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Kashmir Valley, the hub of present terrorist turmoil, is the most prosperous region of the country, where per capita income is far too higher than in any part of the country and much more above the national average. It is here that peasant proprietorship is the rule rather than an exception, where education is free from primary to university level, where loans or financial assistance from the Government agencies and commercial banks can be had for a song, sans worrying for ever about its repayment; where the central assistance on a per capita basis is the highest in the country and where the Central Government has always been very liberal to bestow grants and aid. The Valley, which only a few decades back, used to export labour to the plains in hordes, is now net importer of labour especially from Bihar and other states of the country. The saga of sudden change from rags to riches in a few decades, is a landmark unprecedented in the annals of the subcontinent's history and must be seen to be believed.
The population of Kashmir Valley is around 30 lakhs (3 million) just equal to that of Trans-Yamuna area of Delhi. For this small population, there is a silk factory, one of the biggest in the world and also many smaller silk factories. There are woollen mills, big and small and flourishing carpet factories, electronics goods and industries, stainless steel and leather factories, fruit processing industries, H.M.T. Watch factory, Indian Telephone Industry (ITI), cement factories, petroleum processing units. Besides, there are large number of medium and small-scale industries both in government and public sector.
Kashmir University has all the disciplines in Science, Arts, Commerce, Law and Humanities besides exhaustive courses for languages. There are a number of separate colleges for women. A Regional Engineering College, one Government Medical College and one private Medical College are also there. There is a separate Dental College. A prestigious Institute of Medical Sciences (like A.I.I.M.S., New Delhi) has been established in Srinagar. There are a number of Teachers' Training Colleges, Technology and Engineering Institutes and other professional institutes in the Valley.
Kashmir Valley has a full fledged Agricultural University and large number of research laboratories for silk, wool, rice, mulberry, drugs etc. There is hardly any sphere of activity, which the Central Government has undertaken either by itself or through the State Governments, which has not been sponsored in the Valley. There has been three times increase in Central assistance to Kashmir in the plan period 1984-89, which is not the case in other states. Similarly, per capita expenditure on development activities in J&K is Rs.962/- as against Rs.270/- in Bihar, Rs.490/- in Gujarat and Rs.822/- in Himachal Pradesh. Per capita consumption of electricity is much higher than in other states.
People in Kashmir Valley have been provided for the last 45 years, subsidised cheap food (perhaps cheapest in the world), subsidised firewood, subsidised salts, subsidised pesticides for orchards, subsidised agricultural pursuits, cheaper feeds for animals, liberal loans for training in professional colleges outside the state (never returned), huge subsidies for establishment of industrial units, liberal loans for housing and what not. There is hardly any sphere of life where people of Kashmir did not get preferential treatment. The population of the state is just 0.8% of the country yet it received 2.7% of the national development outlay. Thus, the per head allocation in case of this state amounted to Rs.1122/- while the per head allocation in case of other states of the country ranged between Rs.67/- and about Rs.300/-. Five Year Plans are being totally financed by the Centre, as also assistance for staff salaries. While in other parts of the country various states are getting central assistance as 30 percent grants and 70 percent loans, Jammu and Kashmir is among the most favoured parts where Central assistance is being given as 90 percent grants and 10 percent as loan. In the country as a whole, over 15 percent people are houseless but in Kashmir Valley every family has got pucca house of its own. Such huge sums of money has been pumped into the Kashmir Valley to the neglect of other two regions during all these years that they have resulted in regional imbalances and regional tension within the state.
The insurgency and terrorism has not affected the prosperity of the Muslims of the Kashmir Valley. In fact, their prosperity has increased due to their having taken away immovable assets and agricultural property as also business establishments of the Hindus worth thousands of crores of rupees. Massive loans taken from financial institutions have not been returned. No taxes or Government dues are paid in the Valley. Electricity charges, water bills, telephone bills, sales tax bills, sales tax, excise duty nothing is paid to the Government. There is a general impression that the economy of Kashmir Valley is heavily dependent on tourism. This is not a fact. Tourism contributes just 10 percent to the state's domestic production. The approximate number of people directly employed in tourism is about 40,000. Most of the tourist activity is concentrated in Srinagar and a few suburban areas where 79 percent of the people live and work in rural areas. The bulk of the employment under tourism is low- skill and relatively low-wage like the shikara and pony men, porters, waiters, cooks drivers, etc. This is only a seasonal employment for about 120 days in a year. Export of handicrafts has also registered a phenomenal growth in the last three years. This is particularly so with regard to carpet and embroidery trade. Interests of smaller handicraft merchants have also been safeguarded by the Government itself procuring their goods and selling them at various exhibitions specially set up in the big cities of India. The traders have also been provided all the facilities to extend their marketing operations to many more cities like Lucknow, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore etc. The handicrafts sector accounts for 5 percent of the state's product.
In regard to horticulture, outflow of fruits has also been having a boom except a minor set back in 1990 due to relatively poor crop that year. The wholesale prices in the Delhi Mandi where bulk of distribution is transacted, have been extremely favourable and the net returns to the grower have actually been an improvement over the previous years. The fruits from orchards belonging to Hindus have also been taken over by the Muslims. Traditional trade channels have been kept open in spite of many non-Kashmiri traders having been murdered by the terrorists. The backbone of rural economy, which accounts for almost 80 percent of the state's population, is agriculture, which means paddy cultivation. Kashmir Valley has had the highest per hectare paddy yields in the country since the mid 1960s until very recently when productivity levels in Punjab forged ahead. Agriculture provides 40 percent of the state product. There have been bumper paddy crops in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, there has been slight reduction due to floods. All the brunt of whatever destruction and disruption in the industrial sector has been borne by the Government. No inconvenience has been allowed to be caused to the people. Only sufferers have been 3 lakhs (300,000) Hindus, who had to run away leaving behind even cooked food in the kitchen, which they could not take due to scare. Many people as a matter of habit and conjecture, and presumption or under the influence of excessive propaganda, go on pleading that the unemployment among the educated youth is the reason for subversion. The unemployment problem is, no doubt, very acute in the Jammu region and among the hilly Gujjar population scattered in all the three regions. In the Kashmir Valley almost all educated people are gainfully self- employed in their traditional occupations. The Government job is sought for as a part-time venture, for prestige, status and extra money. There is acute shortage of unskilled and semi-skilled labour. The average standard of living and the general quality of life in the Valley is far better than in any part of the country. The official data has been prepared in such a way as to show that about 17 percent of population live below poverty line. The average for the whole country is about 40 percent. The percentage of 17 is lowest in the country. But this figure relates to the whole state and in actual reality applies to Ladakh and Jammu regions. In the Kashmir Valley, none lives below the poverty line. There is so much shortage of labour that men and women from outside the state from far off areas as Bihar and Orissa have been brought into the states regularly for construction of private houses and other buildings. As a result, labour shortage, both skilled and unskilled, has been greatly felt because of fall in the inflow of labour from outside due to terrorism.
The J&K State Industrial Development Corporation sanctioned loans for setting up 46 industrial units in Srinagar during the year 1990 although it was a year of abnormal conditions. On the other hand, in Jammu where there was perfect peace, loans for only 42 units were sanctioned by the same Corporation. Similarly, the Jammu and Kashmir State Financial Corporation has continued to advance loans although its recoveries of earlier loans have come to nil. In a public notice, the J.K.S.F.C. nervously requested the borrowers to return their dues so that other deserving people could get loans. This notice was published in all Urdu dailies of Srinagar. There was no response. Instead a demonstration was held in the office premises of the Corporation on 28th August, 1991 by the concerned people against the Corporation's move to recover earlier loans. Threats were also given against any impediments in the matter of sanctioning new loans. The Corporation has regularly been receiving applications for setting up industries and other purposes in spite of the turmoil in the Valley. Very often, the Corporation officers receive threats from the terrorists for not sanctioning loans to particular individuals. To save their own lives, the officers approve the applications without evaluating a project. At times even the necessary formalities are not completed. Loans have been released without verifying if these were actually used for the purpose they were taken. In fact, such is the situation that no one dare ask a question if a militant showed interest in the case. Loans were regularly advanced during the last three years. But there were no recoveries.
The cry goes up from the Valley from the usual quarters at convenient intervals that they are the poorest and most unemployed and exploited and that they would be better of in Pakistan. This is taken up in full-throated chorus by Indian media and intellectuals. And the Central Government of the time - without exception - rushed with bagfuls of money, with appropriate apologies and with folded hands to soothen them till the next round arrives. It is totally wrong to hold that lack of economic development might have created discontent in the Valley. The fact is that accession and secession have been existing side by side so far as Kashmir Valley has been having full autonomy with two colonies of Ladakh and Jammu under its control. And this independence to do anything the state government (which actually meant Muslims of Kashmir) wished without being challenged from any quarter, has brought the Valley to the present turmoil. In 1947 itself Sheikh Abdullah virtually demanded a separate Muslim State which did not form a part of Secular India and which underlined the recognition of the separate political identity of the Muslims in the state. As later events proved, the Sheikh aimed at weaning away the state from Pakistan and after that was achieved, pull it out of India and reconstitute it into an independent Muslim State. When Sheikh and his Muslim Conference had arisen against the Maharaja in 1931, he rallied the Muslims with anti-Hindu and directly anti-Kashmiri Pandit slogans and sentiments. Launching virulent attacks against Kashmiri Pandits in his public meeting preceded by resonant recitations from the Holy Quran, the Sheikh exhorted his followers to rise and fight the autocrat and reduce the exploiters, the Hindus to dust and leave only scavenging for them to make a living. These stirring exhortations woke up the silent simple folk and made them highly conscious politically and articulate. At the same time, the seeds of disaffection were sown in them against their fellow Kashmiris albeit of a different faith. When Maharaja was forced to abdicate, in the absence of any alternative democratic set-up, Abdullah considered himself to have become Sultan. All he wanted was to carve out a little Pakistan for himself at the expense of India. He made a show of his firm belief in secularism but failed to put it in practice. His approach to all problems was communal. While he had no objection to receiving huge sums of money from the Centre as aid his belief in secularism did not allow him to agree to the application to his Muslim majority state of the secular democratic Constitution of India - not even the fundamental rights guaranteed therein. And to ensure that no laws made by the Indian Parliament applied to the State, a special status was obtained for Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. But this does not prevent the M.P.s from the state to fully participate in the discussions and voting when laws are made for the rest of the country. They often give long sermons on this and on that, keeping themselves and their state aloof.
The apologists for special status for Kashmir exhibit their ignorance when they say that Kashmir's accession was not like other States and the State was still governed by the Constitutional Order of 1939 promulgated by Maharaja Hari Singh in that year. Surely, they are not ignorant. They are using this as a camouflage to their desire of carving out a third Islamic country in the sub- continent and at the same time wanting India to continue to be secular which means - no-man's land - to be claimed as a Muslim country subsequently. With the rate of increase in Muslim population, unabated Muslim infiltration from all sides particularly from the East, and what happened on Black Friday on 12th of March, 1993, in Bombay, this possibility need not be laughed at. In the last 45 years, Article 370 has proved to be the most delirious for the country. Instead of achieving any healthy results that may be expected of it, it has had the opposite effect of preventing Kashmir's integration with the rest of the country. It has strengthened the sense of separate identity among the Kashmiri Muslims, insulated them against mainstream Indian influence, encouraged separatism and secessionism, fostered Islamic fundamentalism, anti-national sentiments and pro-Pakistan loyalties, promoted terrorism and created serious problems of national insecurity in the strategic border state.
