Kashmir Truth Be Told Blog
Yus neereth gassan, pheereth cha yevaano: morda che gassan zinde (Kashmiri saying)

6/4/06

Most Indians are sympathetic

To answer the question whether I am pro-India or not, lets first explain what that question means.

Does it mean that I condone the daily harassment of innocent Kashmiris by the Indian paramilitary forces, or in some cases by rogue elements in the JK police?

Does it mean that I turn a blind eye to the rapes committed by untrained and un professional elements in the Indian security forces. Or that the unprovoked killings of Kashmiris by the Indian forces caught in a cross-fire is justified?

The answer to the above claims is obvious to me, and should be to all Kashmiris. The answer is that I abhor these actions, and just as any Kashmiri does, makes me wonder what us Kashmiris must collectively do to stop these inhuman acts.

To continue an armed struggle has reaped us no benefits. Is it not time to smarten up?

To answer the above question, we should look at Iraq and what is happening there, and then draw parallels. Do you think that the people of USA are celebrating and condone the disgusting and abhorrent acts committed in Haditha? where almost two dozen innocent civilians were shot in the head; the victims included infants. The answer to this question is a definite NO and I am certain they were genuinely saddened by this ghastly act. Let me continue my rhetoric and ask just for argument's sake whether anybody feels that the vast majority of the US public were celebrating that two dozen people of an "enemy" nation were slaughtered and patted their soldiers on the back? The answer again is absolutely not. Most people are probably in shock over this incident, and are probably ashamed and sorry for the actions of these 8 or 10 soldiers, who committed this heinous crime.

Now there are too many paralles to be drawn when we consider the Haditha incident and what is happening in Kashmir. If we ask the same questions whether the general public in India condones the daily violations of human rights by their security forces in Kashmir. The answer to the best of my knowledge is that an overwhelimg majority of Indians would be surprised and shocked to know how the daily life of innocent Kashmiris is unbearable because of the constant interference in their lives by the Indian forces.

16 comments:

  1. Is political process the answer?

    1947 Sheikh Abdullah becames the Prime Minister of Kashmir

    1953 Sheikh Abdullah arrested for meeting Adlai Stevenson

    Bakshi installed

    About Bakshi:

    ‘The government agents forced hot potatoes into the mouths of their opponents, put heavy stones on their chest; and branded them with red hot irons.’

    [Mir Qasim, p.82, as quoted in Verma, Crossroads, p52.]

    Sheikh Abdullah released after four years

    Sheikh Abdullah says that accession as not final
    Sheikh Abdullah behind the bars after just four months

    1962 Rigged Elections.

    Nehru comments to Bakshi:

    ‘In fact, it would strength your position much more if you lost a few seats to bonafide opponents.’

    [Nehru as quoted in Gopal, Nehru Vol. 3 1956-1964, p 262]

    April 1964 Sheikh Abdullah released

    February 1965 Goes to perform Hajj.

    On his return, again arrested.

    Crime: meeting the premier of China

    Protests against his arrest were crushed.

    1983 Elections: NC Wins.

    ‘the prime minister of India set about subverting the elected government of Kashmir’

    [Singh, Tragedy of Errors, p 38]

    This is a very brief look at the democratic process events in Kashmir.

    And the rest, as they say, is history.

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  5. I think you are doing a commendable job. Keep up the good work. Hope to involve youngsters in discussions about improving the hygienic and aesthetic as well as economic conditions of kashmir is going to help us.

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  6. Hello,

    I visited Kashmir in May, along with my fellow nature-club members. I have never, ever, seen a more beautiful place, and I have never felt more grateful to be able to see something so magnificent.

    Apart from seeing different parts of Kashmir, we met with the law students at Kashmir University. That one, intense session was a revelation to most of us. And I speak on behalf of my group when I say, none of us left the place without being impacted by the enormity of issues you face as Kashmiris.

    I was deeply distressed to hear everyone in the group refer to us as "You Indians.." and "Your country.." And though I understand where that sentiment stems from, it still hurt terribly.

    These are my exact feelings on that day http://quaintmurmur.blogspot.com/2007/06/many-faces-of-kashmir_04.html

    Please do take the time to read through it.
    I for one believe that only if today's youth make themselves aware of the goings-on in different parts of India, can there be some improvement. There needs to be a dialogue between students around the country.

    Being in Kashmir was a blessing. I hope I live to see the day when all Kashmiris can live in peace. I think, at the end of the day, that matters more than taking sides with between nationalities.


