the new “well-read” generation, march threateningly towards a church (reported by Hindustan Times) in Kashmir. Which makes me ask, where in all this is independence, or the “non-lovable face of India” even an issue?

Sad. Very sad.

[Strong comment moderation will be in force. Yes I am a liberal nutjob who does not want to anger the media because I write books and hence toe their pseudo-secular line for my selfish ends. Yes I am also a Hindutva/Internet Hindu. (I am always amused when the same post gets both kinds of comments). Yes I also like Hindi C-grade movies. Please feel free to choose whichever insult you want. Just do not make inflammatory comments against any religion.]

149 thoughts on “More On Azaadi And Kashmir

  1. Given the current political scenario, where the greatest achievement is getting the top netas to “talk” (and at best they might reach a consensus condemning the violence, if at all) I wonder where is it all headed for?

  2. in top 5 !!

  3. Seriously dude, I don’t see why you need to react to this kind of crap. It’s not like you are going to change them and obviously you don’t need to convince people like me.

  4. Excellent post GB,

    You know what riles me most is this Kashmir vs. India dichotomy as if rest of India is a monochromatic, monotonous, monolith. What idiots in media such as Barkha Dutt and Sagarika Ghose don’t get is that Marathis, Bengalis, Telugus, Oriyas all have history as rich as Kashmiris (if anything richer) and all are as proud of it as anyone. Idea of India is the union of its various histories and not some single hegemonic construct. It really breaks the heart to see no one among our “intellectuals” has the cojones to term this Azaadi nonsense for what it is, a Islamist movement to obliterate the kaffir past and unambiguously belong to the community of faithful i.e. Ummah.

  5. I was in Kashmir in June this year. Our driver (a Muslim) said quite matter-of-factly that “Kashmiri Pandits were cowards who ran out on their state.” There wasn’t anything I could say that could convince him. It does disturb me that more people are of this opinion.

  6. Nailed it 🙂 Completely deflated the “Kashmiriyat” fabrications of the “struggle” against kuffar Indian constitution.

  7. The Bhartia family who controls HT is considered close to Congress Party. whatever they cook may be influenced by Sonia. (They own Dominos india franchise!)

  8. Good article. The only argument I take issue with is this one:

    ” If Kashmiris be allowed to vote on which country they want to belong to, then Gujaratis should also be given the right and so should Bengalis. And why should the rights be given only to states? Why not let religions also decide which country they want to be part of? And why stay limited to states or religions?”

    This is the “slippery slope” argument that is used as scare tactics and really does not hold water. It’s like saying, as Rick Santorum did, allowing gay marriage will lead to incest.

    The point is that we had agreed to a plebiscite under the auspices of the UN, and we reneged on that, albeit with some reason. This is the one point I have never been able to satisfactorily justify to myself when thinking about the Kashmir issue. We should never have agreed, but since we did, we should probably have taken steps to conduct one. Gujarat or Bengal never wanted one, and we never promised one there, so the comparison is not apt.

    The ethnic cleansing of Kashmir is the only justifiable reason for not having a plebiscite. The demographics have changed – forcibly. There can be no plebiscite till all Pandits are rehabilitated there.

    Personally I like the plan for trifurcating the state into three areas. At least then Jammu and Ladakh will have separate governments and be peaceful, and we will have to deal only with the Kashmir part. In any case some strong and bold steps need to be taken – this has gone on too long. The only way to do that is if ALL the political parties together decided either on a) trifurcation, or b) making the LOC the border and fencing/securing it (easier said than done!), and c) repealing the appalling AFSPA.

    Kashmir is one issue where we need a national government.

  9. Completely agree, GB. This has nothing to do with Kashmir or independence. It is the worst kind of Islamic fundamentalism.

    The liberals who berate the lack of Indian developmental action on Kashmir neglect two things: 1. Kashmir has far better status than other Indian states vis-a-vis autonomy 2. Development is a universal problem, but people in Bihar or rural TamilNadu do not throw stones for independence.

    Ironically, China and India are trying to solve separatist problems in exactly opposite ways. China encourages Han migration in Tibet and Xinjiang, so much so that both these states are at (or near) Han majority now. India on the other hand does not allow non-Kashmiris to migrate there. This, coupled with driving away of Pandits has ensured that only Sunni Muslims represent the entire state. Saudi funding for fundamentalist Islam can take natural root in such a state

  10. Just remembered a comment on your previous Kashmir post. And I believe that’s how it will play out.

    The winter starts setting in from October …. which is when all the ‘freedom fighters’ will get inside their houses to drink ‘kava’ & decide where to chuck stones next summer.

  11. @Sunny:

    “close to the Congress party”?!? Please give it a rest will you? You and people like you sound like Sarah Palin and co. always complaining about the “liberal mainstream media”! Every thing’s owned by the Congress party – NDTV, IBN, newspapers – all of them, right?!

  12. why do u write so frequently on this blog? I’ll have to read this latest post now.

  13. This is just the beginning. Very soon, you can see all our border states following the same path. We are indifferent, our govt is indifferent. Ultimately, we get what we deserve. Actulaly, it is a fundamental mistake to form India. Even in ancient times, we were never together. North-Eastern states would have had lot of development because of their tourism and natural resources if they were formed as a separate country. South India would be competing with Japan if it were formed as a separate country. MP and UP citizens wold not have been getting beaten up and would have had self-sufficiency if they were formed as a separate country. But what we achieved by forming a great india? With our inefficient handling of matters, we fucked up all the parts of our country in as many ways as possible.

    I just don’t blame the leaders, all Indian citiznes are responsible for this sorry state. Forget about netas, even when u pick an ordinary citizen from the street and give him power, the first thing he would start to do is corruption. Our Indian (or more appropriatley Asian) mindset is like that. Let us hope 2012 takes care of this bloody Asia.

  14. Anindya Chatterjee September 16, 2010 — 6:22 am

    The communal divide is near complete in the reactions you get in Kashmir.

    Most (all?) politicians in Kashmir play a dual card. And, finally too many people make too much money out of the unsettled situation for this to improve. Indian politicians are no angels, but in terms of profiting from tension, the Kashmiri politicians have very few equals.
    I wrote a piece a year back on the Kashmiri Muslim perspective (based on a conversation with a family friend (a Muslim Kashmiri doctor), working in Delhi.

  15. @shan – “We should never have agreed, but since we did, we should probably have taken steps to conduct one.”

    The promised plebiscite was never unconditional. Since Pakistan refused to create conditions necessary to hold a plebiscite by withdrawing from POK, the agreement is as good as invalid.

    The Resolution of the U.N. Security Council of August 13, 1948


    Simultaneously with the acceptance of the proposal for the immediate cessation of hostilities as outlined in Part I, both Governments accept the following principles as a basis for the formulation of a truce agreement, the details of which shall be worked out in discussion betwee n their representatives and the Commission .

    1. As the presence of troops of Pakistan in the territory of the State of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes a material change in the situation since it was represented by the Government of Pakistan before the Security Council, the Government of Pakistan agrees to withdraw its troops from that State.

    2. The Government of Pakistan will use its best endeavour to secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the State for the purpose of fighting.

  16. I think this is a really sensible blog on how the entire communal card is played out. What we need is military action and all those hurriyat and other guys either shot or can go to pakistan if they have a problem. only a tough stand like this can solve our problems

  17. @shan: exactly. We reneged on our promise to hold a plebiscite for *40 years* before the violence escalated. The flimsy reason that Pak troops had to withdraw first doesn’t hold. Kashmiris don’t care – it is your troops and Pakistani troops. You guys decide who withdraws first, but give us our plebiscite for God’s sake. And they waited and waited and are still waiting, 65 years later.

    @gb: She is saying “Kashmiris (Muslims and Pandits)” played a part in communalising the movement. I don’t know how you are jumping from that to the conclusion that she is blaming the Pandits for getting murdered and raped and leaving Kashmir. Unless you know for sure that there were no Pandits who helped widen the communal divide before the violence against Pandits started, your rant – which constitutes half the post – seems a waste. No, even if she is saying that there were some Pandits who did play a part in communalising the movement, that doesn’t mean she is justifying the violence that befell them later. She is simply stating that there were both Muslims and Pandits who played a part in communalising the movement.

    “The people who are throwing stones and calling Indians dogs are not doing it because they thought over the issues considered, read history books and came to a considered decision as to why they consider Indians to be outsiders.”

    Do you think everyone who took part in Indian freedom movement had done the things you mention above? Comparing the author – who is expressing the common man’s viewpoint – to Bhagat Singh or Gandhi is ridiculous. That is how it is with most movements. The leaders may have thought through the issues and arrived at a considered stand, but majority simply follow the leaders.