Article 370 was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India about two years after Kashmir's accession. It was a political concession wrested by the wily Sheikh Abdullah. Abdullah had to opt for India under the force of circumstances. His prime compulsion was Pakistan's arrogant determination to take over the state by force and ignore all the local political elements. He had serious reservations about Kashmir being an integral part of India. As his own speeches and declassified documents of the U.S. State Department reveal, he was working towards independent Kashmir under his own domination. Like the Kashmir Constituent Assembly, this Article was part of a Strategy to ward off temporary obstacles. Like all other princes, the Kashmir ruler signed a proclamation in 1950 accepting Indian Constitution. There was a clear finality about this. At present, Article 370 or autonomy is not the issue with the secessionists. The issue is seccession from India - as an independent identity or as a part of Pakistan. The follies committed by successive regimes in New Delhi and their stooges in Srinagar in the name of democracy cannot be allowed to continue for any more. Kashmir has to be integrated with India like any other state. Article 370 was inspired by political theories and an ideology that has been proved wrong by history. It has created another divide based on residency in the state. Further, more politicians of the ruling party made embrace of the Article to be axiomatic for a belief in secularism. Anyone who has questioned the wisdom of retention of Article 370 is dubbed a communalist, an obscurantist or worse. The psychology related to Article 370 has made Muslims feel that their state is not quite a part of India. This feeling is one reason that they have not generally sought jobs outside their state. The forces unleashed by these policies have led to progressively greater alienation of the Muslims of the state. This is the major cause why Pakistan's brew of intrigues has never suffered from lack of fuel. Fundamentalists have seized on this disaffection and they have targeted Hindus as being representative of unjust order. The uncertainty must be ended once and for all. Article 370 must go. The rest of the Constitution is fair enough to safeguard the rights of every Indian particularly Muslims who have special safeguards as a minority community. Judiciary is independent to uphold the Constitution. A special status smacks of lack of faith in the secular democratic Constitution of India on the part of those who ask for it as well as those who grant it. What more do the people of Kashmir Valley want if not equality of treatment with all others in the country. With the complete integration of the state with the rest of the country and full application of the Indian Constitution, neither the communal majority in India will be in a position to exploit or oppress the communal minority anywhere including Kashmir, nor will the communal majority in the state itself be able to oppress or exploit the communal minority within the state.
The accession had settled the position of the state legally and emotionally too. But the Pakistan invasion has sundered a part of it and put it under their occupation. Then a straightforward reference to the United Nation for vacation of this aggression had given the interests inimical to India the opportunity to transform it into a complex and confusing proposition leaving the wound open and festering without end. When the reality of political power came to the hands of the Sheikh, he could not conceal his personal and dynastic ambition and dictatorial behaviour. He used Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad against Afzal Beg and vice versa and Sadiq against both. The romantic handsome, daredevil Muhuiddin Karra, a powerful man of the organisation, left out of the glamour, power and pelf of ministership, whose name alone would turn on youth, women and men and who broke away from the National Conference and set up Political Conference to propagate the case of Pakistan. The effect of it all was that opinion was building up among some sections of population in the tiny Valley about the advisability of the decision they had opted for. The Sheikh's hold seemed to be slipping. To regain it, he went to the extreme step of turning against India openly.
The Islamisation of the political and economic organisation of Kashmir began as soon as power was formally handed over to the Sheikh on 5th March, 1948. The exclusion of Jammu and Kashmir from the purview of the Indian Constitution by virtue of Article 370 in 1949, marked the formal acceptance of muslim identity of the Jammu and Kashmir state. Sheikh Abdullah told Jawaharlal Nehru brazen facedly that Kashmir was a Muslim majority state and, therefore, it could not be integrated into the Union of India as that would bring the Muslims under the domination of the Hindu majority of India. (Jammu and Ladakh had no place in Nehru's thinking as unfortunate Hindus and Buddhists were in majority there.) The immediate fall-out of this autonomy of the State under Article 370 was that it deprived the people of Jammu and Kashmir state which included Ladakh of all constitutional safeguards. Pandits were deprived of right to equality before the law, exposing them to severe discrimination, communal persecution, political oppression and economic deprivation. No wonder that from 1947 to 1989, more than three lakh of them were, slowly and steadily, squeezed out from the state. Now from 1990 onwards, the remaining three lakh have been banished as a result of genocide which has taken place in the cause of establishment of Nizam-e-Mustafa. Thus the Valley of Kashmir has been cleared of all the Hindus and de facto Islamic set up established although still within the broader framework of the Indian Constitution.
The problem of terrorism had grown steadily from the time of accession through systemic propaganda and fundamentalisation of Kashmiri Islam. From 1948 itself, Sheikh Abdullah had been talking of independence for Kashmir in selected fora while advocating permanent relationship with India on the surface. Article 370 had made the element of divisiveness inherent in the set-up through misuse to ensure that rights of citizens were denied to vast sections and portals of power were monopolised by a small group. Kashmir terrorism is a pampered-oriented terrorism due to Government trying to appease dissidents by acquiescing in anything wrong or right they demanded. To bow before the bully was to invite the butcher the next day. The attitude of the Indian decision makers had been determined by the spirit of Munich. A vague hope has been entertained that tomorrow would be all right.
Towards the last days of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's life, personal relations between him and Sheikh Abdullah were re-established. Nehru invited Abdullah to Delhi and latter came and stayed with Nehru for several days. The sum-total of prolonged parleys between these two old friends was that Abdullah would then onwards work for India-Pakistan amity. The two were reported to be convinced that if this amity was achieved, all pending problems between the two countries including that of Kashmir could be solved by mutual goodwill. Abdullah arrived in Rawalpindi and had prolonged discussions with Pakistan's President, General Ayub Khan. Abdullah was alleged to have sought Pakistan President's support in the form of arms and ammunition for Kashmiri youth to enable them to take Kashmir away from India. After developing personal rapport with President Ayub Khan, Abdullah was about to go on an extensive tour of Pakistan occupied areas of Jammu and Kashmir. However, fate willed otherwise. Nehru suddenly passed away. Abdullah was shocked and grieved. He returned to Delhi. In the absence of nehru at the helm in India, he found his plans going awry. Now he had to confront down to earth Indian leaders like the Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Congress President K.Kamaraj, Home Minister Gulzari Lal Nanda, Foreign Minister Sardar Swarn Singh and Defense Minister Y.B.Chavan. For these leaders, personal friendship had no meaning in dealing with national affairs.
He now desired to go to Mecca for Haj. He was gladly allowed to do so. But instead of going straight to Mecca for performing Haj, he left for England. He was accompanied by his wife, Begam Akbar Jehan, Mirza Afzal Beg and Peer Abdul Ghani of Anantnag. Probably it is for such people that the famous Urdu poet, Maulana Hali has said:
(Let the priests go to Kabba (Mecca), we will go to England. Let them see the light of God, we will see the glory and grandeur of God).
The Indian Government bore all his expenses and those of his companions. But he repaid his debt there and then. He delivered seditious speeches in the meetings which he addressed in London and other places. He addressed meetings of Mirpuris called in Birmingham and other cities in England. He praised Mirpuris for showing more life than Kashmiris. From England he went to Paris and from there reached Mecca. After meeting Saudi leaders he left for Egypt to meet President Nasser. He solicited Nasser's support for Kashmir's freedom but drew blank. Later he left for Algeria where, besides Algerian leaders he met Chau-En-Lai, the Prime Minister of China. Chou assured him all support and announced it publicly.
Instead of building a relationship with the masses, the successive Indian Governments focussed on personalities, who were interested in personal power and fiefdom. The relationship has been based on deception and duplicity. The state leaders, irrespective of whatever party label they carried, were power brokers and practised opportunistic secularism. Whenever they faced even a slight threat to their power, they raised the cry of Kashmiri identity. The secularism practised by the state leadership was phoney and it had always vacillated between secularism and communalism to suit the occasion in its reckless search for power. Democracy in the state was always only in form but not in substance. The leaders never failed to exploit the religious obscruntism always with an anti-India strain during elections. Sheikh Abdullah seldom hesitated to use Islam as part of his power game. When the Indian National Congress extended its organisation to Jammu and Kashmir and established a separate Pradesh Congress Committee in 1966, Sheikh Abdullah issued a Fatwa (religious decree) from Hazratbal Shrine labelling Congress Party as an organisation of infidels. He declared that it would be a sin to offer namaaz-e-janaza (funeral prayers) for Muslims who were members of the Congress Party. He also launched a movement named Tarak-i-Mawalaat (boycott of Congress Muslims). As a rival strategy, Congress leaders in the state propped up Jamaat-i-Islami.
It has been misfortune of this country that whenever one correct step was taken, it was subsequently followed by steps which were all wrong. In 1953, people of the state had hoped that the political uncertainty was over and that they could settle down to live a peaceful life. But that was not to be. The inevitability of the return of Sheikh Abdullah was kept alive by the Indian authorities, which hung as the sword of Democles over each succeeding Government. One cannot help lamenting that there is not even one step in this long and tortuous and unending journey that our Government might have taken with a clear vision and thoughtfully on Kashmir. If ever a step was taken with a clear vision, it was backtracked. Seeds of discord were sown in during Abdullah's initial stewardship. After getting the Maharaj removed, the Sheikh showed his inner urges and claws and fell out with the erstwhile saviors. He found it below his dignity to talk to Jawaharlal Nehru even on telephone. No doubt he lost his throne in 1953 but he had succeeded in sowing the thorns of discord with India in simple and malleable minds of the Muslims of the Valley. His lieutenants who succeeded him were taken up by the driving desire but formidable task of holding on to power. They were left with little choice other than purchasing peace on the surface by constant and increasing doses of appeasement, which flowed in from the Centre at an extravagant scale. The more the people were sought to be appeased and pampered the more they were emboldened to ask for the moon. Rampant corruption was a necessary concomitant, which inevitably created pockets of scandalous riches on one side and burning anger of discrimination against large section on the other. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed did try and succeeded to a great extent in making some developmental advances in the state but the sword of religious fanaticism was always kept dangling over his head by his ambitious opponents, who outwardly called themselves leftists. Sadiq tried and succeeded to a great extent in consolidating the gains of economic emancipation achieved by the people of the state during the Bakshi regime. He tried his best to uphold the rule of the law and wanted to do away with Article 370. But as a man dependent on pills and potions, he could not face the strain created by his young colleagues, who proved to be conspiratorial and with only skin-deep faith in democracy and secularism. After Sadiq's death, Mir Qasim became the Chief Minister. He appeared to be travelling but not arriving. His regime was free for all sorts of people. It is said that in germany everything was prohibited unless permitted by law. In Italy, everything was permitted particularly that which was prohibited by the law and in erstwhile USSR, everything was prohibited that which was permitted by law. In Qasim's Kashmir, the scenario of the group of European countries mentioned above was operative in its entirety, i.e. everything was permitted from smuggling, cultivation of charas, fundamentalist intrusion and above all silent squeezing of minorities. Everybody, who was somebody, usurped government land to turn into a big orchardist. Forests were destroyed by countless lessees who mushroomed on the political horizon. Mir Qasim ultimately handed over the Riyasat to Sheikh Abdullah, according to him, its rightful owner and himself shifted to Central arena for fresh greenery and safer pastures. He became a Cabinet Minister in Indira Gandhi's Government and adopted the wiser way of digesting what he had acquired in two decades of his activities in the turbulent valley, In those days, uncharitable remarks about the quality and cost of material used in the foundation of his house in Srinagar was the talk of town. The Riyasat handed over to Sheikh Abdullah was, in turn, made over by the latter to his son, Farooq Abdullah. His son-in-law, G.M.Shah snatched away the same from his brother-in-law for a short span by intrigue. The son retook it with the help of Delhi durbar and faithfully paved the way for terrorist take-over. Terrorists are now planning to hand over the valley to Pakistan and declare themselves as an independent new Pakistan. Poor Kasmiris are wondering that their state had acceded to India in 1947 and for what sins are they being kicked like a football for the last 45 years. For what fault of theirs has India forsaken them and thrown them to vultures.