    Riya

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  7. Violence begets violence and this has to be kept in mind. WHile the people of Jammu and Kashmir will have to find the middle path, it is important that government of India and Pakistan stop playing geopolitics and work for a honest solution

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  8. Hi Ria,

    I absolutely agree that there should be more interaction between students from other parts of India and kashmir. People do not realize what a huge difference they can make just by being aware of issues that face their country.

    I strongly feel that people in kashmir have to be made aware that the false hope of an "over-night" rich paradise independent state of kashmir, promised by the separatists, is simply not possible. They have to understand that they were just pawns in a very mean spirited proxy war against India waged by some elements in Pakistan's ISI.

    I also would like to mention that I strongly beleive that India and Pakistan should never have been partitioned - but that's a topic for some other time.

    You mentioned that you were quite surprised when the Kashmiri university students referred to your group as "you Indians" or "your army". I can understand your anguish with this; but let me have my take on it. You mention in your post about your observing security forces almost everywhere you went, and if I remember correctly you were in Kashmir for a short visit.

    We have to face this everyday, I mean the presence of the security forces, and its not just a benign presence that is just present there in the background; they have an effect on everything kashmiris do everyday.

    Just imagine if this happened in your hometown everyday; that there are security forces (from a different part of India who dont speak your language) who can stop your car, ask you to get out, ask for your ID, and detain you for hours if it pleases them with no accountability. This is just a tame example that is everyday life in kashmir. Now add the serious violations of molestations, rape, assault, and beatings; and you'll get the idea. Now again think if this happened in your hometown, what would you do?

    Most people in all places are peaceloving responsible citizens. It is the bad elements in those socities that are more vocal and usually are more manipulative. I believe that we have our share of them in India, kashmir, and pakistan who are keeping the wider populace mis-informed to achieve their own ends.

    I dont know what the shortcut means to achieving peace is, but like you mentioned, more interaction between people would defintely be useful.

    Regards
    koshur

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  9. Hi koshur

    I think Kashmir is the pearl of India and always has been. I feel it is a disgrace that there are so many soldiers in the valley, creating problems for ordinary people.

    But just imagine what would happen if they leave ? Pakistan/Taliban would send in hordes of tribal militants to "liberate" Kashmir. These foreigners will rape, plunder and murder .. just like how you accuse the Indian army is doing.

    I believe that the army should be deployed on the frontier to prevent any such attack. The normalcy of the valley should be restored and the army should be entirely replaced by the Kashmiri police force in the interior.

    I hope this can be done, and this will be achieved much before the day when the Kashmiri valley gets reunited.

    Till that day, you have my wishes and prayers.

    Kashmir has a strong symbolic and emotional value to both India and Pakistan, so it is difficult to find a politically acceptable way of unifying Kashmir. But I think in the future, Kashmir will serve as the bridge of friendship rather than as a reason for hate between the two countries.

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  10. Thankyou for your comment Ray.

    My few cents on your arguments.

    -Kashmir was independent till the 15th century, after which Akbar defeated the Kashmiri king of the Chak dynasty. After about 150 years of Mughal rule, Afghans annexed Kashmir and we were their principality for about 60 years. The Afghan rule follwed Sikh rule and finally the Dogra rule for 100 years (independent of direct rule by British India). My point is that we were directly ruled by Delhi only by the Mughals, so it would be incorrect to claim that Kashmir has always been the pearl of India. (Although I have always maintained that it is in the best interest of Kashmiris to remain as an autonomous state of India).

    -You said it quite correctly, that Kashmiris are accusing the paramilitary forces of committing inhuman acts therefore it is not a good argument that Kashmiris will hypothetically be a victim of barbaric acts from muslims of other countries who would rape their own muslim sisters?? As far as I know good muslims do not commit such attrocities.

    -I agree with the rest of your comment. The paramilitary forces should be moved to the frontiers. There is no need for army in urban areas.

    Look forward to more of your comments. :)

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  11. Hi Koshur

    Your history of Kashmir has been correct, but I challenge you to prove to me if Kashmir has been more "independent" from India than my region, Andhra Pradesh, or say, Tamil Nadu, or Assam.

    The truth is India has never been a single country. Throughout history, there have been a lot of overlaps in the kingdoms. Kashmir has been ruled from Kandahar for a while, from Patna for a while and from Delhi for a while. This doesn't take away the individuality of Kashmiri culture and the greatness of its people.