  18. Dear GB and Gaurav,
    You have nailed it. Am so sick of the importance given to the Kashmir story. Every part of India is as important and has a culture and history that is unique and deserves to be hailed. It is even more frustrating to have the Barkha’s of the world and their Stockholm syndromic one sided reporting. You will notice how she will never give any importance to the CRPF who are being beaten up mercilessly on a daily basis (there are over 1500 in hospital). Why was a Christian school burnt? Why was a hindu temple attacked? Why don’t they get highlighted in the media? Why is the media forever trying to project the kashmir problem as a political one when it is so clear that it is a religious one?
    Forget AFSPA, I think the only solution is to repeal article 370. That should fix it.

  19. You echo what I have always maintained that it is ‘Islam Stupid’ what is the root cause.

    No amount of any Economic Package or autonomy or any such Lollipops will do bring any semblance of ‘Normalcy’. Now, even the so called Secular -Liberal MSM (alleged Kashmir Watchers) have shed any pretensions of being objective!

    Mind me, there is no solution to Kashmir unless we change the demography there, and abolishing 370 is first step. Allow Indians (Non Kashmirs)to invest and create ‘economic’ opportunities first. By giving them packages and free money only makes them do more mischief and earn more concessions. Make them work to ‘EARN’. Nothing is a greater leveler than one’s ‘Financial Position’. A thing Economist Prime Minion should have understood. But then I trust no ‘academics’ any more.

    Alleged Kashmir Experts r bust stoking fires and that is where there economic interest lies.


    PS: I know it was supposed to b a comment not an entire blog-post. But then, U said it. 🙂 Kudos!

  20. Just call srilankan ex-army chief Foneska and give him all the powers and army to solve this Kashmir problem. It will be solved in a week’s time…:-)

  21. The swiftest surgery is least painful

  22. ya phir shri Narendra Modi ko kashmir ka chief minister bana dho…aur K.P.S. Gill ko wahan ka super cop..aur Foneska ko wahan ke army unit ka leader…deadly combination and it will get immediate results…

  23. Send SS Ray to Kashmir now, like he was sent to Punjab earlier. Or someone like him. And there’s no reason why we should even tolerate this talk of kashmir….we already have 3 hostile neighbours, who wants one more??

  24. congress ki tushtikaran neeti se desh ka bedagark ho raha hai

  25. ladakh doesnt want independence, nor does jammu. its only the sunnis of kashmir. they shouldnt decide for everyone…those in jammu, the evicted pandits, the sikhs facing persecution…the people in ladakh.

  26. It is a real eye-opener that a powerful anti-national movement can be made null and void very quickly if the government acts with an iron fist. Yes, I am referring to the srilankan issue. Considering that srilankan issue, the kashmir issue is a very very “CHINDI” issue…

  27. ok…still the same “Anonymous”:

    Bong da…ur articles are well thought of and insightful. Just on a humorous note, the following lines rhymes well with the famous 777 secret agent’s lines:

    “My name is Bong, (pause) GreatBong!”

  28. What a piece sirjee, kudos.
    my 2c:
    anyone who says this is kashmir vs india movement is smoking bong(not the great one). this is clearly a movement driven by religion, ignited by our neighbours, flamed by our gandhis family govts’ successive failures and now it has just become a snowball with no cause or aim. these seperatists have no plan, organising arson is their only job.
    in this i want to spare blaming the ordinary kashmiri muslims of today – they are just poor and ignorant. In that sense the role of so called “educated” and “smart” kashmiri muslims becomes more important – this is where the author of that HT article fails miserably.

  29. Great job once again Arnab ! You rock !!

    One more thing – Arnad and rest of the guys and gals here – just for your information , there is a JNU leftist website called where leftists with hindu sounding names publish vehemently anti-India articles…. you know – calling Indian Army names , begging for Kashmiri freedom , applauding the Maoists etc.

    The reason I am saying this is, visit this website to understand the mentality of a class of Indians – who have hindu names – who have decided to destroy India from within. How do we tackle these people ? Do we ignore them ? Some of their leaders like Pankaj Mishra and Arundhati Roy get lots of publicity with their anti-India rants in western media. So they are not easy to ignore. If we argue with facts, they shut off the argument calling us fascists hindoo RSS fanatics.

    They make my blood boil but I do not know how to deal with them. Any ideas ?

  30. sorry for the typos in the above post…

  31. perhaps we should go to kashmiri blogs like

  32. Please watch the documentary “Religuous” by Bill Maher.
    What can’t the Kashmirs do what they will do by being remaining in india

  33. Kashmir was never truly secular to start with and there was more or less an uneasy calm through the ages. It was horrible for Kashmiri Pandits under the rule of Aurangzeb ( read about the story behind Seesh Ganj Gurudwara in chandni Chowk). While things eased up gradually, there was always a class divide. Kashmiri Pandits, despite their lesser numbers had a chunk of respectable white collar jobs ( govt. service, academics etc.) owing to obsessive emphasis on education while the Kashmiri Muslims were generally traders or artisans owing to various cultural or historical reasons.

    The inability of those sections to compete on an equal footing did lead to a build up of resentment.
    The biggest villian of the piece who is generally ignored is the last PRIME MINISTER OF KASHMIR ghulam mohammed bakshi .
    He had a a lot of vitrol against Hindus as he rose from a very humble background with his mother being a domestic help in a prosperous Pandit household. This led to a lifelong inferiority complex towards Kashmiri Pandits
    He fanned this resentment and used his despotic style to adulterate the education and govt machinery by pushing in 3rd class Muslim graduates over merit holder kashmiri hindus.
    He communalized the othervise passive atmosphere in the school and college campuses and his minions politicized everything. It became a nightmare for Hindu women to travel alone during those days.

  34. arnab er ekta quality sotyi admirable…. to belt out shit after shit without any loss of enthusiasm…. go man… go

  35. What is past is past. Whatever be the reasons, things are where they stand. Rather than groping in the past, we need to see how to go forward.

    63 years ago, there were some circumstances at the time India was carved out of the erstwhile British empire. While the current form of India (more or less) has stayed same, the circumstances on the ground may have changed.

    There is a huge price the the Nation is paying in order to keep Kashmir. This price is much more than the direct money (my hard earned money) that the government is pumping into the valley. It includes the cost of keeping an armed force in a war zone, in hostile conditions. It also includes the price that we pay everywhere else in India to keep Kashmir influenced terrorism at bay.

    It is about time that we seriously re-think our current stand without any bias and see if this huge cost is justified. If the majority in the valley (the pundit exodus is a reality, and we should not hold much hope for their return) do not want to stay with India, the best way to resolve this is to let them go. It is about time, the referendum took place. The Valley, Jammu and Ladakh should be evaluated separately and if the majority wills it, the region should be removed from the Indian map and left to decide its own fate.

    In fact, I propose that this activity be taken up in all states and any state that decides not to be a part of the Indian Union is free to leave and decide its own governing mechanism. This also means that once the majority decides to stay, the bond will be stronger and secessionist elements will be silenced. All states that stay will have to come under a common mechanism without any special status.

    This in my view will make India stronger and help it to move ahead.

  36. It is basic human nature to always find someone else as the cause for whats not going all-right in your life… it helps the human beings rationalize their state of existence in a more painless manner.

    And there are always other smart human beings ready to exploit this bit.

    Hence… catch a Kashmiri taxi driver, or a hawaldar.. or below-average students and tell them: “INDIA” the Hindu Monster is responsible for your pathetic condition. Or tell a Kashmiri Taxi Driver, “you know what – those Kashimiri pandits are bloody cowards… not like you”

    These ppl are going to close their minds and just believe these words. You tell them 100 other things to convince them… and they will deliberately not listen. Because they will never want to face up to the fact that – they and their scheming Kashmiri leaders are responsible for there state today.

    So you cannot do anything about this.

    Religion is definitely the opium of the masses – so the scheming Huriyat… with ofcourse ISI’s money and resources…gives out the ISLAMIC call… and you will have 1000s of ppl on the streets. Pump them up. Bring stones in a well organized manner and distribute it to them… and show them the targets – they will very well go ahead and listen, like toys which have been wound to continue an act over and over again.

    Ppl like Sabah are the biggest hypocrites as well as dumb enough to realize the truth. They know not that they can speak so much bcos of India’s democracy… they day they secede and join Pakistan, they will not be allowed a fraction of what they are entitled to.

  37. Everyone must watch the documentary “Religuous” by Bill Maher.
    Its an eye opener and brings out the hypocrisy in religion.
    The one line that struck me from the documentary was the idea of “Self-fulfilling” prophesy.
    Suppose even if the whole world become Islamic, then what. Will they start working on science and technology and think about building empires and making progress only after that particular condition is fulfilled?