Having engaged in a war with Pakistan over Kashmir, Indian leadership worked with a remarkable stupidity. Our leadership foolishly internationalised the issue and allowed it to get mixed up with the exigencies of cold war. When the Indian Army recaptured Baramulla on 7th November, 1947 and Muzaffarabad and Mirpur were within its grasp, the Indian leadership entered into a cease-fire agreement under the influence of a British Governor general, creating a stalemate which has dogged us eversince. After 17 years we fought another war with Pakistan. It produced the Tashkent declaration. Both countries solemnly agreed not to change the status-quo except by mutual consent. In law and in fact, it meant that unless the parties by mutual consent and with affectionate understanding, voluntarily agreed to make changes, the existing position will remain binding on them. The next conflict was not over Kashmir but over Bangladesh. At the end of that war in 1971, Pakistan was a shattered nation, physically, emotionally and economically. Ideologically, its moral basis had crumbled and its confidence was brutally shaken. If ever India had control over the situation it was in 1972. Such opportunities never recur nor do they last long. India was in a position to impose a final solution. On July 3, 1972, a bilateral agreement between India and Pakistan was signed. The Shimla agreement appeared to have been dictated by vanquished Pakistan's conquered Bhutto to India's victorious Indira Gandhi. He got back 93,000 troops who were prisoners of war in India and some lost territory plus the area which it had wrested in Chhamb against just a promise on paper that Kashmir issue too would be settled bilaterally. Shimla agreement turned out to be only a ruse to get out of the Indian net, which could have been an iron grip in the hands of a more resolute nation.
Sheikh Abdullah, after a decade of self-exile and fruitless wanderings was brought back to power in Kashmir. This was done by Indira Gandhi, who had panicked after realising that crafty Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his more intelligent daughter, Benazir had outwitted her in Shimla. Internally, it was a tumultuous time in India's history. In mid-seventies people were distraught by painful political uncertainties and leadership was engaged in sharp mutual confrontations. On his part, the Sheikh settled down to secure his Riyasat and his Quom for his dynastic rule. Inevitably, his son and wife on one side and his daughter and son-in-law on the other, started their schemes for capturing the throne in right Mughal style. When the Sheikh passed away, the struggle intensified even while Farooq had taken over Chief Ministership. Gul Shah was waiting in the wings and smarting. Both had created their resources of men and material and had armed their respective bands of goons to give battle to the other. In his last span of reign, the Lion of Kashmir had succumbed to the temptation of allowing his wife Madar-e-Meharban (it was common talk that the Begum actually sat and counted the notes to ensure that the bribe was what it was purported to be) to accept capitation fee for entrance into professional colleges.
When the Sheikh returned to his throne, he set about to insulate his Riyasat and Quom against imperialist India with determination but little noise.After him his son and son-in-law fended all the time and made good fertile ground for the secessionists and Islamic fundamentalists to thrive, who now hold the valley under their heel. Sheikh had by now thrown away all his life long colleagues like dead rats. He was now keen to push out the only leader who was still around - Afzal Beg. Sheikh considered him a thorn in his dynastic aims. Beg, a sickman struck with many chronic diseases, had earlier canvassed for his son-in-law Yakub Beg, for being elected to the Legislative Council. Yakub Beg had also been a political leader of some standing in Anantnag district. Sheikh considered this move as a parallel dynastic maneuver. Afzal Beg, who was next only to Sheikh in the Government and the party, had perhaps for the first time visited Delhi alone and in his own initiative. In connection with official matters, he met Mr.Morarji Desai then Prime Minister of India. On his return to Srinagar he found Sheikh furious. In a sudden and dramatic move, Sheikh dismissed Afzal Beg from the Cabinet, expelled him from the primary membership of the party and launched a tirade against him of being an Indian agent. Beg was intelligent but crafty and had been pro-secessionist and communal from day one. He had good following in some parts of the valley particularly in Anantnag district. On witnessing unprecedented humiliation of their leader (for which also they blamed India), his followers joined various secessionist organisations like Peoples' League, Mahaz-e-Azadi etc. Beg's son, Mahboob Beg later joined hands with Gul Shah to take revenge from Farooq. No wonder that secessionist activities, which till then were confined to northern border areas of the valley, appeared with full fury in the southern areas more pronouncedly in Anantnag town. Earlier, Sheikh's another life-long colleague, Sufi Mohammad Akbar, on being marginalised by the Sheikh, had under sheer disillusionment, founded a new secessionist organisation named Mahaz-i-Azadi with its headquarters at Sopore. Another leader who became frustrated on account of India's surrender to Sheikh's personal dictatorship was Abdul Ghani Lone. He was a Congressman and a senior Cabinet Minister in the Congress ministry headed by Mir Qasim. As a minister, he had many good measures to his credit particularly in the field of education. He termed India's surrender to Sheikh as humiliation of the people. So, from a staunch Congressman he became a secessionist and founded pro-Pak People's Conference. When Afzal Beg was lying seriously ill in S.M.H.S. Hospital, Srinagar, Sheikh Abdullah as Chief Minister, visited the hospital to enquire about his health. Putting his right hand on his forehead, he enquired from Beg whether he could recognise him. Beg looked up and concentrating his eyes on Sheikh, replied in a feeble voice that if he could not recognise him with his close association for fifty years, how could he do so in the last moments of his life.
In Sheikh's government corruption knew no bounds. His son-in-law Ghulam Mohammad Shah (Gul Shah) was a law unto himself. He had formed an army of toughs, whose job was to roam about in the city and shout: Gul Shah -- Baadshah. What India practised in Kashmir from 1947 was not real politik. Far from that, a new philosophy was evolved and the modus operandi of its implementation was to buy people by giving them absolute liberty to be corrupt, and thus suffuse them with money. it was a new version of a pack with Mephistophles at a national level. As should have been anticipated, the experiment - a politico-sociological one was bound to fail and come home to roost. In a bid to pamper the valley, Jammu and Ladakh have been ignored in the matter of development, employment and educational opportunities. The successive Kashmir-dominated governments have treated these regions with contempt. The recommendations of the Gajendragadkar Commission, which looked into the grievances of the Jammu people, are gathering dust like the one about setting up of regional boards. Even the mercy of providing an Engineering College for Jammu had not been shown to the people of the region. Another Commission was appointed to recommend creation of more districts in Jammu region. The Commission recommended creation of three more districts. But this recommendation has also been kept aside to gather dust. No wonder, three new districts Kupwara, Pulwama, Badgam were instantly created in the Kashmir Valley. Also Shopian was constituted into a sub-district. Two more new districts were also on the anvil in the valley, one consisting the areas of Sonawari and Bandipore and the other at Kulgam. This was personally announced by Farooq Abdullah in August 1989.
In the air-bus coalition ministry of Congress and National Conference headed by Dr.Farooq Abdullah, there was not a single Minister from ladakh. How can Buddhists be denied the right to preserve their ethnic identity which they regarded as important as the Kashmiriat in the valley? People of Ladakh have given no mandate to Kashmiris to speak for Ladakh. But the Government of India continues to give veto powers to Kashmiri leaders in regard to fate of Ladakh. After persistent agitation and prolonged discussions, an agreement had been reached for setting up of Hill Council for Ladakh region. A meeting between the Union Home Minister and Ladakhi leaders was fixed for 3 p.m. on 9th April, 1992 at New Delhi. All issues having been agreed and settled, the only agenda for the meeting was announcement of the formula of a Hill Council. Mr. Saif-u-Din Soz, former M.P. and prominent spokesman of Farooq Abdullah, utilised his veto and stalled the proposal of a Hill Council. The meeting was cancelled at the eleventh and half hour. Later, Soz said "...The point of time was important. The decisive meeting to announce the formation of a Hill Council for Ladakh was fixed for 3 p.m. on 9th April, 1992. By noon that day, I had apprised the Governor of my point of view and demanded that the Home Minister should be told plainly that he would be inviting trouble if Hill Council for Ladakh were announced. I had also told the Governor that he represented the President of India but certainly not the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Later on that day I had sent a note to the Home Minister as also the Prime Minister. On 10th April, 1992, I was invited by the Home Minister to discuss the matter with him. The Governor of the state was also present. I made a decisive statement in the meeting that the question of providing a Hill Council to Ladakh was not only ill-advised but also ill-timed. In the meantime, I had also charged that the Ladakh Buddhist Association was working with the support and directions from B.J.P. and, therefore, the Central Government will be well- advised to ponder over the likely political fall-out of the move". By using his veto power, Mr.Soz has also plainly warned the Government and the people of India that the President of India does not represent Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. That right is tied to a pole in Mujahid Manzil, which is now under the control of terrorists. In 145, the British Government asked its Governor- General and Viceroy of India to solve the imbroglio. Wavell called a conference at Shimla and also held personal discussions with top leaders of all major political parties. After meeting the Viceroy, when Jinnah came out of the meeting, he told waiting press men that now general elections may soon be held in the country. It was apparent that Wavell had confided in Jinnah in a way and asked him to be ready for the polls. He did not give any such directions to the Congress leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel and others who had met him earlier. This made Gandhiji to exclaim in exasperation: "Who rules India? Wavell or Jinnah? The same question is relevant now. Who runs the Government of India? Rao or Soz?
As narrated earlier, much of the most part of the enormous plan, loan and other assistance funds flow to the valley. And because much of these funds have always gone into the pockets of a relatively small but influential persons or politically aggressive factions and black-mailing elements, the overall development of the state as a whole and Jammu and Ladakh markedly so, has progressed at a low rate relative to the immeasurable outlays provided by the Centre. Many other benefits get channelled into the valley, which are not so visible - concessions and subsidies in Kashmiri handicraft. Nelson's eye is turned on narcotics production and trafficking, complete tax evasion to name but a few. The tragedy of Kashmir is how closely it mirrors the Iranian situation towards the end of the seventies, where the ruling elite either belonging to Congress or National Conference was compared to Pahelvis and India to the great Satan, America. India invested all the trust in Qasim's, Muftis, Farooqs, Kars and Sozs and their coteries of power-hungry associates, (about five thousand families), who usurped all the judicial and constitutional process in the state for their personal financial gain, alienated the masses and provided a breeding ground for the Islamic fundamentalists. Paradoxically, it is the younger generation of these families, who are in the vanguard of terrorism, to escape the wrath of the masses and pass of the same to India and Hindus. Without the remotest hint of accountability, autonomy became an instrument of expediency at the hands of the unsrupulous politicians to promote coterie rule so much so that 80 percent of the total assets in the state were controlled by a tiny group comprising 15 to 20 percent of the population. The cumulative effect of this distortion was widespread popular alienation-rigging merely aggravated the phenomenon of the people with the power structure. Under the circumstances, it was only natural that popular discontent assumed strong anti-India overtones, more so since the ruling party was identified as extension of Indian dominance. Article 370 compounded the problem.