    Kashmiri is an Indo Aryan language, and Kashmiris are a part of Indian heritage.

    If you say Kashmir doesn't belong to India, it is equal to saying India doesn't exist. It is equal to denying the existence of the only country in the world which proved that democracy can exist in a poor country.

    > As far as I know good muslims do not commit such attrocities.

    Brother Koshur, good muslims are few and far in between. You have to just see at Iraq or Sudan to get a reality check of what might happen.

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  12. (corrected one)Please read this one!!

    Its s unfortunate to see people being killed by the security forces during processions. India being the largest democratic country of the world has yet again failed to respond to the tumultuous situation in Kashmir. I live miles away from my Kashmir and after learning that more than 30 people have been killed by the ''insecurity forces'' forces in just two days is both shocking and appalling. I feel so unfortunate to be miles away and not able to join the agitation against the tyranny of Indian government.
    i wish my brothers and sisters back in Kashmir all the luck and strength. Im sure that we will past the phase and will come up victorious.. Inshallah.
    I have also been a subject to the atrocities inflicted to us by the security forces in India.
    My father was murdered in a train to Delhi in Punjab and nobody cared to even unmask the culprits.
    I hope our misery ends now and we get our due.

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  13. All of you first stop asking for independence or joining Pak. Then, the Indian forces will automatically move out. Remember that all our ancestors were from the great INDIA of the past and not the INDIA that was changed by invaders some 500 years ago.

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  14. I agree to this that Indian Forces will move out....., Had tribals not been sent by Pakistanis , there would not have been any Indian Army. How many protests we do in open when local kahmiri Police man or 3 year old kid was shot dead by self made armed people.

    How many protested we have did in open street to stop all these bomb blasts and local killings. Can we give peace a chance.

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  15. you do know that the entry into kashmir valley is from the north, with roads leading to neelam, muzzafarabad then to the punjab. these natural trade routes have been blocked since the occupation. it is a central asian country with more resemblance to afghanistan or northern pakistan than mainland india. koshur is a dardic language (indo-iranian > dardic), not indo-aryan from the plains. indians should get it out of their head that it is the pearl/head of india just like the british stated that india was the jewel of the british empire, it never was. maybe their lust for the place was because they were concieved there because of their parents honeymmon in kashmir. just like bhutan, tibet and nepal, it has its own culture and history and should be an independent, prosperous, demilitarised and sovereign state being at the crossroads of major cultures.
    what irks me most is that most of the 'keyboard warriors' who are most vocal about kashmir being an 'integral part of india' are from the south of india, who are far removed from the place and visit once in a while wide eyed in awe stating 'switzerland', trust me i've seen many videos -.- this with their desire to aspire to mix with the culture (from watching one too many bollywood films with fair skinned north indians of persian/turkic stock) either through praise/brown nosing or forcefully.
    india needs a reality check of who it actually is and the facade it projects to the outside world. arundhati roy stated that its a morally corrosive situtaion that is festering in kashmir because of the indian occupation and this rot will begin to seep through other parts of india.
    also, the statement from an indian about tribal millitants liberating the region, well my parents are from azad jammu & kashmir, we rose up from the dogra rule with assistance from pashtun brothers and we are free today. no such 'rape/plunder/murder' occured, however this cannot be said about the indian occupation in kashmir.
    anyway detracting from the point, insha'Allah jammu & kashmir will be free one day where we will be united as one and we will be prosperous.

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  16. The debate that whether India's accession of Kashmir was ethical and final or not and that whether Kashmir is an integral part of India or not is very complex one and could go on for another several hundred years with Indians and Pakistanis having strong feelings and kashmiris having mixed feelings.

    But whats most important of all is that peace should return to valley, the people of kashmir should be happy and prosperous and look forward to life again, and they should get the right of self determination if they feel they dont have it now.

    I as an Indian would love to see Kashmir always remain a part of India and the crown of India and to proudly call the kashmiri people as my countrymen. But that is secondary and of lesser importance than the kashmiri people's right to a happy and content life.

    Also the fact that the lives of kashmiris is being suffocated by the presence of armed forces is beyond doubt. AFSPA should go and army should recede to the borders and let the people breath freely.
    If there is any need for them to tackle terrorism within the state, they should come up with more intelligent ways to do their job without becoming a hurdle for common man's daily walk of life. By their current methods they are not helping anything.

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