  38. Sorry the name of the documentary is “Religulous”

  39. I pretty damn sure that ppl in Telangana are being exploited in a similar manner … and you again have Politicians ready to whip up passions deliberately, even if its far far away from the truth.

  40. @Shan – while India has not kept up to its pledge on the plebiscite. Its not that simple a fact – The UN Resolution actually mandated that:

    First, Pakistani settlers and army vacate the J&K land that was forcibly captured in 1947-48 (post independence).

    And the plebiscite should be conducted in the entire J&K region (not just India’s portion of J&K).

    While Pakistan may claim that their part of Kashmir is “azad” or free…. its an open fact that it is one of the more suppressed areas of Pakistan itself … and there is a Pakistani govt. agent appointed to run the show there.

    You will also see many independent western reports that show Pakistan’s part of Kashmir as being a lot more suppressed (than India’s). Hence all this talk of UN Resolutions etc… is just not valid any more.

  41. Amazing, great job. Too good.

  42. An extremely interesting read. You’ve made a bold stance and defended it well. Very logical and rational arguments. It is hard to expect the “well read” generation of Kashmir to read this, or even ponder over it, but nonetheless, the more people actually read about the issue and think about it, the lesser bloodshed and violence we’ll have.

    P.S. I’ve been a reader for a pretty long time on your blog. Just that I usually login for my weekly dose of entertainment. Today’s the first time I’ve commented as it’s the first time I’ve felt a post was really thought provoking as opposed to entertaining. Great job on both fronts.

  43. @Tau

    Securing Kashmir means securing India. You you want Kashmir to secede, might was well say “good bye” to the very idea of India.

    Why is J&K so important for India ? Well the reasons are :
    1. It acts as a buffer and prevents any hostile Party (China/Pakistan) to march straight into the the Punjab plains .
    2. It is a source of a large number of rivers, which flow into the Punjab, the bread basket of India. Are we willing to hand over our jugular vein to Pakistan/China.
    3. There are a large number of Hindu religious places in the state, I leave it to you what these Wahabbi fascists which drove out the K. Pandit community will do to these places once they are given “azaadi”. How will it affect Hindu-Muslim relations in rest of India ?
    4. Do we really want one more Pakistan on our border ?
    5. Giving plebiscite will set a bad precedent, some vested interest might deliberately hold back the development of their own state. Manufacture grievances, and ask for the plebiscite.
    Even within the Kashmir Valley, the problem is just limited to 4 districts, and that too in urban areas. The “Kashmir Problem” is not at all serious compared to a host of other problems that we are facing, and only given importance as international media highlights it. We need to stop caring about what these fake liberals thinks and go on about the task of nation building. Scrap article 370. That is the only solution.

  44. Bullseye!!!! It is really heartening to read something on Kashmir written by someone outside the usual pseudo-secular ivory tower intellectuals. There is a growing feeling among indians that enough is enough. If Kashmir valley does not want to stay with india, let them go. My question is, will it be an end to everything? I mean consider this. Kashmir valley is allowed to secede from India. The azad kashmir naturally becomes another islamic republic with Pakistan in driver’s seat. The secular leadership of india allows the muslims in jammu to remain in india. After 10 years, whispers start coming from muslims in the periphery of jammu that they should be allowed to join azad kashmir and their opinion was not taken into consideration when division of india-kashmir was agreed upon. Soon “freedom fighters” start infiltrating from azad kashmir into jammu to help their brothers on indian side in gaining their independence from evil india…..story continues…….WATCH BARKHA DUTT SPECIAL ON JAMMU MUSLIM’S PLIGHT AT 9 PM TOMORROW.

  45. GB : As Mohan has made one (and only one) valid point above, she is not blaming Kashmiri Pandits for getting murdered and raped, she is only talking about the communalization of the issue *post-Pandit-displacement*. Nevertheless she is wrong in doing so, since one just cannot treat Kashmiri Pandits’ post-displacement-fulminations on the same footing as the systematic persecution they were subjected to. It is like blaming the rapist and his/her victim equally, by citing the hatred of the victim for the perpetrator. She is almost criminally focusing on the wrong part of the story just so that she can apportion the blames equally.

    Note also the bringing in of “both India and Pakistan” on the same point. Her writing is full of carefully and seductively crafted moral equivalences – when it comes to points that would otherwise discredit her side, that is.

  46. @GB “Now the principle of self-determination. If Kashmiris be allowed to vote on which country they want to belong to, then Gujaratis should also be given the right and so should Bengalis. ”
    – The following argument about Gujrati/Bengali does not hold here as the right to self-determination was something promised earlier, though by mistake.

    You are right about the change of voting distribution, though. The policy of demographic change followed by struggle for independence is too good.

  47. A note to all those who talk about the UN plebiscite and “Azaadi” in the same sentence, the text of the UN resolution states:

    “The Government of India should undertake that there will be established in Jammu and Kashmir a Plebiscite Administration to hold a plebiscite as soon as possible on the question of the accession of the State to India or Pakistan.”

    The only point of plebiscite is accession to India or accession to Pakistan. There is no mention of independence in the resolution.

  48. good post, GB!
    [GB edited out]

  49. to be fair, don’t mean to paint every follower with the same color. i am sure many have no problems with followers of other faiths. However, they seem to be against the grain of this religion rather than the majority.

  50. Good write up on a very sensitive topic. As usual you have avoided taking sides and yet been able to discuss the topic in great detail.

    Here are my two cents worth of opinion.

    Its true that the Kashmiri problem is religious at the core since the problem is communal. Not political. However, that does not make it any less credible then a non-religious problem.

    Modern examples being East Timor, a part of Muslim Indonesia carved out on the basis of religious identity some where in 1990s.

    The problem is as usual between two groups of people not wanting to live together. Whether the basis is religious, ethnic, linguistic or nationalistic does not matter.

    The bottom line is that they hate each other and cannot live next to each other.

    So the solution is either to resolve the problem or separate.

    Kind Regards


  51. This is the most insightful analysis of recent violence in Kashmir that I have read anywhere on the internet. No other columnist has been able to put forward a clearer view than this. And the bottomline is – this is not a freedom struggle, its a religious movement.

  52. GB,
    When I began to read, I thought that so he put a long post on an editorial on Congress Times? When I read the op-ed on CON times, I realized why it rubbed you in a wrong way. Mostly agree to your views. But I would like to put one point on this quote:
    Well the original idea of Kashmiri nationalism, as articulated by Sheikh Abdullah, was secular and inclusive
    How would you back this up? Abdullah wanted to remove Hari Singh and British gave him covert support. You would not be able to cite a single instance where Abdullah or any of his associates ever stood against British. And now that India was free, he “built” a “Kashmiri Nationalism”? This is also the same man who were arrested because of anti-national activities. If that is nationalism then please do a favor to nationalists: do not call yourself a nationalist. If this sounds so harsh then please remember your definition of “Kashmiri Nationalism” irritated me the same way you were irritated by the HT op-ed.

  53. Let us accept some ground realities
    1) The only Kashmiri Pandits who might return to the valley are the ones living in refugee camps. Most of the well settled and well heeled ( A large number)are not going to leave thr existing lifestyle to live in that uncertaiity.

    2) Lack of a Kashmiri identity amongst kids born post- migration. The Muslims kids have never seen Kashmiri Pandits but have been brainwashed by propaganda over the years. The Pandit kids are more Delhites or Mumbaikars than kashmiris. Almost 40 percent marriages are inter caste/community in case of kashmiri pandits.

    3)Kashmir is a professional dead end: What would a highly educated Kashmiri Pandit do in todays kashmir? There is no answer to their professional aspirations.

    For all practical purposes as the years progress, the Kashmiri Pandit identity would be lost in India’s compolitan cauldron and the KP youth would be numb to whatever happens there. The only fawning over the lost motherland are the elderly.

  54. What has to be done
    1) Repeal article 370
    2) Trifurcate Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as they have hardly anything in common. jammu and ladakh would be much better managed minus the Kashmir baggage. Ladakh would be better off as a UT.
    4)Hold the next National Games in Srinagar. This would spur development in the area and put a lazy administration to some work.

  55. Take off the cap and bow to your arguments.. hope for the same hopes that you do that there are more people like you or you move to do things which will help others

  56. Kapil,
    That is a sensible post. But then what happens to valley?

  57. clap clap !!!
    was waiting for some response from Sabbah on your blog, but unfortunately she stayed away from the arguments.
    As people say, first step of resolving a problem is accepting it. Unless Kashmiri’s (sunni’s) accept openly that they don’t want to be part of India because of religion, no progress can be made.

  58. @Junaid : “The problem is as usual between two groups of people not wanting to live together. … The bottom line is that they hate each other and cannot live next to each other.”

    I know of one group, which is the other?