A basically correct and upright policy was never adopted. In order to sustain this expedient approach, one evil led to another. When corrupting people didn't meet the ephemeral ends, elections were sought to be rigged. The nomination papers of non-Congress candidates in all the fifteen Assembly constituencies of Anantnag district (which included Pulwana district also) in 1967, were rejected with one flourish of the D.C.'s pen. Thus, all the Congress candidates which included the PCC Chief, Syed Mir Qasim, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed among others, were declared elected unopposed to the Assembly. Also elected unopposed was the Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha from the Anantnag constituency, Mohammad Shafi Qureshi. It was a common talk that M.L.A.s during that election had been made by Khaliq (the name of the D.C.) and not by maalik, the voter. Never have the progressives, communists, scholars at JNU or fellows of the Nehru Museum and Library, intellectuals and eminent journalists, week after week, projecting the cause of those demanding autonomy, uttered or written a word about this autonomy by Kashmir for all these decades. In fact, these distinguished men and women had been rushing to the beautiful valley to enjoy themselves fully the hospitality of the Government of the time during the summer months. As if to repay the debt, despatches used to be sent from there and articles consisting of two or three series written on return, lavishing unprecedented praise on the Government whether of Sheikh, Bakshi, Sadiq, Qasim or Farooq. Now that the king has fallen, they talk of rigging the elections. One has only to go through the files of newspapers to be amused.
In March, 1987, in Dr.Farooq Abdullah's constituency of Ganderbal, counting of votes started at 9 a.m. By 9.30 a.m. he was reported to be leading by a decisive margin and by noon it was announced that he had been elected by a margin of about 25,000 votes. He was flooded with telegrams congratulating him on his splendid and well deserved victory. At night, on a special live programme on Doordarshan, he was interviewed by a distinguished journalist, who congratulated him and hoped he would lead the state to progress and prosperity. Farooq had got 95 percent of votes polled. A wag had commented on this, Farooq would have got 100 percent votes but it appeared that communal forces in India had encroached upon the state's autonomy and special status and thus caused loss of five percent votes for Farooq. Election over, it was all hip hip hurray. The eminent persons, who are never tired of speaking in seminars and symposia, lament that "we have failed to give justice and democracy to Kashmiris". They have no moral courage to explain who are we and who are them. Who is standing in the way of applying in full the Indian Constitution, which is democratic, to the state of J&K. After all, it was under the auspices of Indian Constitution that the election of mighty Indira gandhi was set aside in 1975. It was the Indian Constitution under whose auspices, Mr.V.M.Tarkunde, Rajni Kothari and other distinguished persons succeeded in ordering repoll in the constituency of late Rajiv Gandhi. It was under the auspices of Indian Constitution that a handful of people succeeded in getting the election in Meham cancelled and depriving Mr. Om Prakash Chautala of his Chief Ministership. Have these progressives courage to admit that Kashmiris can never get democracy so long as Indian Constitution does not apply to the state in full. Hoodlums, masquerading as political leaders, under the protection of Article 370, will always ensure that they thrived at the cost of common man. This Article has created a strange phenomenon in Kashmir. So long as one is in power, he is with India. The moment he loses power, he is for Pakistan or independence.
After all, why do terrorists whom we respectfully call militants, want Azadi? And who. our progressive assure us, may settle for autonomy, if India shows the towel. They want to have a religious state in Kashmir - to be guided by principles, tenets and traditions of Islam. Inequalities between Muslims and non-Muslims are inevitable in such a state. A religious state can be created and maintained through absolute power in the hands of a chosen few blessed by God. The masses must follow them and obey their commands. The idea of liberty, equality and fraternity is an anti-thesis of religious state. Democracy and theocracy cannot go together. In a religious state their can be neither democracy nor justice. Minorities, if allowed to live, are doomed to live as second class citizens. An eminent journalist, who has a weekly column in a national daily, has, while ridiculing the blinkered Kashmir experts suggested: "Autonomy should no longer be considered a dirty word since nearly every state is clamouring for it in varying degrees. Kashmir could become the beginning of some genuine decentralisation". It amounts to saying that Kashmir will act as a model for other states to have their own Nizam-e-Mustafa. This distinguished journalist has also referred to some three realities and has also demanded that India work for getting trust of Kashmiris. With her successful discovery of realities, her non-blinkered eyes have not been able to see the staring reality of three lakh natives having been uprooted from their abodes and forced to bite dust in hostile terrains. For her it appears to be a small accident of a cart hitting a plant, at a sub-urban wayside, requiring not even filing of an F.I.R. at some police post. To her, there is no need for Kashmiri Muslims to get the trust of this minority community. How can Hindus have any rights? They are a consumable commodity. The pseudo-secular scribes have not so far realised that the re-writing of history by fundamentalists in the Kashmir valley has produced heaps of horrors. But the degeneration of Kashmir valley from modernism to medieval fundamentalism is given respectability. They want the Government and the country to crawl before the group of terrorists who call themselves JKLF, because the group does not want to join Pakistan but wants Jammu and Kashmir to be an independent state, as if demanding independence is an act of high patriotism. (It is an after-point if Pakistan will allow them to remain independent once they separate from India.) A free Kashmir will be like an earthen pipkin which will be shattered by Pakistan in no time. Joint guarantee has no meaning. It presupposes functional co-operation between India and Pakistan, which is not possible.
JKLF is as fundamentalist as Hizb-ul-Mujahidden. In our country it has not been fully realised that so far whipping of religious frenzy is concerned, there is little difference between JKLF and other groups. In an interview to Sadai-e-Hurriat one of the three mouthpieces of the subversive organisation, on February 9, 1990, Hilal Beg, the then Chief of J&K Students Liberation Front, dispelled the impression that JKLF was secular. He quoted Aman Ullah Khan's statement in which he said: "Islam is our soul, our faith, we do not believe in any other ideology. We are dedicated to the cause of Islamic Republic". The maximum number of Hindus in Kashmir were killed by the members of the JKLF. We must bow to the knowledgeability of the secularists of our country. In Kashmir, terrorists have decreed that all women young and old should cover their bodies from head to toe. Violators are subjected to acid thrown on their faces. In this manner no woman can work in farms and fields, factories and offices, for that matter anywhere. They must hide each and every limb so that men could keep their sexual lust under check. All liquor retail outlets have been ordered to be closed. Because if they are open, people will go and buy it. This shows how their determination and belief in their religious tenets is shallow. It only shows that if it is available, no tenet will stand in the way of people to go in for it. But if it is not available abstaining is compulsory. However aqua vita is smuggled into the valley in drums from Jammu and other places. Perhaps the terrorists also need the fluid to acquire Dutch courage.
Politically the Kashmir valley Muslims have been the most dominant in the state. They hold the largest number of seats in the legislature and the Cabinet and all the Chief Ministers have hailed from this section of the people of the state. Similarly, they occupy the most important and influential position in the state administration and its different limbs. A large number of Kashmiri Muslims prospered immensely in the four decades. By being pampered all the time they became bereft of sense of responsibility a citizen owes to his state. Greed stifled their development. All the Kashmiri Muslims, A majority of about 95 percent were declared to be economically backward. A system of quotas in schools, colleges and jobs were instituted. These quotas not only applied at the entrance level of Government departments but also for promotion to higher ranks. Soon this system was further perverted so that candidates from Muslim community were not chosen according to merit either. The bureaucratic system that emerged in Kashmir must have been one of the most corrupt in India and the whole world. It must be realised that Muslims in Kashmir as elsewhere in the sub-continent are socially divided in castes that have traditionally worked in different occupations. Since performance and skill were not determinants for hiring, the urban Muslim elites, who were from few selected castes, were able to carve out a lion's share in Government openings. The nature of the quota system makes it out as an entitlement, so there has been a great deal of resentment in the weaker Muslim castes about this matter.
Seeing the richness extra-ordinary, the rest of the average rich sections became envious. Charas cultivation mushroomed. Narcotic trade started vibrating with the veins of the youth, who dreamed of becoming millionaires overnight. The golden crescent offered smuggling opportunities on unprecedented scale involving both young and old. This polluted the basic fabric of working lifestyle of masses. When this trade was subjected to surveillance, the youth demanded secession. This greed of easy money brought the youth in contact with international underworld. All the governments, irrespective of their label, gave free hand to the rich to become richer. Article 370 had already protected the rich sections from paying any taxes, wealth tax, gift tax etc. There was hardly any assessee for income- tax. The state was also not covered by the Urban Land Ceiling Act. As regards land reforms, there was no scope for improvement at all. The Land Reforms Act, 1950 and then of 1971 had made Kashmir an unique model in the entire world. This created new landed aristocracy in the villages.
Sheikh Abdullah had given the slogan of Izzat and Abroo - honour and dignity under the canopy of Article 370. So, there was not only freedom but license to the economic offenders. The only condition was to make offerings to the Begum for Tanzeem and to Sheikh himself for Auqaf. Whatever Nazool or any government or public land was available in rural areas, it was usurped by bigwigs for creating their private orchards. All such lands in the towns and the city was taken over by the Auqaf. It was a common sight to find a signboard coming up suddenly on any vacant land claiming to be belonging to Auqaf. Sometimes claim was even advanced to the land belonging to a Hindu shrine. The ancient Ashram of Gautam Rishi at Gautamnag was suddenly claimed to be a Muslim graveyard a few years back. Dispute was still sub-judice when Hindus themselves were driven out en mass. In Srinagar city, a plot of land near Ram Bagh owned by Government of India, Department of Telecom, and earmarked for much needed staff quarters, was one Friday declared to be Idgah. In fact Aukaf has been running a parallel revenue department. Huge chunks of land were given to fundamentalists for Idgahs and construction of Islamic institutions. In Anantnag town, reserved land near Forest Office, was acquired by government for General Bus Stand and later on handed over to Muslims for Idgah. Yet another plot at Ashajipora was given for another Idgah. The two Idgah's are hardly two kilometres away from each other. A third piece of land including hundreds of trees was given to Iqbal Memorial Institute run by Jamait Islamia. Such cases are in hundreds all over the state. All kahcharai land, shamilat land and land belonging to State Government was entered in revenue records as belonging to Islam. To be correct, it was called Maqbooza Ahl-e- Islam.
Highlights of the new order had become clear from 1981-82. A number of World Islamic Conferences were held in Kashmir, one of them attended by delegates from several Islamic countries including Imam of Mecca. Spearheading the campaign for Pakistan, the Jammat-e-Islami skillfully utilised the presence of religious leaders from Islamic countries to raise their prestige and thus emerge as a potential pro-Pak force in the valley. In Maktabs and Darasgahs, budding Muslim boys were taught that according to Muslim law the world is divided into two camps. Darul-Islam and Darul-Harb. A country is Darul-Islam when it is ruled by Muslims. A country is Darul-Harb (abode of war) when Muslims only reside in it but are not its rulers. Fundamentalists from Iran and Pakistan mushroomed in the valley in an organised way and started addressing prayer gatherings in mosques. In place of world brotherhood or human brotherhood, stress was laid on Islamic brotherhood (Muslim Ummah). As part of their campaign, Jamaat cadres ransacked libraries in educational institutions and ordered to ban books, which did not correspond with their brand of knowledge about man and his world. In Kashmir University, the, library was pruned and more than two thousand books of knowledge series, Milton's Paradise Lost and George Bernard Shaw's plays and books by many other world-renowned writers were thrown out. As part of Islamisation campaign, the Jammat men also forcibly converted Kashmir University's campaign hall into a mosque. Similar things happened in the prestigious Institute of Medical Sciences near Srinagar. In the Medical Colleges and Teachers Training Colleges in the valley, where Jamaat active teachers forced closure of classes whenever Darwin's Theory of Evolution was taught to students, on the plea that it did not conform to the Islamic tenets. The majority Muslim community, though ethnically no different from their Hindu brethren, now began to look upon the Hindu as an un-Islamic creature.