  59. Greatbong,

    Agree with almost every word said there. But if I look at your blogs over last 2-3 years certainly you have changed a lot. These days you seem to be talking tough against Islam. I wouldn’t have expected a piece like this from you two years back.

  60. In any case our sissy government led by some Nincompoops with impressive CVs and impressive surnames will not do what needs to be done.
    They will not repeal article 370, they will not act tough with separatists, they will not support Pandits.

    Instead they will release multi-crore packages, hold olive leaves to the leaders and terrorists, concede a concession and so on.

    Islam will continue to bleed us just the way it did for last so many centuries.

  61. Akshar,

    I never have and never talk tough against Islam. I have and will always talk tough about radical Islam/radical Hinduism/radical Mithunism (ok perhaps not the last one)….

  62. I met a muslim colleague from Kashmir at Malaysia (Indian IT Company). To many of the malaysian muslim friends of his, he is a well read educated Indian and they tend to believe all the zilch that he talks to them. This guy is just 26 years old, but projects himself as one who has seen the ground realities and knows the real history of kashmir as no one else. He had told me once that he did all his schooling and higher education from delhi. Only that his parents and his brothers are in srinagar. When I spoke to him one day about Kashmir issue, all that he could tell me was “Kashmir was independent from the very beginning and hence that status must be maintained and he is all for pro-freedom. You guys do not know the ground reality and only know what the media projects to you. You don’t know what it is to live controlled by Army” and so on… I have never seen him read any other books/news papers or being informed on any other matters. So it is clear that this “well educated” means that he knows a good deal of C++. But just him being a muslim and from kashmir has been enough for a large number of malaysian muslims to believe him and be biased against “hindoos”. I don’t know what to do to these kind of guys who are like parasites that extracted the Indian facilities provided to them, got a job in an Indian company, but do not want to be an Indian. I asked him what he wants to do after he gets freedom? and his blind answer is “he will then go back to Kashmir and teach IT”. The proof that he is not going to leave this well fed job and go back to Kashmir came one day when he left this job and directly joined the client. Moreover from his last name and a little bit of googling, I came to know (though I am not sure if this part was really true) that his forefathers must have been Hindus and somewhere down the line, by force or choice they converted to muslims.

  63. @Amir – Agreed completely, I think you have nailed the issue for those who do not understand geopolitics at all.

  64. First acknowledge that Kashmiri Muslims have a religious identity and no national identity .’Aap hindustan se hain’? is a localite’s idea of a conversation starter.
    Overhaul the entire state’s utterly corrupt civil services and cross pollinate with people from other states. Investigate how even lowly clerks are able to buy and maintain scorpios and fancy houses???

    If Kashmir can have special rules add another to the list.
    # Every student who passes school should work in the state police for a period of one year at a stipend. Post that the govt. should sponsor/subsidize the graduate level studies in any part of the country. Make it mandatory for those in madarsas too.

  65. EMC3 – Most muslims used to be Hindus or Buddhists of yore. Forced conversion became the norm during the Mughal period and peaked during Aurangzebs reign ( refer to legend of Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara) .
    religion for most is a incidental owing to family tradition and rarely an informed choice. So subsequent generations became comfortable with their new religious identity and forgot the reason behing the conversion.

  66. Excellent post, Greatbong!!!

    Especially this line :’The last time I read Indian history books, I do not remember Bhagat Singh or Subhash Chandra Bose raising the flag of any religion’. Perfect. Hits the nail on the head!!

    The saddest part of all this is:

    – Kashmiri youth seem to be absolutely clueless as to ‘who or what – is the REAL enemy’. They are brain-washed and made to believe, over generations, that they -as minorities – are being persecuted.

    What I fail to understand is : What do they want?
    a) Freedom from India? What will they do then? Turn into an independent little country by themselves? Burning and dying in their own chaos?

    b) To be part of Pakistan? They have that choice even now, don’t they? People who do not like India should just pack their bags and move across the border to ‘a beautiful democratic peaceful’ country where they will be respected and loved. Laughable!!!

    Sadly, peace does not seem to be on the anvil. A sissy Govt. would probably buy time, and buy out some of those who can be bought.

    But the problem – the gangrene is not going to leave. It is going to attack, and spread throughout the country.

    Muslim-power and Money-power dominate. World over!

    At this rate, Kashmir will one day be part of Pakistan and we will sit and watch, and clap our hands for ‘Aman’!

    Until ofcourse, Punjab (or whichever state the fanatics target next) begins to burn.

  67. @Pallavi: also Musli Power..!

  68. Mohan above commented: “@gb: She is saying “Kashmiris (Muslims and Pandits)” played a part in communalising the movement. I don’t know how you are jumping from that to the conclusion that she is blaming the Pandits for getting murdered and raped and leaving Kashmir. Unless you know for sure that there were no Pandits who helped widen the communal divide before the violence against Pandits started,…”
    I felt the same glitch in your otherwise well-written article. In fact, the way you jumped to that conclusion felt so glaringly silly that I thought maybe there will be some comments to point that out. But instead of Mohan and one or two more above, noone really noticed I guess.

    On a tangent:
    I have read all your posts for the past 3-4 years and admire the research that goes into them, the articulation, but I hope you do understand that no one is infallible. You too sometimes make mistakes. I’m sure you must’ve felt some time that what you wrote down was not the correct thing and what some commenter is saying probably makes better sense. Ours and your opinions do not get written in stone. They are prone to changes, at least in detail if not in essence. Change happens when we have healthy discussions, the kind that this blog promotes in a laudable manner. But when sometimes we realise our mistake, or have a shift in stance, it is not shameful to accept it. I’m saying this because even though you might have felt it sometime in the past, I have never seen you writing a comment to that effect. It is understandable that being silent is a wise decision, but a bit of humility does no harm.

  69. Kashmiri Pandits never had the numbers to have any political consequence..we have been very passive politically and never posed any threat to the establishement..our merit based success and harmless intellectual arrogance cannot be deemed the reason for the communal divide which was borne out of ignorance and jealousy

  70. Mohan,

    >She is simply stating that there were both Muslims and Pandits who played a >part in communalising the movement.

    That’s your own interpretation. By the way this lady in her twitter feed says that so many Hindus stay in Kashmir peacefully implying that the Pandits left because they wanted to communalize the situation. Do tell us, if you know, how the Pandits have subsequently communalized the situation (I am a Pandit myself who spent his early years at a refugee camp)subsequently? Having been driven out because we were Hindus, if we say that “Yes we were driven out because we were Hindus”, how does the statement of the truth make us communal?

    It is because of people like you and this moron above (wellwisher) that we Pandits feel that nobody seems to care for our plight and blame us for what happened.

    GB, Thank you for speaking up for us. And please show the big middle finger to “Well Wisher” and Mohan and for people who want to make you “apologize”. I have heard people like Sabbah and Mohan and Wellwisher asking us to apologize for not staying in Kashmir.

    My father used to own a very large grocery store. When the troubles started, he first sent me and my elder sister away to relatives. My mother stayed with him because my father is a diabetic. One day, Kashmiri “Azaadists” looted and burnt my father’s shop, tied him up and beat him with a hockey stick and then dishonored my mother in front of him. One of our neighbors, who was politically well-connected, convinced the boys to let us go but instead asked my father to hand over to them the keys to the safe (the money we had in our home). That evening my parents left for Delhi with only the clothes they wore.

    All my life, my father never recovered from that dishonor and lost his mind. His diabetes got worse and because of the beating he took, he lost the ability to walk. My mother bore the load stoically though and brought us up. We are all now well-established. My father died in 2002, a broken man. My mother died last year. She hardly even talked about what happened in those days and I am pretty sure I never heard the worst. But she never shied away from pointing out who exactly destroyed our family and why. Does that make her communal?


    No one noticed because not everyone here is an indoctrinated moron.

  71. A very hard hitting post, Arnabda! Loved it. The super-sarcastic last paragraph in brackets was the cherry on the cake 🙂

  72. One more thing Meera Ka Mohan or should I say al Jazeera ka Mohan,

    As GB pointed out, no Indian freedom fighter, even the nameless foot-soldiers, imbibed the hatred for India that Sabbah proudly declares to have done. The proof is that Britishers were never hurt during the freedom struggle. The appeal that was made to people then was “These people are exploiting you. We want independence”. In Kashmir, it has been “These people are non-believers and impure. We want independence.”

    Not that I would expect you to understand the difference but still.

  73. During the 60+ years post independence the diverse Indian cultures have learnt about each other and have come closer to share a common history that defines the Indian clichéd philosophy of ‘Unity in Diversity’.