In 1980, income-tax authorities from Delhi carried out raids on some business establishments. When the team consisting of seventy I.T. officials was about to start its work in Srinagar, officials were physically assaulted. Dr.Farooq Abdullah, who was them member of the Lok Sabha, went round and gathered a furious mob inciting them with the plea that Kashmir's honour was at stake, he asked them to attack the officers. Forty-seven officers who included some lady officers were injured. The documents were snatched from them and destroyed. Officers who were threatened to be drowned in the nearby Dal Lake, ran helter skelter to save their lives. They could not go to any hotel for food and had to return to Delhi immediately. Next day, Sheikh Abdullah made a seditious speech at Iqbal Park, warning Hindustan that if it does not behave properly, Kashmir will be compelled to reconsider the issue of accession. No wonder, India has been behaving properly since then. What was the reaction of the people? Reflecting this, chairman of the Peoples League, Mohammad Farooq Rehmani wrote: "While the general public had become very happy about the income-tax raids to detect hidden income, Sheikh Abdullah felt extremely annoyed and expressed his resentment. There was no doubt that Sheikh Abdullah had become a protector of capitalists and racketeers, who made unmerited gains through dishonest means and honest practices and laws were meant only for the uninfluential poor people. Sheikh Abdullah and family considered himself above law."
During the Congress government headed by Mir Qasim as Chief Minister, there appeared to be a tacit understanding between some Congress leaders and leaders of Jamaat-i-Islami. But with the ascendancy of Sheikh to power in 1975, Jamaat- i-Islami changed its tactics. Instead of facing the Sheikh directly, their cadres joined the National Conference ranks but continued to operate their own plans at religious and educational level. In course of time, the state administration was swarmed by Jamaat-I-Islami activists. The Central Government remained blind on every occasion. The fundamentalists in Iran had taken their country in iron grip. They began to export the Islamic fundamentalism. Iran opened its purse strings to spread its mission and filled the coffers of many including those who wanted scores with India. From another side came God-sent lethal weapons, arms and ammunition that were passed to Pakistan by USA purportedly for use by the Afghan rebels operating from there. Thus, our inveterate adversary -Pakistan had everything and more at its command without having to dip into its own pockets to create a troublesome area from Kashmir down to Punjab. To keep Pakistan on the right side, some Arab countries flush with petro-dollars poured untold funds into Islamic Pakistan headed by Gen.Zia, the suave schemer, religious zealot and relentless tormentor of what was dubbed as the land of infidels.
Inside, a small elite of real estate agents, politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen have been controlling the economy in Kashmir and they diverted the anger of middle and lower class Kashmiri Muslims against them towards the Central Government. Thus, grave damage was done by subversive organisations. No action was taken to root them out when after the Bangladesh war they stood thoroughly demoralised. Instead Sheikh Abdullah had been brought back by way of Indira-Abdullah accord, which also be called Beg-Parthasarthi accord (1975) and given a free hand to take Kashmir away from India. Accord madness was repeated when under Rajiv-Farooq accord. Farooq Abdullah was brought back to power. Despite clear warnings from the Governor, internal subversion was allowed to grow unchecked. Consequently, by the end of 1989, almost all the components of power structure passed into the hands of subversives.
Rajiv Gandhi nullified the Supreme Court's judgement in the Shah Bano case in early 1986. The sordid deal between the Government and the dyed-in-the-wool Muslim communalists and bigots dealt a lethal blow to secularism. In Kashmir, it created immediate results. There was jubilation at the spectacular victory of Islam. The speech delivered by the senior Cabinet Minister of Rajiv Gandhi Government, Z.R.Ansari in the Lok Sabha, in which while defending the new Act, he castigated and ridiculed the Supreme Court of India and its judges, was reproduced in the local newspapers of Srinagar. The hawkers who sold these newspapers loudly shouted: "La-deen Hindustan per Islam ka tamacha" etc. Arif Mohammad Khan, a Minister of State in the Rajiv gandhi Government, who had supported the Supreme Court judgement and opposed the new bill, was a special target. The morale of G.M.Shah, who was ruling the state with Congress(I) support, was upbeat. On his return from Haj, Rajiv Gandhi had invited him to dinner at New Delhi. On this occasion, he had assured Shah of continued Congress support in the Assembly. He felt bold politically to yield to the communal demands of Jamaat-i-Islami one by one. Interested elements in bureaucracy and politics spread some false rumours and canards in the Kashmir valley around third week of February, 1986 about some imaginary happenings in Jammu City, which had never actually happened. Violent processions were taken out and communal rioting was spread in full fury in Anantnag district. G.M.Shah and many Congress leaders were in the valley. They made no attempt to stop the fury. Hysterical Muslim mobs attacked Hindus in Anantnag town and large number of villages in the district. Their houses and shops were looted and burnt. Temples were demolished, damaged and desecrated. Idols and portraits of Hindu deities inside the temples were urinated upon and then thrown into nearby brooks and nallahs. The places involved were Anantnag, Bijbehara, Danow Bogund, Akoora, Wanpoh, Look Bhawan, Chowgam etc. In Bijbehara, four ancient and most revered temples were desecrated. These were Vijeshwar temple and the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on the Harishchandra Ghat of river Vitasta. This latter temple had been beautifully built with well-laid out area around it appropriate for meditation and contemplation. This temple with its two most modern ghats is the substitute for Varanasi in Kashmir. It always used to be thronged by sadhus and pilgrims from Nepal, Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka and other far off places in the country. In the village of Danow Bogand, unprecedented misery was inflicted on the Hindus, who were prosperous, educated and highly professional and always out to serve the Muslim masses with love and affection both local and living in surrounding villages. Butthe Muslims overpowered by Islamic frenzy pounced upon their benefactors and threw them to the dust. Altogether, 32 places were affected. In these 24 temples were burnt, 22 were desecrated and looted and large number of idols were broken. The destruction and damage to houses, shops etc. was colossal. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the PCC President was away in Delhi. He returned after two days and completed the formality of going around the affected villages. The kept press treated the tragedy as trivial in the interests of secularism and maintaining peace in the rest of the country. The Kashmiri Samiti, Delhi organised massive relief. Its teams toured the villages extensively and provided much needed material relief to all the families. The BJP leaders, Shri L.K.Advani and Kidar Nath Sahni visited the affected villages and met and consoled each and every victim.
This vandalism was just a rehearsal for what happened from January, 1990 onwards. As a result of serious communal riots, Congress Party withdrew support to G.M.Shah government who resigned and Governor's rule was imposed. Hindu minority felt dazed. Unbelievable had happened. Immediately afterwards Kashmiri Hindu leaders knocked at the doors of authorities in Delhi. A high-level delegation of Kashmiri Pandit leaders met the Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. He advised them not to migrate and solemnly assured the Kashmiri Pandits that their safety, honour and dignity would be ensured at all costs with all the might of India. But when the Hindus of Kashmir became refugees and lost everything, Rajiv turned his eyes from them. He donated, on behalf of AICC, Rs.10 lakhs for the flood victims of Bangladesh but did not offer a single rupee as relief to the Pandits from Kashmir, who had fallen from riches to rags. He did not even express lip sympathy for them, although they had become victims of his credulity and negligence. When he was in personal and political distress from April, 1987 onwards, due to Bofors scandal, he addressed a party rally at Boat Club, New Delhi. With an eye for cheap applause from his audience, he warned Pakistan and said: ham Pakistan ki naani yaad karayengey. While Rajiv said this only as a rhetoric, Pakistan actually made Kashmiri Pandits (with whom Rajiv had maternal links) to remember their naanis. Pakistan thus got a targeted revenge.
The tragedy of 1986 was a water-shed for the separatist movement. Then onwards, fundamentalists rode very high. Till then they had been fearing that any harassment of hindus and even a thought of desecration of a single temple might generate anger and annoyance in the rest of the country. But they found that not to speak of common people, even the press had felt shy of publishing even the factual brief news. It was, therefore, no wonder that to get the support of the masses they openly said that Mujahids were invincible and no power could face them as they were blessed by Allah. South Kashmir had been chosen deliberately for communal violence and desecration of temples as a matter of strategy to spread the message of secession with vengeance.
It was a wonderful time for the dark deeds. It was more so for the Islamic fundamentalists, who had silently set up vast networks of fanatical centres in schools, mosques and homes. Kashmiri terrorists got their cherished opportunity and seized it with both hands. Pakistan played the conduit for transfer of untold funds of petro-dollars and lethal weapons from Afghan rebel's stocks. The inflow continued quietly and increasingly without disturbing the Indian Neros from their favourite fiddling games. Quietly too was the Pak President, Zia-ul-Haq, the ace tactician, weaving unmatched, meticulous designs of diabolism. The erstwhile simple gentle youth of Kashmir were filled with fanaticism and lured to camps across the border for training in sabotage, death and destruction. The firm objective of the youth so trained, was to torture the Kashmiri Hindu, the evil agent of India, the infidel out of the valley. Then they were to turn to security forces and eventually break up India. There is no factor other than fundamentalism operating at every step and in every act. People have become fundamentalists to the extent of annihilating the entire original native community. They are exhibiting intolerance with impatience. Not to talk of the common man, it is the elitist class, which should have displayed religious maturity and restraint, that has turned fundamentalist. They execute all orders of the terrorists, besides giving them moral, economic and above all emotional support. This exploitation of religious sentiment has given a fillip to terrorism in Kashmir. Ironically, doles are accepted from the hands from whose clutches they would like to be freed.
Pakistan is fighting a war of attrition against India on Indian soil, with besotted Indians citizens (Muslim fundamentalists) as its soldiers and with funds and armaments pouring in from afar. And it is enjoying the fireworks from the ring-side seat, with foreigners invited sometimes to watch it through Pak glasses. Pakistan has thus set up with consummate skill an incredible enterprise with no investment or cost but which assures it all profits and no loss. Why in the world one might ask should it wind up this business? Or why come to the negotiating table in seriousness when it would have to give up something in exchange for nothing which it does not already hold as booty brought to it by the tribals, the terrorists and Indian foolhardiness? Islam was and shall continue to be the mainspring of Pakistan's India policy. The main aim of Pakistan is to carry forward the process of partition of India. Pakistan believes, "Kashmir to be an unfinished agenda of partition". Pakistan has Islam as an ideology and jehad as an instrument. Jehad in its origin and practice is a purely offensive strategy. Pakistan will be more turbulent than ever before.
The power centres and their brokers in the Centre as well as at the state level had decided that these minor irritants, as they reckoned them, could be dealt with effectively by nothing other than a liberal policy of appeasement and flow of unaccounted funds. But appeasement grows what it feed upon and breeds contempt. This simple lesson had always passed over the head of rulers seeped in political and electoral quagmire. The secessionists and fundamentalists had thus all these years the field wide open to them to hunt as they wished. Funds were available in plenty and arms were thrust into youth's hands. Everything was laid out for them to become heroes, liberators, defenders of faith (mujahids); and they would have at their feet to enjoy the best of flesh and fisc, the aim is to establish an Islamic fundamentalist state out of Kashmir and cut it away from India. The Indian Government have set their heart on what they call the political process in Kashmir. There is reported to be pressure from foreign governments and elements for this. But where are the political parties and leaders? All are hiding outside the state at different places of the country and abroad. In direct terms, therefore, that implies parleys with the terrorists and fundamentalists. Little do they realise or to like to admit in this context that the terrorist fundamentalists are the sword and proxy of Pakistan and would do nothing without their master's approval. At the same time, these terrorist brigades have tasted blood, power, fisc and flesh. They would need lot of hard stiff persuasion to be torn away from these pleasures and heroics even when saner elements within them might wish otherwise.