    J&K is composed of 3 regions (Ladakh, Jammu and the Kashmir valley) having different histories, cultures and demographics. Of these regions Jammu is the only region we can claim to have been fully homogenised with India, due unfavourable terrain, disturbed law & order and unavailability or rejection of the Indian media, television, education or Cinema ( they won’t be able to appreciate the Mithunda or K-Jo jokes).

    The want for self determination of those living in the valley is fuelled by their inability to identify with the rest of India. So for many of them it feels like a generous colonial power enforcing their rule using the army and appeasing them with grants.

    If in future China starts spends billions of dollars to develop Nepal’s infrastructure but enforces their rule in Nepal using their army and executes those who raise act against the army, isn’t an insurgency expected? Wouldn’t the demand for self determination be considered as genuine then? Or would it be called as Hindu terrorism against the secular China even though China would be spending billions on them?

    So what can be the possible solution keeping India’s interest in mind, if a plebiscite is to be conducted? I suggest the following: –
    1. Exclude Ladakh and Jammu, they shall remain a part of India and only the valley shall be included in plebiscite from what is currently controlled by India
    2. Include Azad Kashmir and Northern Regions, which are currently under
    Pakistan’s administration
    3. Exclude the important strategic locations(that are important from defence point of view against Pakistan and China) and regions around the rivers that is necessary to ensure water supply to India
    4. In case of plebiscite going against India, make sure that the migration of people is smooth and ample time is given for transition

    There can be two approaches while finding a solution: –
    I. Fight for justice for those who have suffered in the past.
    II. Find a solution that will improve the present situation and bring peace.

    I personally favour the second approach to dwelling in the past.

  74. I am not sure where are we heading, as you rightly said, supposedly “well read” generation spreads more and more crap on internet than ever before in terms of religious hatred. In times when you have world so tightly connected that people of two third world countries collaborate together to provide better services to first world in turn improving economies back home where do all these nation, religion, language, ethnicity come into picture? What use is all of that?

  75. GB,
    Did you notice how well dressed these canny lads are?
    Astonishing, and in sharp contrast to the agitating farmers in UP.

    These are privileged people. Our forefathers made the mistake of keeping them so preciously segregated.In my nationalistic reveries, once in awhile I think
    “what would Patel do?” My answer is that we should threaten to abolish article 370, unless the rage boys cool it for good. And also get a volunteer crowd of would be settlers, carefully handpicked haramis from around the country.You know, the kinds they utilised to settle Australia. They should also be paraded on 26th January.

  76. @Atheist Geek

    How come you remain so insensitive to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits mentioned few lines above your comment ? No nepalese drove a chinese out of their land, nor does the comparison hold in this case. The only solution is to bring the lawbreakers to justice first.

  77. @kaulakriya: I have the utmost sympathy for the horrible travails your family and many more Pandit families had to go through. I am not for a moment condoning the violence against the Pandits.

    I just pointed out the logical leap made by GB wherein the author says Kashmiris (both Muslims and Pandits) among others played a part in communalising the movement (my reading of that was that she was referring to the period before the violence escalated) and GB somehow assumes that she is saying the Pandits are responsible for being murdered and raped. Are we to assume that Pandits didn’t even exist before they started getting beaten up? Why is it then inconceivable that some of them did play a part (at least in the author’s opinion) in communalising the movement for Kashmir. Again, saying that doesn’t mean one is justifying the violence heaped upon them.

  78. @Mohan
    Forgive me, but your argument sounds suspiciously like the rationalizations offered by the Hindutva apologists for justifying the Godhra riots.

  79. I would not worry too much about the current situation… we only have a few months to go for winter.

    Thanks to GOI there is no shortage of medicine and fuel in the valley. NO one stops the trucks from flowing in.

    After the winter sets in

    “Ajj me ji karda…kava kava kava “

  80. If Kashmiri Pundits were droven out in the history that was cruel. So what can we do?
    We can punish those living in the valley, for what their sympathizers have done forever. Excercise our control over them by means of force, even when they can’t relate to anything Indian. Spend millions on them, when our fiscal deficit is already that high.

    Or we can look for a better future and improve the present. Kashmiri Pundits who were driven out 20 years ago, have been supported well, thanks to efforts taken by the government. They have settled in Delhi, Mumbai or Kanpur and their second generation have grown up. This generation( and subsequently the older generation) will not be willing to return to Kashmir to settle even if situations in Kashmir are improved and all those who have resorted to violence have been executed. Just like the Punjabis who had to flle Pakistan in 1947 but are now with time have settled in India, just like the Parsis who fled Iran and made India their home, the Kashmiri Pundits are sure to have a good future being in mainland India.

    The people living in the valley could not be Indianized even after 60 years of efforts on our part. Isn’t our justification to continuing our rule there by force similar to the Kipling’s philosophy of White Man’s Burden? He justified British colonialism in India by claiming that Indians are savages who practice sati, untouchability, child mairrage and what not in name of religion(which was really done at that time). He said that the white are doing a favour on Indian savages by giving them infrastructure, teaching them manners and unifying them. An extension of this correlation can also be made to Avatar its Na’vis. The only difference is that India is not gaining anything economically be exerting our rule in the valley like British aour the humans in Avatar. So why is that India is so determined to keep Kashmir under its jurisdiction? The reasons can be: –
    1. Aesthetic Appeal: The Valley looks like a crown on India’s map and completes the metaphoric Bharat Mata, without considering even who live their and what they want
    2. Justice: We have to make them suffer for what they did to Kashmiri Pundits forever and ever, even if we have to spend millions when our fiscal deficit is already that high. Even if the army understandably makes mistakes by killing certain civillians.(I feel our army is quite sensitive, but no army can have 100% accuracy when the violent trouble makers are hidden with civillians) and people have restricted freedom on account of eternal violence forever
    3. The only genuine reason: Certain strategic locations that can control water supplies and have defence importance w.r.t defence.( But can’t they be excluded with careful and clever planning)

    P.S. I totally sympathize with Kashmiri Pundits, but I am looking for a solution that will bring peace in the subcontinent. The current situation isn’t viable to continue.

  81. This post was a reply to eager reader

  82. Some Nostalgic Moments September 17, 2010 — 4:31 am

    This is the best piece i have ever read on the current state of Jammu and Kashmir….I was,I am and I will always be amazed at the kind of analysis u do….In fact your political posts are million times better than your other posts…..Good work

  83. spendid! first time I can see some post from a public figure having a right point of view. I am really tired of reading the comments made by pseudo secular people. The main problem of Indians that I can see is the attitude problem. We lost to everyone ( Muhammad Ghori to British) just because we tried to be very correct and honest. It is unfortunate but true that whenever there was a struggle in any Muslim dominated area in the world invariably religion came into action. Even if we assume that the Kashmiris are organizing a freedom movement, one question remains. What is the role of So many middle eastern Jihadis in Kashmir? It is certainly not a freedom movement for them. And if it is then the only similarity that I can see between Kashmiris and the middle eastern jihadis is their religion. So please if you are an Indian, don’t sympathesize with anything that is anti Indian. Otherwise one day you will face a Mohammed Yousuf infront of your house. It is better to be self protective than to be secular. Try to take this lesson from Chinese. One kind information, I came to know from several chinese friends that during the Olympic no one from Chinese Islamic population were given entry to Beizing. I am not saying it is right . But the fact is we can’t see annual blasts in China like in India.

  84. Great post, GB, but I also like @Amir Khan’s reasons for securing Kashmir and India.

  85. GB,

    Your best one in ages.

    The part where you reflect on this: “No one in Kashmir drills their children with ‘Azaadi’ mantras and anti-establishment behavior. Somewhere between infancy and childhood, I had picked up unwittingly on what most of my family and people felt. Just like that it was part of me.” – is a pure winner. I think not just kashmir, this stands true for most disputes. Historical wrongs/incidents may give rise to the struggle but over time, it winds down to alleged & assumed slights and anecdotes & whispered rumors of wrong doing, of promises left unfulfilled. It is important that the younger generation understand this and address ways of resolving the issue rather than bickering over the past.

  86. Well done GB! You have washed your hands to be behind Sabbah (haath dho ke pichhe par gaye ho!). After your twitter war with her, you have neatly demolished the vacuous arguments propounded by the likes of her through this blog post. You make some very valid points. Wish they would get right thinking (sic) people like you on TV instead of so many woolly headed young educated Kashmiri youths. I think beyond the usual spectrum of left extremism and right extremism, you are slowly creating a niche area of logical extremism! Hats off to you, sir!

  87. But how come you did not let off Ms Sabbah lightly even though she proclaims at the outset of her article that she is (was) a fan of Mithun da and Bappi da?

  88. Well have a vote on how many people want to go to out their assets and pay pakistan a cpl of billion to adjust them in POK ..I knw zaradari would like that.. Make LoC the intl border and get rid of this hassle..thn do away with article 370 .