India's intelectives, media wizards, co-ordinators and those belonging to initiatives have been presenting a distorted picture of the situation. The problem is not of economic deprivation, as is given out to be, but that of proper utilisation of human and capital resources and technology, which is what has been blocked by Article 370. For nearly 45 years now the Central Government's policy on power keg of Kashmir has, for government after government remained unchanged, stuck to groove, producing without exception, negative results and impulse. Inexplicably none of these Governments has been able to recognise the real measure of its negative and damaging aspects or move away from it even if only for an experiment. The policy has been two fold-
India has not done harm to anybody. Indians have never objected to beliefs or modes of worship of any section of society. Not to mention the history even in our recent phase, we have given shelter to Afghan refugees, Iranians, Burmese, Africans even to Chinese. But still we are under siege by fundamentalist terrorism. Some of our intellectuals, well meaning intellectuals, go on goodwill missions to Pakistan and also receive goodwill missions from that country. On the conclusions of these missions we are told many funny things. People of Pakistan want peace with India and we should take the initiative to win the trust and confidence of Pakistan; Pakistan is getting weak internally etc. etc. We should have give and take policy with Pakistan. We should be closer to each other in the interests of our own development. When did we refuse these steps? Who takes initiative in creating problems? India agreed to Kashmir's accession on 26th October, 1947 only after the state was faced with life and death problem as a result of Pakistan-sponsored tribal invasion on 22nd October, 1947. India had not till then even agreed to a stand- still agreement with the state. We gentlemanly handed over to pakistan all the money of Pakistan that was in our possession even while a bloody war with Pakistan was going on. We kept our people thirsty and our fields dry but provided water to Pakistan even when we were at war with each other.
As regards to Pakistan's internal weakness, this does not make any difference for us. A weak Pakistan has created havoc for us for the last ten years in Punjab and Kashmir. It is not only the Government of Pakistan which is harassing us. It is Islamic fundamentalism, which transcends national, international boundaries with which we are faced. It may not be a surprise if even the Government of Pakistan might not be aware of all the facets of conspiracy against us. ISI's jurisdiction is the whole subcontinent. In Punjab and Kashmir whether terrorists kill the people or security forces kill the terrorists, it is the flower of India's youth that is getting liquidated. Pakistan, must be, with jubilation, recalling the words of Prince Saleem (who later became Mughal King, Jehangir) whom Akbar had sent to supervise the Mughal war against the Rajputs. When Prince Saleem summoned the chief commander of his forces and complained about slow progress of war, the chief replied that it was difficult to distinguish between the Rajputs with us and those facing us. (There were many Rajputs who were siding with Akbar). Prince Saleem directed: "Slaughter them indiscriminately; on whichever side they are killed, it would be a gain to Islam". In 1971, we imposed extra taxes on ourselves and levied a special cess and slowed down our development activities, and finally plunged into an all-out war. This was done to help East Pakistanis to get liberated. We were told, once this happened our problems in the North East would be solved. East Pakistan got independence and Bangladesh came into existence. But what happened in the North East thereafter? Residuary pakistan became stronger not weaker. Now she is a nuclear power. And Bangladesh turned more anti-India than before.
Islamic fundamentalism is more aggressive in our sub-continent than anywhere else. In Saudi Arabia, a mosque is reported to have been demolished to facilitate expansion of the palace of the Saudi King. When Mr.Sahabuddin was told about this, he stated that it might have happened in Saudi Arabia but it cannot be permitted in India because law in India is very strict in such matters as Indian Muslims follow the Hanfi school of Islamic jurisprudence. It is not denied that there are good individual Muslims and they deserve all praise. But when it comes to crunch they too find themselves helpless. In Islam individuals do not matter. It is the collective Islamic will which prevails. Collectivism or Jamaat is the hallmark of Islam. We have witnessed humanitarian and chivalrous actions of many Muslims in their individual capacity. But at the crucial moment, they themselves are forced to fall in line and even have to face death. The grateful Pandits have been singing hallelujahs to them. The former Pakistan cricket captain, Imran Khan is a very cosmopolitan man. He is modern, sophisticated and considered to be secular. If he tours India for creating goodwill our goodwill teams will rejoice. Hordes of them will join the march from Rajghat to India Gate castigating Hindus for not crawling under their feet. Indians would be advised not to rely on army but the goodwill of so nice individuals as Imran Khan. The ground reality in Pakistan is that such individuals will always remain individuals. Imran Khan visited Johannesburg (South Africa) in September, 1992 to raise funds to build a cancer hospital in Lahore. He held one of fundraising banquets at the Isalmic Cultural Centre in Natal, south coast town of Umzinte, where the entry of non-Muslims and women is banned. In spite of strong protest by the fans and admirers of Imran Khan, he refused to even come out to receive the memorandum. Imran's non-Muslim admirers were assaulted. Protesters included an executive member of the local branch of ANC. Nothing moved Imran and he became one with his Islamic brothers.
In the Kashmir valley, for four decades we were made to believe that there was the Kashmiriat. If Kashmiriat were a part of mental and ethical being in the valley, why did it get rubbed off with the appearance of a gun on a fellow Kashmiri's shoulder? Was not this Kashmiriat superficial, thinner than even a veneer in the face of Islamic fundamentalism? When the country was partitioned in 1947, the White Caps were trying to convince us that the new country of Pakistan could not last long as it was not viable. But the reality dawned on us when we were driven out in lakhs from our centuries old ancestral abodes. The non-viable Pakistan solved its minority problem in its entirety just in three months. The partition of India was accepted by the Congress leaders under duress after they got frightened at the Great Calcutta killing (where countless Hindus were massacred) as a result of Direct Action launched by the All India Muslim League on 16th of August, 1946. The partition cannot but be said to be immoral in as much as it was the result not of the consent of the people but of fanatical blackmail. It was as bad as the murder of Dunkan by Macbeth. The blood stains left on Hindus are as deep as those of Lady Macbeth and of which Lady Macbeth said that All the perfumes of Arabia had failed to remove the stink.
In Lahore, there was a distinguished economist of world fame, Professor Brij Narain. He had decided to stay put in Pakistan. As a result of some fatwa, he was brutally murdered. He had a galaxy of friends and admirers among the Muslims but none dared to issue even a condolence message. Lala Bhim Sain Sachar had decided to settle in pakistan. He had taken oath of loyalty to Pakistan in its constituent Assembly at Karachi. In fact, he was elected Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislature Party in Pakistan Constituent Assembly (Legislative). But the brutal murder of Prof. Brij Narain produced shivers in his body and he immediately came running to this side of the border. The politicians are happy on phrases such as political process, normalisation, healing wounds (of terrorists), qualitative change in the situation, people's disillusionment with terrorists and what not. They only deceive themselves and the nation. Since none of these leaders bore a bullet on his chest or lost a son, they take liberty to play with the lives of people. The politicians, intellectuals, and progressives are as ignorant of the mind and mentality of the Muslims in Kashmir as a statue could be of the tears of a widow. Those Hindus who have lived in Kashmir for the last 45 years knew exactly where the shoe pinches.
When Ashfaq Majid Wani got killed by his own handgrenade, all the top militants and self-styled area commanders attended his funeral (30th March, 1990) in presence of police. If the Government was sincere, all of those wanted terrorists could have been caught or fired upon. The terrorists fired shots in the air and gave the burial a look of state burial. But one must confess the Administration was helpless because George Fernandes, India's Minister for Railways and Kashmir Affairs was monitoring the situation to ensure that the terrorists were not inconvenienced. The vacillating policies of the Government help the Muslim fundamentalists to destroy India under the cover of democracy. Those who shed tears for hardships to Kashmiris know very well that Kashmiris have accumulated so much wealth that they can easily bear a quarter century of curfew. The only exception to this affluence being the Hindus of the valley, who have been rendered homeless. Mir Qasim and Mufti Sayeed had already made them a landless class in 1971.
Pakistan has no morals and Kashmiri fanatics have none either. Rather they are unpredictable. They eulogised Sheikh Abdullah as bub (the revered father) and their slogan was yi kari ti kari, bub kari, bub kari (whatever is to be done, it will be done by Sheikh himself). Supernatural powers were attributed to him. In the famous Kashmiri rove performance, the womenfolk would sing:
"Jangiyaw goli dicha tas hai dar dari, tim tim gayi bala apariye". (The armymen fired upon him but the bullets could not touch him and fell across the mountains). The ladies beat their breasts when he was ill and also when he died. Hundreds of sheep were slaughtered daily to propitiate the God of death to save his (Sheikh's ) life. They shouted malkul mote ko wapas karo. (Send back this Yama the God of death). In 1977 elections, they shouted: La ill ha illalla: Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and he won the election and wiped out Congress(I). They did not mind any sacrilege in this un-Islamic slogan. But now the same sons seek his (Sheikh's) bones and are keen to blow his grave. India's para-military forces in battalion strength, are guarding his grave near Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar. They brand him infidel. It is no wonder, they may dig out the bones of Ashfaq Majid for whom they are wailing this time and declare him traitor and infidel after some time and worship some other hero. When Bhutto was hanged to death, Kashmiri Muslims shouted Pakistan Murdabad; Zia-ul-Haq fuq fuq (Zia-ul-haq stinking, stinking) and burnt establishments, schools and residential houses belonging to jamaat-i-Isalmi. They even killed hens and fowls of Jamaat men. They burnt holy books written and interpreted by Maulana Moudoodi calling them American books. Supernatural powers were attributed even to the ghost of dead Bhutto. These very people took out coffins of Zia in 1979 and shouted: mood ha mood ha, Zia-ul-Haq mood ha (he dies, it is Zia-ul-Haq who died). They hanged a dog to death shouting it is Zia who is hanged. They took out procession of donkeys garlanded with shoes and called it Zia-ul-Haq. But now the same people call him Mardi Haq, Zia- ul-Haq (The man of truth). In Kashmir, our nation has to deal with such unpredictable people and no political process can be set afoot in this will of the wisp unless gun culture is eliminated.