  89. ?”The people who are throwing stones and calling Indians dogs are not doing it because they thought over the issues considered, read history books and came to a considered decision as to why they consider Indians to be outsiders. In contras…t to say Bhagat Singh whose resistance to the British came after years spent reading and understanding”…….
    Can it get more idiotic than this??
    My grand dad never read history books(He couldn’t; he was illiterate)…He just threw stones at Britishers because a) He was told that Britishers were evil and b) because it was great fun to throw stones at people.

  90. great post there GB. I have always believed that the only way to solve the Kashmir Issue was to revoke Article 370 and the Indian govt let anyone from any part of India to go and settle down then.

    The Geelanis will geela their pants after that.

    An educated Kashmiri is an oxymoron. All that a Kashmiri knows whether educated or not is to throw stones and then take a bullet in the butt. That’s all that they know.

    India wastes a lot of money on Kashmir. Simply stop all the aid, cut off telecom, internet access, electricity, water etc and let them starve to death. They will fall in line soon.

  91. @Amir Khan: Your expression ‘ Hindutva apologists’ is fallacious. There’s nothing to apologize about Hindutva. I think u mean ‘apologists of radical Hindus’.

  92. You are correct in the fact that the independence movement that so called Kashmiris are talking about is a farce. That I agree. But, I would have appreciated if you had elaborated on the atrocities of the state and armed forces meted out to Kashmiri civilians as well. Your entire article sounds more like a hate speech (particularly the part that describes how a Muslim cop beat a Hindu to death), though I believe that was not your intention.
    Hatred is contagious. In hatred, both parties play equal part. It is futile to debate on who started it first because therein lies no answer. The case of Israel and Palestine is a just example.
    If your point is to justify how farcical the Kashmiri freedom movement is, then you have successfully proved it. But then, what is new in that? Every sane man in this world already knows that.
    The point is that you have to think beyond obvious here. Have you ever thought that the word independence would have different meaning for different people? Hardliners, whether Hindus or Muslims, will always be what they have always been. What if they collectively choose to live a life like Taliban? What if they abhor democracy and civil rights that India stands for (at least theoretically). You argue that such people should be disciplined like an outlaw. Well, it would have been correct if those people were just minorities in a society. But what about an entire population reflecting that idea? What would you do then? The idea then has developed beyond any leader or group and has taken in the minds of masses. When this happens, inevitability is just a matter of time. Can’t you see from history? Every nation who has gone through this phase has achieved the goal of whatever they were struggling for. India went through the same phase in 1947 and people had their way. It wasn’t good for India. I would say that we were better off under the British than our leaders. But we had our freedom none the less. The same case in point is with Algerian War of Independence. What did Algeria gain liberating from France except for some corrupt leaders? The point here is not right or wrong. The point here is what majority wants. I agree that the “majority” here has been achieved through barbaric ethnic cleansing but it is what it is. This is further complicated by the fact that Kashmir accession to India is a highly debatable point (with about 77% Muslim population it should theoretically been a part of Pakistan during partition). Also, if you think it was wrong for USA to attack Saddam because he was a tyrant, the same applies here. So you see, there is no point tracing back to the origin of violence. All we can do is chalk out the end with as much less bloodshed as possible.
    Now tell me, do you still think India should hold on to Kashmir or is it about time we let go?

  93. @Anurag
    to be fair, Sabbah is comparing the kashmiri islamists with Bhagat singh/Netaji and not with your grandad.
    Nothing personal, but think through it before hurling insults.

  94. @Junaid: It makes a big difference whether the problem is nationalistic or fundamentalist. If its the former, negotiations are possible, since both sides are rational human beings. Something like what the IRA did with British can be replicated.

    If its about fundamentalism, its a question of both sides wanting to see the other eliminated. Here the player is not rational, and no talks can work. Only AFSPA, removal of 370 and even harsher measures can bring the opponent to their knees

  95. @Anshu
    “All we can do is chalk out the end with as much less bloodshed as possible.
    Now tell me, do you still think India should hold on to Kashmir or is it about time we let go”

    No. The solution can come if the separatists undo the horror inflicted on the hindus, allow them to come back and restart their lives. Then live in a secular democracy where religion is a private matter and separated from the state. “let them go” was done in 1947 partition. And what that got us!

  96. @Atheist Geek

    Few more reasons why India must keep Kashmir with it.

    1. It sets a dangerous precedent to all the separatist groups, who will want to have their own country. This was argued in the previous blog of Greatbong.
    2. I disagree that Kashmiri Pandits are well settled and will never want to go back there. If GOI has spent so much taxpayers money on that one state, every Indian and especially Kashmiri Pandits should have a right to at least visit and if possible settle there.
    3. As some other comments mentioned before, J&K is home to some of the holiest shrines of hindu dharma. We certainly do not want that do face the fate of Bamian statues.

    Hinduism does not encourage un-necessary offense but, self-defence in the face of anihiliation is preached time and again. One must recognize the limits of accepting suffering.

    Here goes the apt saying, we must remember.

    “They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    – Pastor Martin Niemöller

  97. Its even more shameful that no one, even the GoI, talks about the rights of the Buddhists in Kashmir and what would happen if the wishes of the “freedom fighters” were to be realized.

  98. Appreciate the information provided.
    Hard to say it, but i tend to agree with u

  99. @Junaid – “The problem is as usual between two groups of people not wanting to live together. Whether the basis is religious, ethnic, linguistic or nationalistic does not matter.

    The bottom line is that they hate each other and cannot live next to each other.

    So the solution is either to resolve the problem or separate.”

    – Dont decide for me Junaid. I do want to live with the “other community”.

    In any case kafila type people dont have much time to themselves.

    There are more people with stake in Kashmir then the Kashmiris. I do want to live with Kashmiri Muslims.

  100. I would definitely regard myself as a very secular person. I do not have any problems with any religion. But, I do have a problem with exploitation of my country’s resources: namely land, money, geographical importance, rivers, etc…

    True, we did promise a plebiscite in Kashmir. The demographics changed forever. Diatribe has been poured into the ears of even ‘well read’ Kashmiris like Sabbah. No plebiscite can ever be fair.

    True, there might have been excesses from our Army. But, think for one second, of a soldier, trained to fight camouflaged terrorists with AK47s in the worst terrains of the world, getting a stone pelted at him by a 10 year old in a street! Diatribe flows both ways, and surrounded by an utter hatred from every single being around him, there is only two ways to go: either get a different posting, or become part of the hate by giving it back! How many of them would have acted in pure malice? Very Very Few.

    So, what do we do?

    No political party in Kashmir is able to capitalize on the economic gifts we have been showering on the ‘super – state’. Stop it.

    Double the security forces presence and hit anything remotely jihadi in our side of the border with a sledge hammer. Seal it.

    Finally, use our growing economic might (and the US’s growing decadency) to get into the G7. Get the nukes out of Pakistan (or at least into ‘protective custody’ of the US, to protect it from falling into jihadi hands, until the threat of terrorists is eliminated there, put it as u may)

    I know this seems to simplistic, but I believe, this is in essence what we have been trying to do at a snails pace for the last 35 years! Borrowing from Anonymous above: “The swiftest surgery is the most painless”

  101. I think you have touched on the issue at a very superficial level. Historically the dispute was a political dispute. Otherwise what would explain the vehement opposition to raiders from Pakistan by Kashmiris in 1947. But after that, they have seen promises made to them being broken, elected ‘prime ministers’summarily dismissed, puppet governments installed, their constitution tinkered, election results manipulated (in one case, all but one candidates were elected unopposed to the assembly. In another, after being declared a winner, a candidate was announced defeated an hour later and an NC candidate declared winner!). You see, almost all of the first generation separatists or militants (Geelani, Salauddin, Lone etc) had at some point tried participating in the ‘great Indian democracy’ and come off disgusted. the people felt manipulated and the rage was compounded by hopeless governance. And this anger and vacuum was exploited by many and turned into a communal’us vs them’ situation, with just some old grievances dug up. Not difficult to do that to any volatile situation, as has been done at so many other places. The pandit migration has to be seen in this context. Were the Kashmiri Muslims responsible (directly/indirectly) for the pandit exodus? Yes they were. Did the govt of the time do anything to stop it? No it didnt! Having said that, the exodus of Pandits is one of the biggest and saddest episodes in recent Kashmir history and one that has hurt the cause of Kashmiri separatism most (other than anything other then the pandits themselves). Most of the people on the ground also regret it and also will welcome their return. Unfortunately the chances of that happening are rather slim! Does the Gujarat killings make all the people of Gujarat communal? Then how can you say the same about Kashmiris?

    Regarding your other claim of Indian Independence movement having produced only secular leaders, didnt leaders like Tilak,Gokhle etc use religion to espouse nationalistic causes. Even Gandhi used the religion card many a times. Religion is a glue that binds people and will always be used to get people together. There is a big difference in using religion to get people together and being communal. Show me one statement by Mirwaiz Umer which is communal. If shouting religious slogans on the roadside makes u communal, i guess all of India will be communal. To name Hizbul etc in suppport of your argument is equally absurd because these organizations do not even have support of 1% of the people.

    Although the underlying sentiment has for last many years been pro-azadi in Kmr, however the current protests do not have their roots in pro-azadi sentiment. They started from a desire to not be viewed as terrorists in their own land and not be humiliated on every street corner and village. It is these ritual humiliations that make even a 10 year old hate anyone in the uniform without being told to do so. And since the basic grievance is just a scratch away from the surface, hence it quickly took the ‘Hum kya chahte azadi’ mode. This was compounded by the continuous brutal killings and the incompetent CM/govt (had lots of hope from him. Whether his intentions are good or bad remains to be seen but his methods are useless and hence he has lost all respect of the people). Just looking at how popular protests are treated in other places and the value placed on human life elsewhere makes the Kashmiris’ blood boil and rightly so. If the Govt has any intentions to address the ground issues, it has to address these issues first, before it can hope to achieve anything.

  102. hmmm

    Perhaps you may wish to spend some time in this Kashmir you talk about so glibly.

    It is quite insulting to be told that all the struggle is because of religion, or Pakistan.

  103. Great Post !!!

    Is there anything we can do ? As individuals, besides writing comments here , getting traumatized by whats happening in valley, blaming Pakistan and waiting for our messiah to come ….

  104. By the way – the current 1st rank holder of the UPSC exams is a Kashmiri Muslim… who has been brought up and educated in Kashmir.

    I gather, he faced no discrimination through the process of exams… interviews… results etc

    I have seen him speak on the telly.. seems like a smart chap. With no hint of any resentment etc…

    One would think… that we could highlight such cases to show the “misguided Kashmiri youth” whats possible being in India… but i guess neither the politicos, nor the media.. and definitely not the govt. at the center would want to do this.

    Why highlight successes and make the situation better, isnt it? When u can only focus on the failures and let the situation keep boiling. It benefits all of these ppl.

  105. Brilliant article.. Thank you.

  106. That is some very interesting analysis. And I am in agreement with most of your counter points to the author’s claims.
    But isn’t the basic argument against India that we are not honoring our promise? That according to the UN agreement we were to give kashmir independence. I feel like Kashmir is more headache than it is worth really!

  107. @ all

    When it comes to winning the game of “attrition” we know who holds the upper hand. Found the comments very interesting.

    Shows why the history of our part of the world turned out the way it did, over the past 1000 years.

  108. You my friend are very close to being honored, awarded or having your statue built in your honor for this post 🙂 We love you and would have granted you honorary state domicile certificate if not for the draconian Article 370!!!

    Hello from the most ignored, voiceless, and invisible (the Ladakhis are giving us a run for this position) actor of this JK drama THE DOGRAS!!!!
    We are yet to pick up that stone you see. And most of us are also the typical naieve people of the mountains. The fact that most Dogras are not comfortable with the National Language of the educated , elitist India namely English does not help our case. We speak Dogri and have no leaders like Geelani, Lone or Mirwaiz to steal the thunder. We are probably more alienated than the Kashmiris because the Nation barely knows of our existence, forget language, culture, history etc. BUT we have not started an Independence struggle. And the reason is because the Independence struggle is not about alienation or any such thing they would like the world to believe.

    Some simple facts:
    Both in population and area wise jammu region is many folds ahead but in figures we lag behind..get less seats both in state assembly and parliament..our representation has been restricted .. out of the total annual funds for j&k (9000cr ) jammu gets 750 cr and ladakh 250 cr, rest resides with kashmir.. there is nit in srinagar , 3 medical colleges and various educational institutes ,, but when jammu was sanctioned central university , there was resentment in kashmir and finally kapil sibal has to ammend law by offering one university to jammu & one to kashmir… the annual amarnath yatra has been restricted to 2 months and every food(langar) stall during yatra is charged 25000 each in the name of tax. home ministers said that kashmiris are unemployed that’s why they adopt the path of violence but 45% kasmiris are govt. servants and rest are induldge in private and co-operative sector and only4% are bpl ( below poverty line) contradictory to Jammu.. Jammu is isolated when it comes to development and progress … .. In this part of world ” survival of the fittest” is the point to remember otherwise you would be ruined. we are paying the price of the blunders by our duo leaders nehru & gandhi ……

    Once again you are one brave voice which has had the courage to call the spade a spade. The people of Jammu love you 🙂

  109. Oops! delete the earlier comment wrong address..

  110. @Shila

    Dear, please inform yourself about UN resolution. There is no option for “Independence” in it. Only two choices, India or Pakistan. And that too after withdrawal of Pakistan Army from Kashmir.

    “I feel .. worth really!”
    It is worth much more. Read my earlier comment.

    Considering the importance of Kashmir as a National issue, the amount of ignorance amongst the Indian youth is really astonishing !

  111. My previous post was addressed to “Shilpa”

  112. Hi GB.

    I have been following your blog for some time but this is my first comment. what amuses me is how this kind of anti-national propaganda and justification of “one way traffic” violence is even allowed to be published in national media. I believe the editor needs to be sacked. As a lawyer, i think giving special status a particular state and its inhabitants, more so on the basis of religion, is not an effective solution, if at all you can use the word “solution”. Not to mention, it leaves the country looking like a pussy .

    Keep up the good work.

    A Hindu Brahmin from India

  113. Wow GB pretty amazing and bold post once again…u really surprise me

    @ kaulakriya

    I truly feel sad about what happened to your family…it just cannot get any worse…even hell is better than this…i dont know if i could be of any help but if a sympathetic friend could be of any help…please do not hesitate to contact me…my friend and i are trying to set up a network which helps people who have suffered such situations/genocides (e mail is

    [GB edited]

  114. yawn…long ranr. Stick to reviewing c-grade hindi movies mate.

  115. i think lallu and his bethren should be allowed to settle in kashmir.
    i will be looking forward to the dal-lake water ghotala, to say nothing about the saffron crop!

    that plebiscite, thats the root cause. nehru’s stop gap measure has turned into a national migraine.

    and of course, everybody fishing like MAD in troubled waters.

    kishoris determined to seccede and turn hydrabad into japan. i can almost taste the coconut wasabi with the sushi biriyani. the foodie in me rejoiceth!

  116. Why wouldn’t it (Separation of Kashmir) go the same way as the partition? There are a large number of Kashmiri muslims now living in various parts of India working at Government Offices, Defence, studying at various colleges, MNC’s etc etc. They have bought land, set up businesses. Will they all go back to Kashmir leaving everything behind? No, they will all live in India, but live in nostalgia about Kashmir, form separate Kashmiris Welfare Associations, hoist green coloured Kashmiri flags atop their houses during Kashmir Independence day, teach their children about the “atrocities” committed to their grandfathers by Indian “Hindoos” during Kashmir partition, Indian Islamiat Kashmiri Union League will demand minority status and demand reservations in jobs, education etc. Pakistani agents will pay Arundathi Roy and Barkha Dutt to highlight the plight of kashmiri muslims living in India…

  117. Excellent article. Agree whole heartedly.

  118. GB,
    It is like a bone stuck in our throat which we can neither swallow nor expel. This thing is going to continue. It is the result of the “Original Sin” of 1947. Had things been sorted out then, then all this would not have happened. The so-called Two-nation theory was never actually implemented for one country. Our then leaders wanted to make India a zoo, so we became one. Where a Bismarck was needed we got someone else as the supreme leader. If your leaders are wooly headed, you have no-one to blame. The Chinese and the Han are not wooly headed when it comes to Xinjiang or Tibet. As the saying goes, No good deed goes unpunished. I guess, its sade, but this thing is going to continue. It’s become too complicated. As I grow older, I never understand the diversity bit. The lamb and the lion don’t exactly exchange kisses. More diversity, more headache.

  119. I am sure you won’t be able to answer these many people, but still, such a long post and a single line – Army excess should be stopped. In spite of the fact that daily half a dozen people are shot dead the whole movement to be farce just because it has an overt religious agenda. Also do you think anywhere such sort of things really happens that people read history and make their opinion rather than what they witness on a daily basis.

    I am a Hindu and love my country as much as you and want it to remain unified , but definitely not in this manner. In many way you are also doing the same thing ,blaming the victims, as Kashmiri muslim do of Kashmiri Pundits. But then again it’s your blog !