When dealing with a treacherous enemy there can be no soft options. The terrorists being the greatest and formidable enemies of mankind and human rights, they must be treated as traitors and tried in courts martial and hanged after summary trials. It is beyond one's comprehension what Kashmiri terrorists really are. The only predictable thing about them is that they are unpredictable and dealing with them with soft wand is to commit Hara-kiri and destroy the nation. The nexus between Pakistan's ISI and the terrorists in the valleys has been established beyond a shadow of doubt. In such a situation of civil war conditions, international mafia groups rule the roots by helping the underworld traffickers of arms and drugs. The drum beaters of parochialism and fundamentalism are working overtime. The shadows of events from across the border are lengthening. Lethal weapons are continuously pouring in. Recent events have proved that the coast of Western India is the main route for arms smuggling. The overall fabric shows too many loose threads, too many stitches. Terrorism in Kashmir is against the Kafir, (the infidel). It is a movement to set the Balkanisation of our ancient country in motion so that India as a State breaks. Sikh terrorists in Punjab were used as cannon fodder. Once the purpose is served they will be dealt with appropriately as Sikhs were targeted in 1947. The Indian nation should learn to live as a nation and firmly resist and decisively defeat the well-planned theocratic onslaught. It must over-ride all religious, sectarian, regional, communal ideological and political considerations. Any sign of weakness or lack of cool- calculated and firm response to the Pakistani threats and acts of subversion would only encourage adventurism which can have disastrous consequences. In fact, it has always happened. Indian authorities have obtained clinching prove of Pakistani hand in Bombay blasts on Black Friday, the 12th of March, 1993. The brain behind these blasts, Pakistan's ISI is reported to have engineered the whole subversion in collusion with Dawood Ibrahim, the Bombay underworld don based in Dubai and the Memon family of Bombay, particularly Ibrahim Abdul Razak Memon alias Tiger. There should be no disagreement among our political parties about defending India's territorial integrity. Knee jerk reactions and frequent ad hoc changes in the policy give very wrong signals both in the valley and across the border. The stupid policy of keeping security forces subservient to local secessionist administration must be reversed at once. Also, docile diplomacy must be activised.
Some political parties, feeling that they have nothing meaningful to offer, vaguely and in an irresponsible manner, talk of granting more autonomy to the state. They ignorantly, perhaps innocently also refer to pre and post 1953 position. As Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was removed from power in that year, impression is sought to be created that this was done to deprive Kashmiris of their autonomy. This is far from truth. The Sheikh was removed for his anti- national role. Sheikh had got wind through his several secret meetings with American officials that the Americans were not averse to carving out an independent state out of the areas which had acceded to India thus fulfilling his life-long ambition. He began to pick up quarrels over one trumped up charge or another with the Central leadership. He launched a tirade against the people of Jammu and maligned them in season and out of season. The bewildered Jawaharlal Nehru and his senior colleagues like Maulana Azad, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai and others. The more they tried to reason with him and see what had irked him, the more adamant he became and slighted them in public and various Friday post- prayer meetings where he instigated the Muslim mobs against India. This was only a ploy to enact the final fiat - the declaration of independence with American support. The conspiracy was thwarted by the timely action of his own disillusioned colleagues, Bakshi, Sadiq and Qasim. Dr.Karan Singh who was head of state had, in his reports, warned the Centre of grave consequences for the country if no timely action was taken. Mr.Bhim Singh led a vigorous student's agitation in Jammu against the State Government. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who, on return from Aligarh University, joined the National Conference, would do well to go through his own speeches, which he made during that period, against Sheikh's conspiracy. The noted liberal leader, Pandit Hriday Nath Kunzru had described the event of Sheikh's removal from power, as the first and only good news that had come after independence. The Communists had rejoiced on this action of Jawaharlal Nehru. The Communist Party of India (there was only one Communist Party at that time) was the main opposition group both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and it officially congratulated the Prime Minister on this democratic action. Its leaders, A.K.Gopalan in the Lok Sabha and P.Sundaramayya in the Rajya Sabha applauded the Government on this issue in the two Houses. The Communists will do well to go through their own mouthpiece, the New Age to realise what they felt and did at that time. During the Governments of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq, a few select provisions were introduced in the state, such as the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, etc. This was done not to oblige the Central Government but for the benefit of the people of the state and mainly to make the state Government responsible and accountable to the wishes and aspirations of the common man. Would any one suggest that these are restraints to the state's autonomy which need to be done away with. Communications were supposed to be Central subject even in the Sheikh's scheme of things. But he had bluntly refused to hand over the state's telephone and telegraph services to the Centre. These services were in the most primitive stage in the state and needed urgent improvement and expansion. But Sheikh was unmindful of all these. During his stewardship of the state from early 1948 to the middle of 1953, he had not cared to add even a single line to the state's telephone system. Subsequently, Central Government had to pump in crores of rupees to bring some semblance of modernity to the system and make up for the neglect. This is how the state's autonomy was encroached from 1953. As a matter of fact, after the exit of Sheikh Abdullah in 19523, autonomy of the state increased rather than diminished and this autonomy continued to be abused for personal purposes by the leaders as exemplified by the Sheikh himself earlier. All the political leaders, be they of the National Conference or the National Congress have been trampling over the rights of the common people in the name of autonomy. Politics in the state was debased: fraud, favouritism, nepotism and communalism reigned supreme. Off the cup solutions may sound splendid in the drawing rooms and at cocktail parties but the realities and portents are far too grim to permit levity. When Sheikh Abdullah returned to power in 1975, he appointed a high level Committee to review all Central laws, which had been extended to the state after 1953. This committee came to the conclusion that whatever laws had been extended to the state had benefited the people and had not in any way encroached upon the state's autonomy. Sheikh and his colleagues were satisfied and closed the matter. This review was as per the provisions of the Indira-Abdullah accord.
In our country, lie never dies even when exposed -- for the simple reason of official patronage to it in the long years of dynastic dispensation, which has produced a crop of public sector intellectuals, sarkari historians and Marxist libbers. Some of them of hardened Communist variety, had their training under the British, when they were recruited whole-sale for the war propaganda machine after 1942 betrayal of the Quit India movement. While they stayed put at vantage points even after the dawn of independence, they were later joined by Nehruvian courtiers and hero-worshippers, who sanctified every secular- socialist myth as gospel truth. It was the magic miracle of such myth-making that Sheikh Abdullah was paraded as a model of secular nationalism. These nehruvian and Marxist secular fundamentalists of post-independence variety have been lying, lying and lying simply to fight the bogey of Hindu Communalism. They embarked on old tirade of suppressio veri and suggestio falsi. The CPM leader, Mr.Harkishan Singh Surjeet was attacked by the Jamaat-i-Islami activists in Khanyar, Srinagar, in June, 1982 at a meeting with the party workers. he indicted not only the National Conference activists but even the Sheikh for this attack. Asked why he did not say the truth that it were Jamaat- i-Islami workers, he said he wanted to avoid giving a handle to the B.J.P.
The secessionists are for Nizame-e-Mustafa. The Muslim youth who have taken to the gun are on a war path to throw off the shackles of Indian domination. They are fighting a so-called holy war to free themselves from the secular bondage of India. and then turn the Napaak (impure) land of Hindus into Pak (pure) land so that Pakistan or the pure land may consist of the entire sub-continent. Nationalist India must show enough intelligence to understand the strategy of Syed Shahabuddin. He had launched a systematic campaign to project a united Muslim community as the natural ally of a section of fragmented and Mandalised India. If successful, this will negate the entire nation building process and reduce India to a chaotic amalgam of fractions, castes and communities. A mere relaxation of security arrangements and greater doses of autonomy will not stop this rapid integration of Kashmiri Islam with the international Islamic resurgence.
Communists did build a strong state. Nothing moved in the Soviet Union without the sanction of the state. Nothing belonged to you either. Your house, your job, your pay-slip at the end of the month, your ration card, your wife, your children, your friends, all belonged to the state. It was a powerful state with a big army, one of the biggest in the world, large steel plants and coal mines, atomic power stations and missiles and of course, nuclear devices. After nearly three quarters of a century of the kind of steady build up, the Russians should have been on the top of the world. Instead the country has vanished from the map of the world. Now it is being referred to as the former Soviet Union as a dead person is referred to late so-and-so. The most powerful country in the world as the marxists believed has just disappeared from view. The country has gone, the army has gone, the missiles are rotting in the sun and the arsenal of nuclear bombs is gathering dust.
Why did the Soviet Union disintegrate? Because there was nothing to hold it together. You destroy the bonds that bring people together and you destroy the society itself. These bonds are not material bonds nor are they usual give and take of commerce. The bonds are cultural and give and take of personal and family relationship and above all give and take of ideas that define right and wrong, good and evil. Those ideas are rooted in creed, culture and tradition, without which there can be no nation and no country no matter how strong the country is. The strongest state in the world can collapse and go as the Soviet Union did. Every nation in the world has its national culture. The British do have and so do the Americans. In India, it is Hinduness or give it any name. Take away Hinduness from Indian culture and you have a big zero, a big hole at its very heart. The so-called secular culture is precisely this: a culture with a hole in the centre, the kind of culture that the Nehruites and the Marxists tried to create.
Our country has been one on the spiritual and cultural plain even though administratively or even politically we have been diverse. Vande Mataram united the minds of men and women in our struggle against foreign power. How shameful it is that Nehruites made us to believe that it was a communal expression. It was said so after their tryst with ambition was fulfilled after 1947. It was the oneness, territorial integrity and very survival of our ancient country which is under the assault in Kashmir at the hands of secessionists and terrorists.
Our security forces are discharging their duties in absolutely hostile conditions where they are not sure about their life for a single moment. The local administration is against them. Instances of the involvement of the local police and intelligence with the terrorists are not an exception. The politicians are out to demoralise them and the Pakistan ISI is meticulously conducting the whole campaign against India both from inside and outside the state, from Pakistan soil and the capital of India. Terrorism is a form of combat, which is irregular, unpredictable, and without boundaries. The terrorist is always in possession of that indispensable feature of combat, initiative. Security forces never set the agenda. Terrorists decide the time, place and method by which to engage. The Indian Government by putting spokes in the functioning of security forces, is committing suicide in Kashmir. It is also committing a heinous crime of getting the jawans killed brutally by the fanatics terrorists owing allegiance to Pakistan. The murder of jawans will cost the nation dearly and it is paving the way for another spell of foreign rule in India. The undecided politicians have not been able to save a single innocent life but restrained armed forces to minimum use of force against the terrorists. The least the people of India can do is to keep under leash the progressives, who though small in number but flush with continuous flow of funds, and prevent them from making false and obnoxious propaganda against our security forces. The jawans of these forces, while standing guard to provide security and maintain peace, live form minute to minute. They do not know when and from which side bullet, grenade or rocket will hit them. And when it comes they are bound to lose their life. The guerrilla bands heavily armed with kalashnikovs, rockets and grenades are in hiding in and around Srinagar. They have turned every road and lane into a possible death trap. Jawans sacrifice themselves so that nation lives and the country is saved. The jawans and officers of our armed forces and para-military forces are standing guard from Siachen in Ladakh to Kutch in Gujarat covering states of Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. This is our border with Pakistan. The entire border is alive. Not only are we faced with direct Pakistani intrusion always at the time of their choosing but also Pakistani sponsored fierce terrorism in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir as also international drug mafia, smugglers and Afghan mercenaries. And yet we have had Prime Ministers in India (not to mention Hind-Pak friendshipwallas), who have been taking credit for getting chummy with Pakistan leaders and pledging everlasting friendship with them while corpse after corpse Of Indian jawans surface in Kashmir. They and their like have been mouthing verbiage about the need to bring terrorists to the negotiating table. What is the latter's response? Burning alive young Indian officers, murdering innocent men, women and children and planting bombs at places like Delhi's IGI airport, Palika Bazar, Mohan Singh place etc. etc. Towards the last week of may 1993, 1993, Mr.V.M.Tarkunde, Mr.Rajinder Sachar and some others representing some human rights groups in India, paid a five day visit to Kashmir. Mr.Sachar in his report said: "Vast masses of people in Kashmir including members of various professions, have a warm appreciation for the armed struggle bt the militants". Sachar adds: "People are not apologetic for the use of guns by the militants and they do not plead for any consideration for them because to them every militant is a martyr for the cause". So the armed struggle should not be interfered with. Mr.Sachar has only hate and contempt for security forces. He doesn't want interrogation of any suspects because that causes alienation. He does not want guerillas to be chased because that may damage property which will cause alienation. He wants on-the-spot cash payment to the people as compensation for any losses because delay causes alienation. He wants that if any member of the army or security forces commit any irregularity, while performing his duty he should immediately be punished and whole process should be broadcast over public address system in total disregard of rules and regulation governing his service. Not doing causes alienation. Sachar is opposed to the appointment of any person from outside the state as Chief Justice of the state's High Court because that causes alienation and will be counter-productive. How local man will be productive may be known to him alone. He wants Government not to transgress the rule of the law while dealing with secessionist guerillas, terrorists, their collaborators and those who have warm appreciation for their armed struggle, but wants summary, arbitrary and on-the-spot public punishment for the security forces for any lapse which may have caused inconvenience to the above categories of people. Denial to judgement.