  120. Maybe a plebiscite should be held..just do it and get it over with, dammit. Na rahega baans, na bajegi baansuri.

    As long as the people of Ladakh, Jammu, and all the Kashmiri Pandits who had to leave the valley, and their descendants, no matter where they live at present, get to vote on it too.

  121. The problem is that no one came forward to help the pandits when they were being ethnically cleansed. Their intellectual arrogance (as another person has described in this blog) may have contributed to this (remember the ethnic cleansing of tamil brahmins from TN and no one said anything?). Caste and relegion seem more important than nation and humanity. I recently read in the paper that someone took revenge because “muslim blood is flowing” (may be this person if he needs blood transfusion would ask for muslim blood?).

  122. Great Bong, I am a BJP worker and I say this seriously: Why don’t you come back to India and join the BJP? They need articulate and educated people like you. Are you planning to stay in the US forever and take up US citizenship? If not then come back and join them. There are very few people in the BJP who can speak well, so they may even make you national spokesman!

    I know that the BJP has flaws but it is a lesser evil compared to the m***erf**king Congress and CPM.

    Since you are so interested about politics you should take an active part instead of being an armchair critic.

  123. @ Revathi
    There has never been a ethnic cleansing in Kashmir.

    Ethnically, Hindu Kashmiris and Muslim Kashmiris are the same. Almost all Muslims in Kashmir were converted between 12th and 16th century. In fact some even keep their Hindu last names (Lone, Bhatt, Kaul) while using their converted Islamic first names, like Ghulam Nabi (slave of Mohammed) etc.

    The only cleansing that has taken place in Kashmiris is religious cleansing. So stop using the word ethnic cleansing and use religious cleansing instead.

  124. Some of your stances seem to be contradictory, you supported the use of veil in France since its about fundamental rights. But then you are opposing the “rights” of the “sunni islamists” to talibanise THEMSELVES in THEIR land. I want to ask, where do you draw the line? They are just different degrees of manifestation of the same spirit of arrogance and hatred.

  125. Wearing a veil should not inconvenience anybody except the person wearing it. If I choose to cover my face its my face and I cover it. Simple. If you have a problem then well thats your problem.

    The problem with Kashmir is it Kashmir *isnt* the land of Sunni Islamists. They like to say that but thats not true. There are significant number of Hindus and Christians there too and an Islamic state will interfere in their right to maintain their religious identity. When they perpetrated violence against KPs, they stepped upon the rights of OTHERS.

    If Muslims in France want non-Muslims to put handkerchiefs on their eyes so that they dont see their womenfolk…yes I would object to that.

    Which part of this argument dont you understand?

  126. Wow! So many replies, all evading the fundamental question that GB (and a lot of other people) has been raising.
    The demands for Azadi has nothing to do with establishing a state which would be “free”er than India. Post Azadi, none of these fundamentalists are going to drop their guns and start farming. They would be IN power!

    @atheist geek:
    (1) Separation of Kashmir: the kind of bloodshed that would lead to, will make everything in the past look like a road accident.
    (2) Separation of Kashmir: has horrendous implications for the people who would stay back in Kashmir (a theocratic state doesn’t stop at punishing its religious minorities. Further, it is not very unlikely that separation would be followed by a systematic genocide of Buddhists in Laddakh, and Hindus in Jammu.)
    The “avatar” argument is totally fallacious. There are very few commonalities. The movement in Kashmir is driven, and sustained, by a fascist ideology which is foreign to the valley, and whose ideological and financial capital is borrowed from the Islamist world. It is NOT an indigenous resistance. To add to that, separation would totally sever it’s historical and cultural connections with India. If anything, the minorities in the valley are the na’avis and not the Jihadis.

    Finally: Azadi is never going to happen, unless China occupies India, or the US tries to further appease Pakistan. So dream on. Neither the Congress n the BJP is that insane.

  127. Jay Mahrashtra ! 😉

  128. Hey GB – great fan. I especially loved this part “Azadi Ka Matlab Kya? La Iilaha Illalah” – nailed it. 6 ft under.

  129. I don’t get you…what are you opposed to? When was it ever in doubt that self-determination for Kashmiris has always been pushed as an agenda by the Muslim majority of the population (it was a majority even before the ethnic cleansing)? You’d have to be quite naive to think otherwise…so why crib that the protesters are not secular in their outlook?!?
    Moreover, if mosques in Kashmir had been crying out names of Hindus to persecute (as an example of the start of ethnic cleansing), what stopped the Pandits there from getting their vengeance (as witnessed much later in Gujarat)? Even if one were to take the line that some moral high ground (that they occupied in their own minds) prevented them from reacting violently to the first signs of persecution, what was the security administration doing to prevent religious persecution in the first place? More to the point, if one believes that religion had been the most important driving force behind the debate surrounding Kashmir, it would have been all the more important to deploy security against the possibility of communal flare-ups of any sort, right??
    I generally like the balanced approach you take to communal issues & the likes, but this post somehow came across as one meant only to be a rebuttal (however little grounded in principles of rationality) to the linked post.

  130. great analysis as usual.and the reminder at the end is just too good ,saved you a lot of moderation trouble. very very well written ! still have to buy ur book though.

  131. @Lola
    a 3 way plebiscite (valley/jammu/laddakh) won’t be the end of it.
    Even if this is done, the muslim majority areas of Jammu would then start violence for “azaadi”. Like i said – there’s no peace with people who follow the “secede when in minority, annihilate minorities when in majority” algorithm.

  132. @ dib : always always freedom is the ability to choose ur own chains !

  133. @Hariharan
    1. Are you proposing that Kashmiri Pandits should have resorted to terrorism just like Kashmiri Muslims did ?
    2. Weren’t Hindus in majority that is why were able to persecute Muslims in Gujarat, how can a minority persecute a majority ?
    3. Just like the blame for the pogrom for Gujarat falls squarely on Modi government, shouldn’t the J&K govt.- which was full of Kashmiri bigots – be blamed for religious cleansing of Pandits ?

    Anyway here is an excellent blog post by Mr Vivek Kaul:
    *replce “()” with “.”

  134. Here are the simple reasons Independent Kashmir should not be allowed to happen.
    – It will turn into an Islamic republic which would be form of gross human rights violation for the minority of non-muslims currently living in the valley
    – It will impose sharia law on all it’s citizens including a minority of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists
    – Independent Kashmir will provide a safe haven for Al-Queda, taliban and various terrorist outfits due to it’s unique geography
    – Pakistan will provide nuclear arms to Kashmir for defending them from India and start a proxy war which would escalate into a nuclear conflict.

    India needs to stress the above with UN and world body and put its case further. A secular country like India is where Kashmir should belong and not some theocratic Islamic republic.

  135. hum pakistani hain, pakistan hamara hai… lmfao…this is the leader of the azaadi movement in tight slap if you compare bhagat singh with your “azadi” fighters.. fuck off

  136. Extremely well written blog. Nails the issue to its core.
    I am gonna share the link on Facebook

  137. i was raised in dubai too, like sabbah.
    a lot of people from our generation share the same feelings of alienation and of not belonging. it has more to do with growing up outside your country and specifically, in a country that does not grant citizenship to long term residents, even. i don’t feel very indian either, simply because i grew up in a country i call home but hold the passport of a country that’s a holiday destination, at best.
    i know of quite a few young kashmiris who do not feel a separate land is the answer, and most were raised in kashmir. we NRIs have always been more susceptible to nationalist hogwash – the greater the distance, the stronger the anti/pro india hyperbole.
    it’s sad how these so-called azaadi fighters believe a dependent state like kashmir can secede and survive, and even sadder that they’ve managed to brainwash a ‘progressive’ generation like ours. disappointing. maybe we should just give them what they want, sit back and watch the fun.

  138. oh, btw, GB: got the book. read the book. loved the book.

  139. GB sir i almost feel like kissing you!its been a few months i discovered your blog (while searching for Gunda related stuff on the net as i became a follower about then) and thought this is the best kickass Indian sarcasm blog but i cant stop shaking my head in disbelief that how much my viewpoints match yours regarding Kashmir!the first part of the series was good read but like your other posts i refrained commenting but in this part the kind of reaction you had to that particular article couldnt make me stop!Around this very time last year when i read this article (by ms Sabbah Haji) i was infuriated,so much so that i wrote my first open letter to her on my fb course it was much much rant than yours plus i did point by point dissection.but the thing is its feel good that it feels good when someone out there is ready to rise above the pseudo secular bullshit.
    If i had been Kirron Kher on Indias Got Talent i would have definitely given you standing ovation.Hats off!
    Keep up the good job sir,n oh btw Gunda rocks!

  140. Was checking out the UN speeches and the back and forth and reminded me of this blog post. While surely correct and valid, wondering what it’ll take for the major powers to understand these points

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