The policy adopted by the Government of India sets its own price tag and the cost may over-run the benefit if the country lurches from right to left and left to right and nowhere in the process. It may be possible to walk on a tight rope. But one cannot walk on a rope which is snapped. Some Indian leaders and intellectuals have become prisoners of their inbuilt bias and have never shown the courage to call a spade a spade. The negative forces that have cropped up, would not have acquired strength if the one-eyed stand had not persisted. Even those who have remained passive cannot escape blame. Confusion and delay to regain India's lost administrative turf in Kashmir will simply give Pakistan and the terrorists the most precious resources they can ask for --- time. Their strategy is to wear New Delhi down to such an extent that the cost of maintaining Kashmir will become an impossible burden; or to keep a ready made Pakistan inside India to be used by Pakistan to create constant problems. Unfortunately in the country an impression has been allowed to spread that the Government is only waiting for a suitable time and formula for surrendering to the secessionists, as the statements about granting greater autonomy show. To whom the Government of India wants to give greater autonomy? Nasir-ul-Islam of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen has said by way of policy statement: "Our objective is to get independence for Islam. We want to be part of Islamic bloc. Our mission is to Islamise the whole universe as God has ordered us". Comical Farooq Abdullah, from his hiding behind a concrete wall of Indian Security forces, lets out a sound of scream now and then. Sometimes he directs flares to convey his switch of loyalty and fidelity to the secessionists from behind the enemy lines. He has not abandoned his tantrums. He is luxuriously settled in U.K. He specially came from London to present himself in Srinagar on Pakistan's Independence Day. Well-protected by Indian commando force and travelling by a bullet-proof car provided by the Government, he made all-out effort to make himself acceptable to the terrorists. He has been from day one trying to do so). He issued a statement on his arrival that was on 14th August, 1992, that Kashmir was a disputed issue and needs to be settled among all the three concerned parties, India, Pakistan and Kashmir. The timing of the statement was carefully chosen. It was made on Pakistan's Independence Day, almost coincided with the visit of Pakistan's Foreign Secretary, Shahryar Khan to New Delhi for talks with his counterpart on bilateral issues which included Kashmir and was on the eve of non-aligned summit in Jakarta. That shows Farooq is not guileless when it comes to creating problems.
New Delhi must realise that its coffers are funding the separatist movement through the subsidised petrol and the telephone network including STD / International STD. Srinagar is connected to Muzaffarabad under SARC programme. While Srinagar-Jammu lines are mostly out of order, Srinagar-Muzaffarabad line is faultless. This has solved the terrorists' communication problem. Should the state continue to provide those who have declared war against it, the wherewithal for mobility and communications? Should it continue to keep on its pay-roll government servants who refuse allegiance to the country? Should it continue to supply electricity to premises that are used to preach jehad against the state? These hard decisions have to be made if India's writ is to run again in the valley. At present, in the Kashmir valley how are government contracts given and jobs arranged? No hanky panky -- tenders, as prescribed by the rules, are invited and so are applications for jobs. Only later it is stated by those involved in the selection process that hon'ble militant ABC or hon'ble militant XYZ has desired that the contract or job or supply order be given to so and so person and the orders are issued accordingly. Due process of law fully observed. Something apologists for terrorists who are around in plenty in the Capital of India, can lap up with joy! During the financial year 1991-92 (ending 31st March, 1992) in the Public Works Department and Public Health Engineering Department alone 461 contracts were awarded to Mujahideen on the dictation of the terrorists. (The figures for the financial year ending 31st March, 1992 have not yet officially become available). India's former Home Minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, talking to reporters on September 8, 1992 said that it was an open secret that militants did not only control the day to day functioning of the local administration but receive and channelise the vast chunk of development funds. Kashmir terrorists have launched a monthly journal Mountain Valley Kashmir since April, 1992. Its aim is to advance the cause of terrorism and subversion in Kashmir. It also provides guidance and inspiration to the guerillas how to go about. The advertisement tariff is on a very very high side. But a look at the magazine indicates that the Jammu and Kashmir state government has taken over the responsibility of making the magazine financially not only viable but also profitable. A look at the June, 1992 issue (the only one which became somehow available) indicated that the Government Departments like Forest, Tourism etc. had inserted redundant and aimless advertisements costing more than Rs. 1.5 lakhs. It is just a petty example of who finances insurgency in Kashmir. The Urdu newspapers published from Srinagar carry only statements and notices of terrorists but are run on government advertisements. After Congress was returned to power at the Centre in July, 1991, the Prime Minister, Mr.P.V.Narasimha Rao was persuaded by his discredited partymen and political allies from the valley to fill some 12,000 vacancies in the local bureaucracy. Predictably, the secessionist organisations hijacked the recruitments and succeeded in filling up the posts with their nominees. So the government apparatus becomes an agency of subversion and tax-payers of India end up subsidising a movement for another partition of the country.
While the State and Central Governments are ever willing to shell out any amount for that notorious exercise of appeasement its singular failure on finding the required money for essentialities in Jammu region is deplorable. What we are witnessing is a deliberate attempt to impose indignities and humiliation on the people in the Jammu region. And also generate extra stress and strain over the existing economic infrastructure to create ill-will and tension between the local people and the refugees who have been forced to take shelter there. The entrenched communal bureaucracy of the state is doing this silently but resolutely to serve the cause of separation. Their immediate aim appears to be to force an exodus from Jammu also so that the number of nationalists is reduced in Jammu region also. Their motto: if Kashmir valley can come under the thumb of terrorists Jammu may not be far away. In Jammu, the Government pleads paucity of funds. Why the State Government has no money is, of course, attributable to lack of proper governance, in that the state has failed to realise the due electric tariff or any other dues from the valley. No attempt, however, has been made to effect recoveries for any supplies provided ar any services rendered. Recoveries are made from Jammu region only. On the other hand, supplies and services are increased more and more in the Kashmir valley.
There is an urgent need to change the mindscap of India's political leaders. There present attitude is soft, selfish and permissive. We get up every morning, morning after morning and read in the papers that our hard-nosed rulers are keen to have what they call political process. What is their political process? It means enabling the drunkards to drink and gamblers to gamble. But their political parties have been left in a state of atrophy, their leaders living in retreat while their counterparts from the valley are living on doles like rest of refugees. It appears relevant to quote the noted journalist, Khushwant Singh who wrote in the Hindustan Times of October 30, 1992, "we have poured in crores of rupees into the valley, most of it was cream off by the educated upper class that ruled Kashmir on our behalf. We could never trust them to have free and fair elections and made sure that people we approved of were elected. We have come to such a pass that if there was an honest election today, to a man Kashmiri Muslims would cast their vote against continuing association with India. We are not up against handful of dissidents but insurrection against our presence in the valley. Nevertheless, we have no option but to hang on to the valley because if we left we could be jeopardising the future of millions of Indian Muslim brethren". Mr.Khushwant Singh has not cared or dared to say who are we. This is deliberate. Because he and like of him know fully well but are not prepared to confess that we are the same people who kept the people of Kashmir outside the Indian Constitution. What was perceived as a temporary and provisional agreement to facilitate the integration of the state, in practice was made an instrument for undermining of India's sovereignty and abdication of responsibilities. A long-term solution requires a fundamental reorientation of approach and recognition of three essential realities. First that over-doses of autonomy and the perpetuation of Article 370 argue against the full integration of the state into India. Secondly, a soft state compromises security and encourages subversion. Finally that the transformation of Kashmiri Islam nullifies the possibility of permanent Muslim reproachment with the Indian Republic. To offset the damage some go as far as to suggest that a programme for the demographic Indianisation of the state is inescapable. In Kashmir, Islam has been systematically supplanted by a rigid and doctrinaire faith whose political goal is an Islamic state. It is the ideological regime that has provided the inspiration and motivation for the organised expulsion of the Hindu minority from the valley and the ruthless persecution of those Kashmiri Muslims who do not fall in. As things stand today there is no common ground or points of convergence between the commitment to a pluralistic, liberal state -- whether organised along federal or confederal lines -- and the growing support for an Islamic republic built along the ideological premises of the Jamaat-i-Islami.
It should never be lost sight of that terrorists have links with international gangs, have access to sophisticated weaponry like grenade launchers, disposable mortars, high quality snipper rifles and plastic explosives. The threat from high quality explosives is particularly serious. Even chemical and biological devices are accessible to terrorists, as there is no stringent check to prevent this. Indian police has only limited knowledge of such devices. India's misfortune is that any assessment, which goes against the grain of conventional wisdom is brushed under the carpet. Faced with the collapse of brave experiment in national integration, the supine Indian intelligentsia and political classes appear determined to bury awkward dissent in a conspiracy of embarrassed silence. Unable and unwilling to accept reality, the Indian political establishment has been paralysed into dejection and defeatism. Confusion is bound to be caused when terrorists, who have the pistols on the throats of our jawans, are serenaded by a troupe of Members of Parliament no-less with pleading for talks. It is a different matter that the same Members of Parliament are reported to have felt like Five Star prisoners in Srinagar. But that does not open anyone's eyes. Why then is every one chiming in with the song of political process while nobody makes even a passing reference to the deaths that the security forces have been sustaining? From four corners of the country they are sent to Kashmir,there to lay down their lives to ensure that Kashmir is not chopped off from India. From four corners of the country Members of Parliament are picked up, flown in luxury to Srinagar, feted under the security of the same jawans, but what do they do? Plead with their killers to come and negotiate how much and how quickly should Kashmir be chopped off from the country. There is no softer term for this attitude than outrageous betrayal of martyrs. One need not talk of lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus nor of the numberless Kashmiri Muslims, who are innocent and have also been suffering. For it is natural for Kashmiris to suffer when their houses have been set on fire by the terrorists and guns have been held to their heads. It is their Kashmir. The state belongs to each one of them. In the long history of man's greed it is not unheard of that the inhabitants of a city or state should have to suffer external aggression. But what of the jawans who are only discharging their duty in Kashmir and dying with a smile on their face? Does the Government of India not owe it at least to these dead and dying soldiers and patriots not to obfuscate issues once again but give a clear lead to the jawan in the field? By what cannon of justice is it permitted to talk of the jawan doing his duty and terrorist subverting a legally constituted Government in the same breath? It is an obscenity of the worst order that an Indian soldier should have to die on a street in Kashmir with Jai Hind on his lips and political process ringing in his ears. History will never forgive an administration that perpetuates such an atrocity on its own soldiers. The time has now come for the Centre to clear its perceptions and guard against chickening out at this crucial juncture. India has either to retain Kashmir or see the beginning of disintegration.
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